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The Australian Terrier

March 24, 2022 - Reading time: 6 minutes

Known as Aussies, these terriers combine their natural charisma with a strong personality. Don't let their size fool you: if you have one of these specimens at home you will feel like a lion is taking care of you. The Australian Terrier is protective of his family, but especially with those who need him most. Read on to learn more about this breed.

Australian Terrier

  • Height at the withers: about 25 cm, the females being slightly smaller
  • Weight: about 6.5kg. in males and somewhat less in the case of females, according to the FCI
  • Life expectancy: up to 15 years
  • Ideal for: families with young children, the elderly, and people with special abilities; live in houses or flats; guard dog duties.

History of the Australian Terrier

Although they have British lineage, this variety was developed in Oceania. These little guys are descended from the Broken Coated Terrier, popular in the provinces of New South Wales and Victoria. Among its ancestors are the Scottish Terrier, the Dandie Dimont, the Yorkshire, and the Skye Terrier.

Considered Australia's first indigenous breed, they were the first dogs to be recognized in the land of kangaroos. Strong-tempered and unparalleled bravery, they were bred to deal with the area's wildlife, from large rodents to snakes. They were also employed as guards, herders, and sometimes as the only company for settlers in the inhospitable territory.

Main characteristics of the Australian Terrier

This type of dog is compact as well as robust, although it tends to be longer than it is tall. It has a strong, arched neck, a straight, sturdy back, and a moderately deep chest. The tail is set high.

The legs are short and stocky, with broad, muscular hindquarters. The hocks are well angulated, reaching almost to the ground. The feet are small, round, and tight.

On the other hand, the head is long and strong. The skull is flat and moderately broad, while the snout is straight-barreled and has a powerful bite. The eyes are small, oval, and well separated from each other. They have dark colors and mischievous expressions. The ears are rather small and end at a point.

As for the coat, they have a double coat with a short and soft inner fleece. The outer hair is straight, rough to the touch and usually grows to about 6 cm in length. It is more abundant in the collar area and shorter on the snout, on the feet, and behind the legs. The standard shades are steel or grayish blue, which can have tan markings on the face, ears, and belly, as well as sand or red. White spots are not desirable.

Australian Terrier

What is the character of the Australian Terrier?

No terrier lacks attitude and Aussies are no exception. These dogs are usually very attached to their family, so it is common for their character to be a reflection of the people with whom they live.

Perhaps because of his protective nature, he shows a greater affinity with the most vulnerable. Children, the elderly, and people with special abilities are among their favorites. They are good playmates, so they will get along with children of any age. They are also very tolerant, although they also have their limit for mischief.

These dogs have absolute confidence in themselves and believe they are bigger than they are. They tend to be territorial and dominant with other breeds, especially if they are males. A good thing is that they can learn to respect smaller animals, such as cats or rabbits, as long as they have grown up together.

Socialization is essential to achieve balanced adults. They also need firm and consistent training. For them to take you into account, you must offer them varied exercises and constant challenges. Remember: a motivated terrier is an obedient terrier.

Australian Terrier: Youtube

Care that an Australian Terrier needs

Since they are lively and energetic, these dogs require two to three daily walks. They can adapt to living in a flat, as long as their needs are met. During outings they must be on a leash for two reasons: the first is that they can be aggressive towards other dogs, the second is that they tend to chase other small animals.

A house with a patio is the best way to keep them entertained, although you must be careful that they do not run away after the first prey they detect. If you have a well-kept garden, define the area where you do not want it to dig.

Either way, don't let him spend long periods on his own. They may develop separation anxiety and begin to bark constantly or break everything around them.

His coat is easy to maintain. To get rid of tangles, brushing should be done thoroughly once a week. It is essential to control the hairs that grow near the eyes and cut them to avoid eye irritation. Also, the ears should be checked frequently for infections.

This dog gets very little dirty because its coat has a special oil that repels dirt. Therefore, bathrooms are only necessary when they are very dirty. Take a good look at the soap you use, because if it is not the right one, it can weaken the natural protection of your skin.

The health of the Australian Terrier

Among the most frequent conditions of the Australian Terrier, we find patellar luxation, a problem in the knee joints, along with Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome. The latter disease causes necrosis of the head of the femur and usually appears between 4 and 12 months of age.

Aussies also tend to suffer from diabetes in adulthood. They can also be affected by allergies or skin rashes. Eyecare is also essential so that they do not develop chronic infections that compromise their vision.


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