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Australian Terrier

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A Clever Little Companion

Adventurous, obedient, quiet

Australian Terriers are playful, active, and tough small dogs. These hypoallergenic terriers enjoy human companionship and spending time indoors. This breed is prone to boredom, and should not be left alone for long periods of time. They may be wary of unfamiliar animals and do best in warm climates. Australian Terriers make great companions for families, seniors, city dwellers, and people with allergies. Naturally small and active, they require a good amount of exercise every day, either by a long walk or an unleashed run in a safe area.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:10-11 in. Weight:12-14 lb Lifespan:12-14 years

Size
1

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
2

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
3

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
2

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
3

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
2

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Australian Terriers are very smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active. They are also a scrappy breed and will pick a fight with dogs twice their size, so a leash is recommended when outdoors.

Grooming: Very easy to groom, just run a brush through their coat once in a while. The coat is weather resistant and needs its natural oils, so don't over bathe.

Dental: Australian Terriers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


If Australian Terriers were human, they would have a frog in one pocket and a slingshot in the other. A loveable troublemaker.

Positive Traits:

  • Vigilant watchdog with a ready bark

  • An excellent family dog that loves human companionship

  • Hypoallergenic coat sheds very little

  • Lively, with a friendly personality

  • Highly trainable and eager to please

Negative Traits:

  • Sees cats and small animals as prey unless trained otherwise

  • Territorial with larger dogs, especially of the same sex

  • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

  • Does not tolerate harsh reprimands or negative-reinforcement training

  • Likes to dig



Whether you are considering adding a new Australian Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Australian Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Australian Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues an Australian Terrier could encounter:

The Australian Terrier has a long history of being a versatile working companion dog. They are happiest when their people are nearby. An outdoor yard is fine for exercise, but unacceptable for long periods of time, because they want to be with you! Separation anxiety may occur if routinely left alone. They may dig, jump, and climb to escape confinement! Hunting small game is bred into Australian Terriers. Training them not to hunt squirrels and cats may be futile. Serious about protecting the home means alarm barking is common. Female Australian Terriers may not tolerate another female dogs in their territory. While a generally healthy breed, some problems may arise based on their genetics. Early detection is the key to a long and happy life, so be sure to schedule routine checkups.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Australian Terrier shows signs of the following:

  • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

  • Vomiting, tender abdomen, diarrhea

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • Redness, squinting or greenish eye discharge

  • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

  • Care

    Routine Care: Australian Terriers are very smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active. They are also a scrappy breed and will pick a fight with dogs twice their size, so a leash is recommended when outdoors.

    Grooming: Very easy to groom, just run a brush through their coat once in a while. The coat is weather resistant and needs its natural oils, so don't over bathe.

    Dental: Australian Terriers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    If Australian Terriers were human, they would have a frog in one pocket and a slingshot in the other. A loveable troublemaker.

    Positive Traits:

    • Vigilant watchdog with a ready bark

    • An excellent family dog that loves human companionship

    • Hypoallergenic coat sheds very little

    • Lively, with a friendly personality

    • Highly trainable and eager to please

    Negative Traits:

    • Sees cats and small animals as prey unless trained otherwise

    • Territorial with larger dogs, especially of the same sex

    • Prone to boredom and separation anxiety when left alone and will find trouble

    • Does not tolerate harsh reprimands or negative-reinforcement training

    • Likes to dig



  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Australian Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Australian Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Australian Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues an Australian Terrier could encounter:

  • History

    The Australian Terrier has a long history of being a versatile working companion dog. They are happiest when their people are nearby. An outdoor yard is fine for exercise, but unacceptable for long periods of time, because they want to be with you! Separation anxiety may occur if routinely left alone. They may dig, jump, and climb to escape confinement! Hunting small game is bred into Australian Terriers. Training them not to hunt squirrels and cats may be futile. Serious about protecting the home means alarm barking is common. Female Australian Terriers may not tolerate another female dogs in their territory. While a generally healthy breed, some problems may arise based on their genetics. Early detection is the key to a long and happy life, so be sure to schedule routine checkups.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Australian Terrier shows signs of the following:

    • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

    • Vomiting, tender abdomen, diarrhea

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Redness, squinting or greenish eye discharge

    • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

Australian Terrier Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Australian Terrier breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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