As part of my youngest daughters 5th grade curriculum for history, she is studying the Eastern Hemisphere, which of course includes countries such as Asia, Antarctica, Russia, Africa, the Middle East, in addition to Australia, just to name a few.  It's been an interesting exploration for both of us. While we're not even mid-way through the year, we've had the pleasure of studying  many countries which included New Zealand and Australia. They are both wonderful and beautiful places which we plan to visit in the near future.

Australia was such an interesting and beautiful place to study.  Maybe it was extra-interesting to us because we raise Australian Terriers, which are native to Australia.  Not to be confused with the "Aussie Shepherd" which didn't actually come from Australia. It isn't known for certain which part of Australia the little "rough coated" or "broken coated" terrier originated.  What is known is the Australian Terrier was likely used by the early settlers for keeping rats at bay and for keeping their feet warm at night. 

There are a few good books available on the Aussie Terrier, but in my opinion there is non like The Australian Terrier, History and Origins, written by Pamela McDougall Douglas.

It is for me the bible for this breed. If you enjoy reading about history, you'll love it.  

The book includes the history, the pedigrees of some of the first aussies, the standard for the breed, grooming tips and so much more!

These are some of the details about the Aussie from Pamela McDougall Douglas's book:

It is presumed that the Australian Terrier was developed with a cross-breeding of the: Dandie Dinmont, Skye and the extinct Scotch Terrier, not (Scottie Terrier).  Others also think it may include the English Black and Tan Terrier (extinct) the Yorkshire and the Irish Terrier. 

The first Australian Terriers came to the US is the early 1900's and even by 1934 it wasn't yet a recognized breed here in the US.  Not until May 1960 was the Australian Terrier recognized as the 114th breed  since 1936 to the American Kennel Club.  It was Mr. and Mrs. Fox who campaigned for the breed recognition.

This is the "abbreviated" Official Standard for the Australian Terrier:

General Appearance:  A small, sturdy medium-boned working terrier, rather long in proportion to height with pricked ears and docked tail (which is becoming optional).  Blue and tan, solid sandy or solid red in color with harsh-textured outer coate, a distinctive ruff and apron and a soft, silky topknot.  

Their expression keen and intelligent, their manner spirited and self-assured.

Size, Proportion, Substance: Size-Height 10-11 inches at the withers.  The length of back from the withers to the front of the tail is approx. 1-1 1/2 inches longer than from the withers to the ground.

Temperment: The Australian Terrier is spirited, alert, courageous, and self confident, with the natural aggressiveness of a ratter and hedge hunter; as a companion, friendly and affectionate.  Faults- Shyness or aggressiveness towards people.

I noted just a few breed standards there are several more. This is a great resource book which is quite educational whether you plan to adopt an aussie, show/breed an aussie or are just interested in finding out more about the breed.  I highly recommend it.

*Content in this blog in italics was derived in part or completely from the book  The Australian Terrier by Pamela McDouglal Douglas as noted.