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13 Popular Native Australian Dog Breeds List

We all know that Australia has incredible wildlife diversity, but did you know that it applies to dogs too?

Considering Australia is a relatively new country compared to some others, it certainly has its fair share of dog breeds.

Another reason there are so many Australian dog breeds is that dogs are just really popular in Australia.

Whether as a working dog or a family pet, there’s one dog for every five people in Australia!

This list covers the top 13 Australian dog breeds, and you’ll be sure to find one you love.

1. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog on lying white background

Highlights: Loyal, active, clever

The Australian Cattle Dog is a pretty self-explanatory breed: it was bred as a herding dog designed for moving cattle across difficult terrain.

This medium-sized breed’s distinct coat creates very interesting color patterns and also makes the dogs look very wild.

The breed was first developed in the 19th century for the specific purpose of herding cattle in Australia.

The breed’s creator, Thomas Hall, crossed herding dogs with tame dingoes, and the resulting breed was called Halls Heeler. It was this that developed into the modern Australian Cattle Dog.

The Australian Cattle Dog became very popular as a working animal because it was perfectly suited to its task.

However, the breed has also always been popular as a family pet, as it’s a very friendly breed that gets on well with kids.

The first breed standard was written in 1903, and since then, Australian Cattle Dogs have been transported to the USA, Canada, the UK and many other countries.

Australian Cattle Dogs are popular show animals because they can compete in several different events.

💡Did You Know…

  • A separate American breed exists, called the Texas Heeler, which was first registered in 1970.
  • Puppies are born with white coats, and their distinctive blue, black or red markings grow in later in life.
  • An Australian Cattle dog used to hold the record for the oldest dog. His name was Bluey and he was 29 years and five months old.

Temperament

Australian Cattle Dog in the field

Like other herding breeds, the Australian Cattle Dog is very intelligent and can think independently.

However, they’re also very active like other herding breeds, and so need plenty of exercises to keep them under control.

Part of the reason Australian Cattle Dogs are so popular as family pets are because they’re very obedient dogs.

This is another side effect of their working purpose, but it means they’re very responsive to training and commands, which is also why they do so well in competitions.

Australian Cattle Dogs are responsive to training very early in life and so it’s best to start with them at a young age.

Puppy training classes are always a good idea because it allows them to socialize too. The breed is generally fine with other dogs either way, but training classes always help.

FAQs

1. What is the difference between an Australian Cattle Dog and a Blue Heeler?

Blue Heeler is a nickname for the breed formally known as the Australian Cattle Dog.

Blue refers to their color, and heeler refers to the way the nip cattle’s heels when herding. The breed is also known as a Red Heeler.

2. How much exercise do Australian Cattle Dogs need?

Australian Cattle Dogs are very active dogs, and so need at least an hour’s walking every day.

However, they’d be better with 2 hours or more, so only be prepared to adopt an Australian Cattle Dog if you can provide plenty of exercises.

3. Can Australian Cattle Dogs be left alone?

Australian Cattle Dogs are very sociable animals and so appreciate human contact.

They can be left alone for a while, but it shouldn’t be for too long because they can suffer from separation anxiety.

2. Australian Dingo

Australian Dingo walking on a beach

 

Highlights: Intelligent, hardy, agile

The Australian Dingo is a mostly wild dog breed native to Australia.

Although all breeds on this list are technically native to Australia, the dingo was thought to have first come to Australia around 4000 years ago from Asia.

Dingoes are, for the most part, wild animals. Some people have managed to tame them, but this doesn’t always work.

Similarly, they’re not usually bred in captivity either because Australians regard them like a wild animal.

However, they’re sometimes crossbred with domestic breeds, such as the Australian Cattle Dog above.

This isn’t a particularly common practice, though, because of the unpredictability of taming and breeding Dingoes.

Dingoes look quite different from domesticated dog breeds. They have much wider heads and some fox-like characteristics.

Like other wild dog breeds, they can run for very long distances and have incredible stamina.

The species comes in a wide range of colors, but the most recognized is the sandy/tan color. However, Dingoes can also be found in black, red, cream or white.

