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Toy Fox Terrier

(American Toy Terrier, Amertoy)
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Toy Fox Terrier

Form and Function

The Toy Fox Terrier is an athletic, agile, and graceful dog with surprising strength and the stamina to frolic all day. The coat is short and smooth, perfect for caressing.


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Breed Traits

Energy Level

4 out of 5

Exercise Requirements

2 out of 5


5 out of 5

Affection Level

5 out of 5

Friendliness To Dogs

3 out of 5

Friendliness To Other Pets

3 out of 5

Friendliness To Strangers

2 out of 5


2 out of 5

Ease of Training

4 out of 5

Grooming Requirements

1 out of 5

Heat Sensitivity

3 out of 5


5 out of 5

Breed Attributes




3.5-7 lb





Area of Origin

United States

Date of Origin

Early 1900s

Other Names

American Toy Terrier, Amertoy


Smooth Fox Terriers have long been a favorite of farmers and pet owners. American farmers found smaller individuals, or what they called runts, were especially scrappy, as well as handy for catching rodents around the farm. Pet owners found them especially entertaining and handier for having around the house.

In the early 1900s these smaller fox terriers were crossed with several toy breeds, including the Toy Manchester Terrier, Chihuahua, and possibly Italian Greyhound. The result was a smaller version of the Smooth Fox Terrier with a few important differences. The fiery temperament was still there, but tempered a bit — just a bit.

The smaller dogs were still registered with the UKC as Smooth Fox Terriers, but in 1936 the UKC granted them their own name and breed status. They remained one of the most popular non-AKC companion breeds in the country until 2003, when they entered the AKC show ring for the first time.


TFTs are TNT in a small bundle. Feisty and fun-loving, they are curious at heart and will spend hours investigating the yard, your cabinets, and places you never knew existed. They love to play with people and toys, and make excellent companions for careful older children; however, they do not tolerate inconsiderate handling.

They can entertain for hours and are also content to snuggle on a warm lap during recess. This is a one-family, even one-person, dog that doesn’t warm to strangers initially. The TFT’s intelligence, energy, and penchant for showing off make it a quick study and impressive trick dog.


Upkeep consists of making sure the Toy Fox Terrier is supplied with toys, playmates, and an appreciative audience. They need the opportunity to exercise their mind and body, but they can do so in a small area. Without sufficient attention, exercise, and training, they can dig and bark.

The Toy Fox Terrier appreciates a warm, soft bed or lap. They do not care to be wet or cold, and should wear a sweater and even protective earmuffs in cold weather. Coat care is wash and wear.


  • Major concerns: none
  • Minor concerns: patellar luxation, Legg-Perthes, demodicosis, congenital hypothyroidism with goiter
  • Occasionally seen: vWD, lens luxation
  • Suggested tests: knee, DNA for congenital hypothyroidism, DNA for lens luxation, (vWD)
  • Life span: 13–14 years


Note: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.

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