Though one of the smallest terriers, the rugged Australian Terrier was developed in the harsh conditions of the Australian Outback, where he worked side by side with the pioneers--controlling rats and snakes, alerting humans to intruders, even tending sheep. He's ready for any situation. With that easy self-confidence comes his readiness to enjoy a good friendship.
The Australian Terrier repays your attentions with a steady devotion. Since he considers himself part of the family, the Aussie gets along well with other animals and with children.
He has a double coat: a harsh outer coat and a softer undercoat. The colors are blue and tan, solid sandy, and solid red. The lighter hair on the top of his head stands up in a natural silky brush. He has naturally upstanding ears and a docked tail.
In 1868, the Australian Terrier was the first Australian breed of dog to be officially recognized by that country.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: A small, sturdy working terrier, possessing a harsh, straight coat with a silky topknot. Expression is keen and intelligent; manner is spirited and self-assured.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--10 to 11 inches at withers.
So important is this dog's temperament (disposition) to breeders of the Australian Terrier, that they consider shyness or aggression toward people a fault of the breed. These dogs are keen, intelligent, spirited, and self-assured, but never spooky or mean.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.