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Adopt an Australian Terrier

Australian Terrier Dog Breed

Picture: Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Corbis



Area of origin:


Original function:

killing small vermin

Average size of male:

Ht: 10-11, Wt: 12-14

Average size of female:

Ht: 10-11, Wt: 12-14

Other names:


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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

Australian Terrier Dogs Available on Petfinder Right Now

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Australian Terrier Dog Temperament

One of the quieter terriers, the Aussie is nonetheless a plucky, tough character, ready to go after a rodent when the chance arises. She is fun-loving and adventurous, and needs daily exercise to keep her from becoming frustrated. She is clever and generally eager to please, making her one of the more obedient terriers. She gets along fairly well with other dogs and household pets. Reflecting her earth dog heritage, she does like to dig.

Australian Terrier Dog Care

This is an active breed that needs a good outing every day, either a moderate walk, a rollicking game, or an off-lead run in a safe area. She is a good house dog and needs to spend time with her family. Her wire coat needs weekly combing plus twice yearly stripping of dead hairs (regular plucking of dead hairs will keep the coat in optimal condition year round). Some trimming around the feet will add to a tidy look.

Australian Terrier Dog Health

Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: none
Occasionally seen: Legg-Perthes, patellar luxation, diabetes
Suggested tests: none
Life span: 12-14 years

Interested in the history of the Australian Terrier dog breed?

The national terrier of Australia, this is one of the smallest of the working terriers. She was born in Tasmania, from various European breeds, and shares much of her background with the silky terrier. In Tasmania, the rough-coated terrier was an all-purpose companion, killing vermin and snakes, controlling livestock, and sounding the alarm at intruders. A cornucopia of breeds was crossed with this root stock, among them the precursors of the Skye, Dandie Dinmont, Scotch, Yorkshire and Manchester terriers. The result was a dog that was both useful and striking in appearance. The first of the breed was shown in the late1800s as a "broken-coated terrier of blackish blue sheen." The name was soon changed to the blue and tan, the toy, then the blue terrier, then in 1900 the rough-coated terrier, blue and tan. Although mainly known for her blue and tan coloration, a red or sandy color was also found among the early representatives of the breed. Soon after the breed had made her way to British show rings and homes, and by 1925 she had come to America. She received AKC recognition in 1960.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Australian Terrier Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Australian Terriers ready for adoption:

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