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Australian Terrier Dogs
Lovable Little Rascals!

australian terrier The Australian Terrier dogs were bred in the 19th century by selective crossing of terriers from England and Scotland. Some of the stock included the Yorkshire, Skye, Dandie Dinmont, Irish and the Cairn.

This breed, sometimes just called an "Aussie", is one of the smallest working terriers and was developed by the early Australian settlers who needed an energetic and hardy dog to protect the homesteads and help control the rats and snakes. This sturdy little package evidently did the job well in a challenging environment.

This Aussie is a low set little dog wearing a shaggy double coat with silky topknot, and bearing a devilishly sweet and lively expression. In my book, he bears a strong resemblance to the Cairn.

Health issues reported from surveys on this breed have indicated cancer and diabetes as the main ones. Lifespan on average is around 11 years.

Personality and Traits:

Australian Terrier dogs are feisty, loyal, affectionate and intelligent. They have a willingness to please and are considered by many to be excellent family pets. They have a very lovable demeanor and a rascally face to go with it.

Leadership should be established and training should be consistent, as like most terriers, they have an independent streak and will happily make up the rules.

This is not a breed to be exercised off leash as they have strong chasing instincts. They are also known to have a fondness for digging, so plan your landscaping with this in mind!

Unlike many small dogs, the Aussie has a big dog bark. This, along with a confident demeanor and protective instincts, makes him a good watchdog.

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Appearance, Coat and Care:

Height: 10-11 inches
Weight: 12-14 lbs.
Color variations: Blue/tan, Sand or Red.

Dense and harsh double coat which sheds little and requires brushing approximately every other day.

However, certain areas of the coat grow quickly especially around the eyes, in the ears and between the foot pads and should be kept trimmed.

Additionally, the coat ideally should be hand stripped about every three months to remove dead hair, allowing new for new growth. This also keeps the coat in its natural texture.

Activity Level:

The Australian Terrier, much like most terriers, are very active little dogs and should be taken out for regular walks.

Space Needs:

This breed is quite adaptable and can do well in apartment or house, but obviously enjoys the great outdoors as well.


The Australian Terrier dogs are protective and affectionate with their family and have a reputation for being very good with children. However they do best with children who are respectful and kind with pets.

As always, no matter what the breed, interaction between children and dogs should be supervised by an adult.


A good companion and an excellent watchdog for the elderly, providing daily exercise can be arranged.

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Further Reading

australian terrier guide book
Australian Terrier: A Comprehensive Owner's Guide

Covers breed history, characteristics, puppy selection, feeding, training, health care and behavior. Also includes advice about preparing for the puppy, housetraining and potential puppy problems. Over 135 color photos.

Tell Us About Your Australian Terrier

Are you the proud owner of an Australian Terrier? Would you like your own web page on this site where you can share your dog's story and pictures with others?

We love dog stories and pics, so we've made it quick and easy for you to brag about dog with us and our visitors. You're invited to go here and get started.

Can't wait to have your dog join our community!

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Train Your Australian Terrier

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Australian Terriers are smart
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