An Australian Terrier as a small type of dog. This dog breed was developed in Australia and belongs to the Terrier group of dogs, as its name implies. The home of the Australian Terrier is Australia but they draw their origin from Great Britain. This dog is a lively and confident dog with a small body and sturdy appearance.
Their distinctive coat is what makes them recognizable. Originally it was developed as a hunting dog and it was meant to hunt rodents and snakes. But today its purpose has transitioned to being a companion dog, although they can function as guard dogs as well.
History & Origins
The history of the Australian Terrier takes us back to the 19th century. A number of rough-coated dog breeds made their way to Australia from Great Britain. The purpose of bringing these dogs was to keep the mice population under control. Thus the ancestor of the Australian Terrier was mixed with a number of different types of dog. They include the Carin Terrier, the Yorkshire Terrier, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the Irish Terrier and the Shorthaired Skye Terrier.
The earliest that we know is that the Australian Terrier started to be developed in 1820 and was first referred to as the Rough Coated Terrier. Officially recognized in 1850 and renamed in 1892 as the Australian Terrier. The UK Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1933, the Australian Kennel Club recognized it in 1960 while the American Kennel Club gave its recognition of the breed in 1970.
Australian Terrier Characteristics & Temperament
The temperament of an Australian Terrier is described as being alert, spirited, self-confident and upbeat. They generally have an attitude of a small hunting dog, which you would expect it to have. These dogs are very much people friendly. They enjoy spending time with their families and have no problem following the master around. The dog will get attached to a family and will enjoy simply being with them. This also means that they like kids a lot. But they are not good with other pets, especially other male dogs. They tend to get bossy and will become overly aggressive if you try to keep more pets at the time.
These dogs like being kept inside, but also have very high energy levels. These are the needs that have to be met because if you don’t you might get problems with your dog. They like running and playing and you should do that with them as well as take them on regular walks. If the Australian Terrier gets inactive or bored it might display destructive behavior. You can also keep it outside but make sure that you have a well fenced area. Due to their instinctive prey drive, they tend to chase small animals around the yard. Training can be easy but you have to establish obedience training with this dog.
Appearance, Colors, Size
The Australian Terrie is a small dog which has shot legs. Thy can grow up to be approximately 25 centimeters (9.8 in) and their top weight is 6.5 kilograms (14 lb). The breed is recognizable for having a double-layered, coarse, harsh and medium-length coat. They look a bit shaggy because their coats are usually not trimmed.
They carry short fur on their muzzle, legs and feet and one of their distinctive features is a ruff that goes around the neck. The color possibilities of the Australian Terrier include shades of blue or red with a lighter colored topknot. They also wear markings on face, ears, body and legs and it is usually tan color.
Australian Terrier Health
Based on the recently collected data, the Australian Terrier has a lifespan of about 11 to 12 years. Surveys are still being conducted, but basically this is a normal kind of a longevity for this type of a dog. The most common causes of death are cancer, old age and diabetes.
The breed has certain health issues which could affect the dog’s wellbeing and they include endocrine problems, musculoskeletal issues, allergic dermatitis, cataracts and ear infections.
Grooming & Shedding
The coat of the Australian Terrie is very unique. Since it is harsh and waterproof it basically repels any dirt and keeps the dog clean. So minimal grooming is required to keep this dog. Even if it gets rolled in mud, you can easily clean it out. But regular brushing will keep the integrity of the coat and you should do it once a week.
Make sure to trim or pluck the hair around the eyes bemuse when it gets longer it might irritate the dog too much. Baths are necessary and you are required to do it but you don’t have to do it so often and it is recommended that you do it only when needed. Also, trim their nails. This is a necessity that comes with all breeds.
Price and Breeders
The most quality and top breeders of Australian Terriers are found in Australia. These dogs are best developed in their home country and it is where you better look for them if you want a quality dog. There are some breeders outside Australia and you can mainly find them in North America. But the price everywhere will range from $1000 – $1500 USD.
Australian Terrier Rescue
The alternative way of getting an Australian Terrier is always adoption. Luckily, there are rescue groups in and outside Australia that can help you get a Terrier for yourself. Check out the offer of Australian Terrier Rescue.