💡Did You Know…

  • The Dingo’s lineage can be traced back over 8,000 years to Asia. This is the point at which its ancestor species split from the modern domesticated dog.
  • Dingoes are very clever animals that hunt in packs. They have fantastic teamwork skills and communicate by howling and yelping.
  • Dingoes living in warmer parts of Australia have become nocturnal, whereas those living in colder climates come out during the day.

Temperament

Australian dingo standing in the beach

Dingoes are very territorial animals and hunt in packs. This means that they’re quite clever but are also very friendly.

One of the biggest controversies about domesticating Dingoes is taking them out of their packs and only keeping them with 1 or 2 other dogs.

Being wild animals, Dingoes have a very strong prey drive. This is why domestication is difficult because prey drive takes generations to breed out of a species and no one has tried this yet. Realistically, that’s how it should stay.

Dingoes aren’t known to be aggressive with humans and usually try to avoid contact with them.

Attacks do sometimes occur, but this is often because the Dingoes feel threatened. But again, it’s another reason not to try keeping them as pets.

FAQs

 1. Can you own a Dingo in Australia?

It’s completely legal to keep a Dingo as a pet in the states of New South Wales and Western Australia, and you don’t need a permit. However, there are also quite strict rules around training and care.

2. Do Dingoes bark?

Dingoes technically do bark, but it’s not the sound we’re used to. It sounds much more like a yap, but they also like to howl and screech. Dingoes make a wider range of sounds than domesticated dogs.

3. Are Dingo dogs dangerous?

Dingoes generally aren’t aggressive towards humans but are more a danger towards livestock such as sheep and cows.

Much of the Dingoes’ bad name is built around this fact but also affects people deciding to keep them as pets.

3. Australian Kangaroo Dog

Australian Kangaroo dog on the beach

Highlights: Agile, alert, active

The Australian Kangaroo Dog isn’t a distinct breed but is more a type of dog used for a specific purpose.

The breed is also known as the Australian Greyhound, but isn’t recognized by any major kennel club. In fact, most owners have no interest in registering their dogs.

Australian Kangaroo Dogs are used as sighthounds when hunting foxes and rabbits.

The breed is quite rare and only really exists in small rural communities that still take part in hunting.

That said, its appearance will entirely dictate the dog’s hunting purpose. For example, the greyhound style dogs are used for hunting rabbits while the larger Molosser and Bulldog breeds are used for hunting wild boar and dingoes.

The dogs get their name from the fact that they were used initially for hunting kangaroo.

The Greyhound was primarily used because of its speed and eyesight. Deerhounds and Wolfhounds were also used because of their size and stamina. These are the breeds generally considered to make up the Kangaroo Dog type.

💡Did You Know…

  • Australian Kangaroo Dogs were also used for protecting livestock and property from dingoes. Rather than fighting the intruders, the dogs would simply alert their owners.
  • Some Australian Kangaroo Dogs also have a fantastic sense of smell, but this depends on their working purpose. Either way, they primarily use sight for hunting prey.
  • Kangaroo Dogs are very rare, which is another reason any kennel clubs do not recognize them.

Temperament

Australian Kangaroo dog on a back of a trailer truck

Australian Kangaroo Dogs are pretty energetic dogs as they’re used to working all day.

Obviously, this means they need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and under control.

However, this isn’t usually a problem because they aren’t kept as family pets.

That said, they are very playful dogs and like to spend time with people. They’re also social with other dogs, but should be kept away from small pets and other animals. Kangaroo Dogs have a strong prey instinct and enjoy chasing their prey.

Australian Cattle Dogs are very loyal and form strong emotional bonds with their owners.

However, they do take a lot of looking after and have some unique care needs. Keeping them as a companion dog, therefore, isn’t the best idea, particularly when there are so many other breeds available.

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4. Australian Kelpie

Australian Kelpie in front of a white background

Highlights: Eager, Alert, Energetic

The Australian Kelpie is another herding breed that was used for moving sheep across long distances and difficult terrain.

