Toy Fox Terrier Breed Magazine - Showsight

Toy Fox Terrier Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.


Let’s Talk Breed Education!

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Official Standard of the Toy Fox Terrier General Appearance : The Toy Fox Terrier is truly a toy and a terrier and both have influenced his personality and character. As a terrier, the Toy Fox Terrier possesses keen intelligence, courage, and animation. As a toy his is diminutive, and devoted with an endless abiding love for his master. The Toy Fox Terrier is a well-balanced Toy dog of athletic appearance displaying grace and agility in equal measure with strength and stamina. His lithe muscular body has a smooth elegant outline which conveys the impression of effortless movement and endless endurance. He is naturally well groomed, proud, animated, and alert. Characteristic traits are his elegant head, his short glossy and predominantly white coat, coupled with a predominantly solid head, and his short high-set tail. Size, Proportion and Substance: Size - 8½ to 11½ inches, 9 to11 preferred, 8½ to 11½ acceptable. Proportion - The Toy Fox Terrier is square in proportion, with height being approximately equal to length; with height measured from withers to ground and length measured from point of shoulder to buttocks. Slightly longer in bitches is acceptable. Substance - Bone must be strong, but not excessive and always in proportion to size. Overall balance is important. Disqualification - Any dog under 8½ inches and over 11½ inches. Head : The head is elegant, balanced and expressive with no indication of coarseness. Expression is intelligent, alert, eager and full of interest. Eyes - clear, bright and dark, including eye-rims, with the exception of chocolates whose eye-rims should be self-colored. The eyes are full, round and somewhat prominent, yet never bulging, with a soft intelligent expression. They are set well apart, not slanted, and fit well together into the sockets. Ears - The ears are erect, pointed, inverted V-shaped, set high and close together, but never touching. The size is in proportion to the head and body. Disqualification - Ears not erect on any dog over six months of age. Skull - is moderate in width, slightly rounded and softly wedge shaped. Medium stop, somewhat sloping. When viewed from the front, the head widens gradually from the nose to the base of the ears. The distance from the nose to the stop is equal to the distance from the stop to the occiput. The cheeks are flat and muscular, with the area below the eyes well filled in. Faults - Apple head. Muzzle - Strong rather than fine, in proportion to the head as a whole and parallel to the top of the skull. Nose - Black only with the exception of self-colored in chocolate dogs. Disqualification - Dudley nose. Lips - are small and tight fitting. Bite - a full complement of strong white teeth meeting in a scissors bite is preferred. Loss of teeth should not be faulted as long as the bite can be determined as correct. Disqualification - Undershot, wry mouth, overshot more than ⅛ inch. Neck, Topline and Body: The neck is carried proudly erect, well set on, slightly arched, gracefully curved, clean, muscular and free from throatiness. It is proportioned to the head and body and widens gradually blending smoothly into the shoulders. The length of the neck is approximately the same as that of the head. The topline is level when standing and gaiting. The body is balanced and tapers slightly from ribs to flank. The chest is deep and muscular with well sprung ribs. Depth of chest extends to the point of elbow. The back is straight, level, and muscular. Short and strong in loin with moderate tuck-up to denote grace and elegance. The croup is level with topline and well-rounded. The tail is set high, held erect and in proportion to the size of the dog. Docked to the third or fourth joint. Forequarters : Forequarters are well angulated. The shoulder is firmly set and has adequate muscle, but is not overdeveloped. The shoulders are sloping and well laid back, blending

