Australian Terrier

Breed History

Australian Terrier

Australian Terrier is a small size dog with high energy and a high level of intelligence. Short legs, docked tail, and straight ears is the appearance of this breed when you see them.

Known as one of the smallest breeds in the Terrier family. Now, we all know that Terriers come from Britain so how did one of these dogs get their name as an Australian.

Due to British workers who would travel to Australian would bring their Terriers to the country. Once they got a wide range of different Terriers it would become their own breed crossbreeding several others.

Six Terriers are given the node as helping the development of the Australian Terrier. Like all these dogs this dog was in use to get rid of rodents and, surprisingly, small snakes.

They can kill hundreds of rats per hour if in a pack of dogs. Difficult for rodents to run away because of the speed and agility along with the prey drive of the Aussie.

Goldmines and Sheep Stations would be overrunning by an extreme rodent infestation. Tasmania was the original place they would be known to occupy and then spread throughout the world from exporting.

Late 19th century they were sent back to Britain and were now a different breed and the kennel club in England would grant them registration as their own breed.

20th century, 1950’s, they would make an entrance into America and finally get recognition in the following decade.


In 1960, they would finally receive registration from the American Kennel Club tracing their line from Australia to England and back into America. Isolation from the world for a long time would impede progress to getting earlier recognition.

Top 140 in popularity they are not as popular as the rest of the Terrier community. Others are famous for movies and being pet celebrities and that’s the reason for some of their popularity.

Terrier Group is the category that all major kennel clubs put them in. Here are the major kennel clubs and their breed standards for this breed.


Male Height: 10-11 inches

Female Height: 9-10 inches

Male Weight: 15-20 pounds

Female Weight: 14-18 pounds

Litter Size

4 puppies are the average litter size for an Australian Terrier. Breeders should be aware of how many puppies to expect and adjust accordingly. Mothers can deliver without any procedures like a C-Section.


  • Blue and Tan
  • Red
  • Sandy
  • Black Markings


$1,000-$2,000 is the average price for an Australian Terrier. Prices vary depending on location, currency, supply, demand, and other factors that can change the price.

Papers will make the cost higher for any puppy in the litter. Strict adherence to the breed standard and breeding frequency will give you the highest quality puppy.

Without papers you can expect people to pay around a few hundred dollars. One, or both, parent(s) must be able to get papers for the puppy to be able to receive them.


Take the Australian Terrier on a long walk or run before you start the grooming process. Starting the right way is 90% of the battle and will save you a lot of time and energy in the future. Using a leash is a great option to communicate that you want the dog to standstill while you bathe, cut, and trim.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Brush the coat at least once per week to get the best results. Moderate shedding will happen twice per year and getting a tool that specializes in removing hair will be the best option.

Comb the coat at least once per week for good practice. Coat will not mat or tangle causing a painful future grooming session if you choose not to.

Bathe the dog after a long walk or run for a proper set up. Drinking from the hose is friendly after a long workout and water on the stomach is the fastest way to cool a dog down.

Cleaning the ears should happen once a week to avoid infections. Costly vet bills can start to add up when they become frequent. Head shaking, ear scratching, and strange ear odors are signs they have an infection.

Trimming the nails should happen when the dog is exercising daily, which we recommend. If you choose not to exercise daily, which we don’t recommend, cut them with clippers or get professional help.

Professional help is not a recommendation on this breed.

Life Span

12-15 years is the average lifespan for an Australian Terrier. That’s a long time for any dog to live and owners should be aware of the time commitment. Great adoption option when looking to place a dog in a better home due to their long lifespan.

Health Issues

Patellar Luxation – kneecaps are a large issue for all small Terriers. Limping, favoring, or jumping during exercise is a sure sign that the dog could possible be dealing with a bad kneecap. Partial or complete dislocations can occur at any time.

Eye Examination – cherry eye, cataracts, glaucoma are all problems that can arise during your dog’s lifetime. Complete or partial blindness can be the result of any of the issues. Getting an examination at 24 months and 12 months after the age of 2.

Legg-Perthes Disease – degeneration of the hip bones you will see the hind legs making it difficult for the dog to get mobile in a normal capacity.

Allergies – food allergies are well known with all Terriers. Soy and other foods should be carefully added to the diet to see the reaction.

Breed Group

Proud member of the Terrier Group. These dogs are known to be small size hunters that specialize in rodents and small prey around the household or farm.

Humans are indebted to these dogs for their work of removing rodents from workplaces where families and communities had to eat.

Here are some of the most popular Terriers

Exercise Needs

Australian Terriers need a lot of exercise. People tend to confuse size and exercise needs for some reason. Size of a dog will never tell you anything about their exercise needs, but I have answer for you.

Looking at the way the dog is behaving is a great way, or principle, to evaluate the amount of exercise of lack of exercise in their life. Simple behaviors will show you that the dog is coming up short.

Over excitement and jumping along with other out of control behavior will teach you the dog isn’t getting enough exercise. Digging, barking excessively, nipping, biting and more are also a sign that the dog isn’t getting enough exercise.

Once you identify multiple symptoms of not getting exercise the best thing to do is to take action daily. Running and walking the dog is the only help you need in this situation.

Here is something we recommend to clients.

Morning: Hour (run, walk or treadmill)

Evening: 30 mins (run, walk or treadmill)

Younger dogs are going to need a lot of exercise. Meaning they need a lot of two session days throughout the week and runs will really help take the edge off in most cases.

Adult dogs, around three years old, will show a decline in exercise needs. People who own a dog at this age and exercise them during their youth this is a beautiful time in the dog’s life. Everything is one autopilot at this point with training and exercising.

Senior dogs will show a steep decline in exercise needs and will need only one session at the most. Although they are older at all ages you should check the behavior to see if they need more.


  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Every house should be built on a solid foundation and no foundation is more solid than exercising every single day. Getting them the proper amount of exercise will take the dog from wild animal to calm house pet in no time. Small amounts of exercise start to add up over time. One hour a day will get you 365 hours a year or two hours a day will get the dog 730 hours of exercise. Your dog’s behavior will change completely if you use either of the methods one will take effect quicker than the other.

Commands training should start as soon as you get the dog and continue until they are on autopilot with the owner. Everything you tell your dog should be automatic or you haven’t practice enough. Repetition will be the dogs and owners’ best friend. Remember dogs learn body language first and then start to associate the verbal that is given with the body language.

Socialize the dog after a long exercise session is the best way to start socializing and continuing until you see the behavior you want. Before vet visits, dog parks, parks, car rides and other social settings take the dog on a long walk or run beforehand.

Correcting the dog will happen verbally, on or off leash. Timing the correct should be in line with preventing the act from ever being committed. After the correction make the dog sit or lay afterwards. Those are the only two things you need to master and touching the dog is a rare occasion for when you need their attention. You should be hands off 99.9 percent of the time.

Are Australian Terriers Good Pets?

Yes, they are great house pets and can live outdoors in different situations. Long as they have an owner that is willing to walk or run them daily and set rules in the house, backyard, and out on walks.

Doing this in combination will create a great healthy relationship with the dog while building a strong bond. You have to give (exercise, training) in order to get (calm, listening dog).

Additional Resources