Much like the cattle dog, the Kelpie has been exported across the world because of its incredible talent in herding sheep.

Although still the same breed, the Kelpie comes in 2 varieties: Show/Bench or Working.

Working Kelpies are selected for their physical attributes, while Show Kelpies are chosen for their appearance and color. Kelpies are very popular at dog shows across the world.

The Kelpie can trace its origins back to the 19th century and are most closely related to the English Collie.

However, when these Collies reached Australia, they were bred with some other breeds, so no one actually knows which dogs make up a Kelpie.

Along with working as herding animals, Kelpies are sometimes used as scent dogs. For example, Swedish search and rescue teams have been having great success with Kelpies in tracking. Australian Kelpies have been exported across much of the western world and are recognized by many kennel clubs.

💡Did You Know…

  • In 2016, an Australian Kelpie stole the title of world’s oldest dog from Bluey the Cattle Dog. The Kelpie was called Maggie, and she was 30 years old.
  • Considering they come in 2 types, there’s a lot of genetic diversity in the Kelpie breed. They come in loads of coat colors, lengths and textures.
  • Like the Cattle Dog, the Australian Kelpie also contains some Dingo in its ancestry.

Temperament

Australian Kelpie playing on the beach sand

Kelpies are known for being very clever and highly trainable. This is usually the case with herding dogs, and potential owners should always be aware of the commitment needed for owning one.

Similarly, Kelpies are very energetic and active dogs, and they need plenty of exercises.

Kelpies are bred to work all day doing very demanding work, and this is reflected in their exercise needs.

The breed is known for being very loyal towards its owners, and also very eager to please.

Kelpies are very sociable dogs, both with humans and other dogs. However, they should be socialized from an early age just so they can learn to control their energy levels.

Kelpies do very well in dog shows because they’re versatile animals. They can learn commands quickly, but also have great physical stamina.

While they do make amazing family dogs because of their temperament, it takes a committed owner to raise a Kelpie well.

FAQs

1. Do Australian Kelpies shed?

Australian Kelpies are a shorthaired breed, but they do shed plenty. They don’t really do seasonal sheds, but instead just shed constantly all year round. This can be controlled with a proper grooming routine though.

2. Are Kelpies affectionate?

Kelpies are known for being very affectionate and loving towards their owners. They form strong emotional bonds with each family member and are usually fine around children. However, socialization should start at a young age.

3. How much does an Australian Kelpie cost?

The price you’ll pay for an Australian Kelpie will depend largely on the type you’re buying.

Show Kelpies will be more expensive, and can be as much as 3500 USD, while Working Kelpies can sell for a little as $400.

5. Australian Silky Terrier

Australian Silky Terrier photographed in front of light gray background

Highlights: Friendly, Alert, Feisty

The Australian Silky Terrier is a small breed of dog that’s closely related to the English Yorkshire Terrier.

The Silky Terrier was developed towards the end of the 19th century as a companion pet, although it was sometimes used for hunting purposes too.

While the breed’s creation definitely happened in the 19th century, experts are unsure whether it was created as a distinct breed on purpose.

Some believe that the breed came about simply through Australian Terrier puppies being born with silky fur, which breeders and owners saw as a desirable trait.

In the early 20th century, there were few breed standards and distinctions between the Australian Silky Terrier, the Australian Terrier, and the Yorkshire Terrier.

In fact, litters were regularly divided into three breeds, which shows how similar they are.

Later in the century, though, crossbreeding between the three was actively discouraged and key distinctions were made.

The main difference between the breeds is the length and texture of their fur, although most other characteristics are almost identical.

Australian Silky Terriers were taken to the USA in the 1950s where they became a popular companion breed.

Since then, the breed has also been recognized by all major English-speaking kennel clubs and it’s become a relatively popular companion breed.

💡Did You Know…

  • Although Silky Terriers are terriers in every way, they fall into the Toy category because of their size.
  • Silky Terriers were used for hunting snakes in some parts of Australia.
  • Before 1955 the breed was known as the Sydney Silky Terrier.

