Let's talk Australian Terriers

Small in stature but full of energy, Australian Terriers make for a loyal companion. Originally bred in, yep, Australia to hunt rodents and snakes, this hard-working breed is now appreciated for its lively spirit and affectionate presence. With enough bravery to last a lifetime, the Australian Terrier makes for an excellent watchdog - but also enjoys clowning around with young children, once trained. Australian Terriers handle apartment life well, with few grooming needs and a low-shedding coat.

Official name: Australian Terrier

Other names: Aussie

Origins: Australia

Black and white portrait of an Australian Terrier
 Drooling tendencies

Very low

Warm weather?
 Shedding level Very low
Suited to apartment living?  Very high
 Energy Level (high, low, medium)* Medium Family Pet?* 
Very high
 Compatibility with other pets Medium
Can stay alone?*

 * We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.
 
For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).
 
Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.
 
Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.
 
All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company.  However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age.  Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

Inline Image 15
Illustration of an Australian Terrier
Male
23 - 28 cm Height
4 - 7 kg Weight
Female
23 - 28 cm Height
4 - 7 kg Weight

 

 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 10 months
 Adult age  10 months to 8 years
 Mature age  8 to 12 years
 Senior age  from 12 years

Australian Terrier standing in grass facing the right

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Get to know the Australian Terrier

All you need to know about the breed

With the Australian Terrier, you get a lot of dog in one small package. They are the smallest of the Terrier breeds but you wouldn’t know it from their playful and energetic disposition. Your Australian Terrier doesn’t need to run a marathon, but several daily walks around the neighbourhood - on a leash - will keep them fit and their energy in check. This breed tends to stay lively well into old age, so is best suited to active households.

There are many benefits to living with an Australian Terrier - they’re great watchdogs, they’re loyal, and they’re low-shedding - but they have a few habits you should be aware of. First up, they’re vocal, which can be hard on the ears. Train your Australian Terrier early to help them keep their barking under control.

Their legacy as a working breed means that Australian Terriers possess a high prey drive, so small, furry animals are simply too much temptation. This is why you will need to keep your Australian Terrier on a leash during walks - they’ll be off at the first scent of any potential prey. Another important point: if you have a garden, a fence is a must, as your Australian Terrier will wander off thanks to their curious nature.

Australian Terriers are an all-round great family dog: friendly towards children and grandparents, they form close attachments to their humans, adapting to match the household mood. They will follow you around, be by your side to greet guests, and play with children, before cuddling up next to you for a nap. Sounds good, right?

Australian Terrier laying on a wooden picnic table

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2 facts about Australian Terriers

1. Dig up dirt

If you’d prefer your vegetable patch to stay intact, then your garden has met its arch-enemy in the Australian Terrier. The clue is in the name! Like all terriers, the breed enjoys nothing more than digging holes. It’s unwise to leave your Australian Terrier alone in the garden - your lawn will never be the same again.

2. Leader of the pack

There’s no way to say this delicately: Australian Terriers try to be the boss of the household. Not just with other dogs but with their humans too. They’re natural born leaders, with a history that has shaped them to be independent and develop a slight competitive streak. But there’s no need to make a mountain out of a dog-hill: early socialisation and consistent training will show your Australian Terrier that the boss of the house is you.

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History of the breed

When 19th century Brits settled in Australia, they brought along Terrier dogs with them. It is therefore believed that the Australian Terrier descends from several terrier breeds, including Scottish, Yorkshire and Norwich Terriers. The Australian Terrier was bred to be brave, with the mission of catching undesirable furry animals and snakes in the most remote parts of Australia. Apparently their signature move was known as the “twist and pounce”.

Their courage in the face of harsh weather conditions also saw the Australian Terrier helping shepherds, principally as watchdogs and sheep-herders. This was their first experience of working alongside humans and forming close attachments, a.k.a. learning to cosy up after a hard day of work. Their loyal companionship remains a much admired characteristic of the Australian Terrier we know today.

Commonly referred to as “Aussie” dogs in their origin country, they were the first Australian breed to be recognised both at home and abroad. First brought over to England in the early 1900s by British aristocrats, the Australian Terrier has since charmed its way into the hearts of many families around the world.

Black and white portrait of an Australian Terrier

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From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Australian Terriers

1. Ears

Small pointed ears are set high on the head.

2. Head

Long head sitting on a strong, slightly arched neck.

3. Body

A small body but long and sturdy, with a self-assured gait.

4. Tail

Tail is short and set high, always standing to attention.

5. Coat

Short-haired double coat, straight and coarse in texture.

Close-up of an Australian Terrier with tongue out

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Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Australian Terrier
Close up of an Australian Terrier with tongue out

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Caring for your Australian Terrier

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Good news for owners, the Australian Terrier has a short double coat so grooming is minimal. More good news, their coat is also weatherproof, which means it repels the great outdoors, as opposed to attracting it. To stay looking sharp, your Australian Terrier just needs one weekly brush, a monthly toenail trim and a bath every three months. This sturdy dog breed does need daily exercise to keep the boredom at bay and their muscles in peak condition, though. A play session or two in the garden and two walks per day is optimal exercise for your Australian Terrier. Always keep them on a leash when out and about as their prey instinct could lead them to chase after smaller animals - or cars! Training the Australian Terrier as early as possible is essential as they are definitely on the headstrong side (small dog complex). Very smart, they are, however, easily bored, so keep training sessions short and varied. Toys and positive reinforcement will always work a charm with your Australian Terrier, who aims to please you.

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All about Australian Terriers

100% yes. The Bull Terrier is an affectionate dog, who is capable of being equally devoted to all family members. The Bull Terrier also has a mischievous side, which makes them an entertaining companion, and they’re content to tire themselves out playing with older children. Teaching the Bull Terrier good social skills from when they are a puppy will result in a placid companion who is loyal until the very end.

When it comes to protecting the ones that they love, the Bull Terrier is top of the class. The breed’s muscular physique is often enough of a deterrent for wannabe burglars, especially when coupled with their loud bark, which the Bull Terrier rarely uses. Word of warning, the Bull Terrier’s natural protective instincts should not be developed any further - keep the breed a lover, not a fighter.

Other breeds that might interest you.

Sources

1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/