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Australian Terrier

Tags: terrier, Small-sized, High energy level, Adaptable to apartment life, Kid-friendly

19th-century pioneer farmers in the Australian Outback needed a spirited terrier to control pests (rats, snakes, rabbits, and assorted vermin), to help tend the livestock, and to sound the alarm when necessary. The breed they developed -- crossing Cairn, Irish, Scottish, and Yorkshire terriers -- has a harsh, weather-resistant coat that's easy to maintain over a small (8 to 14 pounds and scarcely 9 inches at the shoulders) terrier frame. We also stood guard duty at Australian mines, and by 1868 our breed was pretty well established -- although it wasn't until 1921 that the Australian Terrier Club began and published the standards. The British Kennel Club recognized us in 1936, and the Americans in 1958.

Rave review

  • Adaptable to apartment life -- with ample exercise
  • Affectionate, devoted family friend
  • Agile and active
  • Always alert
  • Born to run, happy to walk
  • Busy is better than bored
  • Coat needs daily brushing
  • Confident and self-assured
  • Courageous canine
  • Even-tempered, good-natured

Report card

  • Independent thinker
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Lives to work
  • Loves kids and vice-versa
  • Outdoors enthusiast
  • Playful pal
  • Pleased to please
  • Caters to the country, tolerates town
  • Ready to romp
  • Socialization and training must start early
  • Willing watchdog -- with bark to match

What to expect

I'm an energetic extrovert, so get me out on a nice long walk every day where I can check out the neighborhood, meet new dogs and people, and census local wildlife. With my typical terrier personality, I might have ideas of my own -- unless training begins early and is continued with consistency. Please help me get socialized to kids and cats, if any, in my new home (I love them both, but you know how it is). Daily brushing of my long, dense coat will be appreciated by both of us.

Watch for

Generally few genetic disorders. Possible predisposition to diabetes and thyroid conditions, skin conditions in warmer climates, bone and joint disorders.

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