Meet the Breed: The Toy Fox Terrier



  • Height: 8.5" - 11.5”
  • Weight: 3.5 - 7 pounds
  • Historical function: Ratter, companion
  • Modern function: Companion
  • AKC classification:Toy

Physical Characteristics:

The Toy Fox Terrier is both a toy-sized dog and a terrier. They are sometimes known as the American Toy Terrier or the Amertoy. Although small, they have an athletic build. They have an elegant appearance. The head is slightly rounded and is a soft wedge shape. The stop is moderate. The eyes are large, dark, expressive, but never bulging. The V-shaped ears are erect. The topline is even. The tail is carried high and is often docked. The coat is short and thick. The head is over 50% colored and the body is over 50% white. The most common color is tri-colored with the head being predominantly black with defined tan markings over the eyes, cheeks and lips. The body is white, with or without black spots. Some ticking may be present. In the chocolate, tan and white versions, the chocolate color replaces the black that appears in the Tri-color. There are also white and tan Toy Fox Terriers that have a predominantly tan-colored head, a white body, and may or may not have tan spots. There are also white and black toy fox terriers with a mostly black head and a mostly white body.  

History of the Breed:

The Toy Fox Terrier was developed in the United states in the 1930s by crossing Smooth Fox Terriers with various toy breeds such as the Chihuahua, the Miniature Pinscher, the Manchester Terrier, and the Italian Greyhound. The intent was to miniaturize the Terrier breed, keep the terrier's spunky personality but the other crosses made the personality a bit more livable for a companion breed. Although recognized by the UKC as a terrier breed back in 1936, they did not get fully recognized by the AKC until 2003 (in the toy category.) They were bred as ratters and companions. 


The Toy Fox Terrier has a spunky personality but the other foundation breeds have moderated the temperament to be more livable. They are highly intelligent, easy to house train, and love to chase squirrels (even up trees) and other rodents. They are athletic, active indoors but can do okay without a yard. They make great family companions but should not be placed in homes with very young children due to their size and vulnerability. This dog makes an excellent traveling companion and is eager to please his people. They learn tricks easily and are playful well into old age. Be sure not to let this dog develop Small Dog Syndrome. Always be the pack leader with this dog to prevent yappiness and territorial behaviors. 

  • Best suited for: Any family with older children, apartment dwellers, RV travelers, people requiring assistance (as these dogs are easily trained .)  
  • Preferred living conditions: These dogs do not tolerate cold temperatures. These social dogs prefer to be in the middle of family activities. 

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Easy care, short coat requires occasional brushing. Trim the nails regularly. This breed is a light shedder. 
  • Exercise needs: Daily walk and play time. Mental exercise is also a must. 
  • Life expectancy: 13-14 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to food allergies, joint problems of the small-dog variety, but is generally healthy.

Breed Club Links: American Toy Fox Terrier Club Perfect Pairings: Your Toy Fox Terrier will need a coat for cold weather and a fleece for cool temps.  

Have any stories about a Toy Fox Terrier? Please share!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia. 

This entry was posted by Mary.
Steven. on October 7 at 5:25 AM said:

JIM on October 6 at 4:38 PM said:

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