Australian Terrier Breed Information and Buying advice

Australian Terrier

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Australian Terrier?

Quick Australian Terrier Facts

Average Size of Adult
Small (2/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Average Life Span
12-14 years (5/8)
Exercise Requirements
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Child friendly
Yes (1/2)
High (3/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Breed Group
Terrier (4/8)
Yes (1/2)

Australian Terrier (Aussie)


A happy little terrier native to Australia, the Australian Terrier is a popular breed around the world today. Their terrier temperament and adorable appearance make them an ideal companion pet and/or working dog for agricultural lifestyles as well.

First-time pet owners will be delighted to know that the lovely little Aussie is an excellent choice due to his adaptability, friendliness, loyalty, and high intelligence.

Physical Appearance 

Australian Terriers are a small-sized breed that are distinguished by being low-set, longer in proportion to their height, and robust. As a terrier, they always appear alert and watchful.

Their small, oval eyes and their small and erect ears give them a cute, cuddly look that owners around the world have come to adore.

Aussies have a harsh, straight, and dense topcoat and a soft, textured undercoat of fur. Coat colours include blue, steel blue, and dark grey blue as the main body colour with a deep tan elsewhere such as on the ears, lower legs, and underbody. Rich, darker colours are preferred. Clear or sandy red coat colours are possible, but these colours are objectionable and perhaps undesirable. White markings such as spots are always undesirable.

This breed most closely resembles the Yorkshire Terrier, Australian Silky Terrier, and to some extent the Shih Tzu and Maltese.

How big do Australian Terrier dogs get?

  • Height: 25 cm

  • Weight: 6.5 kg

Character Traits

Aussies are known for having an alert but spirited temperament, similar to many other terrier breeds. Highly intelligent, Aussies are wonderful companions despite being bred as working dogs, historically used for catching vermin originally in Britain then subsequently in Australia.

They do not typically show signs of aggression, provided they’re well socialised as puppies. Owners should use a steady, disciplined hand when training and reward good behaviour whilst avoiding harsh punishment.

Are Australian Terrier dogs intelligent? Yes.

Are Australian Terrier dogs affectionate? Yes.

Do Australian Terrier dogs have high or low energy levels? Somewhat high energy.

Are Australian Terrier dogs loyal? Yes.

Are Australian Terrier dogs playful? Yes.

Are Australian Terrier dogs aggressive? No.

Are Australian Terrier dogs easy to train? Not really.

Are Australian Terrier dogs good guard dogs? No, they are not suitable as watchdogs or guard dogs.

Ability to Socialise

Owing to their lively and loyal temperament, Australian Terriers are wonderful companion dogs and tend to get along well with other dogs, with their owners, their families, and even smaller pets. They are terriers, however, and they’ll certainly not give up a good opportunity to chase smaller animals around the home or birds or rodents found outdoors (as they are naturally bred to chase rodents).

Keep in mind that they are rather intelligent and as such can become bored if left unattended or neglected. They can be vocal and bark excessively, as well as chewing furniture, carpets, or shoes around the home if they feel neglected.

Do Australian Terrier dogs get along with other pets? Yes.

Do Australian Terrier dogs get along with other dogs? Yes.

Are Australian Terrier dogs good with kids? Yes.

Are Australian Terrier dogs good with strangers? No, they may be fairly reserved around strangers.

Lifestyle Suitability

Aussies love being outdoors and can adapt quite well to indoor living, too. Having said that, they do somewhat better in homes with fenced gardens where they can play and roam. Apartment living is possible, but they’ll need to be let out frequently to let out some of their built-up energy and to engage their natural prey drive.

Generally, they are an excellent choice for first-time dog owners. Aussie puppies, like many other terriers, are quite intelligent and require adequate training and socialisation, but they aren’t as difficult to train as many other breeds.

Are Australian Terrier dogs good for first-time owners? Yes, they are perfect for first-time owners.

Are Australian Terrier dogs hypoallergenic? Yes.

Are Australian Terrier dogs prone to drooling? No.

Are Australian Terrier dogs a good breed for apartment living? Yes.

Do  Australian Terrier dogs shed a lot? Only a little.

Do  Australian Terrier dogs bark a lot? Yes, they are known to be quite vocal.

Can Australian Terrier dogs be left alone at home? Yes, but only for short periods.

Can Australian Terrier dogs handle the heat? Yes, but not too hot.

Can Australian Terrier dogs handle cold temperatures? Yes.

Are Australian Terrier dogs sensitive to loud noises? Yes.

General Health & Health Issues

Generally, Aussies are a healthy breed with only a few health problems worth noting. Eye, knee, and thyroid tests are all recommended during routine visits to your veterinarian to ensure that your Aussie is looking and feeling great for years to come.

Endeavour to schedule routine visits even if your Aussie doesn’t show any signs or symptoms of health problems. Identifying any potential infections or diseases early on may assist greatly in diagnosing and treating them before they potentially get worse.

