Toy Fox Terriers have small but sturdy bodies covered in smooth white coats with black or brown patches. They have slightly rounded heads with strong, narrow muzzles. Their triangular ears point straight up, and their dark, intelligent eyes are full and round without bulging. They have slightly arched necks that slope down to deep, muscular chests and short backs. Their tails, sometimes docked, are carried high. Overall, the Toy Fox Terrier carries itself with elegance and agility.
If the regular Fox Terrier is feisty, energetic and bold, the Toy Fox Terrier is… well, exactly that, but maybe a little milder and more manageable. Bringing a warm, sunny spirit to any home, Toy Fox Terriers are also the consummate mini-hunters, ridding the house and yard of mice and other vermin.
Very playful and fun, Toy Fox Terriers are tireless and entertaining little companions. Easily trained and eager to please, they can pick up commands quickly without forgetting—some have even been trained to help handicapped people. Attached to their owners and families, they are happiest when they get lots of love and affection.
Toy Fox Terriers are attuned to their surroundings. If anything is going on around the home, a Toy Fox Terrier will probably be the first to know. They are also fiercely protective of their families. Though not habitual barkers, they know how to belt them out when they sense a threat.
Toy Fox Terriers may look and act tough, but they should be handled carefully—these are fragile little dogs. Young children should be taught to play gently. Also remember these dogs have very keen hunting instincts: Keep them on a leash at all times to prevent them from chasing after birds, squirrels and other critters. That being said, they will truly appreciate special times to run free off the leash.
A healthy Toy Fox Terrier can live as long as 14 years. They have few genetic health issues. Toy Fox Terriers are easy to groom, needing only the occasional brushing. They are not big shedders.
Fox Terriers were developed by 19th-century English breeders to hunt foxes. They come in two versions based on coat length: Smooth and Wire. In the 1930s, American breeders crossed the Smooth Fox Terrier with the Italian Greyhound, Chihuahua and other toy breeds to create the Toy Fox Terrier. This feisty but agreeable pup continues to be a major player in dog shows as well as in the home.