Australian Terrier Dog Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

Australian Terrier Dog Breed_ Facts, Traits, Character and Look

According to the American Kennel Club, Australian Terriers are spirited, courageous, alert, and self-confident. Though small, the Australian Terrier has the natural aggressiveness of a ratter and hedge hunter. The Australian Terrier is classified as a small breed in the terrier group. Often called Aussie for short, their tiny bodies house much larger, alert watchdogs that love digging and chasing small critters. They are intelligent and quick to learn new things during training.

Aussies were developed in Australia by crossing other terrier types brought to Australia by European settlers in the early 19th century. They were bred to hunt rats and had to cope with various terrains and weather conditions. However, reports indicate that they also formed strong bonds with their owners from the onset. Australian Terriers are expected to live for 10 to 15 years. Other names used for Aussies include the Blue Terrier, Blue, and Tan Terrier, the Australian Rough Coated Terrier, and the Broken-coated Terrier.

Choosing a name for your Australian Terrier involves essential building blocks, including the significance of the sound. The Aussie’s name will mean something to the humans in the dog’s life, but as far as your furry friend goes, only the sound matters. Aussies respond best to two-syllable names that are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like “sit,” stay,” “come,” and “down.” However, the names should not be long enough to become puzzling.

It is always a good idea not to rush into choosing a name. Spend a week or so with your new Aussie pup, and its character traits might be all the inspiration you need. Call out any name-ideas, using different tones and sounds for the two syllables, and watch your puppy’s reaction to the sound. Remember, you must compose a sound that your Aussie will recognize from a distance, among many other sounds. 

You can use any inspiration to choose your new puppy’s name. Below are Aussie boy and girl names inspired by nature.

Australian Terrier names inspired by nature

Girls

Boys

Meadow – Hunting usually takes place in fields and meadows.

Willow – Willow trees and shrubs are common in nature

Maple – After the beautiful, colorful tree

Tundra – As in the cold arctic region

Dawn – Hunting often starts at the crack of dawn

Thunder – This name is strong and tough, perfect for a hunting dog

Stormy – a strong name for hunting a hunting dog

Sunny – It’s positive and bright

Aurora – As in Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights

Prairie – An open area of grassland where hunting often takes place

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What is the History of Australian Terrier Dog?

The Australian Terrier is the smallest canine in the entire Terrier group. Aussies were bred in Australia as far back as the 19th century to hunt rodents, snakes, and other small animals. However, they also proved to be good watchdogs and could even tend sheep.

Breeders developed Aussie Terriers from rough-coated Terriers brought to Australia by European settlers. Over time they were also crossed with various other Terriers to create the Australian Terrier we know today. The Australian Terrier is a sturdy little dog, and that’s mainly due to the European settlers who created him. 

The breeders knew they needed a dog breed that could adapt to any terrain and weather conditions while hunting squirrels, rabbits, and mice and keeping the snake and rat population down. Their efforts were successful, and even now that most Aussies are house pets and companion dogs, their prey drive and protective instinct live on, making them excellent watchdogs.

What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of Australian Terriers?

Australian Terriers are extremely intelligent, and they have no problem picking up on just about any set task, always eager to impress. They are equally capable of adapting to family life, including kids, other pets, guests, and adults of all ages. This has made the Australian Terriers sought-after working and companion dogs in their home country.

Australian Terriers

Characteristics

Temperament

Australian Terriers are patient and dedicated. These dogs are equally committed to their work and their owners, offering stamina and skill along with devotion and loyalty. Often mistaken as shy or timid, Aussies can seem reserved around strangers. The breed is not aggressive but can demonstrate dominance.

Aussies have high energy and need plenty of exercise. But their compact size and low-shedding, the low-maintenance coat makes them a good choice for active apartment dwellers. If you’re looking for a watchdog, this breed’s loyalty and tendency to alert their humans when something is out of the ordinary may be just what you’re looking for. Meet the breed’s needs, and you’ll have a loving and dedicated little best friend for life.

Adaptability Level

Aussies adapt well to lifestyle changes and different living environments. They don’t mind moving from one place to another with their owner, and they are excellent working dogs that can adapt to all terrains and weather conditions.

Sensitivity Level

Because they are so attached to their humans, Aussies tend to match the mood with yours. If you are happy, they’ll be playful and lively. If you’re sad, they’ll be calm and quiet.

Affection Level

Australian Terriers are genuinely loyal, soft and gentle, loving, and known for being extremely affectionate and devoted to their family. Despite the activity, they enjoy quality time with their owners.

Overall Friendliness

Aussies are active, energetic, fun, clever, friendly, and playful, but if you have them trained and socialized, they become even greater family pets. He is intelligent and will require a steady, firm, fair, and consistent owner.

