The Australian Terrier is one of the smallest of the working terriers, bred to be both a helper and companion. The Rough-Coated Terrier and a close relative of the old Scotch Dog of Great Britain are believed to have been cross-bred with a number of other breeds of British stock to produce the fast, sturdy, weather-resistant and fearless little dog that served the settlers as they expanded the frontiers of their country. Persistent breeding efforts over the years produced an ideal terrier that was suited to the conditions of Australia. The end result was a breed that was rugged, fearless and equally at home indoors or out. The breed soon spread throughout the country and they were used to control rodents, guard the gold mines, and work on ranches as herding and watch dogs. The breed was the first from Australia to be recognized in the United States. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Australian Terrier in 1960.