Australian Terrier

Breed Characteristics

The Australian Terrier is a bold and courageous breed that is not afraid to stand up for itself. They were originally bred to hunt and control vermin, so they have a strong prey drive and a natural instinct to protect their family. This breed is known for their high energy levels and playful nature. They enjoy playing games, going for walks, and exploring their environment.

Is the Australian Terrier approved as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?



The Australian Terrier is a small breed of dog that originated in Australia in the 19th century. It was developed by crossing various terrier breeds, such as the Irish Terrier, the Yorkshire Terrier, and the Skye Terrier, with the intention of creating a small, fearless and hardy breed that could control pests, such as snakes and rats, on farms and in mines. The breed was officially recognised by the Australian Kennel Club in 1933.

Original Purpose

The original purpose of the Australian Terrier was to serve as a vermin hunter and control pests on farms and in mines. It was bred to be small, fearless, and hardy, able to effectively eliminate snakes and rats that were damaging crops and infrastructure. The breed was also used for companionship and as a watchdog.

Behaviour and Temperament

The Australian Terrier is known for its lively and energetic personality. They are affectionate and loyal to their owners, and make good companion dogs. They are alert and confident, and make good watchdogs, as they will bark to alert their owners to any perceived threat. These dogs are intelligent and eager to please, making them easy to train. They are also independent and can be stubborn at times, so consistent training and socialisation are important for them. They tend to get along well with children and other pets, as long as they are properly socialised from an early age. Overall, the Australian Terrier is a lively, energetic, and intelligent breed that makes a great companion for the right owner.

What are some Physical Features of the Australian Terrier?

The Australian Terrier is a small, sturdy breed with several distinctive physical features. Generally standing about 25 cm tall at the shoulder and weighing between 6 to 7 kg, the Australian Terrier is generally smaller than the Australian Silky Terrier. The breed has a distinctive triangular-shaped head with a short, blunt muzzle, dark, expressive eyes, and upright, V-shaped ears. They have a muscular, compact body with a level back, strong legs, and a high-set tail that is usually docked.

The Australian Terrier's coat colour can be blue and tan, sand, or solid red.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

Australian Terriers have a double coat, with a soft, dense undercoat and a wiry, harsh outer coat that is hypoallergenic. Their coat comes in various colours, including blue and tan, sand, and solid red. The Australian Terrier is a low-maintenance breed that requires minimal grooming to keep them looking and feeling their best. Regular brushing with a soft-bristled brush can help to remove loose hair, prevent tangles, and distribute natural oils throughout the coat. Brushing once or twice a week is usually sufficient.

Life Expectancy of the Australian Terrier

The life expectancy of the Australian Terrier is around 12 to 15 years. This is a relatively long lifespan for a small dog breed, and is due in part to their generally healthy genetics and lack of major health problems.

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Health Concerns

The Australian Terrier can be prone to certain health concerns. Some of the health issues that are commonly seen in this breed include:

Luxating Patella: This is a condition where the knee cap pops out of place, causing discomfort and pain.

Skin Issues: Some Australian Terriers are prone to skin allergies, which can cause itching, redness, and hair loss.

Eye Problems: Cataracts are a common eye problem in this breed.

Deafness: Some Australian Terriers can be born deaf or can develop deafness as they age.

Dental Problems: Like many small dogs, Australian Terriers can be prone to dental problems, such as tartar build-up and gum disease.

It is important to have your Australian Terrier examined by a veterinarian regularly, and to be proactive in addressing any health concerns as they arise. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and regular exercise can help to minimise the risk of health problems and ensure that your dog lives a happy and healthy life.

Exercise Needs

As a small breed, the Australian Terrier does not require a lot of exercise, but they do need regular, consistent physical activity to maintain their health and well-being. A daily walk or play session is usually sufficient to meet their exercise needs.


The Australian Terrier is an indoor breed and is not well-suited to life outside in a kennel or backyard. They should be kept indoors with their family and should have access to a secure and safe outdoor area for exercise and elimination. Despite their small size, the Australian Terrier is an active breed that needs enough space to move around freely. A small apartment or house with a secure yard or outdoor space is ideal.


In general, the Australian Terrier is an outgoing breed that loves attention and interaction. They are good with children and enjoy playing and being around people. They also tend to get along well with other dogs, although they can be wary of strange dogs and may bark at them. With proper socialization and training, however, they can learn to get along with other animals.

It's important to keep in mind that, as a small breed, the Australian Terrier may be sensitive to rough handling, so it's important to supervise interactions with children and teach them how to handle their pet gently.


The Australian Terrier is an intelligent breed that enjoys learning new things. Training sessions can provide mental stimulation and help to strengthen the bond between you and your dog.

Recommended Activities

Agility training and other dog sports, such as flyball, are a great way for the Australian Terrier to exercise both physically and mentally. Hiking and outdoor adventures can be a great way for the Australian Terrier to exercise, explore, and use their natural instincts.