The Toy Fox Terrier was developed in the United States from crosses of the Smooth Fox Terrier from England and several smaller breeds, probably including the Toy Manchester Terrier, the Italian Greyhound, the Miniature Pinscher and the Chihuahua. Some fanciers feel that the TFT is simply a Smooth Fox Terrier bred down in size, but that is not the more commonly accepted theory. In any event, the TFT was breeding true and was first recognized and registered by the United Kennel Club in 1936, at its headquarters at Kalamazoo, Michigan. The National Toy Fox Terrier Association was founded in 1949. In the 1970s, breed enthusiasts made several unsuccessful attempts to gain recognition of the Toy Fox Terrier by the American Kennel Club. Finally, another group of fanciers organized in 1994 and began their 9 year quest to get the breed accepted by the AKC. This time, they succeeded. The Toy Fox Terrier was admitted into the AKC’s Toy Group in 2003.
Toy Fox Terriers are animated and versatile. In addition to being game fox-flushers, they excel at hunting rats and other rodents and competing in agility, obedience, earthdog trials, fly-ball and other performance disciplines. They make wonderful urban apartment dogs but thrive equally well in rural environments. They are extremely entertaining and make devoted companions. They also have been used as service dogs, to assist the disabled with household tasks.
The average life span of the Toy Fox Terrier is 12 to 14 years. Breed health concerns may include Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, patellar luxation and Von Willebrand disease.