Kid-Friendly 

Australian Terriers are intelligent, loyal, and loving dogs that make wonderful family pets when socialized from a young age. Aussies are loyal and very family-oriented, and they tend to gravitate towards the elderly and young children. However, they should always be supervised when they are with small children. They are not aggressive or snappy, but they don’t enjoy too much rough-housing.

Pet-Friendly

Aussies’ innate prey instincts make them chase cats and other small pets. However, proper socialization can certainly help Aussies live with their fellow pets.

Exercise Needs

The spirited Aussie needs plenty of exercise; ideally, several brisk walks a day, so it can remain active well into its golden years.

Playfulness Level

Australian Terriers love to play with children. Keep plenty of toys available when you cannot devote time to them, or they can become destructive in your home. 

Energy Levels

Australian Terriers are never happy to be idle; instead, they must spend excessive energy. Inactive lifestyles can cause boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior. Your Australian Terrier needs enough space to run and play to spend energy. The Terrier group is a high-energy dog type, and the Australian Terrier is no exception. They need regular exercises, like daily walks, play sessions, or trips to the dog park.

Trainability Level

Aussies are very smart, and they learn quickly. However, repetitive training won’t work on Australian Terriers. You will have to make training lessons fun yet challenging, and positive reinforcement and reward-based training are the ways to go.

Intelligence Level

The Australian Terrier breed members are also intelligent herding dogs, needing a firm, consistent owner. Boredom and loneliness can easily lead to destructive or nuisance behavior. If you have the time to devote to them, they will desire to please you, and training gains will come quickly.

Barking Tendency

Australian Terrier dogs communicate both through vocal and non-vocal means. Aussies are exceptional protectors of their owners and possessions. True to their dog nature, they bark loudly when they perceive a threat and warn everybody within reach. Be prepared; Aussies bark a lot.

What are the Physical Traits of the Australian Terrier?

Australian Terriers are small in stature, but they have boundless energy and companionship. They have unique coats that are full around the front quarters and neck, and  The breed has distinct coat furnishings around their forequarters and neck, and the silky, soft plume of hair on the top of their heads are not at all like the rougher textured hair on the rest of their bodies. They have an undercoat that is soft and short, and the outer coat is harsh, straight, and waterproof.

The body is rather long in proportion to height, with a long, slightly arched neckline. Its head should be long and strong, with pricked ears and dark, black-rimmed eyes. The Australian Terrier is a small, sturdy, medium-boned working terrier standing about 10-11 inches heigh at the withers. Aussies weigh between 9 and 14 pounds, and their lifespan is 12 to 15 years, and female Aussies have 3 to 6 puppies per litter, once per year.

What is the Average Maintenance Cost for Australian Terriers?

Australian Terriers are popular in the United States. The prices of Aussies range between $1,440 and $1,600. The cost of a puppy from a registered breeder could vary, depending on the breeder you select, the location, the sex of the puppy, and, of course, the demand for the breed at the time. The bloodline of the puppy and its parents could also affect the price. You will be hard-pressed to find this breed in a shelter, but if you do, the price will typically be based on the cost of care provided while keeping the Australian Terrier.

It is always best to consider annual expenses related to maintaining your Australian Terrier and its wellbeing before making the purchase. The first year will be the most expensive, as puppies require extra vet care and more one-time purchases like microchips, spaying or neutering, etc. You can expect to spend about $3,920 for your dog’s first year. After that, the price will go down to about $1,200 a year. 

The typical annual costs of having a medium-sized canine such as an Australian Terrier, food and medical only, excluding toys, food and water bowls, cages, doggy blankets, beds, etc., could cost an average of $650. The most regular annual expenses for dogs similar to the Australian Terrier are listed below.

  • Food items
  • Veterinary care
  • Vaccinations
  • Preventive medicine
  • Toys
  • Pet insurance
  • Pet Supplies

Other potential expenses include training, socializing, doggy daycare, dog sitters, dog walkers, etc. Grooming might have a minimal effect on the maintenance costs. Although Australian Terriers’ coats are low maintenance, trimming the hairs around the eyes and ears might be necessary. You might do it yourself or treat your Aussie to a professional grooming session once a month. Besides that, frequent brushing of the coat is enough because they are low shedders.

The Australian Terrier does not tend to drool excessively; in fact, the breed hardly ever drools. Drooling is the unintentional saliva flowing outside of the mouth. The Australian Terrier has a moderate risk of obesity, especially if working dogs become house pets with insufficient exercise. Daily walks should be on schedule. To make your dog happy and fit, feed him with premium quality dry dog food and live an active life together.

What is the best diet for Australian Terriers?

