Photo by © sstark99

Australian Terrier - Breed Profile:

Origin: Australia
Solid red, solid sandy, blue and tan
Size: Small
Type of Owner:
Exercise: Very little
Grooming: Regular
Trainability: Easy to train
Combativeness: Friendly with other dogs
Dominance: Low
Noise: Average barker

Physical characteristics

The Australian Terrier is a small sturdy dog with a long head, erect ears and dark sparkling eyes. The body is rather long in proportion to the height, with a level topline. The moderately deep chest extends slightly below the elbows. Viewed from the front, the forelegs are straight and parallel. The long head is set on a strong, slightly arched neck. The muzzle is approximately the same length as the skull. The nose is black, preferably with a V-shaped space above it. The teeth should meet in a scissor bite. The tail is set high and carried erect; it is customarily docked in balance with the dog's overall look. The gait is bounceless.
Australian Terriers weigh 12 to 14 pounds. Their height is 10 to 11 inches.


Australian Terriers are amusing, loveable and eager to please. Like many other small dogs, they are spirited and self-assured. Very keen hearing and eyesight make them excellent watchdogs. Curious, devoted and affectionate. Friendly with other dogs and pets. They do, however, have a natural aggressiveness of a ratter and hedge hunter. Proper human leadership is important to avoid behaviour problems such as excessive protectiveness, unruly barking, territorial issues, etc. Even though the breed is small, a sufficient amount of exercise is necessary to meet its needs as an animal. Australian Terriers are very intelligent and are easier to obedience train than many other terrier breeds. Mental exercises are necessary too. Socialize them well at an early age. Well-balanced and happy Australian Terriers are not snappish, which makes them very good for families with children. They are also good companions to travel with.

Coat and grooming

The double coat of Australian Terriers is weather-proof, harsh and straight. Its length is about 2,5 inches except the tail, pasterns, rear legs (from the hocks down), and the feet. The breed sports a top knot on the top of the skull, and a ruff blending into the apron. Regular grooming is necessary to keep the hair in good condition.
The coat comes in solid red and solid sandy colours. Another colour variety is blue and tan; tan markings should be present on the head, underbody, and legs.


Australian Terriers are naturally healthy dogs with no known breed-specific diseases. The lifespan is rather long - 15 years and more.

Other interesting facts

The Australian Terrier is one of the smallest working terriers. It was developed in Australia and first shown as the Australian Rough-Coated Terrier in Melbourne in 1868. The official recognition of the breed took place in 1933. The original task of this dog was to assist its owner's work in the rugged Australian Outback. The dog was supposed to control vermin and snake populations, sound the alarm when intruders approached, and help look after livestock.