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Australian Terrier

Quick facts

Australian Terrier AKC Group: Terrier
Height: Male: 10-11 inches, Female: 9-10 inches
Weight: Male: 14-16 pounds, Female: 12-14 pounds
Colors: blue and tan, solid sandy, solid red
AKC recognized in: 1960

Affectionately known as the “Aussie”, the Australian Terrier is a medium-boned working terrier. This small-sized breed of Terrier dogs was first developed in Australia, although it could also have descended from ancestral types originating from Great Britain.

The breed was first named the Australian Terrier in 1892 and later officially recognized in 1933. It could have come from a cross among many Terrier breeds such as those of the Irish, Cairn, Dandie Dinmont, Norwich, Skye, and Yorkshire.

The Aussie is one of the smallest among the Terrier group. Small yet sturdy, its length is longer compared to its height. This terrier is weather-proofed by a double coat which ends with a soft and fine topknot above the head. It is characterized by a long head, pricked ears, short legs, and a docked tail. Its feet are delicately small and catlike.


Australian Terrier Summary
Affection three paws
Cold Tolerance four paws
Ease of Training four paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements four paws
Friendliness : Children four paws
Friendliness: Other Animals two paws
Friendliness: Other Pets three paws
Grooming Requirements one paw
Heat Tolerance four paws
Playfulness five paws
Protection Ability three paws
Watchdog Ability four paws

With a keen expression in its dark brown eyes, the Aussie proves to be an alert and spirited watchdog, shepherd, and companion. It is said to have the natural aggressiveness of a hunter and ratter. Like most other terriers, it is efficient in rodent and snake control.

The Aussie is more intelligent that the average terrier. It can be trained towards obedience. However, like most terriers, it can be a bit bossy and aggressive toward other dogs. It can snap at children unless it’s raised with them, in which case she will be very loyal and protective over them. Care must be exercised when keeping it in the company of other household pets.

Bred more for human companionship, the Australian Terrier is friendly and interactive with people. Responsive as it is, it can be very amusing to watch. It can be described as a tough and cheeky little fellow whose courage and energy befits a much larger dog.


The average lifespan of the Australian Terrier is 11 to 12 years.

While the Australian Terrier is generally a healthy dog, it is susceptable to certain health problems. These problems include:

  • Diabetes mellitus - Also called sugar diabetes, this is a fairly common disease in dogs. Similar to humans, dogs must be treated with insulin when they have this condition.
  • Legg-Perthes Disease - This disease involves the degeneration of the head of the femur bone due to interruption of the blood supply to the femur. This condition can lead to arthritis or inflammation of the hip joint. Because this is an inherited condition, if a dog is diagnosed with this disease, she should not be bred.
  • Patellar Luxation - Sometimes called a trick knee, this condition causes the kneecap to pop out of place. This can be caused by obesity, but is typically a congenital defect that can be inherited.


A small dog to feed, it is easy to keep around the house. It sheds little to no hair, but its coat and nails need to be trimmed regularly.

Anxious to please its master, the Aussie will perform the tricks you train it to do. However, be on the lookout outdoors as it does have the habit of chasing after small animals. Take it out for a daily walk, let it romp and play in the yard, but don’t let it roam free - just to be on the safe side!

Visitor Comments

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