The Tenterfield Terrier is a confident little dog that is similar to the Miniature Fox Terrier and Rat Terrier. The original working dogs arrived in Australia with the early English settlers.
By the late 1800s, a breed known as “Mini Foxies” was prevalent throughout rural Australia. They were popular on farms as they were small enough to chase vermin out of their burrows, yet strong and agile enough to jump up onto the back of the farmer’s horse. They became popular in urban households by the 1920s.
- The Tenterfield Terrier came from two breeds the English settlers brought into the country. Ratting dogs were introduced to control the vermin that arrived with the settlers’ ships. Fox Terriers were introduced for hunting the red foxes that were also introduced by the English. Australian farmers wanted a dog that could do both, so the breeds were combined.
- The dogs were known as Mini Foxies until the breed was formally recognized in 1992. The name had to be changed as modern breeds cannot be named after an existing breed.
- Tenterfield is a rural town in northern New South Wales. The town was made famous in a song by Peter Allen about his grandfather George Woolnough. George was rumored to be a prolific breeder of the dog, and some believe the Tenterfield Terrier was named in honor of him.
- The Tenterfield Terrier is one of the few true Australian dog breeds and is the only terrier with the natural bobtail gene.