The Toy Terrier Fox Dog: A High-Spirited Companion

Studio portrait puppy, Christmas and New Year

Key Points

  • The toy terrier fox dog is a small, friendly, high-energy breed and an excellent choice for a family dog.

  • These terriers are easy to train due to their high intelligence and loyal personalities.

  • You can find these dogs at your local shelters or use online resources to locate available terriers nearby.

  • The toy terrier fox dog is a mix between the smooth fox terrier and small toy breeds.

The toy terrier fox dog is an excitable little firecracker – miniature in size but large in spirit. All small dogs aren't created equal; some are furry and loud while others are short-haired and timid. Finding the right dog for you comes down to what qualities you're looking for in a pup.

The toy terrier fox dog is one of the most exciting varieties of the terrier family. Toy and miniature dogs offer you all of the wonderful traits of a full-sized canine. They also have qualities like the ability for you to effortlessly pick them up, bring them with you while you run errands, and allow them to sleep in the bed without taking up too much room.

These little canines make quite the companion, offering lots of love, energy, and loyalty. While they may appear similar to other breeds such as the Jack Russell terrier or the miniature pinscher, from their temperament, personality, and grooming needs to their background and history, toy fox terriers are one-of-a-kind.

Historical Background

The vivacious toy fox terriers were first introduced in the late 1800s – early 1900s. Originally, these wee pups were excellent barn dogs. These canines were recorded in the United Kennel Club in the 1930s and are still excellent dogs for just about anyone.

The toy fox terrier has a beautiful short coat and strong ability for training, and they've been championed as one of the best contenders for dog shows and championships.

The Difference Between Toy and Miniature

You may hear the words toy and miniature thrown around when talking about specific dog breeds. These terms both mean "small," but they are different and refer to different variations of a specific breed. Toy fox terriers are a small variation of a terrier.

Miniature dogs are slightly larger than a toy, meaning they'll grow larger in height, size, and weight. For reference, a miniature fox terrier weighs between 7.7 – 12 lbs. Miniature dogs are still quite small, but if you're looking for a hand-held canine, you're going to want to choose the toy.

A puppy Toy Fox Terrier stands in field of grass


Toy fox terriers live an average lifespan: Expect to have your canine between 12 -15 years. The average lifespan depends on many factors such as genetics, health conditions, nutrition, and activity levels. When they are puppies, make sure you take care of your terrier by following your vet's guidelines for what they need to thrive.

How Big Do They Get?

You may wonder just how big these "toy" dogs get and whether they grow out of their small size. The toy fox terrier is a very small breed standing only between 8 – 11.5 inches in height.

If you're someone who travels frequently or is simply looking for a companion to take with you on your errands, this is an excellent choice. Small dogs are easier to care for since you're able to pick them up, keep them in designated areas, and not have to worry about them jumping over dog gates or getting food off the counters. If you have small children toy fox terriers are still tall enough not to get knocked over during playtime.

An adult toy fox terrier's weight ranges from four to nine lbs depending on gender and size. Males are slightly heavier than their female counterparts but only by a few ounces or so. The short coat of these dogs creates the illusion that they are even lighter than they are. Small and lightweight, these dogs are still quite sturdy, strong, agile and full of spontaneous energy and excitement.

Expect this terrier to have a constant need for attention and love. Due to their small size, they'll enjoy hopping up on your lap for some much-needed quality time.


The toy fox terrier is very intelligent, loyal, and full of spunk. They are always looking for a fun activity to take part in since herding and farm work is in their blood. These dogs are very independent when it comes to playing in the yard or spending time around the house.

These terriers require a lot of mental stimulation and obedience training to hone their strong personality traits. While they can be independent, these dogs need your love, attention, and affection to make it through the day.

Forming a strong bond with the toy fox terrier is easy, and they will enjoy being in your company even if you're just lying around on the couch.

