Australian Terriers have medium to long, coarse, double-layered coats that don't require a great deal of care. Below you'll find further details on maintaining these dogs' coats, along with info on both clipping and hand-stripping an Aussie Terrier's coat yourself.
These dogs' double-layered, coarse coats don't need a ton of care, so overall Australian Terrier grooming isn't a very time-consuming process. Though they don't shed too much, Aussies' coats do tangle and mat some, so they'll need brushing 3-4 times per week. They'll also need baths about every three months, or if they get particularly dirty or stinky (but be aware that the more frequently you bathe an Aussie Terrier, the softer its coat gets; this shouldn't be a problem unless you show the dog). And some owners clip their Aussie's coat into a Puppy Cut every 3-4 months to make it lower-maintenance, while others hand-strip it.
To brush: first wet the coat with mist from a spray bottle. A pin brush works best on these dogs, and a 2-in-1 comb for working through tangles and mats might come in handy as well. Brush the coat in the typical line-brushing fashion; if you encounter a stubborn tangle or mat, first separate it with your fingers, then finish working it out with the comb. If you're following the brushing with a bath, these little dogs are small enough to bathe in the kitchen sink. Use canine shampoo; apply some shampoo to the dogs back, then lather well and work downward (and don't forget the legs!). Rinse thoroughly, towel- or blow-dry, then give the coat another quick brush-through to make it look clean and neat.
Both clipping the coat and stripping it have their advantages, and both can easily be done at home. (See the Styling & Haircuts section for further details on both processes.) Regardless of which you choose, it's a good idea to visit a professional groomer at least once, as he or she can demonstrate how to clip or strip the coat, and provide tips on how to groom an Australian Terrier in general.
Australian Terriers need their coats shortened and/or thinned several times per year. But to clip or to strip? That's an ongoing debate. While numerous Australian Terrier haircuts exist, many owners choose to give their Aussie a short Puppy Cut. Others who prefer a natural look (especially those who show their dogs) choose to hand-strip the coats instead. Both are described below.
Puppy Cut: This style sees the coat shaved to about an inch all over; some leave the facial furnishings a bit longer. You'll need high-quality dog clippers with a #10 blade (and scissors for trimming the ears and facial hair); starting on the back, run the clippers along the coat in the same direction as the hair growth. (Two things to watch for: don't apply too much pressure to the clippers, as doing so can cut into the skin; and make sure the clipper blade doesn't get too hot, or it'll burn the dog's skin.) Finish with the scissors, and trim the face, ears, and other stray areas. It might take a bit of practice, but before long your Australian Terrier will look adorable.
Hand-Stripping: This is a process whereby the dead hairs in the Aussie's coat are "plucked" with your fingers. It's necessary 3-4 times per year, and while easy, can take up to an hour. To do it, go over the entire coat little by little, grasping a small section with your thumb and forefinger. When you gently pull on the hair, any dead hairs will come out. This method thins the coat without cutting anything, and leaves it looking fresh and healthy.