Toy Fox Terrier

Toy Fox Terrier dog

The Toy Fox Terrier is an all-American breed developed by crossing Smooth Fox Terriers with a combination of toy breeds, including the Miniature Pinscher, Italian Greyhound, Chihuahua, and Manchester Terrier. The resulting little dog sparkles with its Fox Terrier ancestors’ gameness and the milder, easy-to-live-with charm of its toy parent breeds. This big dog in a tiny package has been famous for decades in the United States as a part-time mouser, a show dog, and a companion.

Toy Fox Terrier Standard

Toy Fox Terrier temperament: Image of TFT dog sitting and relaxing

This Toy Terrier is a small, compact, agile, smooth-coated dog with square proportions; it is well balanced and sturdy. The TFT has a slightly arched, gracefully curved neck; a deep, muscular chest; level back; and a high-set, short, docked tail. Its elegant head is wedge-shaped and slightly rounded, with flat cheeks and a skull and muzzle equal in length. The eyes are bright, dark, round, and wide-set, giving the TFT an intelligent, mischievous expression. The ears are erect, pointed, and high set.

Toy Fox Terrier Temperament

A blend of toy and terrier temperament, Toy Terriers are affectionate, devoted companions. They are animated and enjoyable, characteristically playful for their whole lives. However, even though they have the aggressive nature, courage, and self-assurance of a terrier, they get along fine with other pets and, in general, are outgoing and friendly. They have a strong hunting instinct and react quickly if they sense anything is amiss in their territory. Toy Terriers are bright and receptive to training but will not tolerate harsh treatment or bullying. They housetrain easily.

Image of Toy Fox Terrier dog

These Terriers love to hunt and will use their hunting instinct around the house. In fact, they’ll spend hours a day investigating the yard, your kitchen cabinets, and a lot of other places you did not know existed. TFTs love to play with people and toys, and they make perfect companions for mature children that are careful. They have a unique ability to entertain for hours on end and will be content relaxing and curling up in a warm lap while on break.

The Toy Fox Terrier is considered a one-family dog or even a one-person dog that does not warm to strangers at first. These dogs make for great trick dogs because of their intelligence, energy, and fondness for showing off.

Breed Facts

Energy levelWatchdog ability
Exercise requirementsProtection ability
PlayfulnessGrooming requirements
Affection levelCold tolerance
Friendliness toward dogsHeat tolerance
Friendliness toward other petsFriendliness toward strangers
Ease of training

Activity level: Toy Fox Terriers should have two or three daily walks or running time in a fenced yard. They will chase passing small animals or birds. Therefore, do not exercise them off the lead. TFTs are sensitive to cold and should wear a coat or sweater when exercised in inclement weather. They do well in obedience, agility, and flyball.

  • POPULARITY: Uncommon
  • FAMILY: Terrier
  • AREA OF ORIGIN: United States
  • DATE OF ORIGIN: Early 1900s
  • ORIGINAL FUNCTION: Vermin control
  • TODAY’S FUNCTION: Companion
  • OTHER NAME: American Toy Terrier, Amertoy, TFT


A quick brushing once a week will help to prevent shedding. Bathe occasionally, keeping in mind that Toy Terriers do not like to be wet.

  • Coat: Fine textured, short, and smooth
  • Color: Tricolor (white body with a black head and tan markings); white, chocolate, and tan ( white body with chocolate head and tan markings); white and tan (white body and tan head); white and black (white body and black head)


  • Primary concerns: none
  • Minor problems: patellar luxation, Legg-Perthes, demodicosis, congenital hypothyroidism with goiter
  • Rarely seen: vWD, lens luxation
  • Recommended tests: knee, DNS, for congenital hypothyroidism, DNA for lens luxation, (vWD)
  • Life span: 13—14 years
  • Weight: 3.5 –7 pounds
  • Height: 8.5—11 inches (9—11 preferred)

Toy Fox Terrier breeder and buying advice

toy fox terrier puppies running behind their mother

Research the breed thoroughly before deciding on a Toy Fox Terrier. Therefore, research your selected breeder, as well, and insist on credible references and peer referrals. A good breeder will provide you with AKC registration and liter papers when purchasing a dog. The parent club’s website includes a state-by-state directory of breeders.

  • Parent club: American Toy Fox Terrier Club (; founded in 1994
  • Rescue: Click on “TFT Rescue” on the parent’s club’s website.

It is much cheaper to adopt a Toy Fox Terrier than it is to buy one as a puppy from a breeder. Expect to pay around $300 in dog care expenses before the actual adoption. However, the Toy Fox Terrier price for puppies from a reputable breeder will run you anywhere from $900 to $1400 or more.

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