Toy Fox Terrier: History, Temperament, Care, Training & more

Toy Fox Terrier Dog Breed Information
Also known as the American Toy Terrier

Toy Fox Terrier
Level of Energy   
Exercise Needs     
Level of Affection  
Climate Tolerance     
Good With Children     
Tolerance of Animals    
Suitable as Watch Dog  

Toy Fox Terrier – Just The Facts

  • AKC Popularity:  107
  • AKC Breed Group: Toy
  • Size of Male:  3.5-7 lbs., 8.5-11 in.
  • Size of Female:  3.5-7 lbs., 8.5-11 in.
  • Color:  Bi-colored (white + tan or black), Tri-colored (tan, chocolate, white)
  • Average Lifespan:  13-14 years
  • Breed Origin:  United States
  • Purpose:  Family Companion, Watch Dog

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General Description

The Toy Fox Terrier is a toy dog and a terrier combined. As a terrier, the breed sports a curious and spunky personality. As a toy, the darling loves to snuggle and cuddle but never be roughly handled. The dogs are quite famous for their fascination with tricks and will suit you perfectly if a clownish pooch that doubles as a rat hunter and watch dog is what you’re after.

Origin and History

Popularly referred to as the cuter and more tempered cousin of the Smooth Fox Terrier, the Toy Fox Terrier is actually a product of various breeds: the Smooth Fox Terrier, the Manchester Terrier, the Chihuahua, the Miniature Pinscher and the Italian Greyhound.

The early 20th century American farmers found the “runts” useful as rodent killers. For a time until 1936, no distinction was made between the Toy version and their larger cousins.

The breed finally gained recognition from the United Kennel Club in 1936 and from the American Kennel Club in 2003. Today, the pooches not only make livable home companions but also as the eager canine assistants of clowns.

Toy Fox Terrier Temperament

Feisty yet willingly trainable is just one of the few fitting descriptions of this dog breed. Also known as the American Toy Terrier, this eager barker tends to warm up and attach itself to one family only.

It takes time to get along well with other pets under the same roof. In fact, most of these toy terrier dogs feel a lot larger than they really are. Take care that yours doesn’t enter into a fight. Otherwise, there will be chaos!

Care, Grooming, Diet & Exercise

Living Environment – Space is not an issue. What a Toy Fox Terrier really needs is an adequately warm environment and plenty of gentle, intelligent and social interaction. The dogs do not take to the cold kindly, and they are as uncomfortable in an uneventful home (or one with children).

Tip: Pamper your pet with toys, and make sure that your lawn is securely fenced. There’s no telling where their boredom, curiosity or escape tendencies could lead.

Grooming – Although not heavy shedders, they do shed the whole year ’round and are not on the list of hypoallergenic dogs. A combination of occasional brushing, nail trimming and regular vacuuming is what you will expect at the very least. Overall, the dogs are easy to care for.

Diet & Exercise – This dog breed is not picky with food. Scheduled in small but several servings throughout the day, an ideal diet for this Toy Terrier consists of protein (one part) and vegetables and fruits (another part). A common variation is to serve a meaty main meal and designate the veggie bits as snack treats. Kibble is acceptable, yet to prevent indigestion these should be soaked in water first and allowed to expand before they are served.

Note that the more lethargic your pet is, the faster the food consumption and weight gain. So, don’t leave the breed’s exercise needs to chance. A short walk or an indoor game will do. Exercise doesn’t just help the dogs maintain their weight but also helps to calm them down.

Health – Despite its size, extreme fragility and low tolerance for the cold, the Toy Fox Terrier boasts of a long lifespan and a relatively clean bill of health. There are, however, some cases of congenital canine hypothyroidism, luxating patella and goiter seen in the breed.

Toy Fox Terrier Trainability

Dog training success and how trainable your Toy Fox Terrier is depends on the circumstance. The level can range between moderate to high. For instance, puppy potty training under wet weather can be hard.

The pooch does seem to prefer tricks over basic dog obedience training. Considering the dog’s smart yet stubborn nature, it takes brilliant timing and technique to make the training work.