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Answers from vets about your dog:

The Australian Terrier

Posted December 06, 2013 in Dog Breeds

Background
Australian Terriers, one of the smallest working terriers, were the first breed to be developed and recognized in Australia. They made their first show appearance in 1868: Melbourne. 

They were trusted watchdogs, adept at killing rodents and snakes, and could be trusted to tend sheep.  They were valued companions during the hard times and over rough terrain. 

The modern day Australian Terrier has been crossed with several other terriers including the following breeds: Dandie Dinmont, Skye, Yorkshire, and the Manchester Terrier. It’s possible that they were also crossed with Irish and Cairn Terriers.

The Australian Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1960.

Sizing up

  • Weight: 14 to 16 lbs.
  • Height: 10 to 11 inches
  • Coat: Double, medium in length, coarse and shaggy
  • Color: Sable; brindle; sandy; red; red and white; red and tan; red and black; black and red; black and tan; blue; blue, black and tan; blue and black, blue and tan.
  • Life expectancy: 15 years

What’s the Australian Terrier like?
The Australian Terrier is quite adventurous! His strong hunting instincts may compel him to scamper across the yard chasing after a squirrel or chipmunk. He also wants to guard his family and home, making him a great little watchdog with a fierce bark.

It’s important to begin training and socializing your Australian Terrier as soon as you bring him home. Training sessions should be very consistent, firm, short and to the point. He’s very energetic and can get bored easily. If your Aussie is bored, your property will likely suffer the consequences.

Grooming your Australian Terrier is a breeze involving only a weekly combing or brushing to remove and prevent mats or tangles.

Health
The Australian Terrier is a small dog and can develop some small dog health conditions so watch for any of the following:

  • Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease (LCPD)

LCPD is a bone disorder, the result of decomposition of the hip joint, caused by a spontaneous decaying of part of the femur bone which islocated in the dog’s hind leg.

Luxating patella is a knee condition where one or both kneecaps can accidentally slip out of place.

Takeaway Points

  • The Australian Terrier will keep your garden and home vermin free!
  • The Australian Terrier is very easy to groom.
  • The Australian Terrier is extremely adaptable and suitable for most living quarters.
  • The Australian Terrier may not be the right choice for you

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Tori has more than 2 years of experience in the pet health industry and is junior editor of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.