It is the Toy Fox Terrier’s temperament and intelligence that attract loyalists. No shrinking violet, this toy breed is above all a terrier: alert,sassy and wired for action. If you’re looking for a little trembling toy to protect, the Toy Fox Terrier is not for you. Although they’ll settle down as they mature, as puppies they are dynamos I once described a puppy to its prospective owner as a firecracker; this owner later said a torpedo would have been a more accurate description.
The Toy Fox Terrier’s intelligence is legendary. This traditional circus dog learns quickly and is eager to please. A retired doctor in Chicago who acquired Toy Fox Terriers was delighted that her 8-week-old puppies were paper trained in 48 hours. The Toy Fox Terrier looks into your eyes as if trying to read your mind and tries as hard as it can to “talk” to you. Veteran owners often find themselves spelling words to keep their dogs off guard.
Fortunately for those who own them, Toy Fox Terriers are a long-lived breed. We generally explain that buying a puppy means taking on at least a 15-year obligation (I know of one breeder with a 29-year-old terrier). Part of this breed’s longevity can be attributed to the health and vigor typical of the terrier heritage while the U.K.C. policy discouraging inbreeding has prevented many genetic problems. Couple this with ease of maintenance (no expensive grooming) and a meager appetite (50 pounds of food annually), and it’s easy to see that the Toy Fox Terrier is a dog that can prosper almost anywhere, from apartment to farmyard.