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Australian Terriers Information


The Australian terrier is the national terrier of Australia and one of the smallest in the terrier working groups.  It is a short legged, sturdy small dog with a long head and v-shaped, erect ears.  This terrier has dark, sparkling eyes, a black nose and a body that is a little shorter than long.  Its chest is moderately deep, wide, and strong and has a docked tail that stands up.  The Australian terrier’s weatherproof, rough textured coat is approximately three inches long and colors include sandy, solid red or silvery blue or dark with tan markings on the legs and head.  The ruff and apron is finer textured and lighter colored and the terrier has a top knot.        


With a working terrier’s personality and even-disposition, the Australian terrier is full of energy and character but quieter than many terriers.  An obedient breed, it usually wants to please and gets along with other dogs and animals.  Affectionate with family members, it is a loyal breed this is usually very protective.  Australian terriers do not like teasing so they normally get along better with older children.  They have a tendency to like making their own rules so it is necessary to be firm, have patience, and train them starting when they are young.   

Grooming & Shedding

The Australian terrier’s wiry coat is easy to maintain and only requires combing and brushing weekly, and trimming their feet hair when necessary.  About twice a year, you should strip their dead hairs.  By brushing the Australian terrier’s soft undercoat gently, it gives a glossy finish to their coat by stimulating the natural oils.  Only bathe the terrier when necessary and always brush the dogs coat as it dries.  The Australian terrier sheds very little or no hair.     


Although they are not sure of the Australian terrier’s origins, its immediate ancestors developed in the early eighteen hundreds in the United Kingdom from forerunners of today’s Scottish and British terriers.  It was the first Australian native bred dog shown in Melbourne, Australia in 1868 as an Australian Rough-Coated terrier.  Recognized officially in 1933, they probably created the Australian terrier by crossing many types of terrier breeds such as, the Skye terrier, Yorkshire terrier, Dandie Dinmont terrier, Norwich terrier, Cairn terrier, and the Irish terrier.  In 1960, the American Kennel Club first recognized the Australian terrier.  The Australian terrier’s talents include tracking, agility, tracking, performing tricks, and watchdog.

Health Issues

  • Major Concerns: none
  • Minor Concerns: none
  • Occasionally seen: Legg-Perthes, patellar luxation, diabetes
  • Suggested tests: none



9-11 inches (23-28 cm)


9-14 pounds (4-6 kg)


12-14 years


Medium to low





Young Children

Yes –with training and socialization

Need exercise space

No –regular walks are sufficient





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