Australian Terrier Puppy Facts

Did you just bring home a new Australian Terrier puppy and want to learn more about the breed?

Maybe you are thinking about buying a puppy and want to know if this is the right breed of dog for you and your family?

No matter what your situation may be, you will find the answers to your questions right here!



Breed History

This is not only the first breed to be recognized and shown in Australia but is also the first Australian breed to be accepted in other countries. It's descended from rough coated terriers brought to Australia from Great Britain at the turn of the 19th century.

Development of the Australian Terrier began in early 1800s in Tasmania. Local farmers were searching for a dog that could help control rodent population. After failing to find a single breed that was effective, they decided to create a new one.

The consensus is the breed was created by crossing such breeds as the Skye Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Irish Terrier, and Cairn Terrier. The new breed was at first called the Rough Coated Terrier but by late 1800s was known as the Australian Terrier.

In addition to helping control rodents and snakes, the new breed was used to herd sheep, as a watchdog, and for companionship.

The first attempt at standardizing the breed was made by the Australian Rough-Coated Terrier Club in 1887, and by 1896 a Standard for the breed had been established. Exports to United States and Great Britain began soon after. The Australian Terrier was recognized as a distinct breed in England in 1933 and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1960.

This is the only terrier breed other than the Schnauzer that did not originate in Great Britain.

Physical Characteristics of Australian Terrier Puppies

The Aussie is one of the smallest working terriers.

Its body is slightly longer than it is tall, with deep chest and long, slightly arched neck. The tail is set high, carried erect and is usually docked to slightly less than one half its original length.

Both, the front and back legs are short. The front legs are set well under the body. They are straight and parallel when viewed from the front. The back legs are strong and muscular. The feet are small and catlike.

The head is long, with black nose, small, dark brown to black eyes, and small pointed ears that are set wide apart.

The coat consists of straight and hard outer coat and a softer undercoat. The outer coat is between 2 and 3 inches long, except on the tail, rear legs from the hocks down, feet and ears. The neck hair is longer and softer than on the rest of the body.

The coat colors include solid red, blue (gray-blue, dark-blue, and steel-blue) and tan, and solid sandy.

    Height Weight
  Male 10 - 11 inches 10 - 14 pounds
  Female 10 - 11 inches 10 - 14 pounds


The Australian Terrier is an intelligent, spirited and courageous little dog. It's loyal to its immediate family and, despite its small size, is very protective. In some ways, it reminds of a much larger dog.

He is happiest when he is included in family activities. He likes to play with children and spending time with the family. It's good with other dogs but because it's a terrier, can't be trusted with smaller animals such as mice, hamsters, and other rodents.

Like all dogs, the Australian Terrier will benefit from socialization training but because of his intelligence and eagerness to please his owner, he is easier to train for obedience than some other terrier breeds.

Despite his desire to please, the Australian Terrier gets bored quickly and doesn't respond well to harsh treatment. He can also develop behavioral problems if he thinks he is the leader of the pack. To simplify training, keep training sessions fun, short, and use positive reinforcement. Also, be firm and consistent.

Though they are generally not snappish, Aussies can snap at children who are not kind to them. But this is true for all breeds... Teach your kids not only to be kind and respect the dog but also how to be the dog's leader.

Best Owner / Living Conditions

The Australian Terrier is a very adaptable breed and despite its high activity level, can adjust and be as comfortable in a city apartment setting as it would be in the suburbs.

It will do well with any family, and that includes families with school-age children.

Some Australian Terrier breeders may interview prospective owners to make sure this is the right breed for them.

Activity and Exercise

Like all breeds, Aussies need regular exercise to stay physically and mentally fit.

They will enjoy running and playing off leash but don't forget that these dogs have hunting instinct and may chase small rodents. To protect your pet from escaping, never leave him off leash in an unprotected area.

At a minimum, take your pet for several walks every day.


The Australian Terrier doesn't shed a lot and requires little grooming.

Brush couple of times per week. Trim the hair around the eyes and ears when it gets too long. Brush its teeth and clip the nails regularly and check and clean the ears when necessary.

A coarse coat is part of Australian Terrier's physical appearance. Because frequent bathing will soften the coat, bathe only when necessary.

Health Concerns

Like all dog breeds, Australian Terriers are susceptible to complications caused by internal and external parasites such as ticks, fleas, and worms.

Despite being a generally healthy breed, some dogs may experience skin allergies, patellar luxation (knee joint problems), and diabetes mellitus. For more information about dog diseases and health, visit dog health problems.

Buy only from reputable Australian Terrier breeders to reduce the risk of the above and many other health problems (visit dog breeders to learn how to identify responsible dog breeders).

Even healthy dogs get sick. While many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, there are many others that you may handle on your own. Learn how to save time and money (and how to prevent small problems become big problems) by diagnosing and treating dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for Australian Terrier puppies is between 12 and 15 years.

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Australian Terrier rescue. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.

Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this Australian Terrier Behavior and Obedience Training Guide.

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