Looking for a lively and cheerful companion who is energetic enough to join you on long walks, yet small and affectionate enough to cuddle up in your lap? Meet the Australian Terrier! This working Terrier breed is a small dog with bags of personality, known to be intelligent, alert, active and playful. Famed for being truly in tune with its owners, this breed is a great choice for families with children, active couples, and elderly owners alike.
Key facts about the Australian Terrier
Origins and history
Way back in the early 19th century, travellers from the UK travelled to Australia, bringing along their rough-coated terrier dogs for protection against disease-ridden rodents and snakes. Once there, the dogs bred with other Terrier breeds, including the Cairn, Skye, Dandie Dinmont, Irish and Yorkshire, which eventually resulted in the Australian Terrier which we know today.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 3 - Terriers
Section 2 : Small sized Terriers
Physical characteristics of the Australian Terrier
Female : Between 9 and 10 in
Male : Between 9 and 10 in
Female : Between 51 and 55 lb
Male : Between 51 and 55 lb
The coat can be sandy, red, or blue and tan.
Type of coat
The coat is mid-length.
The eyes are dark brown in colour.
The Australian Terrier is a small yet robust dog with a typical Terrier appearance. The body is low-set, with short but sturdy legs and a deep chest. The head is long, with a short muzzle, a black nose, pointy, erect, triangular ears and expressive eyes. Its rustic appearance is typified in his shaggy stylings, with a well-defined collar that reaches to the sternum. This is a scamp you can’t help but fall for!
Good to know
Despite its name, the Australian Terrier’s ancestral roots are actually British!
Loyal and loving, the Australian Terrier is truly devoted to its family. In fact, this emotionally intelligent pup is known for being completely in tune with its owners and adjusting its mood to suit theirs.
The Australian Terrier is lively, energetic and upbeat, loving nothing more than playtime with its family. With its clownish character and small size, it makes a fantastic playmate for kids.
This dog is upbeat, lively and energetic for the most part. However, while it’s not the calmest breed in the books, it does seem to react well to its owner's mood and will calm down whenever it deems it necessary.
The Australian Terrier is a clever little pup, but not necessarily docile. It needs to be educated with a firm and consistent hand to get the best results.
Bred as a working Terrier, this bold dog is a hunter by nature and instinctually chases small animals, including mice, rabbits, hamsters, squirrels and cats.
Fearful / wary of strangers
While the Aussie is often wary and shy around strangers at first, it normally doesn’t take long for it to warm up and make friends.
If you’re not careful, the Australian Terrier will end up in charge of the household. This small yet bold pooch is independent, strong-willed and will try to dominate. Firm yet fair training from the get-go is essential.
Behaviour of the Australian Terrier
The Australian Terrier thrives as part of a family, and as such, doesn’t cope well with extended time spent alone. It may manage well with short periods of solitude, but its needs must be met in advance.
Easy to train / obedience
While independent and sometimes stubborn, the Australian Terrier is clever and highly trainable. The key with this breed is confidence. Be firm but fair and establish yourself as the leader from the start. With patience, consistency, a positive approach, and plenty of rewards, you’ll end up with an obedient friend. Because of the Aussie’s strong prey-drive, early socialization is particularly important.
The Australian Terrier barks a lot at the slightest suspicious noise and for this reason can be a good alert dog.