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Australian Terrier Dog Breed Care and Information

Updated on May 7, 2013
Australian Terrier
Australian Terrier

History of the Australian Terrier

How the Australian Terrier First Came About

The Australian Terrier is thought to have first come about in Australia around the late 1800's by breeding two Yorkshire Terriers that both physically resembled Cairn Terriers. Twenty years later in 1899 the Australian Terriers were first exhibited. They were described as vermin killers that were specifically qualified to handle and take on snakes.

By the year of 1906 Australian Terriers made their way to England, but it wasn't until 1936 that the Australian Terrier was considered as a legitimate dog breed by the British Kennel Club. Australian Terriers were excepted even later by the United States as an official dog breed in 1960.

Australian Terriers were bred as farm dogs, and even early on they gave themselves the reputation as brave little dogs that were seemingly fearless. From the beginning Australian Terriers were chosen based on both their working skills, but also just as importantly Australian Terriers were picked for their loving companion qualities as well.

Temperament and Training Australian Terriers

Australian Terrier Temperament and Australian Terrier Dog Breed Personality

Australian Terriers generally have naturally high confidence levels probably due to the fact that a dog of such a small size would have to have confidence in itself to efficiently rid of snakes and other small vermin. Never allow their small size to fool you; Australian Terriers have bold personalities that aren't afraid of confronting even some of the largest dogs if they feel the need to show them who is boss. That being said, these working terriers can get along fine with other dogs, just as long as they are properly socialized and positively introduced to other well behaved dogs as puppies.

Australian Terriers often come across as dogs that love the entertainment of teasing others. Though this is usually done in a playful, light hearted manner Australian Terriers in particularly enjoy persistently teasing cats. For some people this can become a problem, so usually Australian Terriers are not recommended for those looking to find a new dog while already owning one or more cats. There are always exceptions though, so this is not to say that there aren't Australian Terriers that can occasionally get along perfectly with cats.

On a more positive note, these tenacious terriers are usually loving, affectionate, and have friendly endearing personalities that are difficult not to find yourself instantly falling for this dog breed. These are just a few of the reasons why for some people the Australian Terrier can make a good family pets for those who have responsible, pet respectful children.

Australian Terrier Dog Training

When it comes to dog training Australian Terriers are relatively on the easier side of training compared to other breeds of terrier. Generally speaking terriers tend to have short intention spans when placed up with other families of dogs such as herding dogs, gundogs (also known as sporting dogs), working dogs, and etc... When put into relation to other terriers especially, Australian Terriers are intelligent terriers that respond fairly well to obedience dog training and dog training in it's entirety.

Can Australian Terriers Make Good Watch Dogs?

Yes, Australian Terriers have the ability to qualify as good watch dogs. Keep in mind watch dog means that the dog is good at alarming it's owner or family if there is danger, trouble, or something outside. Just remember not to confuse the term guard dogs with watch dogs, since the two terms are two completely different things that people sometimes mistakenly confuse with one another.

The Australian Terrier
The Australian Terrier

Physical Characteristics

What do Australian Terriers Look Like?

Australian Terriers are often compared as looking similar to and are often mistaken as other terrier dog breeds such as the Norwich Terrier and the Norfolk Terrier. Another common comparison is with Yorkshire Terriers when their hair is cut short.

Australian Terrier Coat Appearance

Australian Terriers display harsh, dense, straight coats with softer hair on the their heads. These little terriers come in different colors and shades that commonly range from usually completely red, sandy, and combination coats of blue to blue grey to dark grey and red to sandy tan fur. Australian Terriers have medium length hair and short, soft undercoats. On occasion though these dogs can have soft fur on their bodies as well, though it's more common for Australian Terriers to have mostly rough fur covering their bodies.

Due to their weather resistant coats Australian Terriers qualify to be kennelled outdoors, though most owners keep their Australians Terriers as indoor pets.

Australian Terriers require regular grooming, but due to their small size, for most owners grooming your Australian Terrier should be fairly easy to accomplish. It's important to make grooming your dog a part of his or her routine schedule.

The Australian Terrier Facial Features and Body

Australian Terriers have bold, usually dark brown eyes that give them an appearance that are both intelligent and intriguing in expression. When displaying lighter coat colors and an unmasked face, some Australian Terriers have eyes that are outlined with a dark charcoal color which might look to some as though Australian Terriers are wearing eyeliner.

Their ears are small, pointed, and naturally stand erect on their heads. These working terrier dogs have angular side profiles with prominent chins and triangular snouts. Their cheeks give off a full appearance since the hair on their cheeks is somewhat longer than the fur on the rest of their face.

Their petite paws connect to thin legs that are considerably shorter than the length of their long bodies. By nature Australian Terriers have full regular length tails, however, the majority of Australian Terriers have their tails customarily docked.

Australian Terrier Dog Breed Height and Weight

Full grown Australian Terriers will generally measure around an average of 10 to 11 inches (25 - 27.5 cm) at the withers. Healthy Australian Terriers should usually weigh somewhere near 14 pounds (6.3 kg).

Australian Terrier Life Expectancy

The Australian Terrier dog breed has an average life expectancy of about 13 to 14 years of age.

Do you have or want an Australian Terrier?

Have you ever owned an Australian Terrier or considered getting an Australian Terrier?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I have never owned one, but always thought they were pretty with such cute faces. A good friend of mine I worked with owned one, named Abby. She was a good dog!! I loved her. : ) Thanks for sharing this with us and the pics. Voted it up and interesting.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      I love dogs and know quite a bit about them.However I had to admit that Iknew little on this breed and I found this hub so interesting. What a wonderful dog.

      I vote up and share.



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