Updated 04-07-2023

Australian Terrier Characteristics, Facts & Traits

As their name suggests, the Australian Terrier originated in Australia. Aside from their ability to hunt rodents and snakes, Australian Terriers also served as watchdogs and family pets in the early 1900s. It's still true today that they're wonderful friends, fierce earth dogs, and show dogs.

As a result, these dogs require a great deal of physical activity. For active apartment dwellers, their small stature and low-shedding coat make them an excellent option. Loyalty and the tendency to inform their owners when something is out of the ordinary may be just what you need in a guard dog. Meet the breed's requirements and you'll be rewarded with a loyal and devoted companion for a lifetime. Below are all the facts and traits of the Australian terrier dog breed.


  • The Aussie is a purebred terrier, and his favourite pastimes include barking, digging, and chasing.
  • When it comes to Australia, bossy seems to be the middle name of everyone. In a home with multiple dogs, he aspires to be the alpha male (males can be cranky with other male dogs). When it comes to individuals, he'll gladly take over as the pack leader, so be careful to establish yourself as the boss before that happens.
  • In order to maintain this dog's happiness and well-being, early training and socialisation are absolutely essential.
  • The Australian has a very energetic and vivacious demeanour. To choose a dog that is more docile, consider different breeds first.
  • It's best not to buy an animal from an unlicensed backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Find a reliable breeder who evaluates her dog breeders for hereditary health issues and temperaments.


Social Appearance 


Contrary to common assumption, being a little dog does not automatically equate to being an apartment pet. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. And if you want to give your dog a bit more privacy in your apartment, this is the place to shop for a fantastic dog crate.

Sensitivity Level

Some dogs take a strong rebuke in stride, while others take even the tiniest hint of a sneer into account. These dogs, which are described as “easy-going,” “tolerant,” “resilient,” and even “thick-skinned,” have more tolerance for noise and chaos in the home as well as more forceful owners. Does your life revolve around entertaining, having a full-time job, having small children, or being in a band? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


You can't tell from looking at the dog whether they're energetic or not, but whatever they do, it's with gusto. They pull hard on the leash (unless you teach them otherwise), charge headlong over obstacles, even down food and water. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. When it comes to their approach to life, a low-vigor dog is more laid back.

Potential for Playfulness

Some dogs never grow out of their puppyhood and are always looking for a game to play, while other dogs are more serious and sombre in their outlook on life. Think just how many games of fetch or tag your dog will need to play each day, as well as if you have children or other canines who can serve as playmates.

Personality Appearance


Sheepdogs, which were intended to herd animals and require a high level of intelligence and attention, need mental exercise just as much as dogs raised to gallop all day do. Digging and chewing are two examples of activities that a bored pet will engage in if they don't obtain the mental stimulation they need. Dog sports and occupations, like agility and search and rescue, are excellent ways to offer a dog a mental workout in addition to traditional methods of training and interactive dog toys.

Energy Level

Dogs with a high level of energy are always ready for action. A canine job, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding animals requires a lot of stamina; these dogs were originally designed for that purpose. They're more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and exploring new sights and smells if they're getting the exercise and cerebral stimulation they require.

Dozing all day is the preferred mode of activity for dogs with low levels of energy. Think about your own level of activity and lifestyle when choosing a dog breed. Is a feisty, lively dog something you'll enjoy or find annoying?

Easy To Train

Dogs that are easy to train are better at quickly creating an association between a cue (such as "sit"), an action (such as sitting), and a reward (such as a treat). Other dogs require a greater investment of time, patience, and repetition to successfully complete their training.

You'll need to utilize incentives and games to get your dog excited about training because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" training mentality.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Even if they've been nurtured by the same person since puppyhood, some breeds are stubborn and aloof; others form strong bonds with a single person and are uninterested in anybody else; and still others exhibit unconditional love to everyone in the household. It's not just the breed that influences a dog's level of attachment; canines who were raised in a home with people around are more likely to form strong bonds with humans.


A kid-friendly dog must be kind with children, strong enough to withstand the hefty pets and embraces they can give out, and tolerant of running, scream-inducing toddlers. There are a few names on there that you would not expect: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). When it comes to family-friendly small dogs, Chihuahuas aren't always the best option.

