The Toy Fox Terrier, also known as the Amer-Toy is a tiny American dog having its origins in the UK. It was recently recognized by the AKC as a separate breed and is a self-possessed, determined dog having all the characteristics of a terrier. Find out if the TFT is right for your household.
Cool facts about the Toy Fox Terrier
- Considered to be an American breed through and through, the Toy Fox terrier has been developed from British stock. The Smooth Fox Terrier is clearly a progenitor of the TFT. Other breeds like the Chihuahua and the Toy Manchester Terrier (also known as the English Toy Terrier) may have also contributed to the Amer-Toy’s bloodline.
- Today, Toy fox terriers are revered around the world and countries like Madagascar have even dedicated postage stamps to them.
- During the Great Depression, toy terriers were used as entertainers to perform trick-dog acts.
- The TFT is the most athletic among small breeds and often competes in agility and flyball events.
- Today, they have made quite a name for themselves as one of America’s newest breeds.
- In 2008, a TFT named Maximilian ran for the post of the mayor of Jacksonville, Oregon. His owner even put up posters of Max urging people to vote for him and his campaign slogan was ‘Kindness and Kibble for Everyone!’ Naturally, Max did not win but the whole episode was a reminder of how much fun a toy terrier can bring into people’s lives.
- Weight between 5 to 8 lb (2.3 to 3.6 kg). At birth, the puppies weigh only between 57 and 113 g which is less than the size of a baseball.
- Height at withers – 8.5 to 11.5 inches.
- Coat – Shiny short hair.
- Colors – Mostly white with black, chocolate tan, spots. The head is black, tan or chocolate or a combination of these colors.
Toy fox terrier purchased from a reputed breeder would rarely have health issues or congenital problems. Although small in size, these are hardy dogs with plenty of energy and endurance. And the best part is that the breed is able to carry his cheerful disposition and good health well into old age.
The TFT is known for his playful and inquisitive nature. You will find that he is always willing to do something fun with you; whether that is going out on walks, or in the car for a spin, or simply sleeping on the couch, next to you.
Being terriers, these dogs have high prey instincts and hunting skills; as a result, you must secure your yard properly to prevent them from escaping. When outdoors, you must keep your pet on a leash at all times; your TFT will not hesitate running behind an interesting scent.
These clever dogs tend to get bored easily. So, the owner of a toy fox terrier must find out ways to keep their pet entertained. Otherwise, he won’t hesitate to find out ways to keep himself occupied and his ingenuity might actually stun and amuse you!
This is a territorial breed and he knows he is supposed to keep an eye on your property. Worry not, for he will immediately inform you of anything out of the ordinary, with his barking. Towards strangers, these dogs come across as wary, alert, and aloof. He will keep a ‘wait and see’ approach until he gets to know someone.
With kids, a toy fox terrier will generally get along well, provided he is socialized to children from an early age. Owners must always supervise the interactions between the dog and kids, at least in the beginning. Since these dogs occupy very little space and eat little food, most TFT owners tend to keep more than one dog. This is good for them, as this is not a dog that would like being left alone for hours.
Although he is a terrier breed, unlike his larger cousins, the TFT is a ‘terrier without trauma’. He is not aggressive or destructive and provided you train him well, is a joy to be around. Having said that he still has terrier blood in him and would like more than anything to flush out rabbits and tree squirrels.
Some TFT ‘adopt’ one person in the family as their own but by and large, they do share their affection with everyone.
Living with a TFT requires commitment, patience, and dedication.
Life with a toy fox terrier can be amazing if the dog is well-trained; if he isn’t life can be hell! You must teach your TFT how to be a member of your family. Otherwise, he can quickly grow bossy and demanding. Owners must be willing to dedicate time to train their pets. Only then will they get a loyal, loving companion.
Thankfully, this intelligent dog learns quickly and any training-related issues are more likely to be the owner’s fault than that of the terrier’s. Set boundaries with your terrier right from the day he comes home. A stern No or a change in the tone of voice can help your terrier understand that he is not supposed to do something. Always keep training positive and reward-based. Many toy fox terriers are used as therapy and assistance dogs and help their specially-abled owners know if the phone is ringing or even retrieve articles dropped by their owners.
Toy fox terriers are active and energetic dogs that need daily exercise. The good thing is that they can get most of their exercise in an enclosed yard or even in a small apartment. Take your dog out for a walk twice a day. TFT also enjoys a game of fetch, swimming, and other family activities like hiking, etc.
Grooming a Toy Fox Terrier
This is a wash-and-wear dog, snap to groom with a grooming glove or a natural boar bristle brush. Bathe your dog once every few weeks and inspect his eyes and ears from time to time. Also, clip his toenails regularly and brush his teeth a few times a week to prevent bad breath and dental issues.
Female American toy fox terriers are known to suffer from irregular heat-cycles or estrus. In male dogs, cryptorchidism (a condition wherein one or both of the testicles are in an abnormal position) have been reported. The lifespan of the American toy fox terrier is 13-14 years.
Where to find a Toy Fox Terrier
Always adopt a dog; never shop for one. You can check with local animal rescue shelters to see if they have a TFT looking for a forever home. If you are looking for a purebred toy fox terrier puppy, then begin your search for a reputed breeder using this website. The average price of a purebred American Toy fox terrier is $1000.