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The Australian Terrier Club of America

Dedicated to the Advancement of Quality, Purebred Australian Terriers

AKC Parent Club Member 1977
Founded 1958

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ACQUIRING AN AUSSIE

Are you considering adding an Australian Terrier to your family?

The Australian Terrier was developed as a companion and will be happiest when with “his/her” people. Aussies are not suited to living outside, or spending long hours in a run or fenced yard alone. They are happiest when in close contact with their families.

See our About Australian Terriers page for more information on the Australian Terrier.

Here are some frequently asked questions that will help you decide if an Aussie is the breed for you.

Australian Terrier FAQs

How long will it take me to find the right Aussie?

You may have to wait six months to a year to find the right Aussie for your family. Keep in mind that an Aussie will be a member of your family for the next 12 to 16 years or more and is well worth waiting for if this is the breed for you. While you are looking, you can be gathering the many things you will need when you bring the new addition home. Books, toys, a crate, a pen, feeding dishes, grooming tools, etc., all take time and money to acquire. You will also need to check and repair your fence and “puppy proof” your home. Visit our Breeder Directory page for a listing of breeders in your area.

Are Aussies good with children?

This is highly dependent on adult supervision and the age of the children. If the adult in charge has taught the children proper respect for the puppy’s rights and care of the puppy, Aussies and children can be a happy combination. Children, particularly 10 and older, can enjoy playing a good game of soccer or catch with an Aussie. They are sturdy for their size. No child should be the primary caretaker of any dog. This must be an adult’s responsibility. Aussies are not recommended for the home where children from the entire neighborhood gather to play. This can lead to too much excitement for an Aussie and may lead to unintentional consequences.

Do Aussies bark?

They are not yappers, but they do like to bark to announce a visitor. Early training and adequate attention will lessen the chance of obnoxious barking.

Do Aussies dig?  Can I train him not to dig?

Yes, they might dig; they were bred for going to ground so digging is natural for terriers. If an Aussie has the instinct to dig and hunt, he is not easily discouraged.

Are Aussies hyper?

No; but they are energetic. “Laid back” is not descriptive of the Aussie.

Are Aussies obedient?

They can make good obedience dogs with proper training. Modern training methods are very effective with Aussies. Aussies are highly food motivated and rewarding training with treats is very helpful.  There are many excellent books and videos on training and your puppy’s breeder should be able to refer you to local puppy training and obedience classes.

Do Aussies like to travel?

Yes! They like to go with you. Puppies need to become accustomed to the car at an early age. A crate is his seat belt. “Crate for safety!”

Do Aussies like to swim, go on boats or hike?

Some do but they MUST be supervised. Swimming pools can be a death trap for any dog. They cannot get out!  Also, chlorine is very hard on the coat and skin. They like to share in your activities. There are backpacks and life preservers especially for dogs. And don’t forget a good quality collar and leash.

Are Aussies good with other animals? Dogs? Cats?

Every situation is unique. Aussies can get along with other animals under the right circumstances. Dominant, unaltered male Aussies often have difficulty getting along with other unaltered male dogs.

What will buying a puppy cost?

The price of a companion quality Aussie puppy varies significantly depending on where you buy your dog. Commercial and hobby breeders (puppy mills) charge less than a reputable preservation breeder with championship stock. Stud fees, shipping, pre-breeding tests, veterinary expenses, occasional Caesarian sections, vaccinations, feeding, and other supplies are all costly. Money from the sale of puppies does not cover all of these expenses, let alone the time invested for good care and socialization. Young adults and rescued Aussies cost considerably less and usually make wonderful pets.

Do Aussies make a good lap dog?

Many can be, however, some Aussies are too independent to be held for long periods. While they like to be in close proximity, some find a corner of the room or a spot near a heater vent to be ideal. However, there are some exceptions, and it has nothing to do with the sex of the dog.

Are Aussies smart/intelligent?

Yes! They also get bored with repetitive training very easily.

Are Aussies easy to train?

Aussies enjoy treats and pleasing their owners. They can be a bit stubborn when bored, and may express their independent nature on occasion by demanding “What’s in it for me?” Patience, encouragement, praise, and rewards such as treats or play maybe required to train new behaviors.

Do Aussies shed?

They do shed their undercoat. However, they do not shed profusely. Regular weekly brushing and combing will reduce shedding to a minimum.

Do Aussies run or roam?

Yes. Aussies are hunters and even the most well-trained and obedient Aussie is not reliable when he spots a squirrel, bird or other varmint. A leash and a fence are your symbols of love. Neutering and spaying will reduce the desire to roam.

How do I get on a breeder’s list?

Each breeder handles prospective buyers in his/her own way. However, persistence pays off. Visit local dog shows and read up on the breed. Knowledgeable and persistent buyers seem to find a puppy sooner.

Do Aussies make good gifts?

It is generally not a good idea to surprise someone with a living, breathing gift. A book with lots of pictures or a toy Aussie make a wonderful presentation and can be beautifully gift wrapped!

What should I feed my Aussie?

You will want to feed your dog a premium quality food found in pet stores. Your choice of food is very important for its total wellbeing. Select a premium quality food made with real meat including chicken, fish or lamb. The animal-based protein in these products provides superior digestibility, optimal nutrition and great taste.  Talk with your breeder for suggestions about the type of food, feeding schedules and portion sizes.

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