Small breeds typically have higher energy requirements, per pound, than larger dogs. For example, a small terrier on the go all the time will use up much more energy than a larger dog who has a more relaxed attitude about life. Even if you have a large dog who has a good run every day, he probably uses his energy in spurts. Smaller dogs typically have a faster metabolism than larger dogs; therefore, small breeds need more calories than large breeds.

At the same time, they are small, with small stomachs, and they can’t eat large meals. So their dog food must be more calorie- and nutrient-dense. If you compare the labels of small breed dog foods with those for other dogs, you’ll notice that small breed foods usually have more calories per cup than other foods. 

Small dogs can also have a much longer lifespan than larger dogs. The quality of the nutrients in dog food is always crucial, but it’s essential for the long-term health of small breeds. The food you feed your small breed dog when it is 2-5 years old can affect the Aussie when it’s 15 years old – or older. The food must have the vitamins and minerals a small breed dog needs for long-term health.

It is always a good idea to discuss your dog’s dietary needs with your vet to ensure you are prepared to deal with age-related issues as their Australian Terriers grow. A veterinarian can advise on diets, portion sizes, meal frequencies, and all nutrition matters to ensure your furry friend lives a long life with optimal health. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times, and some of the essential nutrients are listed below:

  • Protein
  • Fatty acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

Avoid feeding your Australian Terrier from the table; all it does is add weight. Instead, follow the advice below to ensure your Australian Terrier friend’s optimal health. Feeding Australian Terriers several meals instead of one meal per day can prevent life-threatening bloat. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian. 

A premium dry dog food should form the basis of your Aussie’s diet. You can add variety by supplementing this food with fresh meat, bones, cooked eggs, canned wet dog food, and even fruits and vegetables, but keep these additions to no more than 10 percent of the dog’s daily diet. 

The best dry dog food for your Aussie is Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Dry Dog Food. This natural dry food is specially formulated to provide whole-body nutritional support for your small breed dog in a smaller kibble size. It is crafted using carefully chosen ingredients that include premium proteins and wholesome grains supported by omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, and taurine. Below is a list of what to look for in the dry dog food formula when choosing the best nutrition for your Australian Terrier.

  • Lasting energy providers: Dog food made with premium meats like chicken, duck, turkey, beef, lamb, salmon, and novel proteins like venison, bison, buffalo, and wild boar. Fiber-rich carbs and highly digestible proteins keep your Aussie feeling energized and full throughout the day.
  • Ingredients for better health: Food that includes powerful superfoods like tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries, along with their immune-boosting properties.
  • Optimizing Nutrient Absorption: Recipes with chelated minerals promote mineral attachment to proteins for maximized absorption during the digestive process.
  • Immune System Support: Formulas with prebiotics and species-specific probiotics with bacteria naturally found in a dog’s GI tract.
  • Perfectly Balanced Omegas: Contains the correct dose of fatty acids, marine-sourced omega-3 and omega-6 from plant sources.

When Australian Terriers are healthy and active, every day is an adventure. That’s why Wellness Small Breed Complete Health for active breeds is crafted with everything dogs need to thrive, starting with real protein as the first ingredient.

How Much Should an Australian Terrier Puppy Eat? 

The Australian Terrier is a small-sized breed whose pups under 12 weeks should get four bowls of food per day. When Aussie puppies become three months old, owners can feed them three meals per day until they reach six months, reducing the food intake to 2 meals per day. Only high-quality and branded puppy food is acceptable. Guidance for feeding puppies is listed below.

  • Australian Terrier puppies need slow, sustained growth to help prevent orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia. Raise them on a diet designed for medium-breed puppies. Whatever diet you choose shouldn’t overemphasize protein, fat, and calorie levels.
  • Aussies should be fed according to a schedule, spreading meal times over two or three times per day. Getting the puppy accustomed to meals at specific times is better than leaving food out to allow feeding throughout the day.
  • Australian Terriers with medical conditions like hypoglycemia or low blood sugar are the exceptions because they need to nibble bits of food throughout the day.
  • Never feed your Aussies puppy from the table. It only encourages begging. Everyone in the family must follow this rule.

What are the common health problems of Australian Terriers?

Australian Terriers are very healthy dogs, with no deadly diseases linked to the breed. The few non-critical health issues in Aussies are listed below.

  • Skin allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive problems

However, as with any breed, they have several inheritable conditions associated with their bloodlines that could develop if you buy an Aussie puppy from a shady breeder. Making sure you find a responsible breeder that performs health tests on prospective parents can reduce the risk of your puppy developing the conditions listed below.