Temperament

silky terrier standing on the lawn

The Australian Silky Terrier is known for being a breed with a big personality.

They’re known for being incredibly playful with all members of the family and can have a mischievous streak.

However, many owners consider this an endearing quality rather than a problem.

Silky Terriers were bred primarily for being family companions, and this shows in their temperament.

The breed is very affectionate towards its owners and is very tolerant of all family members.

However, due to the breed’s size, owners should always be wary of owning a Silky Terrier around small children.

Australian Silky Terriers are highly trainable and can learn a wide range of commands.

However, their cheeky streak can make this challenging for new owners and a certain level of confidence is needed to raise them properly.

FAQs

 1. Do Australian Silky Terriers shed?

Silky Terriers do shed, but not as much as their English cousins.

Their long smooth coat does need regular maintenance but is relatively easy to keep under control. Also, regular grooming should minimize shedding.

2. How long do Silky Terriers live?

Silky Terriers are a generally hardy breed with an average lifespan of 14 years. They suffer from relatively few health complications and responsible breeders will check for these early on.

3. Are Silky Terriers aggressive?

Silky Terriers can be aggressive towards other dogs if they feel threatened or intimidated.

However, this behavior is relatively easy to control with proper and efficient training.

6. Australian Staghound

Australian Staghound standing in front of white background

Highlights: Wary, Alert, Agile

Australian Staghounds are technically not a distinct breed of dog, but are a type made up of several different species, much like the term Pitbull.

Staghounds are used as hunting companions for a larger game, namely things like wild boar. In the past, they were also used for hunting kangaroo.

Australian Staghounds are usually seen as a cross between the Greyhound and the Scottish Staghound, although the lack of breed standard makes it hard to trace their exact ancestry.

Similarly, it also means that there aren’t strict breed standards, so there’s no official appearance for the dogs.

The breed was first used for hunting in the 18th century and started with European settlers bringing their favorite hunting breeds to Australia.

Much like the Kangaroo Dog, this breed isn’t usually kept as a family dog but instead serves a working purpose.

This is another reason why there’s little acknowledgment for the breed by kennel clubs.

Current owners have little interest in establishing a strict standard because that’s not what the dogs are used for. As a result, Staghounds are relatively rare outside of rural communities.

💡Did You Know…

  • The typical Australian Staghound will usually contain bloodlines from many breeds, including the Foxhound and the Bloodhound.
  • The Australian Staghound is closely related to the American Staghound, although the lack of official bloodline makes it difficult to define how close.
  • The dog’s working purpose is defined by its appearance and the breeds used to create it.

Temperament

Australian Staghound standing in the backyard

 Much like its ancestor breeds, the Australian Staghound is a very gentle breed.

The dogs can also come across as quite timid, but it’s more that they’re quite wary around strangers, particularly when their owners aren’t around.

Australian Staghounds do make good family pets, even if this isn’t their main purpose.

They’re friendly towards children and tolerant of all ages. Also, their size means they’re much more resilient to boisterous behavior.

Staghounds are also known for being good around other dogs, but they should be socialized from a young age.

Conversely, the breed has a very strong prey drive, so owners should be careful keeping a Staghound around small animals and pets.

While their size might make them look like excellent guard dogs, this isn’t something the Staghound is good at.

Aside from not being territorial, the breed isn’t known to be that protective of people or property.

However, this isn’t something they were bred for, so don’t expect a Staghound to guard your home.

FAQs

 1. Are Staghounds aggressive?

Although bred to take down aggressive prey, the Staghound itself isn’t an aggressive breed.

Staghounds are fine around people and other dogs, but their hunting instinct may kick in with smaller animals.

2. How much exercise does a Staghound need?

Staghounds are quite energetic dogs and need daily walks.

In their working roles, they’d be active all day, so they need at least an hour or 2 of exercise. Similarly, they’d be much happier living at a property with plenty of space.

3. What are Staghounds used for?

The primary purpose of Staghounds is for hunting, but they were bred to hunt predators, not prey.

