Originating in Australia, the Australian Terrier was first developed to be formally shown in competition. During the 19th century, the breed was often put to work as guard dogs regardless of their small size. They were also used as watchdogs, hunters of rodents and snakes, and sometimes to herd sheep. Australian Terriers were developed by crossing rough-coated terriers from Tasmania with Yorkshire Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Cairn Terriers, and others that were brought to Australia from England during the 1800s. They were the first native Australian dog breed to be shown in competition and is also the first Australian breed to be recognized by kennel clubs overseas.
Australian Terriers are a feisty, shaggy-coated breed that is small in size but should not be underestimated. They have a weatherproof coat that consists of a rough and straight topcoat that conceals a short, soft undercoat, which attests to their heritage as hard-working outdoor dogs. Their coat helps them to withstand the harsh conditions of Australia and ables them to stay outdoors for long periods of time in warm climates. Their hair is longer on the neck and legs, while it is shorter on the body and tail. They have small dark-colored eyes with a black nose to match and small, erect ears. The breed's tail stands straight up at about a 90-degree angle from the dog's body.
Not only do Australian Terriers tend to act more self-confident than most small dogs, but they are also quick learners, which makes training a bit easier than a few other terrier breeds. They are very friendly to their humans and tend to be tolerant of well-intentioned strangers. Like many terrier breeds, Aussies can dig up a storm, chase cats and small animals, and bark, but are also known for their sense of humor and easygoing personality. Early obedience training and socialization are important for this breed to curb these unwanted behaviors. Lively and playful, this sturdy terrier makes an excellent playmate for children of all ages and can make a great watchdog that will let their families know of unfamiliar noises around the property. The breed is courageous, spirited, and tends to have a lot of energy, but not so much that the average person cannot keep up with. They love to run around in a large, fenced yard with their owners and require daily walks or trips to the park if they are living in apartments. Do not let the small size of the Australian Terrier fool you, they are clever, obedient, spunky, and can adapt to be an ideal companion for a variety of households.