  • Luxating Patella: This is a condition that many small breeds can suffer from. The knee joint can slip in and out of position, and the problem can range from mild to severe. In severe cases, surgery may be required to provide pain relief and increased mobility.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: This relates to an abnormal formation of the hip joint. It usually shows early in the dog’s life, and corrective surgery can have good results.
  • Diabetes: If your dog is suffering from diabetes, you may see them with increased thirst and hunger levels and a need to urinate more. They can start to lose weight and become lethargic. While it can be severe if left untreated, this condition can be successfully managed after diagnosis.
  • Allergies are a common ailment in Australian Terriers. Allergies can be food-related, or your Aussie may be especially sensitive to chemicals and herbicides in some foods. However, along with food allergies, herbicides can also cause contact allergies caused by treated plants the Aussie may touch. Also, inhalant allergies if your Aussie moves about where herbicides are sprayed and carried in the air they breathe.

What are the nutritional needs of Australian Terriers?

The nutritional needs of an Australian Terrier include high levels of specific nutrients. The essential nutrients for the Aussie are listed below.

  • Protein: Australian Terriers need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids they contain essential for an Aussie’s health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal protein provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the Australian Terrier’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adults and senior Australian Terriers need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the Australian Terrier sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s protein absorption to build lean muscle. Beware, though, too much carbohydrate can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: DHA is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in Australian Terrier puppies, and DHA develops cognitive development in puppies and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging Aussies by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of the Australian Terrier Aussie.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health, and other valuable micronutrients for promoting strong joints in Australian Terriers are chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for an Australian Terrier’s growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of Aussies.

Where to Buy or Adopt an Australian Terrier?

Whether you want to buy an Australian Terrier as a vermin hunter on a farm or a companion dog in the city, researching available breeders is the best place to start. Also, never rush into this because there are thousands of unregistered, inexperienced breeders out there, not to mention the online scams.

Finding a good breeder is the key to finding the right Aussie for you. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy and will, without question, have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. They are more interested in placing pups in suitable homes than making big bucks. 

Be wary of breeders who only tell you the good things about the breed or promote the dogs as being “good with kids,” not to mention those who offer a discount if you take more than one puppy.

The best way to ensure you get a healthy Australian Terrier puppy from a breeder or a rescue organization is to reach out to the registered organizations for the specific breed, if available. Below are several authoritative entities that might put potential Aussie owners in touch with reputable breeders or rescue centers.

  • Australian Terrier Rescue – Each State has Dedicated Coordinator(s) to assist you in either finding an Australian Terrier to adopt, helping with re-homing, or offering advice when needed, covering the United States and Canada.
  • American Kennel Club Marketplace (United States)
  • United Kennel Club (International)
  • The Australian Terrier Club of America (ATCA)
  • Temora Australian Terriers L.L.C. – Temora is the Midwest Rescue Coordinator for Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri & Minnesota. If you are interested in adopting an Australian Terrier through Rescue, visit their website.
  • Australian Terrier International rescues and Breed Referral.
  • The Kennel Club (United Kingdom)
  • The Australian Terrier Breeders International
  • Europetnet

If you manage to track down Australian Terrier breeders, make sure you go to the facility and insist on meeting both the puppies’ parents so that you can get a feel for their temperament. Australian Terrier puppies are often peppy and playful, and all should have cheery expressions and kind eyes.

It might take some time to find a legitimate breeder, and travel may very well be in the cards. Steer clear of backyard breeding by avoiding sales sites and ad pages. When you select a breeder, make sure they have proof of successful, healthy litters with any documentation necessary.

Although you might find an Australian Terrier puppy or a rescued adult to adopt or buy from abroad, not all countries allow importing adopted dogs. Those whose countries allow the importation of Australian Terriers may find the logistics challenging. 

Procedures include obtaining certification from a vet to prove the Australian Terrier is fully vaccinated and providing all the additional required veterinary documents before the travel. Furthermore, your country must approve the veterinarian to authorize the importation, and it will be your responsibility to ensure you use the services of a certified vet.

What Dog Breeds are Similar to the Australian Terrier?

The Aussie is a fun-loving, upbeat dog that makes a great companion for any individual or family who wants to share his energetic lifestyle. Devoted to his owners, he’s happiest when he’s part of daily family life. Aussies like to be in the house, playing with the kids, following you from room to room, or shouldering his way to the front door when you greet a friend. He is clever and should be easy to train — as long as you keep him busy and never, ever bore him.

Below is a list of similar breeds to consider when adopting a puppy.

Airedale Terrier: The Airedale is a hunting dog like the Australian Terrier. They are also independent, courageous, intelligent, and strong-minded. They are easy to train and are very friendly. more about Airedale Terrier social life, care & diet information.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: Like Aussies, these spaniels are affectionate and playful. They are highly affectionate and make perfect family pets. There are numerous rescues in existence for both Cavalier adults and puppies.

Dachshund: This breed is a small dog with a bold and energetic personality. Like Australian terriers, they are hunting dogs, loyal and affectionate to their family. Dachshunds are also excellent guard dogs, and they are easy to groom because of their short hair.

Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.