Australian Terrier Dog Breed

This breed is eager to please and quite clever, but is shy around strangers.
By: PawCulture Editors
Australian Shepherd having fun in a grassy field

About the Australian Terrier Dog Breed

Originally bred as a sentinel and for hunting small vermin and tending livestock, the Australian Terrier is small and tough dog. This versatile worker has a a keen, alert expression and is a suitable companion in most environments.

Australian Terrier Physical Characteristics

The Australian Terrier has an attractive ruff circling the neck with a crest of longer hair that enhances its intelligent and keen expression. This working terrier has a medium-boned, small, and sturdy body that is longer than it is tall. It can withstand harsh conditions and shows a ground-covering gait.

Color(s)

Australian Terriers can be blue and tan or red in color.

Coat

The Australian Terrier’s coat is weatherproof. It is comprised of a 2.5-inch long outer coat that is both straight and harsh, and a soft, short undercoat. Their wire coat requires combing every week and stripping of dead hairs twice a year. For a neat look, the hair around the feet should be trimmed.

Australian Terrier Personality and Temperament

Activity Level

Moderate

Positives

This Aussie breed is always eager to please, quite clever, and among the most obedient of terriers. It mixes well with other household pets and dogs, but is shy around strangers.

Things to Consider

Even though it is among the quietest of terriers, it is also a tough and spirited dog, on its mark and chasing rodents whenever it can. Being a true “Earth” dog, it enjoys digging.

Australian Terrier Care

Ideal Living Conditions

This terrier was bred to tolerate harsh Australian weather conditions, thus it can stay outside in warm and temperate climates.

Special Requirements

A well-behaved housedog, the Australian Terrier should be allowed to spend lots of time with its family. However, in order to prevent frustration, this adventurous and playful breed requires daily exercise in the form of a playful game, a moderate walk or an off-leash run.

Australian Terrier Health

The Australian Terrier, which has an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, may be prone to health problems like Legg-Perthes disease, cruciate ligament rupture, and seizures. In addition, patellar luxation and diabetes are some of the minor problems seen in this breed.

Australian Terrier History and Background

Among the smallest of the working terriers, the Australian is its country’s national terrier. The breed – first exhibited as the “broken-coated terrier of blackish blue sheen” – originated in the late 19th century. Later names included Blue and Tan Terrier, the Toy, and in 1900 it was named the “Rough-Coated Terrier, Blue and Tan.” Generally, the dog was known for its tan and blue colors, but early representatives also showed sandy or red coloration. Eventually the dog became popular in both British homes and show rings.

A large number of breeds were crossed with the root stock of the Australian Terrier, including the Yorkshire, Dandie Dinmont, Scottish, Skye, and Manchester Terriers, resulting in a useful dog with a striking appearance.

The American Kennel Club would officially recognize the Australian Terrier in 1965, nearly 40 years after the breed arrived to the United states.