History of the Chilean Fox Terrier

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History of the Chilean Fox Terrier
History of the Chilean Fox Terrier

General description of the dog, the ancestors of the Chilean Fox Terrier and their use, the unique features of the variety and its development, the work of amateurs to bring the breed to the world arena, the current state of the dog. The content of the article:

  • Origin, ancestors and their application
  • Unique traits
  • The history of development
  • The work of amateurs to bring them to the world stage
  • State of the art

The Chilean Fox Terrier or Chilean fox terrier is a small dog developed by crossing the British Fox Terrier with the native breeds that existed in Chile before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. Representatives of the species are very popular in South America and are gradually gaining fans in new countries.

These dogs have a compact size, balanced body and elegant appearance. Their erect ears with a sharp tip are directed forward, and developed jaws and teeth will be a threat to any pest. The coat of the dog is short, and the main color is white, with black and brown markings. The tail is set low and can be docked. The Chilean Fox Terrier is very trainable, active, emotional and one of the healthiest and most purebred canines.

Origin, ancestors of the Chilean Fox Terrier and their application

Chilean Fox Terrier puppies

The breed was developed in the 19th century, by crossing two very different groups of canines, the British Fox Terriers and the local Chilean dogs. It is unclear exactly when the hatching began, but most likely between 1790 and 1850, gaining momentum during difficult times. The breed was well established by 1870, although some development and outcrossing almost certainly continued for several decades. Although the Chilean fox terrier is less than 200 years old, the history of its ancestors can be traced back several centuries.

Initially, the terriers were mostly kept by poor British farmers. It is not clear exactly when they were taken out, but scientists believe that such dogs have existed since Roman times, and maybe even earlier. The Terriers were in charge of killing rodents and other small pests and were excellent at it. They were small enough in size to chase game in underground burrows, and their name loosely translates as "one who walks underground."

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the British nobility began to seriously hunt foxes for fun. Since the English Foxhounds are too big to fall into the fox's burrow, the trappers used terriers to continue the chase. In the end, for such a hunt, a special type of terrier (the ancestor of the Chilean fox terrier) was specially bred. They soon became known as "fox terriers" and were significantly expensive at the time the first individuals were imported into Chile.

The variety was almost always smooth, and much more variable in appearance. In fact, several modern breeds were considered fox terriers at the time, including the jack russell terrier s, parson russell terrier s, and smooth fox terrier s. The fox terrier, the forerunner of the Chilean fox terrier, became so popular among the British upper classes that a large number of individuals were mostly kept as companions.

Regardless of the primary use of each individual dog, virtually all members of the species in the 19th century continued to possess the ability of their ancestors to destroy pests. Many of the dogs were used for baiting foxes and companionship with the owners, and also rid the back rooms and houses from rodents.

It is not entirely clear how the fox terrier, the progenitor of the Chilean fox terrier, came to be in Chile.They were probably brought in by Chilean students attending schools in England or by British traders working in the region, as well as a small number of English and Irish immigrants. The transportation of goods in the 19th century was different from that of today. In the best of circumstances, the trip from the UK to Chile took several weeks, and the journey was quite risky and costly. This meant that very few individual fox terriers would arrive in the country.

The first exported specimens were almost certainly confined to the country's major seaports, but they quickly spread to rural areas. Although fox hunting was never popular in these lands, locals quickly discovered that fox terriers were still extremely useful. Possessing centuries-old working genes, the fox terrier hunted and killed countless numbers of mice, rats and other parasites in the new territory.

The small size and incredibly active nature of these dogs (the ancestors of the Chilean fox terriers) meant that they were equally suited for life in the country and in the city. In rural areas, the breed has helped prevent hunger and monetary losses from rodent pests, and in urban areas, dogs have contributed to a significant reduction in infectious and foodborne diseases by killing potential distributors. To "support" the population, especially in more remote areas, the small numbers of fox terriers were not enough, so they were often crossed with indigenous canines.

