Australian Terrier


A small Australian Terrier
Australian Terrier Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)9-11in (23-28cm)
Weight9-14lbs (4-6kg)
Hair Colour(s)Blue, tan
Lifespan11-15 years
Energy LevelAverage
Litter size4
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if left

The Australian Terrier is a small but sturdy dog with short legs, a strong chest, a long head, dark nose, angular-shaped ears, and dark luminous eyes. It has a rough and straight outer coat that is lined by and a short and smooth undercoat. The colouring of the coat varies and includes shades of blue, with the face, ears, under body, and lower legs being a rich tan. In fact the blue and tan combination is the most common, with red or sandy also being an option.


Australian Terriers are brave, playful little dogs blessed with quiet and affectionate natures. They crave fun and attention but also have a sensible streak, and are just as happy to sit and relax by a fire as they are playing outside. Their loyalty and attentiveness make them great companions and watchdogs. These curious and lively dogs are very obedient and like to please their owners, and although some can have a bossy streak, most are not difficult to train. They make great companions for older, more considerate children and will get along with other dogs and pets, although they will tend to chase smaller animals when outside. Firm and consistent training is required to prevent them from becoming too independent, and being versatile they adapt well to different environments, making them great companion dogs. Australian Terriers are usually polite and reserved around strangers, and while not as noisy as most other terriers, they do like to show off their deep bark and many also enjoy digging.

History and Skills

Australian Terriers originate from Australia, where they were bred to hunt snakes and rodents. The breed has a history going back about a century and a half and was developed from a variety of rough coated terriers. As well as hunters, they also displayed great ability as watchdogs, companions, and herders, and these days these dogs are still appreciated for their watchdog ability, as well as their talent in agility, tracking, and performing of tricks.

Breed Specific Ailments

Australian Terriers tend to live between 11-15 years and are fairly healthy dogs. However, some of the diseases associated with the breed include luxating patella, Legg-Perthes, diabetes, allergies and skin problems.


Australian Terriers are low shedders when properly groomed, which means that they should be ideal for those with allergies. The coat should be brushed twice a week to maintain its glossy look, as brushing stimulates the release of natural oils that help to keep the coat conditioned. Bathing should be limited to once a month, and the fur should be combed while it dries to prevent matting. The long coat generally does not need clipping but hair around the eyes and ears will need regular trimming and occasional plucking, and the hair around the bottom should be kept trimmed for hygiene reasons.

Exercise & Environment

Australian Terriers are flexible little dogs but will need a daily walk or at least half an hour of outside play. They can live outdoors in moderate to warm climates, although they prefer to be with their owners for most of the time. They are suitable for smaller homes as long as they get out for regular exercise. They should be walked on a leash because they do like to chase.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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