Terrier Group

Australian Terriers – A Breed Profile

Silkyterrier125Quick Stats for Australian Terriers

  • Height (at the shoulders): 9 – 11 inches (23 – 28 cm)
  • Weight: 9 – 14 pounds (4 – 6 kg)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 – 14 years
  • AKC Group: Terrier Group – AKC recognized in 1960
  • Shedding: light shedder
  • Living Conditions: good for apartment life; fairly active indoors; okay without a yard

Personality of the Australian Terrier

Australian Terriers are one of the best all around family dogs. They are loving and caring, playful and outgoing. These terriers thrive on human contact and love to spend hours being near their family. They are loyal and devoted, making them great watchdogs and companions.

They may snap at children, so supervision is recommended.

They are moderately easy to train and love to learn new tricks. They are very clever and one of the most obedient members of the Terrier Group.

They get along well with other dogs and pets, but are wary around strangers.

History of Australian Terriers

This breed originated in Australia and its origin can be traced as far back as the early 1900s. It was first bred in Tasmania and is one of the smallest members of the working terriers. Its bloodline descended from several of the European breeds, and it is related to the Silky Terrier.

The original rough-coated terriers of Tasmania had several jobs – killing small rodents and snakes, being a watchdog, and helping to control livestock. These dogs were crossed with a variety of other terriers such as the Skye, Scotch, Manchester Terrier, the Dandie Dinmont, and the Yorkshire Terrier.

The new breed was as useful as its ancestors, with an added benefit – it had a striking appearance. Its name was changed several times before officially being named the Australian Terrier.

It was introduced to the United States around 1925. In 1960, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed.

Australian Terrier Care and Grooming

Australian Terriers can tolerate both cool and warm temperatures. However, they are not dogs that can live outdoors. They need to be a part of their families and should be kept indoors.

They have very high energy levels  which means they need a lot of daily exercise. They can be taken on a brisk walk on leash. They love to play, so vigorous games outside in a safely enclosed area would be great.

Brush their wiry coats several times per week to remove any dead hairs. Brush gently to protect their soft undercoat. Do not bathe this Terrier too often. Trim around their eyes and ears as needed, and clip their nails regularly. That’s pretty much it for their grooming requirements. Just remember to use the proper dog grooming tools.

These dogs shed little to no hair.

Health Problems of Australian Terrier Dogs

The breed has an average life expectancy of twelve to fourteen years.

There are no major health concerns for this breed.

Minor health issues include:

  • Diabetes
  • Patellar Luxation

These other issues can occur, but are rarely seen:

  • Seizures
  • Legg-Perthes
  • Cruciate Ligament Rupture

There are no veterinarian recommended tests for this dog breed.