The first Australian Terrier Club was formed in Australia in 1887. At about the same time, Australian Terriers were exported to Great Britain and were granted a separate registry by the Kennel Club of England.

Australian Terriers were introduced to the U.S. in the late 1940's. In 1957, the Australian Terrier Club of America was formed. The following year, 1958, nine Aussies were entered in the Miscellaneous Class at Westminster. By 1960, the Miscellaneous Class at Westminster had its largest entry ever, with 58 Australian Terriers being exhibited. That same year, the Australian Terrier became the 114th breed to be admitted to the Registry of the American Kennel Club.

The Australian Terrier Club of America became an AKC Member Club in 1977, and today has approximately 200 members.
The late Mr. and Mrs. Milton Fox of Plesantpastures Kennels contributed in a major way to the recognition of the breed in the United States. Nell Fox, a native of New Zealand, was familiar with the Aussie in her homeland and imported some of the early dogs that arrived in this country.

Origins of the Australian Terrier

The Australian Terrier (or "Aussie") - not to be confused with the Australian Shepherd, the Australian Cattle Dog, or the Australian Silky (known as the Silky Terrier in the United States) - was the first Australian-bred dog ever to be recognized and shown in Australia. Persistent efforts over the years produced an ideal terrier to suit Australian conditions and resulted in a rugged, hard-bitten, fearless dog that was equally at home, indoors or out.
Beginning in Tasmania, the earliest efforts at breeding a native rough-coated terrier soon spread to Victoria on the mainland, and then on to the other Australian states. When the Australians needed help controlling rodents on the waterfront, in the gold mines, and on the sheep stations - or to herd sheep and to serve as watchdogs, they began breeding these small terriers from the rough-coated, short-legged dogs from Britain that originally came with the first sailing ships to the Land Down Under.


The Australian Terrier, one of the smallest of the working Terriers, was bred to be both a helper and companion in rough times and terrain. A native dog (known as the "rough-coated terrier") and a close relative of the old Scotch dog of Great Britain (not to be confused with the present-day Scottish Terrier) are believed to have been cross-bred with a number of other breeds of British stock to produce the fast, sturdy, weather-resistant and fearless little dog that the settlers needed as they expanded the frontiers of their country. The breeds chosen for cross-breeding were selected to promote specific desired traits.

Although there are differences among writers of the histories of the breed, there is a consensus of opinion that the breeds used included the precursor of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the Skye, the Yorkshire, and the old Black and Tan Terrier













The ATCA website is provided with the support of the Milton and Nell Fox Fund
Copyright © 2016-17 · All Rights Reserved · Australian Terrier Club of America