Top 10 Australian Dog Breeds
#1 Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog is also known as the Australian Heeler, Blue Heeler, the Queensland Heeler, and the Red Heeler.
The precursors to the modern Australian Cattle Dog were first introduced by an Englishman, Thomas Simpson Hall in around 1840. Hall’s family had numerous cattle stations spread over many areas, and he needed to herd thousands of cattle over many miles every day. The Australian dogs were incapable of achieving this task. The colonial dogs, known as Smithfields, were not very useful either. They belonged to breeds designed to herd sheep over short distances. Hall tried to remedy this problem by importing several cattle-droving dogs from his home county of Northumberland. After having limited success with the British breeds, he then bred the imported dogs with an Australian wild dog breed known as the dingo.
The Blue Heeler has a compact body that is sturdy and has well-developed muscles. This body structure gives the dog agility and strength. The body should be slightly longer than it is tall. The ratio of height (till the withers) to the length (from breastbone to rear) must be about 9:10. The eyes of this dog are dark-brown in color and ovular-shaped. The skull is broad. The ears are wide-set, small to medium-sized, and must be upright when the dog is alert. The muzzle is medium-sized. The tail is set neither too high nor too low, and is slightly curved.
Australian cattle dogs are bred to herd, so it’s only natural for them to look for things in the home they can corral when cows aren’t an option. They need to be kept busy, or the dogs will get restless and look for their own activities, like digging or tearing at furniture. In the field, Aussies herd by nipping at their targets, so they have a natural tendency to bite, even in play.
This breed is not a pack dog and prefers to be independent, although it can socialize with other dogs if taught from an early age. The Blue Heeler is an independent, intelligent, and hard-working dog. Due to its sharp and alert mind and high levels of energy, it needs to be engaged in some task and needs to be given a job to do. It is good at obedience training, and hence, it needs mental and physical activity like learning training commands and tricks, going for runs, etc. A bored dog may resort to barking, and may even experience behavior problems.
Australian Cattle Dog pups are born completely white. It is believed this may come from the Dalmatian in their bloodline, another breed whose pups are also born totally white. It can take a number of weeks but eventually their red or blue coat coloring will emerge.
In 2009, an Australian cattle dog named Sophie lived through the ultimate canine survival tale. While on a boat with her family off the coast of Queensland, Australia, the dog was thrown off when the craft hit a rough wave. The resilient pup swam five miles back to shore and ended up on St. Bees Island, an island inhabited mostly by wild horses. Sophie managed to stay alive by hunting feral goats. Eventually she was nabbed by a ranger and reunited with her family.
This breed requires a lot of exercise. A short stroll and spending some time in the park playing fetch will not suffice. It needs long, brisk walks. Jogs are better, and this dog makes an excellent jogging companion. It is not suited for apartment living; rather it needs a big yard to run around. It does better in a rural setting than in a city or urban area.
The outdoorsy dogs come in two colors: red and blue. The coats can either be speckled or mottled. Speckled coats are light spots on a dark background, while mottled are the inverse. Regardless of color or pattern, all the dogs have water-resistant double coats. The raincoat-like fur allows water to bead and glide right off, keeping the pup mostly dry and happy.
The coat of this dog protects it from both hot and cold weather. The coat is easy to maintain and requires only occasional grooming with a bristle brush; one with strong bristles, not soft ones. It is recommended not to bathe this dog unless it is absolutely necessary. Shedding occurs twice a year.
Also known as a red or blue heeler, Australian cattle dogs were used as working dogs on farms and cattle stations.
Because of their herding heritage they require plenty of exercise so this is the best jogging or running partner.
They will perform almost any exercise you will do with them including agility or playing fetch.They are very intelligent and eager to please dogs and are also a great family pet.
Australian cattle dogs can be a little bit unsure around smaller children and they tend to herd everything that moves including small kids sometimes. A term commonly used to describe these dogs is wash and wear dogs, which means they require almost no grooming. Aside from occasional brushing is of course.
#2 Australian Terrier
The origin of the Australian Terrier, as the name suggests, lies in Australia. The history of this breed goes back to 1820, when it was first bred in Tasmania. The breed is a result of crossbreeding between various kinds of rough coated terrier such as Cairn terrier, Skye Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Irish Terrier and Yorkshire Terrier. These terrier breeds were brought to Australia from Great Britain in the early 18th century. The Australian Terrier was first called as the rough coated terrier.