Dog Friendly

Friendship with dogs and friendship with people are two very different things. It's not uncommon for dogs to attack or try to dominate each other, even if they're known as "lovebugs" by their owners. It's not just a matter of what kind of dog you have. At six to eight weeks of age, puppies should have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother, and they are more likely to have good social skills.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

In order to have a dog in your home, you'll have to cope with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in your home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others "blow" just during specific times of the year, and still others don't shed at all. Pick a breed that sheds less or lower your requirements if cleanliness is important to you. You can get excellent de-shedding equipment to assist keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

Wet spots may be left on your clothes and your arm by canines that are more prone to slobbering than others. In the event that you aren't concerned about your dog's drool, you can go ahead and get one that isn't as messy as you'd prefer.

Easy To Groom

To keep them clean and healthy, certain dog breeds only require a quick brushing after which they're ready to go. Grooming a dog that requires a lot of time and patience may not be in your best interest if you do not have the time or the money to do so.

Exercise Needs

Walking around the neighbourhood in the evening is quite acceptable for some breeds. Many other breeds, such as those developed for labor-intensive vocations like herding or hunting, require regular exercise.

These dogs can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't enjoy, including barking, chewing, and digging, if they are not given enough exercise. If you're an active person who likes to go outside and play with your dog, you should consider a breed that requires a lot of activity.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


14 to 16 pounds


Up to 15 years


10 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder


Numerous firsts have been achieved by the Australian Terrier. He was the first Australian breed to be recognised and displayed in Australia, as well as the first Australian breed to be recognised by the kennel clubs of other nations. One of the smallest Terriers, he was also built to withstand the harsh conditions of Australia's Outback, where he was born.

The rough-coated Terrier, which had accompanied British colonists to Tasmania, was the inspiration for the Australian Terrier. The Dandie Dinmont, Skye, Yorkshire, and Manchester Terrier's forebears were among the Terriers that interbred there. The Irish and Cairn Terriers, two other Terrier breeds, may have had an impact on him. As a result, a small dog was created that was quick, brave, durable, and unaffected by the weather conditions. He was a watchdog, a companion, and a killer of rats and snakes.

In 1868, the dogs were first exhibited in Melbourne, Australia, and the name Australian Terrier was coined in 1899. In 1933, the Kennel Club of England officially recognised the breed, and the American Kennel Club did so in 1960. The Australian Terrier is now the 123rd most popular breed of dog registered with the American Kennel Club.

Personality and Temperament

Those who are looking for an enthusiastic dog to share their lives with can't go wrong with the Aussie. Being around his family on a regular basis makes him happy because he is so attached to them. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with the children, following you about the home, or even making his way to the front door when you greet a friend. He's intelligent and should be simple to teach, as long as you don't bore him to death.

The spitfire nature of Australian Terriers makes them both amusing and endearing. They'll do their best to stand out by taking risks and exhibiting a can-do attitude.

These canines are quick, agile, and active, and they never miss a thing because of it. When it comes to temperament, these dogs are just like any other breed of dog, yet you'll quickly learn to appreciate their uniqueness. They have a considerably larger bark than a smaller bite.

These dogs are incredibly cautious while also being quite exploratory. In the distance, they hear every scurry, leaf-blowing squirrel, and weird barking. Even if they can't physically harm an intruder, they are good watchdogs because of their alertness and barking habits.

With their ups and downs, these adorable pups are fantastic. Although they are capable of training, their motivation may fluctuate depending on their state of mind. It's not uncommon for these dogs to go against their owners' wishes.

Their self-reliance can serve them well in almost any situation if you maintain a strong hand and a positive outlook.


It's easy to be fooled by the Australian Terrier's diminutive stature when it comes to training. This breed isn't meant to be a lap dog, but rather a working dog that needs to be constantly active and engaged. While intelligent and eager to learn, these dogs can be a bit stubborn at the beginning of their training. You can keep your Australian Terrier looking its best by giving him routine maintenance and giving him a haircut as needed.


Like many dog breeds, Australian Terriers are susceptible to a variety of health issues.

Patella luxation

The patella (kneecap) is its name. Dislocation of an anatomical component is referred to as "luxation" (as a bone at a joint). Typically, patellar luxation occurs when the knee joint (often of a hind limb) moves in and out of place, resulting in discomfort. This can be debilitating, yet many dogs are able to have regular lives despite this.


The ball of the hip joint is deformed as a result. It begins with a reduction in blood flow to the femoral head, and progresses to bone death, collapse, and deformation. The hip joint becomes inflamed as a result. Legg-perthes may be hereditary or the result of an injury, although the reason has yet to be determined. Rest, physical therapy, and surgical removal of the malformed femoral head and neck are all options for treatment. Generally speaking, dogs recover quickly from surgery, and many only experience slight limp when the weather changes.

