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Toy Fox Terrier… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Are you looking for an “All American” dog to be the furry mascot of your next Fourth of July party (and every one after that for the next thirteen years)?  If so, then the Toy Fox Terrier is a dog you want to put on your short list to consider. Tiny and mighty, this might be one to consider even if you don’t like toy dogs.

Of course…

We should remind folks that not all breeds are suitable for all households. This is why we wanted to write this article all about what it might be like to own a Toy Fox Terrier to help you decide if a Toy Fox Terrier should join your family.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Toy Fox Terrier Fast Facts

Country of Origin: USA

Original Purpose: Hunt Vermin

Height: 8 to 13 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 3 to 8 pounds

Dog Breed Classification: Toy Group

Lifespan: 13 to 15 years

Origin of the Toy Fox Terrier Dog Breed

Okay, we did say this is an “All American Pup,” but we’ve got to back in history a little to give you the whole story about how this little guy did make it to America and ultimately become “homegrown.”  In the 1500s, a similar dog named the Smooth Fox Terrier originated in England. This dog was more significant than the Toy Fox – up to twenty pounds.  And while sure, some of them were small; technically, these more miniature Smooth Fox Terriers were considered runts.


As tends to happen with the underdog, people started to like them – almost more than the original-sized dog! As you can probably guess, breeders began breeding more miniature puppies, and they became legit dogs, not just the “runt of the litter!”  Eventually, they became so popular and well-liked that the United Kennel Club finally recognized them as Smooth Fox Terriers. That is, until sometime in the 1920s when some people petitioned to acknowledge the dog for what it had become: an entirely distinct breed. After becoming popular in America, the American Kennel Club (AKC) realized the dogs in 2003.

Physical Characteristics

Now the first thing you’ll need to understand is that this tiny little dog can vary slightly in how he looks because some breeders crossbred with Chihuahua and the Toy Manchester Terrier to help maintain the small size.  Later on, it was decided that these genes shouldn’t come into the Toy Fox Terrier’s gene pool…but as you know, it’d be impossible to map the genes of every Toy Fox Terrier since the beginning of time!

It’s kind of like…

When humans get a DNA test and find out they have genes from a part of the world they never knew!  The color can also vary from tricolor (black, tan, and white) or any other combo (White and tan, white and black, and black & tan).

Temperament or Personality 

If you get this puppy young and train them immediately, he’ll learn and be receptive to all you have to teach.  This is because he’s a people pleaser regarding his family/owner. He wants to be loved, and if you try to do family activities without including this pup, he’ll likely come over and say…

“Hey, guys! What about me?” (But, in a bark – obviously). 

He’s also a bit of a cuddle monster and will probably feel uncomfortable or lonely sleeping anywhere but on your bed.  Despite this almost clingy nature, he shows his loved ones he’s a bit aloof when it comes to strangers or new people. But, if you give him regular socialization opportunities from a young age, it should help. Toy Fox puppies around new people from the get-go learn to adjust.


It should be noted that this dog’s energy levels can vary. Some people find their Toy Fox Terrier a bit of a lazy pup, most comfortable roaming around the home and not much more. But others tend to be hyperactive. It’s just the luck of the draw – and sure, puppy upbringing probably influences the kind of adult dog they grow into.

Now if…

If you aren’t 100% sure about the Toy Fox Terriers’ personality, you could also consider the Italian greyhound or the wire fox terrier—something to think about for sure.

Children & Toy Fox Terriers

Most people “assume” that small dogs = are suitable for children. While this sounds like it should make sense, it doesn’t always.  Children tend to be slightly rough with dogs, and the terrier may not handle it well. There could be some snapping from the dog; likewise, your child might accidentally hurt the pup.

Potential Health Concerns

Whenever you get a dog, you first should make sure that the breeders involved are trustworthy and using best practices so the dog is as healthy as possible. With a good breeder, your pup can avoid displaying some genetic problems later. Remember though, a good breeder doesn’t eliminate the possibility of genetic issues.

Here are some of the most common:

  • Demodectic Mange: This skin disease is common among street dogs. While it’s not certain that this is genetic, genes play a role. This skin disease can lead to painful patches all over the body. It’s not good.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: Many small dog breeds are susceptible to this. Sometimes, people think it’s the same as hip dysplasia, but that’s not the same. This disease happens when there is a significant problem in the head of the femur bone: it’s died.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease (VWD): named after the guy who discovered it, this autosomal recessive genetic disease can be life-threatening. It is a disease that causes the dog to bleed more than it should if injured. Thus, you likely won’t know your dog has it until an accident occurs.
  • Patellar Luxation: The patella is the kneecap. When a dog has a kneecap that twists or doesn’t face the right direction, it’s known as patellar luxation. If it is severe, the dog may require surgery.

And while…

Many of these conditions may not be life-threatening, but they can become quite expensive, particularly if they become recurring issues.  This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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