Farmers would use Staghounds to get rid of pests that were threatening farmland and livestock.

7. Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog

australian stumpy tail cattle dog standing in front of white background

Highlights: Playful, Affectionate, Loyal

The Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog is, as you can probably guess, very closely related to the Australian Cattle Dog mentioned earlier.

The main difference is that the Stumpy Tail is naturally bobtailed. However, it can also be completely tailless.

The Stumpy Tail was bred to herd cattle across dangerous terrain and is also popular as a companion dog.

Stumpy Tails descended from the same stock as Cattle Dogs, and so is part Dingo too.

The two breeds separated at some point in the 20th century and are recognized as distinct breeds.

The tailless characteristic is now selectively bred into the dogs, although some puppies can still be born with longer tails.

Most people will be glad to know that it’s a breeding characteristic rather than tail docking, although the lack of tail has no impact on the breed’s ability to work.

Australian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs are recognized as a distinct breed by a number of international kennel clubs.

The breed has some worldwide success, both as a working dog and a companion animal.

💡Did You Know…

  • Even Stumpy Tails with long tails don’t grow that long. The maximum length is about 4 inches, which is much shorter than a standard dog’s tail.
  • Stumpy Tails are either red or blue with white speckles. The puppies are born white and the color comes in after a few weeks.
  • Unlike the Cattle Dog’s breed standard, the Stumpy Tail isn’t allowed any tan markings.

Temperament

australian stumpy tail cattle dog on leash standing in the lawnAustralian Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs are known for being very alert and active dogs, which is a result of their working purpose.

Similarly, they’re very obedient and highly trainable, but are also capable of being independent.

Stumpy Tails are ideal family pets because they’re affectionate and loyal to their family, and form strong bonds with each member.

They’re also good around children and are very tolerant of all ages.

The breed is good for watching property too, because it’s naturally alert and protective.

Also, Stumpy Tails can be wary around strangers and other dogs. This means that they should be socialized from a young age, and puppy training classes are a great place to do this.

FAQs

 1. How long do Stumpy Tail Cattle Dogs live?

Stumpy Tails are a healthy breed and can live a long time. Other than deafness, they suffer from a few health conditions and the average lifespan is around 15 years.

2. Do Cattle Dogs bite?

Although Cattle Dogs herd cattle by nipping their heels, they should never do this to people. An untrained Cattle Dog might bite, but this behavior can easily be trained out of them.

8. Australian Terrier

australian terrier photographed in front of white background

Highlights: Courageous, Loyal, Curious

The Australian Terrier is also known as the Rough-hair Terrier to distinguish it from the Australian Silky Terrier.

The Australian Terrier actually came first and is one of the breeds used to develop the Silky Hair Terrier.

Australian Terriers can be traced back to the early 19th century when they were bred from British breeds, including the Yorkshire Terrier and Skye Terriers.

Their original purpose was to catch rats, but they’ve also always been popular as companion pets.

Unlike its silky cousin, the Australian Terrier has a shorter and rougher coat that only grows about 2 inches long. The breed colors are very similar, as are size and appearance.

Australian Terriers found their way around the rest of the world during the 20th century and were generally kept as companion pets.

However, their popularity never took off as much as some other Australian breeds, but this is mostly because of the popular terrier breeds that already existed.

💡Did You Know…

  • Along with hunting rats, Australian Terriers were also used for fighting snakes in gold mines.
  • Australian Terriers are known to be popular family pets because of their emotional intelligence.
  • Although called the Australian Terrier, the breed actually originates in Tasmania.

Temperament

Typical Australian Terrier in the garden

 Australian Terriers are known for being active dogs with a feisty temperament.

This is characteristic of ratting breeds, and while it shouldn’t be taken as aggression, owners should be aware of the potential before taking on a dog.

That said, Australian Terriers make excellent family dogs specifically because of their feisty temperament.

Known as spirited dogs, plenty of people seek them out for their playful and friendly attitudes.

Seeing as Australian Terriers have long been kept as companion pets, they need plenty of human attention.