Since no breeding data has been preserved, it is impossible to say for sure which local breeds were used in the development of the Chilean Fox Terrier. Most experts believe that mainly American-born indigenous dogs were used. The dog was already domesticated when the first Native Americans came to Alaska and even the earliest settlers in the New World possessed them.

The species were especially widespread in the Andean region, where they served a number of very important religious purposes, along with hunting, guarding property, and companionship. Few people know for sure about Indian dogs before the European conquest of the Americas due to the lack of written data. The first European settlers cared about the spread of Christianity and the acquisition of gold, and not about their own dogs, the ancestors of the Chilean Fox Terriers.

It is clear that there were two main species of the Andean dog: the naked ancestor of the modern Peruvian inca orchid, and an older and more primitive type very similar to the Australian dingo and carolina dog. If the Chilean "native" dogs were like these breeds, they were of average size, direct intelligence, hunting skills and well adapted to local conditions.

Although rarely mentioned in the literature, genes from other European breeds are almost certainly present in Chilean Fox Terriers. Chile was first settled by Spanish and Basque immigrants in the 1500s. But it was still home to a diverse cluster of European settlers from Latin America, along with significant numbers of German, Italian, French, English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Dutch, Croatian and Middle Eastern immigrants.

All of these peoples were probably accompanied by their dogs, the blood of any of which could have entered the Chilean Fox Terrier lineage. Among the most likely candidates are the Andalusian Bodugero, Maltese, Miniature Pinscher, German Pinscher, Italian Greyhound, Spanish Water Dog, Pyrenean Shepherd Dog, Catalan Shepherd Dog, Canarian Podengo, Ibizan Hound, Portuguese Podengo and other types of terriers.

Unique features of the Chilean Fox Terrier

Chilean fox terrier for a walk

The mixture of fox terriers and local Chilean crosses has resulted in the highly skilled chilean fox terrier. The breed was so good at its job that it became known as the "Ratonero", or rat hunter.The look was very similar in appearance to the fox terrier, especially the smooth fox terrier, but there were some differences: a shorter muzzle, somewhat smaller size and limited coloration.

The Chilean fox terrier was also almost certainly better adapted to life in Chile's incredibly diverse environments than the fox terrier, apparently due to the injections of American dog blood. This adaptability is extremely important because Chile has some of the most diverse landscapes on Earth (very arid desert, some of the very high mountains, and vast stretches of rich temperate forests).

The Chilean Fox Terrier has a slightly less harsh temperament than most terriers, although the breed clearly exhibits similar temperaments. The breed's small size made them one of the cheapest dogs for Chileans, and even the poorest families could afford to feed one of these dogs.

The history of the development of the Chilean Fox Terrier

Chilean fox terrier appearance

At the same time, in order to preserve its appearance, its association, together with the European aristocracy, mainly from the United Kingdom, made the breed prestigious enough for wealthy families. Because rodents harm all social classes equally, the Chilean Fox Terrier has become beneficial to all Chileans. These dogs were equally popular with all walks of life in Chile.

Initially, the popularity of Chilean Fox Terriers began in the countryside, where the majority of Chile's population once lived. This situation changed dramatically during the 20th and 21st centuries, when this country became one of the most urbanized states in Latin America and in the world. Many of these migrants brought with them their Chilean fox terriers, the breed of which is almost certainly found in Chilean cities. The 20th century has also seen the development of countless technological advances that have made shipping and handling easier, safer, faster and cheaper.

Chile, once one of the most isolated countries on Earth, has become closely linked to the global economy. Here a "new" middle class emerged, many of whose members preferred to have the Chilean Fox Terrier as a companion. At the same time, the country's upper class gave preference to foreign varieties. Such dogs were considered much more prestigious and desirable.

The work of amateurs to bring the Chilean Fox Terrier to the world stage

Chilean Fox Terrier muzzle

The Chilean kennel club and local shows were completely dominated by foreign breeds, and it seems that no native Chilean variety has ever received official recognition from a major canine organization, even in Chile. Almost no serious dog breeder paid attention to the chilean fox terrier, although they remained invariably popular.