The Aussie is a small sized dog with an elongated, low lying frame typical of the terriers. It has a long head; small eyes which are dark brown in color; high set ears which are small, angular and erect in shape; a black nose; a strong muzzle which is square in shape; taut lips which are black in color with teeth which meet in scissors bite. This breed has a high set tail which is docked and carried erect. It has small legs with small feet.
Most terrier breeds are remarkably similar. The same words are used over and over – quick to bark, quick to chase, lively, bossy, feisty, scrappy, clever, independent, stubborn, persistent, impulsive, intense. But some terrier breeds are more so than others. Overall, as a breed, Australian Terriers tend to be in the lower-to-middle section of the terrier spectrum. But of course there are some individual Aussies who will be in the higher end!
Though more amenable to training than many other terriers, Australian Terriers must be taught at an early age that they are not the rulers of the world. The toughness that makes them suited to killing vermin can frustrate you when you try to teach them anything. Terriers can be stubborn and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things.
He is so adaptable that he’s easy to live with IF you can fit certain criteria. You should understand the dynamic terrier temperament (see below). You should have a fenced yard. And you should be able to provide enough hours of daily companionship (no working all day), daily walks, and daily play sessions with a ball or toy.
Though he can be scrappy with other dogs of the same sex, most Australian Terriers are willing to coexist peacefully with other pets. But they can be bossy and remember, they are terriers, which means they’re bred to pursue anything that runs or looks like prey. Keeping a pet rat would be a big risk!
It is an active breed which needs daily exercise. A daily walk is sufficient to make the dog healthy both physically and mentally. A romp in an open but secured area, every now and then takes care of its additional requirements for exercise.
This breed has a double coat with a straight and harsh outer coat which is medium in length and, a short and soft under coat. The color of the coat can be Blue and tan, or Red or Sandy.
The Aussie sheds very little hair. The straight and harsh coat of the dog needs regular grooming. The coat needs to be brushed 3-4 times a week to maintain a healthy looking coat. It should be bathed only when necessary and must be dried properly after each bath.
Australian Terrier is generally pretty healthy breed. However, it is prone to some health issues like Diabetes, Luxating patella, Cataract, Cancer, ears and skin infections.
Australian terriers were bred because of the need for courageous, small working dogs. They were used for killing rats and snakes and also as companions and watchdogs. They come in three different colors red, blue and sandy brown. As all terriers, they are very confident, tough, playful and intelligent.
The Australian Terrier is more obedient and easier to train than other Terriers.
Similar to most small dogs they can be proud and acquire a small dog syndrome. Be sure to treat your small Austrian Terrier as a dog and not as a little baby.
#3 Australian Silky Terrier
The silky terrier was developed during the early part of the 20th century by immigrants to Australia-generally from the UK-who took Yorkshire terriers with them, and consequently crossed them with native Australian terriers that they found in the New World.
As mentioned, Yorkshire terriers imported to Australia were crossed with local Australian dogs-mainly small terriers themselves-to create a hybrid breed that retained many of the original Yorkshire terrier traits. The Silky terrier is, like the Yorkshire terrier, a small toy dog, with a coat colour that is referred to as blue and tan. The blue shade is in fact a steely grey colour, and the silky can only be found in this shade, unlike the Yorkshire terrier, which has more range for colour variation within the breed standard.
Silky terriers have earned titles and recognition ribbons for their impressive abilities while participating in special events. Due to their high energy and desire to stay occupied, silky terriers perform well in herding, agility, rally, tracking and fly ball, and many are successful show dogs.
The silky terrier is a very watchful dog, and they also have a strong prey drive! If they catch movement out of the corner of their eye, they will soon forget about their pampered home lives and head off on the chase, which makes them playful and sociable little dogs, that generally get on well with others. They generally get on well with strangers and children, but they can become frightened with a lot of noise or rough and tumble, at which point they will generally retreat or become defensive.
Nine inches tall, and 10 pounds at full maturity, the silky terrier is a keen watch dog. His energetic, assertive and spirited personality allows him to constantly be on alert of his surroundings, frequently barking to alert his pet parent of any disturbance.
Silky terriers were originally bred to kill small rodents. They have a natural instinct and are always watchful for scurrying prey. Silky terriers’ high energy levels allow them to outrun the vermin, act quick, strike and kill rodents.
Shiny, silky hair that is similar to human hair is a trait that draws many to this breed. While daily brushing for up to 3 to 5 minutes is required to keep the coat free of tangles and debris, silky terriers do not shed like most other dog breeds. Shedding is minimal and at a pace similar to the way humans shed their own hair.
