Australian Terriers can be great performance dogs. They were bred to be jacks and jills of all trades around the farms and their duties included herding livestock, killing vermin and venomous snakes. However, they were also the first terrier bred to be a companion, small enough to curl up on the hearth (or bed) at night. This resulted in a fast, agile independent working dog during the day and a companion at night.
The Australian Terrier has grown in recognition and popularity over the years and has had its share of wins in the Breed, Group, and Best in Show rings. There has been notable participation, although less widely known, in the companion and performance and family pet events as well. There are many different venues in which Aussies can obtain titles. Some examples are: Conformation, Obedience, Rally, Earthdog, Tracking, Coursing Ability and Fast CAT, Agility, Barnhunt, Dock Diving, Scent Work, and Therapy Dog Plus the CGC and Trick Dog Family Pet and Citizenship program. Aussies have achieved advanced level, titles in each of these, including Obedience Trial Champions (OTCH), Rally Champions (RACH,) Master Agility Champions (MACH) and Endurance Earthdog ( EE).
It is noteworthy that many of our companion and performance dogs are also breed champions, and many are breeder or owner handled to their other titles. There is a bond that comes from working with your dog for hours each day, for weeks and even years to get them ready for an obedience or rally or agility event. And many of these dog-handler teams go on to compete together for years. Each of these exhibitors has some really funny training stories that they could share with you if you corner one and ask them. There are certain challenges that come with training and competing with an innovative Terrier!