Australian Terrier

Extremely Confident and Affectionate Dog with Boundless Energy

Australian Terrier

With a Mind of Its Own and Lots of Spunk, This Lifelong Puppy will Respond Best to Your Sense of Humor!

Would you enjoy a little, "scrappy," endlessly affectionate dog with boundless energy and a personality to match? Do you enjoy the high energy and dynamism the Terrier charisma brings to the table? If so, adopting one or more Australian Terrier puppies as family members for your household may just be the perfect thing. If you don't have the energy to keep up with these little "Energizer bunnies," a different breed may be a better choice, but if you're up to the task, Australian Terrier puppies grow into little dogs with a confident, dynamic character that belie their tiny size.


The Australian Terrier is thought to have come from the original "Rough Coated Terrier," which was itself a descendent of Great Britain's "old Scotch dog." Although the entire breed history is not known, it was probably crossed with other British Terriers brought to Australia, including the Yorkshire, the Black and Tan, the Skye, and the Dandie Dinmont Terrier breeds. It's the first native Australian breed recognized and shown there, as the Australian Rough-Coated Terrier in 1868, with an official renaming to the Australian Terrier, in 1897.

Australia's tough climate and terrain proved extremely challenging to European settlers, and they needed a companion dog that would be both fearless and hardy enough to withstand extreme weather conditions. The breed was developed specifically to control vermin, including rats and snakes, in gold mines, in sheep stations in the outback, and on the water. Harsh and sometimes desolate conditions meant that Australia's citizens could be cut off from so-called "civilization" on a nearly permanent basis, and the Australian Terrier proved more than up to the challenge. In spite of its tiny size, it was and remains an excellent shepherding dog, watchdog, and fearless companion in any environment. It is the smallest of the working Terriers.

Nicknamed the "Aussie," the breed was brought to England by British aristocracy and by Foreign Service visitors. England's Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1933, and it made its first appearance in the United States in the late 1940s, brought there by people visiting the United States and by returning servicemen. The Aussie was shown at the Westminster Kennel Club show in 1957. In 1960, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club, the first Terrier breed to be recognized in 24 years at that time.


Australian Terrier puppies are absolutely adorable little bundles of joy and they stay that way even in adulthood – but don't let that fool you. These tiny "cute" puppies grow into adult dogs that stand between 9 and 11 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 9 and 14 pounds. "Scrappy," tough, extremely confident and "cheeky," Australian Terrier puppies don't lose these characteristics as they grow up, and their sturdy little bodies are well-suited for their high-energy lives. "Aussie" puppies' coats are shaggy and rough, with soft undercoats. They shed little. Acceptable colors are: tan body with a blue "saddle," red, and sandy. Eyes are brown and keenly watch everything around them, with an alert and even joyful expression.


Most Australian Terrier puppies will display the same joyful, curious, self-assured personalities they do in adulthood – and will be rambunctious and highly energetic. This won't diminish much as your puppy grows older. Like any Terrier, the Australian Terrier is a barker, but this Terrier is much less demanding than some Terrier breeds can be, not prone to be snappish, and in general is just a spunky, joyful little dog that wants to have fun. As an owner, you must socialize your Australian Terrier puppy so that he or she is not overly "scrappy" with other dogs (especially of the same sex), and to temper his or her naturally "bossy" personality.

Proper Environment

Because Australian Terrier puppies grow into little dogs, they do well in apartment living. They must have lots of exercise, as well as mental stimulation. A daily walk is absolutely necessary, and your quick, bright pet will learn whatever you want to teach him or her easily – with praise and food offered as rewards rather than harsh discipline.

As said previously, Australian Terriers are prone to dig and must be watched for that; your little pet can dig out from under a standard fence and loves to chase and run, so be careful to keep an eye on him or her at all times and on-leash in unsafe conditions. Show your Aussie puppy undivided devotion and love, and he or she will return the affection generously – even if he or she doesn't always listen. Crate training is a great way to gently house train your puppy without having to use much discipline, and will also help him or her feel safe and secure when traveling. Just be careful not to crate your puppy needlessly. He or she needs to be around people as much as possible, and will be unhappy (and unhealthy) if he or she is simply locked away for convenience's sake.

A note about discipline

Because Australian Terrier puppies are so courageous and can tend to be "bossy," your little pet will most certainly know his or her own mind. Therefore, when you discipline your puppy, make sure you do NOT discipline harshly. Expect some pushback from your extremely confident little girl or guy, because that's just the nature of the Australian Terrier. He or she will certainly object if he or she thinks the punishment is unfair, much like a small child. However, stand firm and calm when you discipline, and hold your ground, but do NOT be overly intimidating. You don't want to break that amazing little spirit, nor do you want a puppy that is timid, scared and unhappy. Properly socialized and properly disciplined, your puppy will retain his or her amazing spunk and joyful personality, but will be mostly obedient (although there will be moments when the Aussie's naturally independent nature will exert itself no matter what), truly loving and devoted to you.


You'll be delighted to know that Australian Terrier puppies are extremely hardy, healthy little dogs with few health problems. They can live 15 or more healthy, energetic years and retain their puppy-like nature even into old age. They can be prone to diabetes, to patellar luxation, and to Legg-perthes, although the latter can be corrected with surgery.


The Aussie is very easy to groom. He or she sheds very little, and should only need to be brushed once a week, with regular nail and fur trimmings to avoid overgrowth. Aussies can be prone to ear infections, so check ears every week for dirt or redness. Your Aussie puppy should only get a bath every three months or so, to avoid overly softening the stiff overcoat.


AKC Meet the Breeds®: Get to know the Australian Terrier.

Retrieved February 23, 2013.

Australian Terrier (Aussie).

Retrieved February 23, 2013.

Australian Terrier.

Retrieved February 23, 2013.

Dogtime: Australian Terrier:

Retrieved February 23, 2013.

YourPurebredPuppy: Australian Terrier Dog Breed Review.

Retrieved February 23, 2013.

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