The Australian Terrier

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Australian Terrier
Weight: 12 — 14 lbs
Height: 10” — 11”
AKC Rank 2008 #111
Lifespan: 12—14 yrs
Group: Terrier
Origin: Australia

Dog Breed Info - Australian Terrier

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Breed Overview

Origin 1900;s. Original function: Killing small vermin. Today: Earthdog trials, companion.
Colors: Blue and tan, Solid sandy, Solid red.

The Aussie is the national terrier of Australia. The breed started in Tasmania from various European breeds and shared a background with the Silky terrier. In Tasmania the Rough Coated Terrier was an all purpose terrier controlling livestock and killing rodents and acting as watchdogs. The Skye, Dandie Dinmont, Scotch, Yorkie and Manchester Terriers were a pleasant mix that made up the Australian Terrier. This resulted in a useful and good looking dog. The first of the breed was shown in the 1800’’s as a Broken-Coated Terrier with a blackish-blue sheen. Then in 1900 the Rough-Coated and the blue and tan and sandy and red were also discovered in the group. By 1925 the Aussie’s had arrived in America and in 1960 the AKC registered the breed.


Yes. Most are quite trainable as a rule. Always eager to please but you must be firm and not harsh. Use a dominate tone of voice, as this breed tends to want to lead the pack. and go her way. Use clicker training and good old positive reinforcement training and your Australian Terrier will learn anything you teach.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Australian Terrier? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

With a little effort, Australian Terrier puppies are easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


This breed is a rough and tumble, active, bouncy, lively little bundle of courage and joy that is loyal to family, full of energy, a great watchdog and generally all ‘round house pet rolled up in one 12 pound package. She is fairly easy to obedience train and if started young, is good with children of most ages. The kids needs to be taught how to behave around dogs though. The Aussie, as this dog is sometimes referred to, is always looking for a juicy rodent to chase.

A super choice canine pet for an active, on-the-go family that likes to travel, hike, camp or party in the backyard. The Australian Terrier is a bundle of energy that wants to be in the middle of everything the family does, including the car trips, campgrounds and backyard picnics.

The Aussie is a fun-loving, adventurous dog that must have adequate mental and physical exercise daily or will become antsy and bark, dig and tear things up a bit. That said, this is one of the most obedient and quiet of all the terriers and does fairly well with other house pets but is known to chase cats and small objects that move and look like rodents. The Australian Terrier MUST know she is NOT the dominate figure in the house. As a good watchdog, it is wary of strangers.

If you happen to get an Australian Terrier with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Does amazingly well with other dogs. She may pick and choose her dog friends but usually she will accept other house and neighboring dogs.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Surprisingly accepting of household pets but may try to chase cats around. Rodent-looking pets are a NO. Introduce to cats very slowly and keep watch over the situation closely. The Australian Terrier can coexist with a cat but it may take time.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Wary and standoffish with strangers, The Aussie is not always sure whether to embrace the stranger or not. This makes her a good watchdog.


Yes, quite playful little dog. Loves too run and romp. Perky and active.


Moderately affectionate. The Aussie may not be a true couch potato, but she will cuddle after the chores are done.

Good with children

Yes, fairly good with kids. Children must be taught manners around a dog and the Australian Terrier is no exception. They are tolerant, but to a point. Very small kids need to be supervised so no fur-pulling or ear-pulling takes place. It’s best if the dog is raised with the kids and the children must be taught to maintain a superior, ”alpha” dominance over the dog when playing., lest the Aussie takeover.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes. The Australian Terrier is a good match for seniors. Exercise needs are not extreme and the dog is affectionate and playful enough to satisfy a senior. The Aussie is loyal and protective and a great little companion so it would work for seniors. This is a fun dog to own.

Living environment

Apartment, condo, farm, ranch all okay.

If in a house, a doggie door would be good and a medium size fenced backyard would allow the dog to chase balls and play games of fetch.


Energy level

Moderate energy. Give this dog 6 bars out of 10.

Exercise needs, daily

Moderate. A good walk or a brisk game or two of fetch with a ball plus the walk would be fine. The Australian Terrier needs something to do all day and should be provided with chew toys like rawhide or a Kong filled with goodies. Maybe even some moderate jogging with you would be good. Just keep in mind she’s got little short legs.


Yes, Excellent watchdog. Loves to bark anyway, so any excuse is a good one.

Guard dog

No. Maybe a bit to small to kill an intruder. She IS protective of family though.


No. Very little at most.


Has a wiry coat. Needs combing or brushing twice a week to keep looking nice. The coat can be shaped, especially around the feet, with scissors, about 3 or 4 times a year.
Get a metal comb or a stiff bristle brush from your pet store.



Suggested Reading For - Australian Terrier
Click on the cover photo for more book information and editor reviews.


Australian Terrier Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Australian Terrier puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been VERY well socialized and started in obedience training.
Australian Terrier Breeders with puppies for sale. If necessary, go online and search for Australian Terrier Breeders or clubs.

Australian Terrier Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older and are looking for an Australian Terrier Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Australian Terrier Rescue When you adopt, try to locate any previous dog health papers on your new pup.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site that may give you some ideas.

Dog Health Issues For The Australian Terrier
Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Aussie by various vets.

The Aussie is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

Other health problems could occur with your Australian Terrier. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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