Some common problems include:

  • Diabetes: around 13 per cent of Aussies evaluated in the USA were found to have diabetes, making it the most common health problem in this breed;

  • Patellar luxation: common to small and miniature breeds, patellar luxation is a knee condition that can lead to a discomforting gait or limp legs;

  • Seizures: unfortunately, Aussies are fairly prone to seizures. Have them tested routinely during visits to the veterinarian;

  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease: this degenerative disease doesn’t have an exact known cause, but it presents itself as a limp due to a condition at the head of the femur and can lead to arthritis.

How long do Australian Terrier dogs live? - 12-14 years

Exercise & Play Time

You can take Aussies out of Australia, but one cannot simply take the terrier out of the Australian Terrier. As a terrier breed, Aussies are quite energetic and require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep happy and to avoid potentially naughty behaviour.

Owing to their high prey drive, Aussies love to dig, which could include flowerbeds and gardens if left unsupervised. Ensure that they’re properly trained and socialised to avoid such behaviour.

Furthermore, it’s best to allow them plenty of off-lead playtime in a garden or fenced off yard. They may also enjoy swimming, but keep an eye on them and introduce them gradually to water so as not to traumatise them.

How much exercise does an Australian Terrier dog need? - At least 1 hour per day

Do Australian Terrier dogs like water play? Yes, they are naturally great swimmers.

Nutrition & Feeding

There isn’t really anything to note that’s out of the ordinary when it comes to feeding your Aussie, which is probably a good thing. They aren’t known to be picky eaters, although as with all breeds, they’ll certainly be better off with a high-quality diet of healthy dog food packed with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to support their growth and as they age.

Are Australian Terrier dogs prone to weight gain? Yes, especially as they age.

How much should I feed an Australian Terrier puppy? About 100-130g per day, in 3-4 sessions.

How much should I feed an adult Australian Terrier dog? About 90-110g per day, in total.

Care & Maintenance

The harsh, dense topcoat on Aussies needs to be groomed fairly regularly, although when compared to other breeds, their grooming needs are about average.

Despite having a thick coat that may seem difficult to groom, they aren’t exactly the most high-maintenance breed and are instead fairly easy to care for. Their moderate amount of shedding, however, may require more frequent vacuum cleaning around the home.

Emotionally, Australian Terriers are not too demanding and can be left alone for moderate lengths of time. Just don’t make this a habit or else they can become bored and possibly destructive.

- Grooming: 2-3 times per week (or daily, if you prefer), brush your Aussie’s fur and remove any dead hairs you may find. Twice per year, have them professionally groomed and trim the hair around their feet if it’s grown too much.

- Emotional care: as an affectionate and playful breed, Aussies love the company of their owners and their families. They are able to tolerate moderate amounts of isolation, but eventually, they’ll feel separation anxiety. As a terrier, try not to make it habitual otherwise their natural tendency to dig up soil can have them digging and chewing through your furniture.

History of the Australian Terrier

In colonial Australia, the penal colony whence over 161,000 convicts were exiled from Great Britain, the new inhabitants (including free settlers) brought all they had with them, including their dogs. Many terriers, including the rough-coated terrier, were brought to Australia and subsequently bred in around 1820. The Australian Terrier, so named in 1892, was originally called the Rough Coated Terrier and was recognised formally as a breed in 1850 in Australia.

The ancestral breeds of the Australian Terrier include the Cairn Terrier, Skye Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Irish Terrier, and the Dandie Dinmont Terrier.

It proved to be an impressive and popular breed, with its first dog show performance in Melbourne in 1906. The breed was then imported in the United Kingdom at around this time and formally gained recognition by the Kennel Club in 1933.

Interesting Facts About Australian Terrier Dogs

  • Aussies were first exported from Great Britain to Australia early in the 19th century. Although Australians loved and adored them as pets, Australian Terriers were not particularly well-adapted to the much higher temperatures common in Australia;

  • As a terrier breed, Aussies were found to be exceptionally useful at chasing and catching rodents as well as snakes in the land down under;

  • The first Aussies were imported from Australia into Great Britain in 1896.

Getting an Australian Terrier Puppy

Finding an Australian Terrier puppy for sale in the UK shouldn’t be too difficult as they are an incredibly popular breed. Nevertheless, their popularity also brings about many unscrupulous breeders that may have bred puppies in unethical conditions. Please consult our buying guide to avoid scams and to select an appropriate breeder. Whether you’d like to adopt or purchase an Australian Terrier, our selection of reputable breeders in the UK may have just the perfect Aussie puppy for you to love and adore.

How much does an Australian Terrier cost to buy? - Around £200-£400.

How much does an Australian Terrier cost to feed? - An adult Australian Terrier costs about £1.00-£1.30 per day to feed.

How much does insurance for an Australian Terrier cost? - About £20-£40 per month.

Sensible alternatives to purchasing a new Australian Terrier puppy include rescue and adoption.

Additional resources can be found via Australian Terrier registries and associations such as: