Australian Terrier

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12-18 lbs
The Australian Terrier was one of the first breeds developed and recognized by kennel clubs in Australia. The Australian Terrier is known as the national Terrier of Australia and is considered one of the smallest working Terrier breeds. It has been suggested that the Australian Terrier originates from Tasmania and is a result of breeds from Europe. The Australian Terrier shares similar traits as the Silky Terrier. The Australian Terrier has a wiry coat with a short, soft undercoat and harsh, straight outer coat which can range anywhere from blue and tan, to sandy, to red variations. The Australian Terrier is a working companion dog with a lot of spunk. The Australian Terrier tends to want to spend as much time with you as possible and may become anxious if left alone for long periods of time. Maintaining the Australian Terrier’s coat is straightforward. Weekly brushing of the wiry coat and stripping of the dead coat is recommended every few months. The Australian Terrier is known as one of the quieter Terriers from the group.
hunting vermin, watchdog, companion
Date of Origin
terriers, tasmanian dog

Australian Terrier Health

Average Size
Height: 10-11 inches Weight: 12-18 lbs
Height: 10-11 inches Weight: 12-18 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Diabetes
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
Minor Concerns
  • None
Occasional Tests
  • Blood Test
  • X-Rays

Australian Terrier Breed History

The Australian Terrier is said to have originated from Tasmania after being bred to different breeds in Europe. The Australian Terrier was named its current name since it was the first breed to have been developed in Australia. The Australian Terrier is known as the national breed in Australia. Originally, the Australian Terrier was known by a variety of names: Toy terrier, Blue terrier, and the Rough-coated Terrier. It was first exhibited as the “broken-coated terrier of blackish blue sheen”. In the beginning, the Australian Terrier was known for its tan and blue variations. The sandy and red markings were not developed until later, although they would show up in earlier developments. The Australian Terrier originated back in the 1800s when it was first presented officially. The Australian Terrier was developed from a combination of the following breeds: Dandie Dinmont, Skye Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Manchester Terrier, and Yorkshire Terrier. The original purpose of the Australian Terrier was to kill snakes and vermin as well as serve as a faithful companion dog. The Australian Terrier Club was founded in 1887 in Melbourne. During this year, The Australian Rough-Coated Terrier Club was the first organization to attempt to develop this breed to its standard. It was not until 1896 that the standard was officially established. The Australian Terrier became popular within British households in addition to the show ring. In 1925, the Australian Terrier made its first appearance in the United States. In 1960, the Australian Terrier was officially recognized by the AKC. 

Australian Terrier Breed Appearance

The Australian Terrier is known as a small, but sturdy medium-boned Terrier. The Australian Terrier’s size consists of being longer in proportion compared to its height. This breed has pricked ears and a docked tail. His front legs are straight and parallel to each other. The small front feet contain arched toes and sturdy pads with nails that are black and strong. The upper and lower thighs are muscular and make up strong hindquarters. The Australian Terrier has a long head with small, dark brown eyes. The ears are small and pointed, which remain erect. It has a strong muzzle with powerful jaws; the standard nose color is black. The standard eye color for the Australian Terrier is brown and the expression seen is always alertness, which may be a nod to its constant vigilance as a working dog. The Australian Terrier is seen in several different colors such as blue and tan, sandy, or red. This attractive Terrier also has a ruff near its chest with a medium-length coat which must be maintained with grooming. The Australian Terrier also has a double-coat with a soft undercoat and 2.5 inches of guards which allow protection from extreme weather making the coat feel harsh to the touch. Around the muzzle, lower legs, and feet areas the fur is of a short length. The Australian Terrier maintains an expression of intelligence with an attractive stance.

Australian Terrier Breed Maintenance

The Australian Terrier has a harsh, wiry coat allowing for easy maintenance. This harsh coat resists matting and repels dirt. Brushing and combing should be completed weekly in order to prevent kinks in the coat. Brushing regularly also helps reduce shedding. Stripping of dead hair should be completed every 6 to 8 weeks. It is recommended to maintain a hygienic coat by bathing the dog at least once every 4 weeks. Overbathing will result in a dull-looking coat. The undercoat should be brushed gently in order to stimulate oils for a glossy finish. If hair grows too long around the eyes and ears, trimming is suggested to maintain its appearance. By maintaining its coat in proper condition, the coat helps to protect the Australian Terrier in both the cool and warmer months. In the winter, the coat helps by remaining warm and dry. In the summer, the coat protects against heat. As with most dogs, the nails should be trimmed every 3 to 4 weeks to avoid tears resulting from overgrowth. Ears should be checked weekly to prevent ear wax buildup which can lead to infection. The Australian Terrier is a relatively clean dog and leaves little to no smell. He loves to remain active due to his original purpose of hunting vermin. Because of this, it is recommended to provide your Australian Terrier with the daily exercise it requires. The Australian Terrier would fare better in a house with optimal area to run around and remain active. An apartment with a fenced-in yard would also be sufficient if enough activity is provided. The Australian Terrier thrives in the presence of company and would love to be around others to maintain its happiness. The Australian Terrier is able to adapt to both rural and urban dwellings as long as it is provided with the necessary equipment to maintain an active lifestyle.

Australian Terrier Breed Activity Requirements