Diabetes mellitus 

Diabetes is a medical condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

Because of this, blood sugar levels are not adequately regulated in the body. In order to compensate for the shortage of glucose reaching the cells, a diabetic dog will eat more food, but he will lose weight because the food is not being utilized properly. People with diabetes have frequent urination and thirst, as well as an increased hunger and weight loss. Diabetes can be managed by a healthy diet and insulin injections.


Allergies are a problem for Australians (though they are common to dogs in general). Allergic reactions to food, contact substances (such as flea powders or dog washes), and inhalants fall under these three broad categories (caused by airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, and mildew). In some cases, food restrictions, drugs, and/or changes to the surrounding environment are all possible treatment options.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Patella Evaluation
  2. Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  3. Thyroid Evaluation


The Australian Terrier isn't one of those dogs that is very picky about what it eats. Overeating or obesity don't seem to be a problem for them, despite their love of food.

A high-quality dry kibble, wet food, raw food or a customised diet can be fed to your Aussie. However, if you decide to prepare your own, always get the recipe approved by your veterinary team first. It is possible to impair your dog's health by adding or omitting specific substances.

It's important to follow the feeding directions on your Australian Terrier's chosen food, based on your dog's age and weight.


You may be astonished to find that Australians only bathe four times a year. A professional groomer would be the finest option for trimming and de-shedding their fur.

Your Aussie will need a full bath every 4-6 weeks, depending on the state of its coat, just like any other dog. Keep your nails clipped, your ears cleansed, and your teeth brushed to maintain good oral hygiene.


Getting your Aussie to go for a walk should be a piece of cake. Instead, they may be encouraging you to continue. A favourite ball for playing isn't out of the question, as kids like sports like frisbee and catch.

To maintain their best health, your Aussie requires 30 to 60 minutes of high-intensity activity each day.

If you're ready to toss the ball when your Aussie drops it at your side, he'll be pleased to let you relax in a lawn chair. As a result, you shouldn't expect the same level of involvement from them. To keep them happy, all you have to do is give them a variety of engaging activities.


Training an Australian Terrier can be a great success, depending on the dog's temperament. Some Australians have a reputation for being sassy, feisty, and intransigent. As a result, individuals may not always be eager to study since they are preoccupied with other activities. The most difficult thing will be to maintain their concentration.

That said, don't let anything stop you. Tricks, simple commands, and polite behaviour may all be taught to your Aussie with patience and positive reinforcement.

They aren't as difficult to potty train as some other little breeds. Crate training works best for most Aussies, according to their owners. If possible, avoid using puppy pads. Because peeing on a pad is more convenient for dogs who use puppy pads, some of these behaviours may persist into adulthood.

Children And Other Pets

The Aussie is an excellent family companion, especially for those with young children. Like many dogs, he enjoys playing but should be kept under close supervision around young children until he has been properly socialised. When left alone for an extended period of time, he can turn destructive. Aside from his proclivity for chasing cats, his bad behaviour makes him unsuitable for households with pets like rabbits, mice, or even hamsters. It is possible, however, to teach an Aussie dog that he should respect and leave alone the animals that he shares his space with. He loves to chase squirrels in the park or the neighbour’s cat.


Proper diet is vital for a newly born Australian terrier puppy's immune system to mature. If your pup is still a puppy, keep an eye on his weight. Malnutrition or severe weight gain should be looked out for.

Controlling the temperature of your puppy will be a challenge. This is a vital aspect because the newborn puppies are unable to accomplish it on their own.

Expect to pay between $700 and $1,200 for an Australian Terrier puppy from a reputable breeder. If you want the best, you'll have to shell out at least $5,500.

Choosing a breeder with a good reputation is critical when making a purchase. These breeders should be producing high-quality, healthy animals that contribute to the breed's strength and longevity. Puppies should get their first set of vaccines and be vetted before they go home, since some breeders may want a deposit.

Your vet should conduct a thorough examination of your new puppy as soon as possible.

Dogs breeds Similar to Australian Terriers

The following three breeds are close relatives of the Australian terrier:

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale is a hunting dog, just like the Australian terrier. They are brave, self-reliant, tenacious, and well-informed. In addition to being amiable, they are easy to teach.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Dogs like this one are friendly and playful, just like Australian terriers. Dogs of this type are extremely friendly, making them ideal pets for families. Adult Cavalier dogs and pups can be found in a variety of rescue organisations.


This is a little dog with a lot of energy and a lot of boldness in its character. Like Australian terriers, these dogs are used for hunting. They have a strong sense of familial loyalty and affection. As a result, Dachshunds make great security dogs. To make grooming easier, dachshunds have short hair.