The Tenterfield Terrier originated in Australia and is also called the Miniature Fox Terrier or the Mini Fox Terrier. The full origin of this dog isn’t fully known. One school of thought is that the smallest puppies from Fox Terrier litters were crossed with other small breed dogs.
In the late 1800s, this dog was a definite part of rural Australian life. By the 1920s, he was also a popular dog breed for families in the suburbs too. The name – “Tenterfield” is a town in New South Wales, and was incorrectly thought to be the birthplace of this breed. However, the truth is that the town is just one of many places where this dog lived.
The town has a different significance to Australians as the owner of its saddlery was the grandfather of the entertainer, Peter Allen. He wrote the “Tenterfield Saddler” about his grandfather who also happened to own quite a few small types of terriers. The dog was named “Tenterfield” in the 1990s by Don Burke, a popular TV personality of the time. The name was accepted as a renaming of a Miniature Fox Terrier Club.
As for the dog itself, his coat is fine and short and he’s a square, well-balanced breed. Most of the dogs are white and have tan, liver or black markings. The life expectancy of this dog is 14-15 years. He’s usually 25 – 30 cm and weight is proportional to his height.
As a breed, this is a typically healthy animal. However, he’s prone to facing patella luxation and hypothyroidism.
The Tenterfield Terrier is an agile, active, strong, versatile working terrier. He’s confident, bright, happy and keen to learn. He’s very loyal to his owner. He’s independent, clever, fearless, highly intelligent and bold and has an alert facial expression.
As with all terriers, you need to be patient when training him. He’ll respond the way you expect if you use methods of positive reinforcement. Hitting and yelling will get you nowhere.
This dog is very friendly and loves to curl up in your lap while you’re sitting in your favourite chair. However, he’ll be noisy and may be destructive if he’s bored. He gets along well with children. He can’t be trusted with other pets including guinea pigs and mice. He has a strong terrier “chase and kill” instinct.
The Tenterfield Terrier needs to be kept occupied as much as possible. He needs daily walking or jogging. He’s ideal in fly-ball competitions and agility trials. He needs to burn off his energy so he’ll settle down when you want to relax.
Grooming is easy for this pet. Brush his short haired, smooth coat regularly with a firm bristle brush. Wash him fortnightly in the warmer periods and monthly in the cooler weather. Use a chamois or towel to rub his coat so it shines.
A small dog doesn’t need a huge home to live in. He loves families and gets along children of all ages. He has a lot of loving to give and he only asks to be loved in return.
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