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Australian Terrier
History
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The Australian Terrier was the first Australian breed to be recognized and shown in its native land, and was also the first Australian breed to be accepted officially in other countries. An Australian native-bred, broken-coated terrier made its first appearance on the show bench in Melbourne in 1868. In 1899 the breed was exhibited specifically as "Australian Terriers, Rough-Coated," and both sandy/red and blue/tan colors are noted in show records of that year. An Australian Rough-Coated Terrier Club, founded in Melbourne in 1887, made the first attempt at standardizing the breed, and by 1896 a Standard for the breed had been established. Exports to England and the United States soon followed, and in 1933 breed status was granted in England. The American Kennel Club admitted the breed to registry in 1960, its first terrier addition in 24 years and the 114th breed entered in the AKC Stud Book.

In 1977, the Australian Terrier Club of America became a member club of the AKC. Today the breed is officially recognized and shown in many countries worldwide.

This dog, one of the smallest of the working terriers, was bred to be both helper and companion in rough times and terrain. A native dog known as the Rough-Coated Terrier, a close relative of the old Scotch dog of Great Britain (not the present-day Scottish Terrier), had been in Tasmania since the early 1880's. These terriers are believed to have been cross-bred with a number of other breeds of British terrier stock to produce the fast, sturdy, rough, weatherproof, fearless little dog which the settlers needed as they expanded the frontiers of their country - helping to control rodents and snakes on the waterfronts, farms, sheep, and cattle stations in the outback, sometimes tending sheep, sounding an alarm when intruders appeared, and being a companion. The breeds chosen for crossbreeding were selected to promote specific desired traits. Although there are differences among writers of the histories of the Australian Terrier breed, there is consensus of opinion that the breeds used included the precursors of the Dandie Dinmont, Skye, Yorkshire, and the old Black-and-Tan Terriers (today's Manchester) with perhaps the Irish and Cairn Terriers. Fortunately, the various crossbreedings produced a handsome dog which the prosperous settlers were proud to show at home or in public.

The Australian Terrier is an excellent choice for show, city, home, or farmland. He is very spirited, with an air of self-assurance and inquiry into all that goes on about him. His excellent hearing and good eyesight make him a fine watch-alert dog to warn of any kind of disturbance. He is generally adaptable to any climate and terrain, and his weatherproof double coat, which sheds little, keeps him comfortable year-round.





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