Australian Terrier dog breed is highly valued as family pet. They have almost every attribute you would look for in a dog to love, to play with, and to offer you protection at the same. Even though they are suspicious and reserved with strangers and express their concern by incessant barking, they are extremely loyal and attached to their own family. They are friendly with other animals too, including dogs, which are part of their adoptive family.
They are relatively easy to train and teach tricks. Among the Terrier group of dogs, Australian Terrier tops the list in intelligence, trainability and obedience.
The origin of the Australian Terrier can be traced to the early part of the 20th century. Exact place of origin is thought to be Tasmania. Many European Terriers, including Silky Terrier may have played a part in the development of this small-sized terrier.
The original dog was a working dog used for guarding property and keeping vermin in check. They used to work with livestock too. It was bred with Yorkshire Terrier, Scotch, Skye and Manchester, incorporating several of their desirable traits. Even though it originated in Australia, the dog has more of European blood.
The small size, as well as the coat colors spawned names such as Blue and Tan Terrier and Toy Terrier for this breed. When it eventually reached the United States, it came to be known as the Australian terrier. Official recognition for the breed came in 1960.
This small dog has short legs and a long body, weighing around 14 pounds and measuring less than 10 inches to the withers. The shaggy coat can be either red or blue with tan colored fur covering the underside. The fur is longer at the legs and neck, giving the dog an endearingly comical look. Even as an adult, this little dog remains as cuddly as a puppy.
Australian Terriers are very alert and spirited dogs. Being naturally clever, they easily pick up tricks and commands. They try to dominate other pets and may show aggression towards same-sex dogs. However, they are friendly and playful towards human members of the family. They like to be near their owners all the time.
Grooming and exercise
The dog requires a fair amount of grooming, but a thorough brushing of the coat once every week is sufficient. The coat is not usually trimmed short as it is one of the main assets of this dog. But you can trim the fur around the feet when it is too thick and long.
Australian Terrier may be small in size but it is quite high in energy. It needs a lot of exercise which can include brisk walking or jogging on leaf by the side of its owner. They love to play outside with their owners.
Even though their long, shaggy coats afford some protection from the elements, these dogs are not meant for living outdoors. They have a real need to be with the other members of their human pack.
Common health issues of Australian Terrier dog breed
This small but sturdy breed is relatively free of most health issues affecting dogs of this size. Musculoskeletal problems such as cruciate ligament rupture, Legg-Perthes or patellar luxation may occur occasionally. Rarely encountered endocrine problems include diabetes and hypothyroidism. Australian terrier dog breed has a life expectancy of 11 years or more.