Australian Terriers are a small and sturdy breed with a weatherproof double coat that comes in blue and tan, sandy, or red. The outer coat is harsh-textured and straight and the undercoat is short and soft. Australian Terriers have pricked ears and a docked tail and are one of the smallest terriers. This bread measures 10 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 14 to 16 pounds, on average. Australian Terriers live up to 15 years with proper care.
Australian Terriers have an alert expression and a clever sense of humor, and they make suitable companion animals for most people in most environments.
This breed is happy and has a confident and spirited nature. Australian Terriers have an alert expression and a clever sense of humor, and they make suitable companion animals for most people in most environments. Their small size makes them a great choice for apartments and urban living.
In 1868, the Australian Terrier became the first breed recognized as native to Australia.
Australian Terriers are friendly, alert, courageous, and spirited dogs that love life and seek out fun at every opportunity. These dogs are also highly intelligent and easily adapt to urban or rural settings. While this breed does well with single owners or families, they prefer to live in a home with no other pets. They get along better with cats than with dogs, but are happiest on their own.
Their lively, upbeat personality has given them a reputation as being scrappy, bossy, and sometimes overly dramatic, but these dogs are just looking for a good time. They are clever and independent while also being affectionate and eager to please. Because of this, they make fun and engaging companion animals.
Australian Terriers are natural hunters and possess a strong, instinctual prey drive. They may chase small animals, such as squirrels, if allowed to roam free outdoors. While outdoor time is essential for these dogs, they need to live indoors.
Australian Terriers are a healthy breed and are generally free of genetic conditions. However, this breed may be more likely than some other breeds to develop Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, a bone disorder marked by degeneration and deformity of the head of the femur bone. Legg-Calve-Perthes disease causes pain and loss of mobility and is seen most often in small dogs.
Australian Terriers are also prone to diabetes, ear infections, and luxating patellas, a condition that causes the kneecaps to slip out of place. Allergies and itching are also fairly common in this breed, but these are usually manageable with dietary or lifestyle changes.
With quality nutrition, regular activity, routine veterinary care, and recommended vaccinations, Australian Terriers can live 12 to 15 years.
Training Australian Terriers can be challenging, as these dogs tend to be quite stubborn and bore easily. Patience is essential, and training must be firm and consistent. For the best results, training and socialization should begin as early in life as possible. To prevent destructive behavior, channel the breed's curiosity and energy into productive activities.
Australian Terriers tend to be hyperactive and bark a lot. Frequent walks and outdoor activities can help manage behavioral problems by providing an outlet for excess energy. These dogs must be kept on a leash or they tend to run off and chase small animals. When not on a leash, Australian Terriers must be kept in a securely fenced back yard. Digging can become a major problem and these small dogs can jump considerably higher than expected. Ensure fences are high enough to contain these little acrobats.
Urine marking is an indoor problem that requires immediate attention. A belly band can help protect furniture, but training is necessary to correct the behavior. These dogs do well in apartments and condominiums if barking can be kept to a manageable level.
Australian Terriers have a double coat that is weatherproof and suitable for most climates. These dogs shed very little and generally do well with a weekly brushing with a soft slicker brush. The coat should be stripped twice each year to remove dead hairs, and trimming around the feet can provide a neater appearance. Dogs bothered by facial hair may benefit from trimming around the eyes and ears.
The ears should be checked at least once weekly for dirt, excess wax, and other debris that may cause irritation or lead to infection. Wiping the ears with a cotton ball and vet-approved ear cleanser should be sufficient to prevent problems. This breed requires only the occasional bath with a mild shampoo. Bathe more often if necessary to remove dirt or oil.
Regularly brushing the teeth will help keep the teeth and gums healthy and prevent bad breath. Dental treats and supplements help in cases where these dogs resist oral cleanings. Introducing grooming at an early age improves cooperation.
Australian Terriers developed during the late 1880s from Rough-Coated Terriers, dogs that traveled from Britain to Tasmania. These terriers were crossed with other terrier breeds, including ancestors of the Yorkshire, Skye, and Dandie Dinmont, to form what is now known as the Australian Terrier.
This breed was originally developed to assist pioneers with vermin and snake control in the Australian Outback. These dogs also tended livestock and alerted their owners to approaching intruders. They were very skilled at these tasks and were highly appreciated.
Today, Australian Terriers are still very popular as working dogs, but they've become increasingly popular as companion animals around the world.
The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Australian Terrier in 1960.