Dog Profiles - Description of Toy Fox Terrier

Toy Fox Terrier

Description: The Toy Fox Terrier is a very alert looking terrier breed, bright and energetic while also very athletic and fairly muscular in appearance. People that are not aware of the breed often mistake these dogs for Jack Russell Terriers, although there are very definite differences between the two breeds. Generally the Toy Fox Terrier is much smaller, finer boned, shorter coated and much more refined looking than the Jack Russell. The Toy Fox Terrier has a fox-like face with a wedge shaped head and a strong yet slightly tapered muzzle. The eyes, rims of the eyes and the nose will be very dark on all Toy Fox Terriers except those that have chocolate colors, in which case the eye rims and the nose will be lighter in color, more in keeping with a brownish tone. The eyes are round in shape and are neither protruding nor deep set, but they do have an alert, mischievous and friendly appearance. The ears are very pointed in a broad inverted V shape and are relatively high on the head. The ears are always carried completely erect and alert. The body of the Toy Fox Terrier is very balanced and never frail or delicate in appearance. Despite being a toy dog, they have a solid frame, good bone structure and visible muscling on the legs. Although they are muscular they are not cobby or bulky in appearance. The chest is deep and strong, blending into well sprung ribs that taper back to narrower flanks and hips. The front and hind legs are solidly set in to the corners of the body, giving this dog a very sturdy appearance. The top-line is level and the tail is carried high, often docked moderately short. In areas where docking is not allowed, the tail will grow to be longer and tapered to a point and is still carried high. Both the front and hindquarters are well developed and the legs are well conformed. The feet are small and compact, neither turning out nor in, positioned parallel to each other when viewed from any direction. The gait is confident and jaunty and they have a natural flowing stride that is surprisingly fast for a small dog.

Height: 10 in (25 cm)

Weight: 3.5-7 lbs (1.5-3 kg)

Colors: Tri-color (black, tan and white) with at least 50% of the body white; white and tan; white, chocolate and tan; white and black. White blazes acceptable and feet below the hocks must be white. The head must be at least 50% black or tan and the body cannot be less than 50% white with any color combination.

Coat: The coat is uniformly short, sleek and soft to the touch. The area around the neck, known as the ruff, may be slightly longer and heavier than the rest of the coat.

Temperament: The Toy Fox Terrier has a true terrier personality and temperament. They are happy, lively and energetic dogs that are always interested in what the family is doing. The Toy Fox Terrier loves to be in the center of the action but they are also more affectionate than many of the terriers and enjoy just sitting with their owners. The Toy Fox Terrier will be very puppyish in his or her behavior, even well into the dog's senior years. They are highly intelligent and quickly learn an amazing number of words, commands and signals. They can be very curious dogs and will often find something to play with or entertain themselves if left alone for longer periods of time. When provided with toys and time to exercise the Toy Fox Terrier can tolerate being left at home during the day, providing they have lots of attention and interaction with the family in the evenings. As a breed, the Toy Fox has all the "big dog in a small body" attitude that is a hallmark of the terrier group of dogs. Unlike some of the terriers the Toy Fox will adjust very well to other dogs when properly socialized. If they are not socialized they can be dog aggressive, particularly the intact males. They are also not as independent as other terriers, however they do have a mind of their own and can be stubborn and strong willed at times. The Toy Fox Terrier does best with older children and considerate younger children. As with any toy dog younger kids don't seem to realize how small the dog really is, which can pose a risk to the dog. The Toy Fox Terrier loves to run and play and is extremely active all through his or her life. Not a problem barker, the Toy Fox Terrier is still a good watchdog and will bark very loudly to let you know when strangers approach. They may be prone to digging and chasing and are not good companions in homes with other small rodent type pets. When socialized with cats from a young age the Toy Fox Terrier does well with the family cats, but is likely to chase other cats that wander onto the property.

Care and Exercise: The Toy Fox Terrier is easy to groom. Occasionally comb and brush the smooth coat. Keep the nails short. This breed is a light shedder.

Training: Training the Toy Fox Terrier requires both consistency and an understanding of the terrier temperament. The Toy Fox Terrier will quickly learn new tricks and commands, however like all terriers his or her intelligence means that they will also learn how to avoid doing things they don't like. Using a positive training reward system with the Toy Fox Terrier is essential, as they will disengage from training if they are punished or trained using negative methods. The Toy Fox Terrier is very alert and aware of their surroundings and training needs to be completed in a distraction free environment as much as possible. Training needs to start when the Toy Fox Terrier is just a puppy as this is the ideal time to bond with the dog. Keep training sessions short and avoid a lot of repetition that will simply cause the dog or puppy to become bored. Puppy obedience classes as well as lots of structured socialization are highly recommended as the Toy Fox Terrier is maturing and throughout their life. These dogs make excellent obedience and agility dogs as well as assistance dogs for individuals with disabilities. There is also a growing use of the Toy Fox Terrier as therapy dogs. Their small size, intelligence and athletic ability make them ideal as helping dogs and companions for those that need assistance.

Activity: These are active little dogs, who need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, it will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs who do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe open area off lead, such as a large fenced in yard.

Living Environment: The Toy Fox Terrier is good for apartment life. It is very active indoors and will do okay without a yard. It cannot tolerate cold weather. They should wear a coat in the winter to help keep it warm.

Health Issues: This is a fairly healthy breed; however, some are prone to legg calve perthes and stifle, which are typical toy problems. Some dogs are allergic to beet pulp (this is fairly common), corn, and wheat.

Life Span: 13-14 years

Litter Size: 2-6

History: The Toy Fox Terrier was originally bred and developed in the United States in the early 1900's. The major bloodlines used to start the breed were from the Smooth Fox Terrier crossed with several other toy breeds and small types of dogs. Selection of the smallest of the Smooth Fox Terriers for early breeding meant that only a small amount of cross breeding was required to develop the Toy Fox Terrier breed. The goal of the early breeders was to miniaturize the Smooth Fox Terrier and reduce some the independence of the terrier natural to a more elegant and "family friendly" type companion dog. Early crosses to develop the Toy Fox Terrier including Miniature Pinchers, Italian Greyhounds and even the Chihuahua. The breed is now a true breed, meaning that only registered Toy Fox Terriers are used in breeding lines.

Registration: UKC, NKC, NTFTA, AKC, APRI, ACR, DRA