|The Aussie Terrier, The Aussie
|Alert, affectionate, loyal, courageous
|Tendency to bark
|This breed has an around average probability of having health issues in its lifetime, hence it is one of the more affordable breeds to insure.
The Australian Terrier is thought to have descended from the old “Scotch” Terrier and other Terriers brought to Australia from the United Kingdom, such as the Cairn Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Skye Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier and Black and Tan Terrier.
Among the smallest of the working terriers, Australian Terriers were bred out of a need for a sturdy and courageous working dog, adaptable to Australia’s harsh climate. Aside from controlling and killing rats and snakes, their roles included watchdog, shepherd and companion dog.
The Australian Terrier was the first native Australian breed to be officially recognised and shown in Australia. The first club devoted to the breed was founded in Melbourne in 1887, and a breed standard was devised there. Imports to America and Britain began soon after, and it became the first Australian breed to be officially recognized in these countries.
The Australian Terrier is one of the smallest terrier breeds. It is sturdy and short-legged with a longish torso, long neck, triangular, erect ears and dark brown eyes.
Aussie Terriers have a soft undercoat and a harsh outer coat that embues an unkempt, rough-and-ready appearance. A topknot of soft, silky hair contrasts in texture with their otherwise harsh coat. They come in three colours: blue and tan, sandy, and red.
|5.5 to 7 kg
|23 to 28 cm
|Blue & tan, red or sandy
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The Australian Terrier is a friendly, intelligent, tough and adaptable little dog who loves to please its owners. Like most terrier breeds, the Aussie Terrier tends to be bossy and will nudge or bark at you until they get what they want. Don’t be fooled by their innocent looks and adorable head tilt – they will take over your household if you let them!
Aussies were bred to hunt vermin, and this instinct is still very strong in their temperaments. Courageous, protective and alert, they are natural watch dogs, and will sound the alarm should any strange dog or person approach the house. Although not a fighter, they are jealous of their territory and will defend it – and their owners – till the end, whether from much larger dogs, smaller pets or vermin.
Australian Terriers were also developed as a companion dog and are happiest when with their people. Aussies are not suited to living outside or spending long hours in a run or fenced yard alone. They will curl up in their owner’s lap at the slightest invitation!
Most Aussie Terriers are good with children as well as senior citizens, so they make excellent family pets. As with any small dog, supervision with toddlers is essential, for the dog’s protection as well as the child’s. Aussies may be more suitable for households with older kids as they tend to be a little bit wary of children and their bossy temperament can be too pushy for some.
As with other terriers, Aussies can be dog-aggressive and somewhat bossy, and care must be taken when living in a multi-pet household.
Terriers in general have a high energy level, and the Australian Terrier is no exception. The breed is very active and requires regular exercise to keep it from becoming bored and unhappy. Daily play sessions, indoors or out, will keep Aussies happy and well adjusted. They consider a game of chase to be great fun, and at the park they will want to chase a ball or other dogs around for hours. With their boundless energy, they can also excel in agility or other dog sports.
Play sessions must take place is a securely fenced area, and when on walks or hikes, Aussies must be on a leash. They should never run loose as their instinct to hunt is very strong, and they might not be able to resist running off to chase a cat or other small animal, and they might pursue their ‘prey’ so far that they can’t find their way back.
Unlike some other Terrier breeds, the Aussie Terrier tends to be more obedient and easier to train, though they can be quite stubborn. Training and socialising Aussies from a very young age is the best way to ensure they become well-rounded companions.
The Australian Terrier should do well on a high-quality, balanced and wholesome dog food that is appropriate for its age (puppy, adult, or senior), size and activity level. To aid a healthy growth and prevent problems in later years, puppies require a specially formulated diet, with higher protein, fat, calcium, and other vitamins and minerals. Avoid commercial dog foods made mostly from carbohydrates, including rice, wheat and corn.
Dogs can become overweight so it’s important to monitor their weight and calorie consumption. Avoid feeding excessive table scraps or overindulging them with treats. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.
The Australian Terrier sheds little enough to qualify as non-shedding. Their harsh, weatherproof, double coat does a good job of repelling dirt and mud, and is very easy to maintain. A brush once a week, a pluck or trim of the long hairs around the eyes as needed and a bath only when necessary should be enough to keep your Aussie in top shape.
Frequent baths are not recommended as shampooing softens the Aussie’s coarse, straight coat, which makes it less able to shed dirt naturally, and can lead to dry and flaky skin.
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Australian Terrier Club of NSW: http://atcnswinc.webstarts.com/
Australian Terrier Club of QLD: http://www.aussieterrierclubqld.com/
Australian Terrier Club of Victoria Inc: http://atcvic.org/
Australian Terrier Club of SA: http://www.atcsa.yolasite.com/
Australian Terrier Club of America: http://www.australianterrier.org/