The breed is prone to separation anxiety and so shouldn’t be left alone for too long. Australian Terriers can be left with other dogs, providing they get on well.

Australian Terriers can make good alert dogs because they’re wary of people approaching their property.

Their bark is very good at alerting owners to danger, but obviously, their size means they won’t be able to do much else.

Australian Terriers are relatively easy to train, but this should be started at a young age.

Puppy training classes are a good way also to socialize them with other dogs, but beware that some male Australian Terriers can be temperamental around other male dogs.

FAQs

 1. How much do Australian Terriers cost?

Australian Terriers are a relatively common breed and so aren’t too expensive. Even for a pedigree dog, you shouldn’t expect to pay more than 1500 USD for one.

2. Do Australian Terriers shed?

Australian Terriers have a coarse coat that does shed, but minimally. Australian Terriers are considered hypoallergenic because of their minimal shedding, but wouldn’t be suitable for people with sensitive allergies.

3. Do Australian Terriers bark a lot?

Australian Terriers are naturally wary dogs and will bark at strange noises. This behavior is quite difficult to train out of them, so just be aware of this if you’re thinking of adopting one.

9. Bull Arab

australian bull arab standing in front of white background

Highlights: Calm, Willful, Loyal

The Bull Arab is a species of dog that was bred for hunting wild pigs.

For this reason, they’re descended from breeds such as the Bull Terrier and the Pointer, both of which were chosen for their stamina and hunting abilities.

Bull Arabs are a relatively new breed and were only developed in the 1970s. The breed has an excellent sense of smell, which it uses to track pigs.

The dogs are then strong enough to tackle the pigs and hold them down by the ears.

Although bred primarily for hunting, which is still their main use, Bull Arabs are popular companion pets too.

The breed’s loyalty and intelligence make them great family pets, and unlike older hunting breeds, they don’t have a bad reputation to make up for.

💡Did You Know…

  • The Bull Arab has an amazing sense of smell, even for a dog. The breed’s sense is so acute it can smell pigs from over 6 miles away.
  • Bull Arabs are one of the more commonly abandoned breeds in Australia. This is both because of new housing regulations and the lack of control over the breed.
  • Bull Arabs might be seen as aggressive by some, but the dogs are surprisingly docile.

Temperament

australian bull arab standing on the lawn Bull Arabs are very intelligent dogs, which makes them highly responsive to training.

Also, they can learn a wide range of commands and are capable of thinking independently to solve problems.

Generally, Bull Arabs have quite calm and affectionate temperaments, and aggression isn’t a trait recognized in the breed standard.

Obviously, working dogs need a certain level of aggression but this is carefully trained into them from a young age.

There have been reports in Australian media about Bull Arab attacks on people and livestock, but these are often untrue or unfounded claims.

In fact, some companies in Australia have started using the breed as therapy and companion animals with much success.

Bull Arabs are very affectionate towards people and need plenty of human attention.

They’re generally fine around other dogs, although they need to be socialized from a young age to ensure success.

FAQs

 1. Are Bull Arabs protective?

Bull Arabs are known to be very protective of their homes and make excellent guard dogs. Their intimidating appearance is generally enough to scare off would-be intruders.

2. How long do Bull Arabs live for?

Bull Arabs are a relatively healthy breed, which is partly because they’re still quite new. On average, Bull Arabs can live for anywhere between 12 and 15 years.

10. Halls Heeler

Halls Heeler sitting in front of white background

 

Highlights: Energetic, Attentive, Loyal

The Halls Heeler is the ancestor breed of both kinds of Cattle Dog mentioned on this list.

It was developed by breeding European cattle herding dogs with native Australian Dingoes.

At a later date, other breeds were introduced to the bloodline, and that’s where the two newer breeds came from.

The breed was created by Thomas Hall in the mid 19th century.

He bred the dogs specifically for working on the rough terrain of the Australian outback, which is why dingoes were introduced into the bloodline.

Halls Heelers are no longer considered an active breed, as they developed into the two kinds of Cattle Dogs.

Therefore there are no longer any breed standards because any new dogs are considered Cattle Dogs instead.