Breeders of the Chilean Fox Terriers have focused on breeding individuals with performance and communication loyalty, rather than conformation. As a result, the breed became quite diverse in appearance, but possessed excellent pest control skills and an affectionate temperament. Although most breeders maintained pure blood in these dogs, there was no official register or breed book.

The position of the Chilean fox terrier has changed dramatically in recent decades as a result of the 1949 comic "Condorito" by renowned Chilean cartoonist René Rios, which depicts the anthropomorphic Andean Condor in a variety of humorous situations. The main character has a pet - a Chilean fox terrier named "Washington". In recent decades, the character has become extremely popular throughout Latin America, especially in other Andean countries.

The growing fame of Condorito has greatly increased the awareness of the Chilean Fox Terrier, both in Peru and abroad. Many children wanted to own such a pet from the illustrated story, and many parents were ready to satisfy the desire of their "child".Since the 1990s, the number of representatives in Chile has gradually increased, and a significant number of Argentines, Bolivians, Peruvians, Ecuadorians and other nationalities began to import them. The popularity of the Chilean Fox Terrier has benefited more from the development of the Internet, which has helped breeders to advertise and sell their dogs in other countries cheaper and easier. While this demand has proven disastrous for many breeds, it has largely not had a negative impact on the Chilean Fox Terriers.

The growing interest in the Chilean Fox Terrier has convinced a number of longtime breeders that such a variety should be standardized and officially recognized. At the same time, many dog ​​show representatives and conformational breeders have shown renewed interest in the species. These hobbyists decided to form a breed club, develop a written standard, and begin standardizing chilean fox terriers.

Their organizational efforts were aided by the growing availability of the Internet, which made it possible to communicate cheaply and easily over long distances. Initial efforts began in the 1990s, but actually intensified in 2004 when a group of breeders and owners began working with the "Asociacion gremial de criadores y expositores de perros de chile" (Association of Chilean Breeders and Exhibitors) to win the breed a full confession.

In 2007, the Nacional terrier chileno (CNTC) (National Chilean Terrier Club) was founded to promote and protect the breed. In the same year, an official written standard was agreed and published. The criteria were drawn up in a format compatible with the rules of the Cynologique internationale (FCI), since the ultimate goal of the CNTC is full recognition of the FCI.

The initial response from Chilean fox terrier fans to CNTC's efforts was overwhelmingly positive. The organization is constantly replenished with new members and breeders. Now the club regularly organizes and successfully holds exhibitions throughout Chile. Standardization efforts are also showing excellent results, as more breeders are working to develop pets that are more closely aligned and can actively exhibit their chilean fox terriers in the show ring.

These dogs also benefit from the fact that they are the only native species in their homeland and therefore attract some nationalist pride. The first step towards full recognition of the FCI Chilean fox terrier is probably through the Chilean Kennel Club. The Chilean Kennel Club has yet to meet its objectives and it is unclear in what area the organization's activities are planned in the near future. However, the Chilean Fox Terriers are already one of the most popular and well-known breeds in Chile, and in the end, the initial goals will end with a positive result.

The current state of the Chilean Fox Terrier

Chilean fox terrier in colors

The future of these dogs looks quite safe. The species is growing consistently in a number of South American countries, especially Chile. The Chilean Fox Terrier is perhaps the only breed that is adaptable enough to live and work comfortably in the diverse environment of its homeland.

Efforts to officially recognize chilean fox terriers are also progressing, which only increases the awareness and popularity of these dogs around the world. It is unclear if they were exported to the United States, but CNTC hosts major international events in that country, especially in Florida, which is home to a large Hispanic community.

Like many modern breeds, the Chilean Fox Terrier is mainly kept as a companion in urban areas and beyond. Unlike the bulk of today's species, chilean fox terriers have consistently maintained their working ability, and many of these dogs are still effective at killing pests throughout Chile.

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