Aussie (National Terrier of Australia)
The Australian Terrier is a small breed of dog in the terrier family. The Australian Terrier stands around 10 inches (25 cm) high at the withers and weighs around 14 pounds (7 kg). It is a low-set dog; the length of its body is longer than its height at the withers. The Aussie has a high-set tail that is customarily docked.
The head of the Australian Terrier is elongated, with a slight stop and pricked ears. The ANKC breed standard describes the dog's look as "hard bitten" and "rugged". The eyes are small, dark, and oval and must have a keen terrier expression. The leather of the nose runs up to the bridge of the muzzle, which is described as "strong".
The dog's coat is rough or harsh to the touch, with a soft undercoat and a distinctive ruff around the neck. The breed standard specifies that it should be untrimmed, but some prefer to neaten the dog for the show ring. Acceptable colours are shades of blue or grey with tan face markings, or red.
The Aussie should have the personality of a working terrier; its even disposition makes it suitable for a companion dog.
The Australian Terrier was the first native-bred Australian dog to be shown, and the first to be recognized overseas. Its origins are uncertain, but its immediate ancestor was without doubt developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1800s from the precursors of today's British and Scottish terriers. Some of these breeds are now extinct, but the Aussie likely has a mixed ancestry comprising the same dog types that produced today's Dandie Dinmont, Manchester, Irish, and Cairn terriers.
A new rough-coated terrier was evident in Australia by the late middle-nineteenth century; the selectively-bred terrier was used for rodent and snake control, as a watchdog, and occasionally for sheep herding.
The first Broken-coated Terriers were exhibited in Melbourne in 1868 and the Australian Rough-Coated Terrier Club was founded in Melbourne in 1887. The breed was exhibited as the Australian Terrier, Rough-Coated in 1899. Official breed status was granted in the UK in 1933 and in the US in 1960.
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