The Australian Terrier is a diminutive but sturdy working terrier that tends to get along better with other pets and be less vocal than most other terrier breeds. It is important to remember, however, that this tiny dog is a predator and smaller animals that scurry, such as hamsters, rats, and mice, are not likely to be safe around these dogs. While they are both small and quiet enough to make excellent apartment dogs, they do need a great deal of activity to be kept at their healthiest and happiest.
While Australian Terriers are smallest of the working terrier breeds and are usually seen as a companion animal in the modern world, they were bred to be working terriers and they have a strong desire to track and eliminate rodents and other vermin. This is a useful trait in barns and drafty houses that allow the vermin in, but in today’s modern homes, these little dogs rarely get to use the skills that they were bred for. The newly developed sport of Barn Hunt allows your wee hunter to explore the bolder side of their temperament in a safe and controlled manner by hunting actual rats.
Teaching your dog to search for their supper is an activity that can help make your little terrier’s meals more entertaining for them as well as providing them with a safe opportunity to use their natural skill at finding hidden things in their environment. Australian Terriers are very active and clever canines, and if not given enough opportunities to use their mind they will often attempt to find their own entertainment and get into mischief in the process. Allowing them to search for their supper gives them the opportunity to use their problem-solving skills at home in conjunction with their natural instinct to forage.
Dogs of all types tend to enjoy toys, and they can be a particularly helpful means to keep an indoor dog from getting bored. Some dogs prefer puzzle toys that make them think for their food, while other dogs prefer toys they can chew. Dog toys not only entertain your dog, they help to reduce anxiety and may even improve your dog’s overall mood and disposition by stimulating their minds and making them think. Toys can be a good means of entertaining your pup and possibly even reducing separation anxiety issues, allowing you to be busy attending to other things nearby while your dog is safely occupied.
Australian Terriers are energetic little dogs, with quick and agile minds. They can be a bit stubborn initially during training, but often thrive when it is continued to advanced levels.
Although your Australian Terrier may be one of the smallest participants at Earthdog trials, they are just as capable as the other terrier-type breeds.