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Australian Terrier


Dog Breed - Australian Terrier



The Australian Terrier is the result of mixing several different breeds including the Dandie Dinmont, the Cairn, and the Yorkshire, to produce an all-purpose ratter and watchdog.  Bred in Australia this breed was officially recognized in the late 1880s and should not be confused with its smaller cousin, the Australian Silky Terrier, a toy breed.  These dogs were used for rodent and snake control, as watchdogs and even as a shepherd and a companion.  Some of their many talents are watchdog, tracking, agility and performing tricks.



This tough, cheeky little fellow displays courage which reminds people of a much larger dog.  With its boundless energy and extraordinary intelligence, this very loyal and affectionate little dog adores its family making it a very responsive and very protective companion.  The spirited, curious and self-assured Australian Terrier can be quite amusing and with its very keen hearing and eyesight, it makes an excellent watchdog.  More than anything these dogs just want to please their master and is more easily obedience trained than most other terriers.  Not at all snappish these dogs like to bark, and must be told after they first alert you of something, enough is enough, no more barking.   Children need to be taught how to be kind to the dog, but also how to be the dogs leader.  These dogs are good to travel with and socialize well all other pets in the household.



Height:  23-28cm  (9-11in) 

Weight:     4-6kg   (9-14lb)

Group: Terrier

The "Aussie," as it is affectionately known, is a sturdy, short legged, little dog and is one of the smallest in the Terrier Group.  It has a long head, with erect, v-shaped ears, sparkling dark eyes and a body which is slightly longer than tall.  It has small cat-like feet and the docked tail stands up erect.  Their weatherproof and rough-textured coat comes in solid red, sandy, or dark or silvery blue with tan markings on the head and legs.



As the Australian Terrier sheds little to no hair, their long, stiff and shaggy coat is quite low maintenance and usually does not need clipping.  It is as simple as giving them a brush several times a week, being gentle with the soft undercoat. It is recommended that this breed not be washed too often with once a month being quite sufficient. Apart from trimming their nails regularly it may be necessary to trim around their eyes and ears with blunt-nosed scissors. If you don't have the time to bath or groom your dog, your local  dog grooming salon provides these services.


Life Expectancy

15+ Years


Health Concerns

The Australian Terrier is a hardy, healthy breed. It is long lived and free of any major hereditary diseases apart from the occasional incidence of luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps). Feed your dog the best quality dog food you can to ensure the health and longevity of your pooch.



They are considered ideal dogs for suburban living and small enough to be happy in an average backyard or indoors.  They do require some exercise to avoid becoming bored but a few minutes daily spent playing ball games is adequate however, if an apartment dog a daily walk would be perfect.  Beware these little guys like to chase anything that moves due to their breeding heritage and have even been known to take on snakes - often at their cost.  Making excellent watchdogs and companions, these terriers are an ideal choice for families with school-age children as they are always ready for a game and are too small to knock the kids down.  They also make great companions for the elderly because of their alertness and ability to warn them of visitors.  Not usually known to be destructive if left alone in the backyard, but may become 'yappy' if bored.




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Terriers: dogs in this group were bred to drive foxes, rabbits and other quarry from their underground retreats. A few in this group include Airedale Terrier, Border Terrier and Fox Terrier to mention a few.

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