ORIGINS OF THE AUSTRALIAN TERRIER
A characteristic of the Australian Terrier both then and now is their very keen hearing and they were very popular as watch dogs in the olden days. It is said that they can hear a pin drop before it drops on the floor!
Through time breeders wanted to develop a larger tougher blue and tan terrier that could control vermin, snakes, rabbits and any other small game that caused problems to farmers in the Outback and therefore the broken haired dogs were crossed with Cairn Terriers to give the harsh and weather proof coat which they still have today.
The Scottish Terrier was also used in the breeding of the modern Australian Terrier not only for his coat but also for the shape of his head and the Dandie Dinmont Terrier added the soft lighter colored top knot. It is said that the prick eared Skye Terrier and Irish Terriers, Manchester Terriers and Yorkshire Terriers could all have been used to produce the coat color as we know it today.
The Australian Terrier was recognized by the Kennel Club in the 1930's and the Australian Terrier Club of Great Britain was formed in 1933 and is celebrating its 75th year next year. Apart from the Cesky Terrier, the Australian Terrier is the only terrier in the Terrier Group which did not originate in the U.K. but of course the Australian Terrier has been developed from a mixture of British dogs.
It is believed that the first Australian Terriers were exported to England in the early 1900's and a few were exhibited at the Kennel Club Show.
The Australian Terrier has royal patronage as in 1934 the Duke of Gloucester who was the Governor General of Australia brought a pair of Australian Terriers home with him and popularized the breed in the U.K. Until her death H.R.H. Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester was the Patron of the Australian Terrier Club of Great Britain.
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