How to Groom an Australian Terrier

how to groom an australian terrier

Introduction to Grooming Needs of Australian Terriers

Australian Terriers, affectionately known as “Aussie Terriers,” are small but sturdy dogs with a rough, wiry coat. Their coat is designed to protect them from the harsh Australian climate, and it comes in shades of blue and tan or sandy. While they are relatively low-maintenance compared to some other breeds, regular grooming is essential to keep their coat healthy and free from matting.

There are two primary coat types for the Australian Terrier: rough and wiry. Both types require specific grooming techniques to maintain their natural texture and luster. Regular grooming not only ensures that the coat remains in top condition but also provides an opportunity to check for any skin issues or external parasites.

Brushing Basics

Brushing is a fundamental aspect of grooming for an Australian Terrier. Regular brushing helps remove loose hair, dirt, and debris, ensuring the coat remains clean and tangle-free.

Types of Brushes:

  • Slicker Brush: This is ideal for removing tangles and mats from the Aussie Terrier’s wiry coat.
  • Pin Brush: Suitable for general brushing, it helps in distributing natural oils throughout the coat.
  • Metal Comb: Useful for detailing and checking for any small mats after brushing.

For short-haired varieties, a weekly brushing session might suffice. However, for the longer, wiry coat, more frequent brushing, perhaps two to three times a week, is recommended to prevent matting.


  • Always brush in the direction of hair growth.
  • Start from the head and move towards the tail.
  • Be gentle around sensitive areas like the belly and ears.
  • After brushing, use a metal comb to ensure no tangles remain.

Bath Time: How Often and What to Use

Australian Terriers do not require frequent baths. Overbathing can strip their coat of natural oils, making it dry and brittle. A bath once every 6-8 weeks or when they get particularly dirty is usually sufficient.

Selecting the Right Shampoo: Always opt for a dog-specific shampoo. For Aussie Terriers, a shampoo designed for wiry coats can help maintain the coat’s natural texture. If your terrier has sensitive skin, hypoallergenic or oatmeal-based shampoos are a good choice.

Bathing Tips:

  • Ensure the water is lukewarm.
  • Wet the dog thoroughly before applying shampoo.
  • Massage the shampoo gently into the coat.
  • Rinse thoroughly to ensure no residue remains.
  • Towel dry and then allow the dog to air dry. Avoid using a human hairdryer as it can be too hot for a dog’s skin.

Remember, a positive bathing experience is crucial. Always reward your Australian Terrier with treats and praise after a bath to associate it with a positive experience.


Nail Trimming: Tips and Precautions

Regular nail trimming is essential for the Australian Terrier to ensure their comfort and prevent potential injuries. Overgrown nails can cause discomfort, affect the dog’s gait, and even lead to painful conditions like ingrown nails.

Tools to Use:

  • Guillotine Nail Clippers: These are designed specifically for dogs and work by encircling the nail and cutting it with a single blade.
  • Scissor-type Clippers: These work like regular scissors but are stronger and designed for dog nails.
  • Nail Grinder: This is an electronic tool that grinds down the nail gradually. It’s a good option for dogs who are nervous about nail clipping.

Techniques and Tips:

  • Hold the Paw Firmly: Gently but firmly hold your Australian Terrier’s paw. This ensures you have control and can make a clean cut.
  • Cut a Little at a Time: To avoid cutting into the quick (the blood vessel inside the nail), trim a small amount of the nail at a time.
  • Use a Flashlight: If your terrier has dark nails, shining a flashlight behind the nail can help you see the quick.
  • Stay Calm: If you’re nervous, your dog will pick up on that energy. Stay calm and offer treats and praise throughout the process.
  • In Case of Bleeding: If you accidentally cut into the quick, don’t panic. Apply styptic powder or cornstarch to stop the bleeding.


  • Always ensure your nail trimming tools are sharp. Dull tools can cause splitting or crushing of the nail.
  • If your Australian Terrier is particularly nervous about nail trimming, consider seeking the help of a professional groomer or veterinarian.

Addressing Shedding in Australian Terriers

While Australian Terriers are not heavy shedders, they do lose some hair, especially during seasonal changes. Regular grooming can help manage and reduce the amount of hair they shed.

Shedding Patterns: Australian Terriers typically shed more during the spring and fall. This is their body’s way of preparing for the changing seasons.

Managing Shedding:

  • Regular Brushing: Brushing your terrier several times a week can help remove loose hairs and reduce the amount of hair that ends up on your furniture and clothing.
  • Healthy Diet: A balanced diet can promote a healthy coat and reduce excessive shedding. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acid supplements can also help improve coat health.
  • Bathing: While frequent baths are not recommended, a bath during peak shedding times can help remove loose hairs.

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