Here at IndulgeYourPet, we’ve found that there are generally two “camps” of thought regarding owning a “terrier.” Some folks will tell you that “terriers” are the most incredible dogs in the world, while others are usually afraid of owning one! It is probably a good thing because this “fear” ensures that only those “true” terrier people end up adopting them. Those who don’t understand the breed or aren’t prepared to put in the “work” to train one to be all they can be will move on and choose a dog breed that is easier to own!
Because let’s face it…
Any “terrier,” regardless of what kind they may be, can be a challenging dog to own even when they are as cute as the “pint” size Australian Terrier. And there lies the problem: sometimes the Australian Terrier is just too adorable to say no to, which is why he sometimes ends up in a home that was never prepared to own him. This is why in this article, we want to discuss some of the pros and cons of owning an Australian Terrier so that if you do decide to purchase an Australian Terrier puppy or, better yet, adopt an Australian Terrier rescue dog, you won’t be disappointed in your decision six months from now.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Australian Terrier Fast Facts
Country of Origin: Australia
Original Purpose: Hunting small vermin
Height: 10 to 11 inches tall
Weight: 12 to 14 pounds
Dog Breed Classification: Terrier group
Origin of the Australian Terrier
Interestingly enough, the Australian Terrier is initially believed to have originated in its earliest form from Tasmania, where its ancestors were used to hunt out and rid homes and farms of all sorts of vermin, including snakes and rodents. They also functioned very well as “watchdogs” ready to sound the alarm at any moment. Later, during the late 1700s, the breed eventually made its way to Australia, where it was “cross-bred” with a whole host of different dog breeds, including the:
As well as probably any other “terriers” these original farmers/breeders could get their hands on!
During this time…
Due to the circumstances of earlier settlement life in Australia, these dogs were bred to work and offer companionship to people living under duress out in the bush! So.. not much thought was given about the “proper” etiquette of breeding standards. All these folks cared about was…
“Did the mix produce a good dog?”
, However, the Australian Terriers wear one distinct badge of honor with pride: they are recognized as the first Australian native breed. And while they were initially called the Australian Rough-Coated Terrier at their recognition in 1897, their name has changed.
The Australian Terrier has a shaggy, rough outer coat and a silky soft undercoat. This might sound like a problem initially because most dogs with a “double coat” have nightmares about shedding. But this isn’t the case with Australian Terriers. They don’t shed nearly as much as other dogs their size. And while most pictures will often show the “red” version, Australian Terriers can come in various colors, including red, sandy, or a combination of blue and tan.
One thing you’ll have to remember with this breed is that Australian Terriers are prone to developing ear infections, so this will be something that, as an owner, you’ll want to keep in mind and be sure to check and clean your Terrier’s ears frequently.
Personality and Temperament
Probably the best way to describe an Australian terrier is to think of that one friend of yours who is the life of the party… Now, “morph” that person into the shape of an Australian Terrier, and there you go! And what you probably get is a lot of fun mixed in with a bit of mischief. And like that good friend of yours, sometimes it can be a bit much to handle, but if you’re looking for a dog to keep you on your toes, an Australian Terrier might be for you!
Weighing in at a meager 10-16 pounds, this breed has a lot of grit. Sure, they’ll love spending time in your lap, but they’ll also be constantly vigilant, looking for any unusual behavior to bark at and always looking for a bit of fun. They’re also brilliant and ready to learn about everything, making them a bit easier to train than your average Terrier. But since they are a terrier, there’s a good chance that even after he learns what he should or shouldn’t do, he’ll decide for himself what “ought” to be done.
Potential Health Concerns
This is a pretty healthy breed, but like with every species, a lot will depend on your dog’s breeders. The best way to ensure that the Australian Terrier dog you’re considering adopting is healthy is to check if your breeder is registered with the American Kennel Club. So, before you choose to adopt, do some research… And make sure the breeder can provide sample documentation of your Aussie’s lineage.
This will help, but remember, things can always happen no matter how careful you are. In the case of the Australian Terrier dog breed, even the “best” puppies from the most reputable breeder can develop some health issues later in life.
Health issues such as:
- Legg-Perthes Disease: This is a hip joint problem. In the best-case scenario, your dog can enter doggie physical therapy and resolve the issue. But, it may also require surgery if the disease advances. After surgery, your dog will be as good as new – but your wallet may not be! This surgery can cost up to $6000!
- Patellar Luxation: Another disorder that can impact your pup’s stride, patellar luxation is a kneecap dislocation. This is likely to cause some problems, and if very bad, may require surgery (though usually this isn’t necessary). Again, you’ll be out thousands of dollars if you haven’t planned.
- Allergies: Phew!
Finally, it is a health concern that isn’t too big a deal. Sure, your dog may be sneezing or even swelling up, but once you know your dog’s triggers, it should be fairly easy to manage – if your Terrier doesn’t get into something he shouldn’t while you’re not around (which is likely with this mischief maker)! \
The main expenses will be before you know what is wrong with your dog. You will have to treat any allergy attacks and might be asked by your vet to do a whole series of allergy tests to determine the cause. This will probably cost less than $1000. We like to because we here at IndulgeYourPet feel that any new pet owner should take a minute and consider purchasing a pet insurance policy for their new family member.
Will a pet insurance policy be a good “fit” for everyone?
No, probably not. But how will you learn without knowing how much it would cost to insure your animal?
This is why we’ve written our Best Pet Insurance Company article so that our readers can get a “general” idea of whether or not it makes sense for them to consider getting insured.