Australian Terrier

Type: Terrier

Height: 10 - 11 inches.

Weight: 12 - 14 lbs.

Life Span: 15 + years. This breed is relatively long-lived.

Litter Size: 3 - 4 puppies.

Country of Origin: Australia

Activity: Medium - High. The Australian Terrier is active, but is easy to live with.

Watch-dog: Very High.

Guard-dog: Low. Although they are wary of strangers, they are not prone to protect against them.

Description: The Australian Terrier is affectionately known at the "Aussie". They are one of the few non-English terriers. Created by Australian setters they are the smallest of the working terriers. They often have been referred to as just a bigger Yorkie. Some in fact believe the breed originated from a cross between a Yorkie and a Cairn. They are still rather small dogs, and have the sprite terrier attitude. They come in colors of blue steel, gray-blue, and tan. They have perky prick ears, big friendly eyes and a black nose. Australian Terriers have boundless, playful energy and are a very loyal and affectionate companion for their immediate family. They will adapt well to all living conditions and climates. They are self-confident, alert and feisty. Wary with strangers, the Australian Terrier makes an excellent watchdog because of their warning bark. They get along well with other members of the family such as children and other pets. Because of their quiet and affectionate nature they make a great companion for children, the elderly or the handicapped.

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Other Names: Aussie

Colors: Solid Red or sandy, blue and tan, steel blue, silver-blue or dark gray-blue with rich tan on the face, ears, under the body, lower legs and around the vent.

Coat: Harsh, straight, dense and long outer coat, with a short, soft undercoat.

Temperament: Australian Terriers are feisty and dutiful. They are friendly, spirited and alert. Always on call, the Australian Terrier is a courageous breed. They are self-confident, and affectionate with their families. They are not completely friendly with strangers, however, and are more wary of them. They get along well with other children and with other pets, but do better with older children. They are like any terrier - spunky, witted and charming.

With Children: Yes, they get along well with older children.

With Pets: Yes, they get along well with other pets.

Special Skills: Sheepdog and companion.

Care and Training: The Australian Terrier has an easy-to-care-for coat. Brush the coat a couple of times a week as the brushing stimulates the natural oils in their coat to give them a high gloss. Australian Terriers should be bathed only when necessary. Minimum exercise is needed, but they will enjoy a daily walk or free roam in a fenced yard. This breed is easy to train for both obedience competition and simply as a well-mannered pet.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - High. Problem Solving - High.

Special Needs: Exercise, grooming, socialization and training.

Living Environment: Urban, rural, or suburban, the Australian Terrier is adaptable. An apartment is fine if daily walks are given. The best owner for this breed would be an active family or individual living in the city, suburban or rural areas.

Health Issues: The Australian Terrier may suffer from dislocated kneecaps, deterioration of the hip joint, skin problems, cancer, diabetes milletus, eye and ear problems.

History: The Australian Terrier was developed over the past 150 years in Australia. The Australian Terrier is a combination of several British Terriers such as the Cairn, Dandie Dinmont, Irish and Yorkshire. They are also thought by some to be the mix of a Yorkshire Terrier and a Cairn Terrier, resulting in a "big Yorkie". Australian Terriers are reputed to be an unsurpassed vermin killer who could also dispose of a snake. Australian Terriers would leap in the air and land on the snake on the back of the head, killing it. They are also partial progenitors of the Silky Terrier breed. They were developed in the 19th century. The Australian Terrier's ancestors probably came from Scotland or northern England, such as the Cairn or Scottie Dog. Some people believe that the red color in the coat is from some Irish Terrier. Crosses with Manchester Terriers occurred later to revive the colors of the tan and blue. The breed was first exhibited in 1899 and had only been in existence for around 20 years. In 1936 the breed was accepted by the British, and accepted by Canada in 1938. The breed obtained a boost in popularity after the Duke of Gloucester picked up the breed after touring Australia. But only 22 years later did recognition from the American Kennel Club come.

First Registered by the AKC: 1960

AKC Group: Terrier

Class: Terrier

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 3), KC (GB), UKC