History of Tenterfield Terriers

Tenterfield Terriers origins can be traced back to individual miniature fox terrier’s being selected for their suitability onboard sailing ships with their agility and small size allowing them to easily catch rats and vermin onboard. This was a great asset for long voyages to Australia where controlling vermin could mean the difference between life and death.

After settling the dogs quickly found their way into family homes and households as not only was it great for controlling vermin but also friendly and well suited to the family companion. By the late 19th century Tenterfield Terriers were a fixture in both rural and urban households, although at this time there was still no official breed, and most were grouped under ‘Small Terriers’.

In the 1990’s the dog was recorded and tracked under the name of “Mini Foxie” but it was soon apparent that this name was not to stick. There was polling and debates over the following years until it was decided to be named the Tenterfield Terrier in recognition of Tenterfield’s George Woolnough (The Tenterfield Saddler) in 2002.

Since then the dog has become more common in urban and semi-urban settings then its more traditional rural roots with the decline in use of ratting dogs and its people loving and friendly disposition letting it fit in with ease.

Today the Tenterfield Terrier is an active, strong and agile working dog of great versatility. They have a smooth coat and are usually White and Black/Tan or Liver coloured. They are of equal proportions in front and back and their head should be of medium size in relation to the body. They are usually confident and eager to learn new skills, loyal to their owners they make great companion dogs. They are normally unfazed and courageous when working and are great at ratting as well. Tending to be between 25.5 to 30.5cms tall with the breed standard stating “Ideal being 28cms (11ins)..”.

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