Australian Terrier: A Spirited Breed with a Rich Australian Heritage


The Australian Terrier, often referred to as the “Aussie,” is a small, spirited breed known for its tenacity and loyalty. With its distinctive appearance and charming personality, this breed has captivated dog lovers around the world. In this article, we will delve into the origins of the Australian Terrier, tracing its roots back to its Australian homeland.

Origins and Development:

The Australian Terrier is a relatively young breed, with its history dating back to the early 19th century. Its ancestors can be traced to a mix of terrier breeds brought to Australia by British settlers. These terriers, including the Cairn Terrier, Dandie Dinmont, and Skye Terrier, were crossed to create a versatile and adaptable working dog suited to the Australian environment.

The breed’s primary purpose was to serve as a skilled vermin hunter, guarding homes and farms from rats, snakes, and other pests. The Australian Terrier’s small size, agility, and high energy levels made it a perfect candidate for this task.

Recognition and Standardization:

The Australian Terrier gained popularity throughout the 19th century, primarily within Australia. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that efforts were made to standardize the breed. In 1933, the Australian Terrier Club of Australia was established, seeking to preserve and promote the breed.

In 1936, the Australian Terrier was recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC) as an official breed. The breed standard was developed, outlining the desired physical and temperamental traits. The breed standard has undergone slight modifications over the years, but the essence of the Australian Terrier remains intact.

Physical Characteristics:

The Australian Terrier is a small, well-balanced dog with a sturdy build. It has a distinctive rough, weather-resistant double coat that consists of a soft undercoat and a harsh outer coat. The coat color is typically blue and tan, but other variations include solid red or sandy. Their expressive eyes and erect ears give them a keen and intelligent expression.

The breed’s average height ranges from 9 to 11 inches (23-28 cm), and they weigh between 12 to 14 pounds (5.4-6.4 kg). Despite their small size, Australian Terriers are known for their robustness and athleticism.

Temperament and Training:

Australian Terriers are often described as spirited, alert, and confident. They possess a curious nature and are known to be independent thinkers, which can make training a challenge. Early socialization and consistent, positive reinforcement-based training methods are essential for shaping a well-behaved and obedient Australian Terrier.

With their strong loyalty and protective instincts, Australian Terriers make excellent family companions and watchdogs. They form deep bonds with their families and thrive on being included in daily activities.


The Australian Terrier is a captivating breed with an intriguing history deeply rooted in Australia. Bred for their working abilities, these spirited terriers have won the hearts of many dog enthusiasts around the world. Whether as a dedicated vermin hunter or a loving family companion, the Australian Terrier continues to bring joy and companionship to those fortunate enough to share their lives with this remarkable breed.