The Australian Terrier is a breed originating in Australia bred as a versatile farm dog. Despite its size, the breed is noted for its bravery for hunting and its vigorous body. They are energetic, affectionate and loyal dogs, ideal for family life.
Dogs of the breed are small in size, but robustly built. The breed usually weighs between 5.5 and 8 kilograms, and measure between 25.5 and 28 centimeters. Life expectancy is 11 to 15 years and they belong to Group 3 of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which groups Terriers.
Breed history in brief
The Australian Terrier is a breed that originated in 19th century Australia where it was bred to be a versatile dog to help farmers eliminate and control rodents and other pests. The Australian Terrier is one of the few breeds in the Terrier group that has been bred outside of Great Britain, despite its British ancestry.
The breed was introduced to the United States in the 1940s where it was primarily used as a companion animal. To this day, Australian Terriers continue to perform their duties as working dogs in some parts of the world, although they are most often life companions in many families because of their affectionate and loyal nature.
The Australian Terrier is a small but robust dog, elongated and with short limbs. The topline is level and the chest shows moderate depth and width. The eyes are small, oval and dark brown. The ears are pointed and erect, while the tail is usually docked.
The coat of this breed is double with a short, soft-textured undercoat and a rough, medium-length topcoat. Some areas such as the muzzle, underside of the limbs and feet should not show long hair. The coat color is usually sandy or blue with tan markings, although it may have some alternating black or silver hairs in its coat.
Dogs of the Australian Terrier breed are known for their loyalty and, although they have the typical strong character of Terriers, they are also balanced. These characteristics, together with their energetic and affectionate personality, make them excellent companion animals. They are easily trainable dogs that excel in dog sports such as obedience and agility.
Common health problems
Australian Terriers, with optimal care and attention, can enjoy a long healthy life, although they are predisposed to certain health problems. Among the most common diseases or disorders are dwarfism, multiple colobomas, retinal detachment, Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada-like syndrome, osteochondrosis, cataracts, congenital deafness, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, microphthalmia, progressive retinal atrophy, spina bifida, vitiligo and von Willebrand's disease.
In addition, the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends screening for autoimmune thyroiditis.
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