Little ratting terriers that were used to kill the rats and mice on board early sailing ships arrived in Australia with our first settlers. Once the ships docked, rats and other vermin escaped into the pristine countryside. As Australia became more populated, these little dogs became established throughout the country not only as vermin killers, but also a popular family companions. A group of these terriers became known as the "mini foxies".

Around 1990, as the dogs grew in popularity, a group of interested owners held a meeting that resulted in a breed registry becoming established. By 1992 it became obvious that the name "mini foxie" was inappropriate as this implies miniaturization of the Smooth Fox Terrier. After consultation with those who had dogs registered, a ballot was taken resulting in 85% favoring the name "Tenterfield Terrier". This was in recognition of George Woolnough, otherwise known as the "Tenterfield Saddler". George and his dogs were well known throughout the Tenterfield district in NSW.  Additionally, he is commemorated in the song ‘The Tenterfield Saddler’ written by his famous grandson Peter Allen.


The Tenterfield Saddler's shop in Tentrfield NSW.  Picture taken by Lani Smith.

Lani Smith took this photo of her dog at the Tentefield Saddler's workshop, which is preserved
for its historical value in the town of Tenterfield, New South Wales.