The main difference between a Halls Heeler and a Cattle Dog is the color.

Cattle Dogs have either red or blue flecked coats, which was the newer introduction to the breed. Halls Heelers had no standard breed color.

💡Did You Know…

  • The breed was officially known as the Cattle Dog from 1890 when it became the name for dogs not from Thomas Hall’s breeding stock.
  • The breed standards were defined on these later dogs, hence why one doesn’t exist for the Heeler.
  • Heelers were also developed into a short-lived breed called Timmins Biters, but these were also integrated into Cattle Dogs.

Temperament

Halls Heeler sitting on the lawn

 Halls Heelers share all of the same temperament characteristics as Cattle Dogs and other herding dogs.

They were known as loyal, attentive dogs with an independent character and affection towards their owners.

There’s no real evidence for them being kept as family pets, but the breed developed into Cattle Dogs before they really received any recognition outside of a small community of cattle farmers.

11. Koolie

Australian Koolie standing in front of white background

Highlights: Patient, Friendly, Active

The Koolie is another herding breed developed in Australia for herding cattle.

However, unlike other herding breeds, different breeds were incorporated depending on the region the dog was working in. This has led to plenty of variation in the Koolie breed.

While this is the case, all Koolies share the same general characteristics of size and appearance.

They were bred from English Collies, but with a large number of other breeds mixed in over the years.

This variation has led the Koolie kennel club to define the breed based more on their working ability than their appearance.

While this puts the Koolie more in line with a type than a breed, much like the Kangaroo Dog, breeding 2 Koolies together will usually result in obvious Koolie puppies.

Koolies are efficient working dogs and one of their main traits is that they don’t bark.

This makes them very useful for certain herding activities and is a trait that looked for in potential working dogs.

💡Did You Know…

  • Koolies used in Northern Australia are taller and more muscular than their southern counterparts. This is because they were used for herding cattle rather than sheep.
  • Koolies can live for up to 18 years.
  • Koolies have a very strong natural herding instinct and will often herd animals other than sheep.

Temperament

Australian Koolie standing in the backyard

Koolies have a varied temperament, but this is because they’re bred for their working traits over anything else.

While generally affectionate towards their owners, this isn’t something sought after by breeders and owners.

Some people misinterpret this as the dog being timid, but this isn’t the case. Koolies can be quite reserved and will generally not act out unless instructed to do something. They’re also incredibly patient and will happily wait to be given a task.

That said, a Koolie does make an excellent family pet because of its kind temperament.

They’re not known to be aggressive dogs but will attempt to establish a hierarchy if kept with other dogs.

Obedience training is a must with a Koolie, but again this is because they’re bred specifically for work and so have been created to be trained.

Their intelligence means they’re capable of learning many commands and can also act on their own initiative.

FAQs

 1. How big do Koolies get?

Koolies are medium-sized dogs, but their height can vary a lot. On average, Koolies get to be around 23 inches in height and up to 55lbs in weight.

What is the difference between a Kelpie and a Koolie?

Kelpies and Koolies are both used for very similar purposes but vary in appearance. Kelpies are in line with their breed characteristics, whereas Koolies can vary much more in appearance.

2. Can Koolies be house dogs?

Koolies aren’t really kept as companion pets or house dogs, as they’re bred for working. A Koolie that’s kept indoors without a job is likely to become depressed.

12. Miniature Fox Terrier

Miniature fox terrier dog lying lying on a white background

Highlights: Alert, Active, Funny

The Miniature Fox Terrier was originally bred as a household dog for hunting vermin and was developed out of European breeds. It bears a striking resemblance to English breeds such as the Jack Russell.

Fox Terriers were created in the late 19th century with the express purpose of hunting rats, snakes and other vermin on farms.

However, they soon became popular as companion pets in more urban centers, and this is how they became such a widely known breed in Australia.

A breed standard was created in the 1980s but it still isn’t recognized by the national kennel club.

Similarly, the Fox Terrier is little known outside of Australia and New Zealand, although they’re incredibly popular in these countries.

