The Australian Terrier, also known as Aussie, is a small but robust dog, very similar to the Yorkshire terrier and the Australian Silky Terrier. This dog comes from the island of Tasmania, has a determined character and is much quieter and barks less than other terrier dogs, although if this bad behavior is encouraged, it can become a dog that barks excessively.
Due to its size and the little physical activity it needs, the Australian Terrier is an excellent pet for slightly older children because it can perfectly live in a small house or apartment. If you want to adopt an Australian terrier and do not know anything about this breed, do not miss this article of Pets Feed in which we will explain everything you need to know.
Not so long ago, the Australian Terrier was an exclusively working breed, lived on farms, worked as a watchman and a rodent exterminator. Today the adorable toy dog has become a companion. She is smart, cheerful and tireless, moreover, does not require complicated care. It is very popular in its homeland, but little known outside Australia.
Great Britain is considered the birthplace of the breed. It’s not entirely clear what England has to do with it. However, everything is simple: many years ago, people from the country went to explore a new continent. They took with them four-legged pets related to terriers.
Australia met the settlers with rats, snakes and burrowing predators. All these “natives” vexed the British. It was decided to breed a universal dog. To fight snakes, hunt small predators, and deal with rats.
The history of the origin has become overgrown with legends. There is no documentary evidence. Legends say that the distant ancestor of the breed was the Yorkshire Terrier. The Dandy Daimont Terrier and the Cairn Terrier took part in its formation.
It is known for certain that two lines were formed. The first is the Australian Silky Terrier. And the second is a wire-haired and very strong-willed dog known as the Australian Terrier.
Representatives of the breed are the result of painstaking selection work. They have the blood of Skye Terriers, Cairns, Scottish and Manchester. First presented at an exhibition in 1868. After 28 years, the first breed standard was developed.
Note! The Australian Terrier can safely claim the title of “the first breed of dogs bred in Australia”.
Australian Terrier breed description
The Australian Terrier is a small, sturdy dog that boasts beautiful proportions, coarse coat and a collar around the neck. Outwardly, it seems somewhat disheveled, but this is what gives it its charm. Sexual dimorphism is weak. Height at withers about 25 cm, weight – 6.5 kg.
The skull is long, flat, of moderate width. Well filled under eyes. On the head, soft wool forms a forelock. The stop is clear, but shallow. The muzzle is strong in length as long as the skull and must be strong. The nose is medium in size, black. Lips tight, dry, black. The jaws are strong with a strong grip. The teeth converge in a scissor bite. The eyes are oval, small, dark brown in color, set wide apart. The ears are erect, small, pointed, set moderately wide, very sensitive.
Note! The coat on the neck of the Australian Terrier forms a thick collar.
The neck is of good length, slightly arched, strong, smoothly merging into the sloping shoulders. The body is tightly cut, elongated format. The back is straight. The loin is strong. The chest is moderately deep and wide. Ribs well sprung. The tail is docked 2/5 of its length, but may also remain natural in countries where docking is prohibited. In any case, it is carried vertically and should not bend over backwards. Forelegs straight, bony and parallel with slight feathering up to the metacarpals. The hind legs are of medium length, seen from behind, parallel, the thighs are muscular, the angulation is pronounced. Paws are small, rounded with strong pads, fingers are gathered in a ball, nails are strong, dark in color.
The coat is double, consisting of a stiff, straight top coat about 6.5 cm long and a short, soft undercoat about 6 cm long. On the muzzle and the lower part of the legs, the coat is short. Two colors are allowed:
Black-silver (steel or dark gray with rich tan;
Pure red, in which a lighter forelock is allowed.
In any color, darkening and white markings on the feet or chest are undesirable.
Note! The Australian Terrier is one of the smallest working terriers, bred as a farm assistant and companion.
Personality and character of the Australian terrier
The Australian terrier is a friendly and sociable dog, is eager to please and likes human contact and flattery. Therefore, in general, it is easy to train, unlike some burrows! He is not aggressive, but will remain in his thirteen years if another dog challenges him. It is not an outrageous dog breed, but it barks when necessary.
This dog is, in essence, a working terrier and therefore has a courageous and determined temperament. However, it is more stable and calmer than most other terriers and, therefore, is also an excellent companion dog.
The Australian terrier needs a lot of family company, but it tends to be booked with strangers. It can also be aggressive with same-sex dogs and with small animals, but it is not as aggressive as other terrier breeds. Either way, it’s important to socialize the dog for people, dogs, and other animals from an early age.
Although the breed was developed primarily for hunting small animals, the Australian terrier is very versatile and can be an excellent pet, but not specifically for very small children, as they can mistreat the dog and the dog can defend itself by biting. However, it is an excellent pet for older children who know how to respect the dog.
Note! The Australian Terrier is an alert and always busy little dog that loves to be in the center of events, does not let anyone out of sight. She is happy in the role of a pet as long as there is work for her: daily exercises, a lot of mental stimulation and games, including quick wits.