Toy fox terrier expert Gene Ballemy tells Showsight Magazine his favorite qualities of training these terriers:

"What is the breed’s most endearing quality? I like their attitude. They are active and always ready to go or be with you. The toy fox terrier is so intelligent and can do well in Obedience, Rally, and other activities. They really like the Barn Hunt."

Toy Fox Terrier poses for a studio photograph


These toy-sized terriers are outgoing and have no issue walking up to new friends whether they're people or other animals. Every dog behaves differently and has different temperament issues depending on the conditions in which they were raised.

When a toy fox terrier grows up in a healthy environment, they are social and enjoy getting to know others. They always want a piece of the action going on around them and want to tag along whenever their owner performs a task or runs an errand.

When these dogs feel loved and cared for they are very kind, well-behaved, and trustworthy pets. Training comes easy for most dogs of this breed.

With the right training, your toy fox terrier will get along with birds, rabbits, cats, dogs, and any other unique pet you may have. These canines are easy-going, forming deep bonds with their owner and other pets and full of a joyful temperament that is infectious.


Having a dog means at some point or another you're going to find those pesky hairs littered around your home. Some dog breeds have long, loose hair that seems to coat your socks, pants, and furniture.

With the toy fox terrier, you'll still experience some shedding, but at a moderate rate. They are moderate shedders which means they do shed, but since their hairs are small, it's less noticeable and doesn't quite hold the same impact as other breeds.

These dogs experience changes in their shedding habits as the season fluctuates. Brushing your dog regularly helps maintain this natural shedding process by removing and disposing of old hairs before they have a chance to fall elsewhere.


The toy fox terrier is a small ball of energy with a zest for life. They make an excellent companion for pet owners who are active and keep an active lifestyle. Allow these dogs to stay busy, get plenty of exercise, and become mentally stimulated throughout the day.

If these canines don't receive enough stimulation, they are prone to acting restless, barking, and exhibiting unfavorable behaviors. Taking your terrier on a walk each day helps burn off excess energy, mentally stimulate them, and helps create or strengthen your bond.

Toy Fox Terrier sits on a pillow on a wicker bench

Are Toy Fox Terriers Easy to Train?

Training your dog is the most important part of helping teach and direct your canine into being an obedient, well-behaved adult. Every dog breed will naturally have different training abilities. Some will be easy learners while others take more time to learn simple tasks and commands.

The toy fox terrier helps relieve some of the stress you may have experienced trying to train more difficult dogs. These terriers are intelligent and pick up on training rather quickly. With enough consistency and focus, you can teach them potty training, meal etiquette, and other common behavior patterns in no time.


Proper nutrition is essential for keeping your toy fox terrier healthy and active.

Kibble sourced from fresh meat should be the foundation of their diet. This gives them enough protein to stay active and energized while burning their calories for the day. Include rice, cooked vegetables, or different varieties of meats in their meal plan if you're looking for a way to increase their nutrients.

Be mindful of how they respond to certain foods you feed them. If they experience stomach or skin issues, it's a sign that they aren't tolerating one of the new food ingredients. These dogs require plenty of fresh water as well to help keep them hydrated throughout their active lifestyles.

Physical Traits

The majority of the toy fox terrier's coat is white accompanied by a few splotches of black-brown fur along its body. Its head and ears are light and dark brown in contrast to the white portion of its coat.

Toy fox terriers also have long legs that are strong and stable. The tail on these terriers is long and sometimes curls over one side of their back.

If you've ever seen one of these canines in real life, you know just how perky their ears are. At any given moment, these terriers are on high alert, keeping their ears pointed up, making sure they don't miss a single peep.

Toy Fox Terrier plays tug with a rope

Is a Toy Fox Terrier a Good Family Dog?

If you're looking to add a new dog to your family home, a toy fox terrier is a wonderful choice. People of all ages enjoy this little canine's bright and affectionate personality. They get along well with most people – adults and children alike.

Teach them how to behave around smaller children from a young age. Their small size makes them less of a threat than other dogs when they're excited.

