History of the Toy Fox Terrier

Historical Pamphlet

Official U.K.C. Toy Fox Terrier Breed Standard
Revised January 1, 1999


The immediate ancestor of the Toy Fox Terrier is the larger Smooth Fox Terrier. The original Fox Terrier breed standard was written in England in 1876. The size of the breed at that time was 18 to 20 pounds. Owners of these brave little dogs found that the smallest, which they called “runts”, were the scrappiest of the bunch. These little dogs were prized for their temperament. Smaller dogs were developed and eventually were found in the seven-pound range.

The United Kennel Club began registering the Smooth Fox Terrier in 1912. Between then and the mid-1920’s, the Toy Fox Terrier was developed, being a miniature of the previous breed, however they were still registered under the name of Fox Terrier (Smooth). Those dogs appear almost identical to the dogs of today. It was not until February 24, 1936, that U.K.C. began registering the Toy Fox Terrier under its current name.

The Toy Fox Terrier is a very active and lively dog known for its hardiness. Although the Toy Fox Terrier is a small dog – 3 1/2 to 7 lb. , they remain true Terriers. Their instincts for hunting can be confirmed by almost every owner of the breed.

The breed is easily recognized with its distinctive head, with upright ears, set high on the head. The most often seen color is white/black/tan. The head is predominately black with tan trim. The body is mostly white with or without black spots. Other colors are white/black and white/tan. The coat is short and glossy and the body appears to be square with a gay tail that is docked and set high.

The Toy Fox Terrier is quite intelligent, alert, loyal and fearless. Many have been trained in Obedience, or as hearing dogs, circus dogs, and service dogs. Others are regular visitors to nursing homes, bringing joy to each and everyone they visit. They may come is a small package, but they are active all their lives. After having one, you will want another.

Selecting a Breeder

When choosing a Toy Fox Terrier, it is important to consider the dependability of the breeder and the ancestry of the dogs offered for sale. It is to your advantage to visit the breeder so that you may examine dogs for sale as well as his breeding stock. If you cannot visit the breeder, questions should be asked concerning ancestors, colors, probable weight at maturity, and qualities of the sire and dam. Also be sure the dog is registered with the United Kennel Club so that you may transfer the dog’s ownership into your name and U.K.C. records. You may note a ‘PR’ (Purple Ribbon-Bred) before your dog’s name on his papers. This designation is a guarantee of reported pure breeding that at least all of the dogs of the last six generations (126 dogs), are on file with U.K.C. All Toy Fox Terrier pups eligible today for U.K.C. registration are ‘PR’ bred.

Reliable breeders will not misrepresent their stock and thus jeopardize their reputations. The assurance that a puppy will mature as a show specimen or mature at an exact size cannot be made by a breeder. A purchaser should not expect this type of assurance. Any problems that arise with a new puppy or dog should be reported to the breeder immediately.

These tiny terriers are intelligent and love to be with the family, remaining playful all of their lives They enjoy company and trips in the car. They are excellent watchdogs and never relax from overseeing their homes.

A word of caution: be careful of Toy Fox Terriers for sale in pet shops. These dogs are often not bred to the standard and may mature too large or too small and extremely off-type.