With good care and nutrition, the Australian Terrier has a lifespan of 12-14 years or more. Most dogs are in good health, but the breed also has hereditary diseases that occur with varying frequency:
- Diseases of the eyes (cataract, progressive retinal atrophy, persistent pupillary membrane, retinal dysplasia);
- Dislocation of the patella;
- Cruciate ligament rupture;
- Allergic dermatitis;
- Ear infections.
To maintain the health of the Australian Terrier and to prevent many diseases, timely vaccination, treatment against external and internal parasites is needed.
The ideal conditions for keeping the Australian Terrier, of course, are private houses with land. But unpretentious representatives of the breed live well in an apartment. Even such an intimate question as natural emptying of the body, the puppy perfectly performs in the tray on the diaper.
Caring for representatives of the Australian Terrier breed is simple and consists of regular trimming twice a year. Frequent bathing is contraindicated in the breed. Repeated shampooing will soften the coat.
A key rule of grooming is that dogs are not clipped, but trimmed, since clipping is fatal to the coat.
The eyes, claws and ears of the animal require regular inspection. The ears are cleaned at least once a week and the hair around them is periodically trimmed. Claws are clipped as they grow, if the dog does not grind them on walks.
The Australian Terrier doesn’t require a lot of exercise and a moderate walk each day is enough to keep it in shape. On the other hand, it requires a lot of companionship, so a daily playing time, in addition to the time devoted to dog training and other routine activities, can help exercise the dog while strengthening the bond with its owner. These dogs can be barkers. Either way, these are dogs who need a lot of companionship and must live inside the house with the rest of the family.
He needs about an hour of exercise a day, although he will be more willing to accept it. After all, the Australian terrier was a working terrier, as well as a companion. In addition to enjoying walks and games, he also enjoys dog sports of agility and obedience, among others.
There are no special recommendations for the diet of the Australian Terrier. Small dogs are fed according to their age, size and activity. Most breeders and owners prefer super premium or holistic ready-made dry or wet food. Sometimes it is necessary to adjust the portion size slightly to control weight, or to switch to a different brand of food due to allergies. Australian Terriers are seldom picky about their food, so a balanced natural diet can be provided if desired.
The Australian Terrier can be fed with premium and super premium grade or holistic ready-to-eat foods. They contain all the essential substances that the dog’s body needs.
Another option is natural food. In this case, the basis of the diet is lean meat and high-quality offal – heart, lung, liver, scar.
The daily menu includes:
- Rice and buckwheat cereals;
- Dairy products;
- Fresh herbs and vegetables.
The menu is complemented twice a week with sea fish and chicken eggs. Fruits (apples, pears, bananas) can be given in small amounts throughout the day as treats.
With natural nutrition, the Australian Terrier must buy vitamin and mineral complexes.
Education and training
The Australian Terrier responds well to training with positive reinforcement, is obedient and tries to please the beloved owner in everything. Education should begin as early as possible. Some dogs tend to be dominant. In order to avoid problems, this feature must be stopped in time.
For owners with a gentle disposition, dogs often grow up spoiled, which results in many problems: disobedience on the street and at home, aggressive behavior, excessive barking, etc. The Australian Terrier quickly learns different commands. He performs them with pleasure for encouragement. Learns various tricks easily. Shows good results in various sports competitions: agility, flyball, frisbee.
Note! It is necessary to approach very seriously the education of this small, independent dog. Its size is very deceiving and incomparable with the strength of character. The Australian Terrier must understand that he is the favorite, but not the main one in the family.
Australian Terriers are endowed with high intelligence. However, representatives of this breed are often stubborn, which complicates training.
The upbringing of a puppy begins immediately after its appearance in the house. He is taught:
- Respond to a nickname;
- Pee on the outside or in a tray;
- Sleep on a couch.
A dog must comply with basic prohibitions from childhood. For example, if in the future it is not planned to let her into the master’s bed, then this should not be allowed for the puppy either.
When quarantine ends after vaccinations, the pet is introduced to the world around it – new sounds and smells, other people and animals. They walk him on noisy streets so that the dog gets used to city life.
At 4 months, they start training in a playful way. Any dog needs to be trained in basic commands:
- “Lie down!”;
- “Don’t move”;
- “To me!”;
- “A place!”.
In the future, the Australian Terrier can be taught various tricks.
Australian Terrier Dog Breed Highlights
- The Australian Terrier is known to be a wonderful companion and a good pet.
- It has easy maintenance, low loss diapers.
- He is extremely tolerant and patient with children of all ages.
- The Australian Terrier is very intelligent and in good hands, easy to train.
- Unlike other terriers, this dog likes to be around people and is not tempted to “get to the ground” after a prey.
- It is not too demanding on the exercise front.
- It is an incredibly versatile little dog with a great personality.
- The Australian Terrier is known to be a healthy breed.
- The Australian terrier likes to dig, which includes furniture, lawns and flower beds.
- Finding puppies can be difficult and expensive with long waiting lists.
- Some Australian Terriers have higher prey than others.
- He can be willful and stubborn when the mood takes him.
- The Australian Terrier likes the sound of his own voice and barking can be a problem.