|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 2 (Terriers)
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Tenterfield Terrier is a small, lightweight
Miniature Fox Terriers, and
Terriers. The Tenterfield Terrier has English origins but, like
such as the Miniature Fox Terrier, the
Australian Terrier, the
Terrier, and the
Australian Cattle Dog, was developed uniquely in
The Tenterfield Terrier is a balanced, square terrier with a short, fine
The coat is predominantly white with markings in black, tan, liver or brindle.
The preference is for a
but naturally short tails or
known to occur.
As is so often the case, the origins of the breed are somewhat obscure. It is
generally believed that smaller puppies from the litters of Fox Terriers were
crossed with the progeny of other small breeds. Certainly, by the late 1800s a
dog type known as the Little or Miniature Fox Terrier (known colloquially as
‘Mini Foxies’) was well established in rural Australia. By the 1920s the dog was
a fixture in urban households as well.
The name ‘Tenterfield’ is sometimes incorrectly stated to denote the
terrier’s place of origin as
New South Wales. Rather, Tenterfield is one of many Australian towns and
villages in which small dogs of this type were known to exist. The town of
Tenterfield is significant in Australian history, and the best-known owner of
its saddlery was a man named George Woolnough, who was immortalized by his
Allen, as the “Tenterfield Saddler”. Mr. Woolnough owned a number of small
terrier-type dogs; however, photographs of these dogs are not readily available.
The name Tenterfield Terrier was suggested in the 1990s by
a television personality of the era, and was adopted during the renaming of one
of the then-Miniature Fox Terrier clubs.
In 1991 a group of enthusiasts from the state of
South Australia formed the autonomous Miniature Fox Terrier Club of South
Australia, separate to the
Miniature Fox Terrier Club of Australia, which had been operating in New
South Wales for some time. In 1992 they met with owners from other states to
discuss the future of the Clubs. At that time, it became evident that there were
some differences as to the preferred type of dog that would represent the
Miniature Fox Terrier breed. Further, challenges to the name “Miniature Fox
Terrier” were being mounted, and threatened to preclude recognition by an
All-Breed club, which was a priority among some breeders. In 1993 fanciers from
South Australia and other states formed the Tenterfield Terrier Club of
Australia. The breed standard of the Tenterfield Terrier differs in substance
from that of the Miniature Fox Terrier, and although they are sometimes
confused, the two dogs have been developing along divergent lines for over
twenty years and are now separate breeds.
The tireless efforts of Tenterfield Terrier owners were rewarded in 2002 when
the Tenterfield Terrier was recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council
(ANKC) and placed in Group 2, Terriers.
The Tenterfield Terrier Today
As of 2004, the Tenterfield Terrier is a breed under development. There is
still variation in the types of dog seen in the show ring from state to state.
These differences are small and of little interest to the average dog owner. For
breeders and fanciers, however, foot shape, ear shape, colour, and other
conformation points have the capacity to change the future look of a breed,
and are of the utmost importance. Like the breeders of all other dogs,
Tenterfield Terrier breeders work to improve their breeding lines and to assure
standardization of type.
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