How to Care for the Coat of an Australian Terrier

by Lisa Miller
    Australian terriers have open, friendly features.

    Australian terriers have open, friendly features.

    Bigandt_Photography/iStock/Getty Images

    Australian terriers are small, sturdy dogs bred for hunting small vermin, tending livestock and serving as a lookout for his owner. These dogs tend to be hardy and make good companion animals. The tan and blue coat of the Australian terrier is generally easy to maintain, though it does require some special and focused attention.

    The Aussie Coat

    Australian terriers were bred to withstand the harsh elements of Australia, and their weather-resistant coat reflects this. The coat is waterproof and comprises two different layers. The outercoat made up of wiry, straight hairs about 2 1/2 inches in length protects a soft undercoat. Because of this double coat, caring for the coat of an Australian terrier can be more complex than in other breeds.

    Keeping Clean

    Australian terriers tend to be clean dogs, and do not require frequent bathing. Bathing Australian terriers too often can cause their distinctive coat to become soft and can lead to unpleasantly dry, itchy skin. Ideally an Australian terrier should be bathed no more than three to four times a year, or if the dog has become dirty. Brushing is a better alternative to bathing in cases where your terriers' coat is only somewhat soiled.

    Brushing and Stripping

    Owners should brush their Australian terriers once per week to remove dirt and debris, along with any knots. A pin brush works well for the Australian terrier's body, and a bristle brush is appropriate for the face. Owners should strip their Australian terriers of dead hairs twice a year. This process involves using either fingers or a special stripping knife to pull out longer, dead hairs in the direction of the hair growth.

    Staying Trim

    Trimming the coat around the paws, the back and underside of the tail and around the ears is necessary to maintain Australian terriers’ tidy appearance. For pet Australian terriers, this basic grooming should be all that is necessary to keep the dog looking neat. Show dogs require more elaborate grooming, including extra grooming around the eyes and top knot, and on the tops of the dog's feet.

    Photo Credits

    • Bigandt_Photography/iStock/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Lisa Miller has been a freelance writer since 2008. Her work can be found on Associated Content and eHow. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Missouri Southern State University, and is currently a full-time graduate student working on her master's in experimental psychology.

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