The Toy Fox Terrier (TFT) is an American breed that was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2003. It originated in the early 20th century and is a direct descendent of the Smooth Fox Terrier, from which they inherited their keen hunting instincts and lively character. The breed was specifically developed to be smaller, to serve as a lapdog, and also used to hunt and eradicate vermin in farms and homes. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the TFT was the result of crossing Fox Terriers with toy breeds such as the Italian Greyhound, Chihuahua, and the Miniature Pinscher.
As a breed, Toy Fox Terriers are generally healthy dogs but like all breeds, they can be subject to certain genetic health conditions. Some of these include patellar luxation (dislocation of the knee), Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (degeneration of the femur), and heart diseases like mitral valve disease and patent ductus arteriosus. Von Willebrand's disease (a bleeding disorder) and hypothyroidism are also seen in the breed, though less commonly. They can also be susceptible to congenital hypothyroidism with goiter, degenerative myelopathy, primary lens luxation, progressive retinal atrophy, progressive rod-cone degeneration, and spinocerebellar ataxia.
The TFT is known for its lively and intelligent personality. They are often described as alert, friendly, and highly trainable. Due to their origins as both companions and vermin hunters, they can be both cuddly and fearless. They are also known for their agility and speed, often doing well in various dog sports. Despite their small size, they are quite protective and make excellent watchdogs.
Despite their small size, Toy Fox Terriers have a big personality and are known for their clownish antics, making them excellent companion dogs.
They are one of the few toy breeds that were bred in America.
Toy Fox Terriers were reportedly used in circus shows due to their quick learning abilities and eagerness to please.