Having one of these small pups jumping at your legs isn't the most intimidating experience. With plenty of energy, they'll keep you and the family busy helping you all stay fit, active, and on a routine. If you live in an apartment or small living space, the toy fox terrier fits quite well.

What Breeds Make Up the Toy Fox Terrier?

The toy fox terrier exists due to crossbreeding the smooth fox terrier with other toy breeds. These toy breeds range from Italian greyhounds to miniature pinschers and chihuahuas.

The unique appearance of this terrier stems from the traits taken from all of these separate breeds. Many of these traits create the active temperament of this terrier while also making it crave attention and enjoy spending quality downtime with its owner.

Caring for Your Terrier

Grooming efforts for the toy fox terrier are minimal. You only need to brush their coat once per week to help remove excess hair. The short coat allows them to stay relatively clean for long periods, and you only need to bathe them once every month or so depending on their activity levels and their environment.

Bathing these dogs too often strips natural oils from their fur which can increase dry skin and irritation. You'll know when it's time to bathe your terrier based on the texture, feel, and smell of their fur.

Daily exercise is also essential for managing their high levels of energy. Taking your terrier on daily walks, playing with them in the yard, having mentally stimulating toys around the house, and bringing them with you on car rides help keep them active and entertained.

Toy Fox Terrier stands in a field

How Much Should You Feed Your Toy Fox Terrier?

Trying to decide how much your dog should eat per day depends on their breed, size, and age. The toy fox terrier only requires between ¼ – ½ cups of dry kibble per day.

They do best with feeding that occurs at more than one time during the day. Most terriers will do fine being fed twice per day, dividing the recommended amount of food into two separate portions. Depending on the types of kibble or cooked food you prepare for your dog, you'll want to adjust their quantities and meal times to reflect their needs.

Health Concerns

Luxating patellas — which occur when the kneecap slips out of its normal position in the knee joint — is a common condition for toy fox terriers. Dogs of all ages can experience this condition which can also cause intermittent lameness.

Eye diseases such as blindness, cataracts, or glaucoma are also issues occurring in some of these terriers. There's also a risk for neurological disorders such as seizures and deafness. Many of these conditions may occur from irresponsible breeding patterns.

When adopting your next dog, research the parent's health history and any information on the dog's previous ailments if this information is available.


Chasing small animals is one of the toy fox terrier's favorite activities. Without proper training, they may jump and leap toward any small animal that moves. Until they are trained fully, it's important to keep them on a leash and in sight when other animals such as birds, cats, or squirrels are around.

Their high-energy nature makes them active dogs who require plenty of physical activity each day. For anyone who lives a sedentary lifestyle or doesn't have a lot of free time when they're home, this dog may not get enough exercise which can create issues within the home. They become restless and get into trouble around the home as they try to keep themselves entertained and stimulated.

Toy Fox Terrier prances through a meadow of daisies

Toy Fox Terrier Rescues

If you’re looking for a toy fox terrier but don’t know where to find one, know that there are plenty of options available. Many rescues house these terriers all across the country.

Check with your local rescues and shelters first to see if there’s a toy fox terrier nearby. This helps relieve local dogs from having to stay in these high-stress conditions and helps better your community. Since these little canines are very lovable, they’re often sought out and may not be readily available locally.

If finding a toy fox terrier locally is out of the question, try finding one on an online rescue and shelter resource.

The Foxtrot of the Toy Fox Terrier

Having a dog is a rewarding experience that allows you to form a bond with a loyal, kind, furry friend. The high-spirited toy fox terrier is a marvel of a canine as one of the most kind-hearted, energetic, intelligent, and fun dogs to raise.

Not only are they easy to care for, but they'll offer you enough love and affection to make your heart full.

This small pup dances in circles, keeping you entertained, inspired, and energized. If you're looking to add a peppy addition to your family, this terrier is an outstanding choice.

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