The Australian Terrier, a Breed of Firsts

When the AKC officially admitted the Australian Terrier to its registry in 1960, it was the first terrier added in 24 years. It was also the first Australian-bred dog ever to be recognized and shown in Australia, and the first breed developed in Australia to be shown and recognized by the kennel clubs of other countries. It is Australia’s national terrier, but not its only terrier as the Tenterfield Terrier was also developed there.

The Aussie was developed to be a hard bitten working dog who could survive in Australia’s harsh Outback, and deal with the rodents and slithery snakes found in there. Among the smallest of the working terriers, the Aussie was first exhibited as the “broken-coated terrier of blackish blue sheen, but later names included the Blue and Tan Terrier, the Toy, and in 1900, the “Rough-Coated Terrier, Blue and Tan.” For quite a while, it was the only terrier other than the Miniature Schnauzer that didn’t develop in the British Isles. The Cesky Terrier and American Hairless Terrier, of course, have since added more diversity in terms of origin.

Image of “Aussies in the Sandpit” tapestry throw designed by artist, and longtime Aussie owner, Claudia Coleman available at the Aussie Store on the AKC parent club’s website.

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