The Australian terrier is a small, sturdy working terrier with a hard, protective coat and a distinctive ruff and apron. Developed in Australia in the mid-1800s, the Aussie was bred for versatility in handling Australia’s unique terrain and conditions. The Aussie was expected to help control rodents and snakes, tend sheep and act as watchdogs and companions. They are not suited to living outside or alone, but are happiest in close contact with their families, especially children. They excel in conformation, agility, earthdog and obedience. Today fanciers still prize the Aussie’s attractive appearance, flexibility of purpose, and spirited and self-assured demeanor.