Toy Fox Terrier Guide

Toy Dog Breeds

Watch All Breed Videos: A - K | L - Z

The Toy Fox Terrier has all the same traits that make the Smooth Fox Terrier such a successful hunter -- just in a diminutive package. This is an athletic, agile and graceful dog with surprising strength and the stamina to frolic all day. The gait is smooth and effortless. The coat is short and smooth, perfect for caressing.

TFTs are TNT in a small bundle. Feisty and fun-loving, they are hunting terriers at heart and will spend hours investigating the yard, your cabinets and places you never knew existed. They love to play with people and toys, and make excellent companions for careful older children; however, they do not tolerate inconsiderate handling. They can entertain for hours and are also content to snuggle on a warm lap during recess. This is a one-family, even one-person, breed that doesn't warm to strangers initially. The TFT's intelligence, energy and penchant for showing off make it a quick study and impressive trick dog.


FAMILY Terrier

AREA OF ORIGIN United States

DATE OF ORIGIN Early 1900s



AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 8.5 -11 Weight: 3.5 - 7

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 8.5 -11 Weight: 3.5 - 7

OTHER NAME American Toy Terrier, Amertoy

Energy level High energy

Exercise needs Low

Playfullness Very playful

Affection level Very affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly

Friendliness toward other pets Friendly

Friendliness toward strangers Shy

Ease of training Hard to train

Watchdog ability High

Protection ability Not very protective

Grooming needs Low maintenance

Cold tolerance Low tolerance

Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

Play Toy Fox Terrier
Watch Video
Upkeep consists of making sure the TFT is supplied with toys, playmates and an appreciative audience. It needs the opportunity to exercise its mind and body, but it can do so in a small area. Without sufficient attention, exercise, and training, it will dig and bark. The Toy Fox Terrier appreciates a warm, soft bed or lap. It does not care to be wet or cold, and should wear a sweater and even protective earmuffs in cold weather. This is not an outdoor dog! Coat care could not be easier.
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: patellar luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes, demodicosis, congenital hypothyroidism with goiter none
• Occasionally seen: vWD none
• Suggested tests: knee, thyroid, vWD, DNA for congenital hypothyroidism none
• Life span: 13-14 years none
Play Toy Fox Terrier
Watch Video
Smooth Fox Terriers have long been a favorite of farmers and pet owners. American farmers found smaller individuals, or what they called runts, were particularly scrappy, as well as handy for catching rodents around the farm. Pet owners found them especially entertaining and handier for having around the house. In the early 1900s, these smaller fox terriers were crossed with several toy breeds, including the Toy Manchester Terrier, Chihuahua, and possibly Italian Greyhound. The result was a smaller version of the Smooth Fox Terrier with a few important differences. The fiery temperament was still there, but tempered a bit... just a bit. The smaller dogs were still registered with the UKC as Smooth Fox Terriers, but, in 1936, the UKC granted them their own name and breed status. The Toy Fox Terrier is easier for many people to live with, without sacrificing the traits that drew them to the Fox Terrier family in the first place. They remained one of the most popular non-AKC companion breeds in the country until 2003, when they entered the AKC show ring for the first time.
Play Toy Fox Terrier
Watch Video