A little satin-coated dynamo that has the best of both worlds, the Toy Fox Terrier is a charming dog that perfectly combines the feistiness and courage of the terrier and the playfulness and amiability of a toy breed. Bred to be a farm dog whose job was clear granaries and barns from rodents and other vermins but today, he serves as an affectionate, devoted, and lap-loving companion, bringing smiles to many homes.
Origins of the Toy Fox Terrier
While the Toy Fox Terrier has been bred in the United States, this dog traces its roots from England’s Smooth Fox Terrier, a breed loved by many farmers for its incredible rodent hunting skills. In the early 20th century, American breeders crossed the Smooth Fox Terrier with toy dogs, such as the Italian Greyhound, Miniature Pinscher, and the Chihuahua. The result is the Toy Fox Terrier, also called the “AmerToy” or American Toy Terrier, with the terrier’s spunk and the toy breeds’ adorable personality.
The breed was embraced by many dog enthusiasts wanting to have an incredible companion and a farm dog. With their intelligence, grace, and stylish look, Toy Fox Terriers also became a staple in show business and became amazing circus dogs and performers.
In 1936, the United Kennel Club registered its first dog from the breed, but it was only in 2003 when the Toy Fox Terrier gained full recognition from the American Kennel Club, becoming AKC’s 150th breed.
Characteristics of the Toy Fox Terrier
Height: 8.5-11.5 inches
Weight: 3.5-7 pounds
Life Expectancy: 13-15 years
The Toy Fox Terrier is a toy-sized dog, with an elegant stature, and athletic, well-proportioned frame. While diminutive, he boasts gracefulness, and incredible stamina, and strength. His head is wedge-shaped, with medium-sized, but erect and prominent ears. Meanwhile, his circular brown eyes provide him with a watchful, animated, and curious expression.
The breed’s coat is short, sleek, and glossy, and often tri-colored, with colors of white, tan, chocolate brown, and black. However, regardless of pattern, his coat will always be predominantly white, and often naturally appearing as well-groomed.
In terms of his character, the Toy Fox Terrier is not as boisterous as the typical Terrier, but still retains the enthusiasm of its cousins. Very assertive, he often doesn’t need encouragement as he will often explore new horizons and try new challenges himself. Such a trait, however, can make him just a little bit willful and stubborn, often deeming he is master of the house. Fortunately, he can be taught about his boundaries.
Despite its size, the TFT can be territorial. He will take on the task of being a watchdog without his family telling him so. Expect him to protect his home by barking loudly at strangers. Guests would also see his aloof side, as he tends to take time before warming up to them.
But, when it comes to his close family, he becomes an affectionate dog that is willing to partake in any activity their owner is up to. He is people-oriented, finding happiness in cuddling in his beloved humans’ lap. Very friendly, he does with older children and is happy to be their exuberant playmate. Toddlers may need supervision, as they may hurt the toy breed, causing him to bite the small child.
As with other pets, the Toy Fox Terriers are amenable to live with those he has been raised with at a young age. However, he should not be left unsupervised with small pets, such as hamsters and guinea pigs, as he can quickly view them as prey. Instead, a cat can be his great friend, and they will get along harmoniously, even playing and sleeping together.
In general, the Toy Fox Terrier is an ideal house pet, with a big personality, and a healthy level of energy. Just spend a significant amount of time with him, and he’ll be a loving, loyal, and toy canine companion.
Caring for the Toy Fox Terrier
Being a short-haired dog breed, the Toy Fox Terrier needs minimal upkeep. Weekly brushing is usually enough to remove dead skin, loose fur, or any debris. He can shed quite a fair amount, so it is recommended to brush him outside the home. Then, brush his teeth weekly and trim his nails monthly as part of his grooming routine.
This little dog is fairly active, which means he needs ample exercise to flourish. Supply him with toys and playmates, and he’ll be happy to engage for good play sessions. However, he also needs a daily walk in the park or a good romp in a safe, well-fenced area.
While playtime is a form of exercise, it doesn’t match the physical stimulation provided by those two activities. Without sufficient exercise, he may result in destructive behavior, such as digging or unnecessary and excessive barking. But highly intelligent, training the TFT is usually a breeze. He is capable of learning different activities, from hunting to obedience, agility, and even lounging on your couch.
The Toy Fox Terrier is considered to be hardy diminutive dogs. However, he is still vulnerable to specific inheritable conditions, such as primary lens luxation, patellar luxation, and hyperthyroidism. Another health concern frequently affecting the breed is Von Willebrand’s disease, a blood clotting disorder that causes these dogs to bleed excessively. The condition is often not apparent and is only known during an injury or surgery.
Always deal with a reputable and responsible breeder and get your dog the necessary tests and immunizations, and regular checkups for his overall optimum health.