💡Did You Know…

  • The breed’s name comes from its ancestor breed, the Fox Terrier, which is English. Fox Terriers have never been used to hunt fox in Australia.
  • Miniature Fox Terriers are believed to contain some Greyhound and Whippet blood, despite their small size.
  • Mini Foxies have oval-shaped feet, a characteristic not often seen in small dogs.

Temperament

Miniature Fox Terrier sitting on the lawn

 Miniature Fox Terriers are known for being alert and feisty dogs, much like other vermin hunters. Similarly, they’re known for their speed and agility, which were two very important traits when it came to vermin hunting.

Mini Foxies make particularly good family pets because of their size and ease of care. They require little grooming and are generally healthy, and their exercise needs aren’t too demanding.

Similarly, the breed is known for being very good around children, although the dogs can snap if they don’t like how people are behaving towards them. Mini Foxies are absolutely fine around children that they’ve been raised with.

While the breed is usually fine with other dogs, the same isn’t true for small animals. Mini Foxies retain a very strong prey drive, which they can sometimes direct towards reptiles and small rodents. Owners should, therefore, be wary about keeping them around small pets.

FAQs

1. How big do Miniature Fox Terriers grow?

As their name suggests, Miniature Fox Terriers are a relatively small breed. On average, Mini Foxies grow up to 12 inches in height.

2. Are Mini Fox Terriers hypoallergenic?

Mini Fox Terriers shed like any other dog, but more importantly, they produce dander. While they don’t shed all that much, they shed enough not to be considered hypoallergenic.

3. Do Fox Terriers bark a lot?

Miniature Fox Terriers are known to bark, and they enjoy barking at most things. This makes them good alert dogs but it isn’t really behavior that can be trained out of them.

13. Tenterfield Terrier

Tenterfield terrier walking on a white background

Highlights: Courageous, Sociable, Bouncy

Tenterfield Terriers were brought over to Australia on settler’s ships, where they were used for catching rats.

This continued to be their purpose in Australia, but they then also became popular as companion dogs too.

The Tenterfield Terrier is closely related to the Mini Fox Terrier, as both came from the same breeding stock.

In fact, the Tenterfield Terrier is often regarded by many as a more appropriate name for the two breeds.

Similar to the Mini Foxie, the breed was very good at its job because of its speed, size, and agility.

These are all characteristics that made it a popular companion pet, which it still is to this day.

💡Did You Know…

  • The breed is named Tenterfield because of a song written by Peter Allen. The subject of the song apparently kept these dogs in the Tenterfield area of New South Wales.
  • The Tenterfield Terrier is recognized by the national kennel clubs, whereas the Mini Foxie isn’t.
  • Tenterfield Terriers can live up to 20 years old.

Temperament

Tenterfield terrier named Scooter looking behind.

Tenterfield Terriers are known for being very intelligent and active dogs that are adaptable to almost any household.

This, along with their great personalities, is what makes them such popular family pets.

The breed is also very confident for its size and makes a good alert dog because it’s wary of strangers and protective of its property.

Conversely, the breed is very patient with people it knows and is great around children.

Tenterfield Terriers are surprisingly active for their size and need plenty of exercises.

This is something potential owners should always consider, along with the breed’s impressive average lifespan.

FAQs

 1. Do Tenterfield Terriers shed?

Tenterfield Terriers have a short coat that’s easy to look after, but does still shed. However, regular grooming should minimize the problem, which isn’t too bad to begin with.

2. Are Tenterfield Terriers good dogs?

Tenterfield Terriers make ideal family pets and are good dogs for first-time owners. However, a level of confidence is needed to keep their big personalities under control.

Conclusion:

Australia is known for many things, although this doesn’t usually include its dog breeds.

Luckily you now know plenty about some of the many dog breeds to originate in Australia.

As you can see, the diversity found in other Australian species is also true of their dogs.

About The Author: Pablo Pascua created dogbreedsfaq.com because of his interest in all the different breeds, and his desire to learn more. His inspiration comes from the many dogs he has owned throughout his life.