If you have a rat problem and aren’t a cat lover (or are allergic), an Australian Terrier may be the perfect dog for you. These hybrid terriers were bred for the purpose of killing rats and snakes in 19th century Australia.
Size: 10 inches tall, 10 to 15 pounds.
Color: Black and tan, solid sandy or solid red.
Life span: 11 to 14 years.
Health problems: Nothing of note; Australian Terriers are generally healthy dogs that live long, full lives.
Australian Terriers descended from European terriers, therefore, they can come in a wide variety of colors: black like the Scottish Terrier, black and tan like a Yorkshire Terrier, silvery like a Cairn Terrier or pure white like a West Highland Terrier, or any of these color combinations. The constant is their coarse outer coat over a soft undercoat. Their double coat helps them during inclement weather.
Australian Terriers are friendly, fun-loving and a bit cheeky. They may be a small dog, but they haven’t figured that out. Loyal to a fault (they can do well on a farm as long as they’re allowed to be near you), energetic and intelligent, Aussies are responsive and protective companions. They have keen hearing and eyesight which help them to be inquisitive too. Aussies aim to please and love obedience classes!
Aussies do have a tendency to bark so you’ll need to engage in some training for that. They have a tendency to snap at overeager children or small animals outside their home, making socialization an important training skill set as well.
A brushing several times a week will suffice to take care of the Aussie’s beautiful coat. These brushings will bring out the natural oils and give the coat a high gloss sheen. Bathe your Aussie once a month — never more than that. Brush out the coat as it dries. Regularly trim around the eyes and ears. Aussies shed very little hair.