Toy Fox Terriers are small dogs with a muscular and athletic appearance. Notable characteristic traits include a short glossy and predominantly white coat, coupled with a predominantly solid head, and a short, high-set tail. The breed has been deemed elegant and graceful with V-shaped ears and large eyes. The tail can be short and straight or long and shiny, and breeders often shorten the tail a few days after birth by clipping it about three-fifth of the way from the tip (at the third or fourth joint). The coat is short, fine, and glossy in black with tan, with areas of tan on the face; there are two other variants, one with 'chocolate' replacing the black in areas (the UKC does not allow this variant to be shown), and another which is all white and tan with no black at all. These variants are often known as 'Tri-Color', 'Chocolate', and 'Tan and White', respectively. The height ranges from 8.5–11.5 inches at the shoulder (21.5–29.2 cm) and weight from 3.5-9 pounds. They are in many ways similar to the Miniature Fox Terrier.
Toy Fox Terriers, like many active and intelligent breeds, can learn to respond to a number of words. Toy Fox Terriers were used commonly in circus shows by clowns, and they are said to make great companions for owners with a good sense of humor. As a terrier breed, they are often active, though perhaps not as active as the Jack Russell Terrier, and are said to be well suited for older owners. They are quite trainable and often cited as making wonderful companions for people with disabilities. They are also very lovable and loyal to their owners. In addition, dogs of this breed tend not to bark very much if they are trained well.
The Toy Fox Terrier is easy to groom, although grooming is generally seen as unneeded due to how short the hairs are (under a centimetre in length most of the time). Sometimes, it is necessary to comb and brush the coat. The hairs shed very frequently.
A Toy Fox Terrier should be given denta-bones or other chewable toys to prevent, as with most small breeds, tartar build-up that can lead to periodontal disease. As well, daily brushing has been shown to be very beneficial as well as regular dental cleanings from the vet.
An 8 year old Male Fox Terrier of the common 'Tri-Color' variant. Note that the tan on the face dulls with age.
Toy Fox Terriers adapt well to apartment life but love to have room to run. They are active indoors and will do without a yard, as they can usually take care of their own exercise needs. They often have trouble tolerating cold weather without careful acclimation. Their life expectancy is about fifteen years (since the breed has only been officially recognized by groups like the UKC and the AKC since 2000, there is little official documentation). Toy Fox Terriers are significantly healthful and resilient, however, as with many toy breeds, some are prone to patellar luxation (slipped stifle). Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome and von Willebrand's disease are uncommon. Some dogs are allergic to beet pulp, corn, and wheat. Some dogs are also allergic to tomatoes.
Some Toy Fox Terrier breeders can trace their dogs’ lineage back to a Smooth Fox Terrier called "Foiler", the first fox terrier registered by the Kennel Club in Britain, circa 1875-76. It is believed that careful breeding from smaller Smooth Fox Terriers without crosses to other toy breeds such as Manchester Terrier and Chihuahua resulted in the Toy Fox Terrier of today.