By Jags Goldie Last updated: 22nd October 2022

Chilean Fox Terrier


Jags Goldie
Last updated: 22nd October 2022

The Chilean Fox Terrier or simply Chilean Terrier is a small-sized dog developed by crossing the British Fox Terrier with local breeds that existed in Chile before the arrival of Spanish conquistadores. Already popular in South America, the Chilean Terrier comes with a compact, well-balanced, and elegant appearance, forward-leaning, high-set ears having a pointed tip, and a low-set tail that may be docked.

Chilean Fox Terrier

Quick Information

Other NamesChilean Rat Terrier, Ratonero
CoatShort-haired, tight, lustrous, covering the whole body, undercoat is undesirable
ColorWhite body, neck, and tail, head and ears may be blue and tan, brown and tan, or black and tan
Breed TypeCrossbreed
LifespanAbout 15 years
WeightFemale: 11-15 lbs
Male: 13-18 lbs
HeightFemale: 11-14 inches
Male: 12-15 inches
Size of LitterAround 6 puppies
TemperamentGentle, alert, lively, brave
Good with ChildrenYes
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationNot recognized by any notable kennel clubs

Video: Chilean Fox Terriers Playing


The origin of Chilean Terriers can be traced back to the Colonial era when Spanish settlers brought Smooth Fox Terriers and Ratonero Bodeguero Andaluz dogs to Chile for exterminating rats. These dogs were mated with local breeds, and thus the Chilean Fox Terriers were produced. Originally developed in the farms, they could adapt well to the rural life.

However, with advancement in technology, people started migrating to the cities, taking their pet dogs with them. The breed was quick to adapt to their new environment, mainly used for catching and killing rats in the houses and industrial areas.

Although the FCI has not yet recognized them, the Chilean Fox Terriers belong to the group 11 of the KCC (Kennel Club of Chile) and group 3 of the ACW (Alianz Canine Worldwide). The ACEPE, A.G. (Chilean Association of Dog Breeders and Exhibitors) is now organizing specialized samples, putting an identification system into practice, and creating a study team to help these dogs become the first recognized Chilean breed.

Temperament and Behavior

The Chilean Terrier bonds closely with its people, making for a loving family companion. It is prone to mischief and can make you laugh with its antics.

A dog with natural watching and guarding instincts, the Chilean Rat Terrier will not hesitate to sound an alarm if it sees someone or something trespassing. Being active, watchful, and courageous by nature, it is still used as a hunting dog for rats and small game in the rural areas.

When raised with kids, it can get along well with the children in the family. Because of its hunting instincts, the Ratonero can be aggressive towards other animals and should not be kept with other pets unless properly trained to be well-behaved with them.



Since it is an energetic breed, it requires at least 30-45 minutes of regular exercise. Otherwise, it may develop behavioral issues like hyperactivity, excessive barking, and over-excitability. Some enjoy playing in the water while others love dog toys. So, a session of off-leash play in a fenced yard will keep it mentally and physically fit.


It is a low maintenance breed that requires occasional brushing to keep its fur neat and clean. Baths are necessary only when its coat becomes dirty. Trimming its nails and brushing its teeth every now and then is also important.

Health Problems

It is not predisposed to any serious health conditions except for some problems with the eyes, ears, and hip joints.


Leash Training: Since a Chilean Terrier has the tendency to chase other animals, start by letting your pet wear the collar and leash for a short period in a room without any distraction. Teach a cue such as “Yes” or clicking the tongue. The moment your dog turns towards you, give it a treat. Soon it will come to you after hearing the cue sound. Practice walking your dog with the leash on inside the house. Finally, take it outside to test its skills and keep the first few walks short.

Controlling Dog Aggression: Chilean Terriers are often willful and handling them becomes a challenge. So, you can consider enrolling your pup in training programs where it can learn to associate the presence of other pets with positive things, and that good behavior will be rewarded. The training classes also teach the owners to use his or her mood to influence the dog’s mood so that when the dog is tense, make sure not to use punishments and reprimands.


The Chilean Fox Terrier needs a nutritious diet providing adequate amounts of protein, fat, carbs, and calories. Good quality dry food is also a healthy food option.

Interesting Facts

  • Washington, a famous fictitious dog in the Chilean comic book “Condorito,” is a Chilean Fox Terrier.

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