Australian Terrier: The Ultimate Dog Guide


The Australian Terrier is a small, sturdy, and spirited dog breed that was developed to be a companion and watchdog. Originating from Australia, they are one of the smallest terriers but don’t be fooled by their size – they have a big heart and even bigger character.

Characteristic Detail
Size Small
Weight 15 to 20 pounds
Height 10 to 11 inches
Color Blue and tan, solid sandy, solid red
Coat Dense double coat
Life Span Up to 15 years
Temperament Spirited, affectionate, intelligent, courageous
Exercise Needs Regular walks and playtime
Diet High-quality proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals
Grooming Low maintenance, requires brushing once a week
Good with Children Yes, especially when raised together
Good with Other Pets Yes, if socialized early

Physical Characteristics of the Australian Terrier

Size and Weight

Despite being one of the smallest terriers, the Australian Terrier is robust and sturdy. Typically, they weigh between 15 to 20 pounds and stand about 10 to 11 inches tall at the shoulder.

Color and Coat

The Australian Terrier has a dense double coat that comes in several color variations – blue and tan, solid sandy, and solid red. Their outer coat is harsh and straight, providing excellent protection from the elements.

Distinctive Features

The Australian Terrier is characterized by its long head, erect ears, and bright, keen eyes. They have a docked tail that stands high, reflecting their alert and eager nature.

Australian Terrier Temperament and Personality

General Behavior

Australian Terriers are known for their spirited and affectionate nature. They are intelligent, courageous, and have a natural tendency to be assertive and independent.

Interaction with Humans

They are loyal and form strong bonds with their family. They love being the center of attention and are quite sociable, making them great companions.

Interaction with Other Animals

With their terrier nature, they can be a bit feisty with other dogs and might chase small animals. Early socialization is key to promoting friendly behavior.

Australian Terrier Health and Lifespan

Common Health Concerns

Generally, Australian Terriers are healthy dogs but they can be prone to certain conditions such as allergies, patellar luxation, and diabetes. Regular vet check-ups are essential to ensure their well-being.


With good care and nutrition, Australian Terriers can live up to 15 years, some even longer.

Tips for Health Maintenance

Regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and mental stimulation can greatly contribute to your Australian Terrier’s overall health. Regular vet visits and staying up to date with vaccinations are also crucial.

Training and Exercise Needs

Training Requirements

Australian Terriers are intelligent and eager to please which makes training a fairly straightforward process. Positive reinforcement methods work best.

Exercise Needs

Despite their small size, Australian Terriers have a lot of energy. Regular walks, playtime, and access to a secure yard where they can explore will keep them happy.

Tips for Training

Start training and socialization early. Be patient, consistent, and use a lot of positive reinforcements.

Nutrition and Diet for an Australian Terrier

Nutritional Needs

As a small breed, the Australian Terrier has specific nutritional needs. They require a diet rich in high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and

minerals to support their overall health and energy levels.

Suitable Diet

Quality commercial dog foods designed for small breeds are typically suitable for Australian Terriers. Some owners might prefer feeding a raw or home-cooked diet, but it’s best to consult a vet to ensure it’s nutritionally balanced.

Feeding Schedule

Feeding your Australian Terrier twice a day – once in the morning and once in the evening – is a common schedule. However, the amount of food will vary based on their age, size, and activity level.

Grooming Your Australian Terrier

Grooming Needs

Australian Terriers have a low-maintenance coat that requires brushing once a week to remove loose hair and prevent matting.

Grooming Tips

Use a slicker brush or a comb with both fine and coarse teeth for grooming. Bathing is only necessary every few months or when they get particularly dirty.

Dealing with Shedding

While Australian Terriers do shed, it is quite minimal. Regular brushing can help manage shedding and keep their coat healthy.

The Australian Terrier as a Family Pet

Compatibility with Children

Australian Terriers are usually good with children, especially if they’ve been raised together. They’re energetic and playful which makes them great playmates for older kids. However, interactions with younger children should be supervised to ensure gentle play.

Compatibility with Other Pets

If socialized early and properly, Australian Terriers can get along well with other dogs and pets. However, due to their terrier instincts, they might see smaller pets as prey.

Housing Requirements

Australian Terriers can adapt to a variety of living situations. They are as comfortable in an apartment as they are in a house with a yard, as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation.

How to Choose an Australian Terrier Puppy

Selecting a Reputable Breeder

When choosing an Australian Terrier puppy, it’s important to find a reputable breeder who tests their breeding dogs for common health issues. They should be willing to show you health clearances for both of your puppy’s parents.

Key Traits to Look for

Look for a puppy that’s active, playful, and curious. Their eyes should be clear, and their coat should be clean and shiny.

Initial Care for a New Puppy

When you bring your Australian Terrier puppy home, make sure you have all the necessary supplies including a comfortable bed, food and water bowls, a variety of toys, a collar and leash, and food. It’s also important to find a good local vet and schedule your puppy’s first check-up.

Australian Terrier’s Adaptability

Adapting to New Environments

The Australian Terrier’s ability to adapt to new environments is one of its most notable traits. Whether it’s a bustling city apartment or a country home, they can settle in quite comfortably. However, it is important to remember that no matter where they live, they will require daily exercise to keep them healthy and prevent boredom.

Tolerance to Weather

The Australian Terrier’s dense double coat not only gives them their distinctive look but also provides protection against different weather conditions. This breed tends to tolerate both heat and cold fairly well. Nevertheless, extreme weather can be hard on them, so it’s important to provide shade and fresh water during hot weather and limit time outside during particularly cold periods.

Traveling with Your Australian Terrier

Traveling Preferences

Australian Terriers generally make good travel companions. They are small and relatively easy to manage during travel. However, it’s important to ensure that they are comfortable and secure during a journey. Crate training can be beneficial for this purpose, providing a safe and familiar place for them to rest.

Dealing with Separation

While Australian Terriers can adapt to being left alone for short periods, they prefer company. If you travel frequently or work long hours, this breed may struggle with separation anxiety. Making sure they have plenty of mental stimulation, such as toys and puzzles, can help keep them occupied when alone.


Whether you’re drawn to the Australian Terrier for their size, their personality, or their low-maintenance grooming needs, it’s clear that this breed has a lot to offer. With the right care, training, and socialization, an Australian Terrier can make a wonderful addition to many different types of households.


Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

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