The ancestors of Tenterfield Terrier accompanied Brittish sailors on their ways to Australia in 1800s. Only the best vermin hunters with small size were chosen to work on these ships as rat catchers and vermin hunters. There is a debate, which breeds were working on those ships, but it was most likely Old English White Terriers, small sized Fox Terriers and possibly Toy Manchester Terriers or Black and Tan Terriers.
The Tenterfield Terrier we know today was developed as a separate breed in Australia. When the Tenterfield ancestors arrived with the sailors, they quickly spread throughout the Australian countryside, where they were also used for pest control, but also for hunting other small game and as family companions. For a long time, these dogs were known just as Miniature Fox Terriers, or Mini Foxies, but because these dogs are not just miniaturization of another breed, the name was officially changed to Tenterfield Terrier in 1990s.
The name Tenterfield Terrier was chosen in honor to famous Tenterfield Saddler mr. George Woolnouth, who owned many of these little terrier dogs. Tenterfield is a city in New South Wales in Australia and it is one of the many places where Tenterfield Terriers were kept and bred.
The Tenterfield Terrier is highly valued for its working abilities, but also for its loving and companionable temperament. These dogs create great small and lively companions. The Tenterfield Terrier is known for its curious, playful and bright personality and they are very quick learners. But they are not total pushovers to train due to their independent temperament, you will have to be consistent and patient with the training. The Tenterfield Terrier is also good partner for kids and they can live with other dogs as well, but i would be very careful around small household pets like rabbits or hamsters.
This dog breed was bred to work and they love to have some kind of a job in their life. This means they need quite a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They will love to do any activity with their people, it can be long walks, jogs, hikes, swims.. You name it. These dogs are also great for various dog sports, such as earthdog trials, agility or lure coursing.
The Tenterfield Terrier is a small and athletic dog breed with square and compact body and average height 25-31 cm, which is 10-12 inch and weight is typically around 4 or 5 kg, which is approximatelly 10 pounds. There are no big size differences between males and females.
This dog breed has a short and smooth coat, which is very eas to take care of. The Tenterfield Terrier is predominantly white with patches of black, liver, blue or tan.
8) Adaptable breed
The Tenterfield Terrier is very adaptable breed. They can live on farms, in houses with big yard, but with enough exercise, they can easily live with tiny apartments as well. They can be great working dogs, companions for families or for single person. They will adapt to the person and they will enjoy almost any activity with them. The only exceptions might be seniors who are not very active anymore, because this energy might be too high for them.
The Tenterfield Terrier is a wash and wear dog breed, meaning they really do not need any grooming and they will still look good. Occassional brush will remove the dead hair and minimize the shedding. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, teeth and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.
The Tenterfield Terrier is usually pretty healthy dog breed with good lifespan around 13 years. But there are some Tenterfields who lived into their late teens as well. Of course, just like all dogs, even the Tenterfield Terrier can suffer from some health issues, for example from patellar luxation, hypothyroidism or allergies.