The blue part of the silky terrier’s coat should glow and shine with lustre, and the length of the coat means that they need quite a lot of upkeep in terms of brushing and grooming! They need to be brushed and combed on a daily basis to prevent their fur knotting and matting up, and they must be groomed right down to the skin, otherwise they are apt to get knotted up in problem areas, such as under the belly and in the armpits.
Curious and playful, silky terriers are full of energy on a daily basis. Taking walks, playing fetch and engaging in other games that allow them to run around frequently is best suited for this energetic breed.
Due to their desire to be social and follow their pet parent around constantly, silky terriers are best suited as indoor pets. They enjoy going for walks and playing outdoors for short periods of time, but their preference is to be indoors with their pet parent and family.
Closely related to the Australian Terrier and Yorkshire Terrier, the Australian silky Terrier is the smallest dog on our list.
They have a heritage of hunting dog and because of that they are known to stand tall.
Australian Silk Terriers might be small dogs but they have big personality.
They are very confident, they are not afraid of bigger dogs and they will bark at intruders.
They may be small but they are still terriers and they have the true terrier personality. Australian silky terriers are also family-oriented and loyal dogs that needs companionship.
#4. Kangaroo Dog
There’s a lot of worldwide famous dog breeds from Australia but this is not one of them.
A Kangaroo dog is extremely rare breed living almost exclusively in Australia.
There are side hounds which means they are used for hunting by side. Mostly they’re hunting rabbits and foxes well of course they were used for hunting kangaroos as well.
#5. Australian Kelpie
The Australian Kelpie is a medium-sized dog that is incredibly fast and an amazingly talented herding breed.
Kelpies are very patient and easy to train dogs which have a lot of energy.
They require both physical activity and a lot of mental stimulation otherwise they will become mischievous, hyperactive and destructive dogs.
Kelpies are one of the smartest dogs of all breeds. However, they are not a very good fit for family households. They be a lot happier being utilized as a work dog working with sheep or cattle.
Another great working and herding dog. They possess amazing stamina and endurance. They have a natural instinct to herd everything that moves including: sheep, goats, cattle, horses and even other dogs.
Koolie’s are very smart work dogs with a great work ethic and are very eager to please.
Because of that they’re fairly easy to train but they are not suitable for total novices.
#7. Miniature Fox Terrier
The origin of Miniature fox terrier is actually British but they were developed in Australia.
Their intent on breeding the Miniature Fox Terrier was to have a job capable of hunting little animals with great speed and big endurance.
They are truly capable of hunting small animals like rats, rabbits or snakes. Miniature Fox Terriers are friendly, loyal, very active and curious dogs.
#8. Australian Staghound
Another Australian hunting breed. Staghound is little bit bigger with height around 26 to 30 inches.
His purpose is hunting bigger animals like kangaroos or boar but of course he can still be used for hunting small animals like rabbits.
Additionally, they are used as great family dogs since they are very calm, affectionate, gentle and they are excellent with kids.
A crossbreed between Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Miniature Poodle was developed in Australia and is the most popular designer breed in Australia.
The cool thing about a Cavapoo is that they don’t shed. So they are great for people with dog allergies.
Cavapoo’s are affectionate, smart, playful and eager to please. They are highly trainable and very obedient dogs. In Australia they are not using the name Cavapoo like the rest of the world, they’re rather using names like Cava doodle or Cavoodle.
#10. Bull Arab
A Bull Arab is large dog bred for hunting pigs. They are a very intelligent, calm and easily trainable breed.
Bull Arabs are very trustworthy dogs and loyal to their owners.
This breed of dog is also good with kids, because they are very calm dogs. They can actually live in small homes like apartments but they need to be walked at least once a day to be happy.
The Bull Arab is symmetrical and well-built all over. The head and muzzle are strong and powerful, moderate in length in proportion to the face. The eyes are bright. The color of the eyes depends on the coat color. The teeth meet in a level bite. The full drop ears are moderate in size. The strong neck is slightly arched, moderate in length. The chest is not too big, nor too shallow. The strong, straight back is in proportion to the height and is not too long, not too short. The muscular hindquarters are straight when viewed from behind, and well angled when viewed from the side. The oval feet are close knit with arched toes. The tail’s length is in proportion to the body, thick at the base and tapering to a point. The coat is smooth and short. In colder weather there may be a soft undercoat. There is no feathering on the tail or legs and the dog has no double coat appearance. Most dogs are predominantly white with patches of colors, often with ticking on their white patches. Coat colors include liver (with a red nose), black, red, buckskin, blue, silver, tan and brindle.