Miniature Fox Terrier dog breed was most likely developed from crosses between smaller Fox Terriers and Toy Manchester Terriers, and, later, crosses to other toy breeds such as the English Toy Terrier and Whippet. Hunters were seeking a smaller, speedy Fox Terrier that could be used for hunting smaller pests such as rats and rabbits. Although the origins of the breed are English, the breed was developed in and is endemic to Australia.
Miniature Fox Terriers were bred for hunting rodents and rabbits.
By the late 19th century, the breed type was clearly identifiable, where these small terriers proved its worth against rabbits, rats, and snakes on Australian farms. Mini Foxies demonstrated tenacity, endurance, and extreme loyalty to their owners; the dogs were routinely taken on the hunt, were sometimes used in search parties, and were used at Sydney’s North Head Quarantine Station, the Riverstone Meat Works and the Brisbane City Council as vermin exterminators.
Miniature Fox Terriers were bred for hunting rodents (rats, mice) and rabbits principally, these dogs are known for their speed and agility. With the ruthlessness of their attack on rodent pest species and their ability to squeeze into and out of tight spaces, they have made themselves an indispensable part of many Australian farms since the 19th Century. More recently, Miniature Fox Terriers have proved well-suited to being domestic pets in more urban environments. Their diminutive size, short clean hair and loyal acceptance of their place in the social hierarchy make them good pets, particularly in households with small children.
Despite their small size, the Mini Fox Terrier is a remarkably robust, well capable of playing with children without being injured. Miniature Fox Terriers generally get along well with other animals but, like most working terriers, cannot distinguish between small pets – such as reptiles and fancy rats – and vermin, and so must not be left alone with such animals.
Miniature Fox Terriers are confident and will generally interact with dogs and other animals many times their size. A balanced, smoothly-muscled dog breed, the Miniature Fox Terrier has a distinctive head with erectile ears that can stand straight up or fold at the tips. Another distinguishing feature is its articulate, oval-shaped foot. The breed standard has always allowed for the dog’s tail to be docked or undocked. Natural bobtails are known to occur. There are only three permitted color combinations: black and white, tan and white, and tricolour (black, white, and tan).
Miniature Fox Terriers are closely related to the Toy Fox Terrier, a breed that developed along similar lines in the United States. Some Toy Fox Terrier owners can trace their dogs’ pedigrees to “Foiler”, the first Fox Terrier registered by the Kennel Club in Britain in 1875. Other related breeds include the Jack Russell Terrier, the Rat Terrier, and the Tenterfield Terrier.
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