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smoothly from neck to back. The forechest is well developed. The elbows are close and perpendicular to the body. The legs are parallel and straight to the pasterns which are strong and straight while remaining flexible. Feet are small and oval, pointing forward turning neither in nor out. Toes are strong, well-arched and closely knit with deep pads. Hindquarters: Hindquarters are well angulated, strong and muscular. The upper and lower thighs are strong, well muscled and of good length. The stifles are clearly defined and well angulated. Hock joints are well let down and firm. The rear pasterns are straight. The legs are parallel from the rear and turn neither in nor out. Dewclaws should be removed from hindquarters if present. Coat : The coat is shiny, satiny, fine in texture and smooth to the touch. It is slightly longer in the ruff, uniformly covering the body. Color: Tri-Color: Predominately black head with sharply defined tan markings on cheeks, lips and eye dots. Body is over fifty-per-cent white, with or without black body spots. White, Chocolate and Tan : Predominately chocolate head with sharply defined tan markings on cheeks, lips and eye dots. Body is over fifty-percent white, with or without chocolate body spots. White and Tan : Predominately tan head. Body is over fifty-percent white with or without tan body spots. White and Black : Predominately black head. Body is over fifty percent white with or without black body spots. Color should be rich and clear. Blazes are acceptable, but may not touch the eyes or ears. Clear white is preferred, but a small amount of ticking is not to be penalized. Body spots on black headed tri-colors must be black; body spots on chocolate headed tri-colors must be chocolate; both with or without a slight fringe of tan alongside any body spots near the chest and under the tail as seen in normal bi-color patterning. Faults - Color, other than ticking, that extends below the elbow or the hock. Disqualifications - A blaze extending into the eyes or ears. Any color combination not stated above. Any dog whose head is more than fifty- percent white. Any dog whose body is not more than fifty-percent white. Any dog whose head and body spots are of different colors. Gait : Movement is smooth and flowing with good reach and strong drive. The topline should remain straight and head and tail carriage erect while gaiting. Fault - Hackney gait. Temperament: The Toy Fox Terrier is intelligent, alert and friendly, and loyal to its owners. He learns new tasks quickly, is eager to please, and adapts to almost any situation. The Toy Fox Terrier, like other terriers, is self-possessed, spirited, determined and not easily intimidated. He is a highly animated toy dog that is comical, entertaining and playful all of his life. Any individuals lacking good terrier attitude and personality are to be faulted. Disqualifications : Any dog under 8½ inches or over 11½ inches. Ears not erect on any dog over six months of age. Dudley nose. Undershot, wry mouth, overshot more than ⅛ inch. A blaze extending into the eyes or ears. Any color combination not stated above. Any dog whose head is more than fifty percent white. Any dog whose body is not more than fifty percent white. Any dog whose head and body spots are of different colors.

Approved: July 8, 2003 Effective: August 27, 2003



T he Toy Fox Terrier is a playful and pretty dog to have in your ring, and exhibitors hope that the judges like the breed as much as they do. However, this is not always an easy breed to show and, if you have a sense of humor and patience, you can help make the experience fun for all. Your first impression of the Toy Fox Terrier should be balanced and elegant. The breed standard states that they have an athletic appearance, displaying grace and agility. Characteristic traits that should be immediate- ly evident are the elegant and distinctive head, the erect, inverted V-shaped ears, the short, glossy and predominantly white coat with the predomi- nantly solid head, and the short, high tail set—which the standard calls for as docked. This is a square breed; bone is strong, but not excessive, and the stan- dard tells us that overall balance is important. The word “balance” is used a number of times throughout the standard, as is the word “elegant.” The Toy Fox Terrier is both Toy and Terrier, and both have influenced his personality and character. They have unending energy and a zest for life. This influences their behavior in your ring. Dogs lacking good Terrier attitude and personality are to be faulted. It’s often stated, “Examine on the table and judge on the floor.” These are true words for the Toy Fox Terrier. This diminutive dog’s character and personality are best displayed on the floor. When the Toy Fox Terrier is first presented in the ring, understand that their natural alertness and intel- ligence may have the dogs focusing on things other than their handler. This is a breed that is self-possessed, spirited, and often highly animated. How- ever, as many Toy Fox Terriers are extremely food motivated, they may also focus on the bait—both the handler’s bait and the bait on the floor. If there is excessive bait strewed around the ring, you will be well-served to ask the steward (or a ring clean-up crew) to pick it up, or you might see more duck- ing and diving than good movement. After you have sent the dogs around and the first dog is on the table, give the exhibitor a moment to get their dog ready. Don’t rush to the table. Instead, stand a few feet away to check the outline. Proportions and silhou- ette that might be skewed in the grass or when standing over such small dogs is often easier to ascertain when the dog is on the table. Like many Toy breeds, young and less experienced Toy Fox Terriers are often uncomfort- able with the table exam. Approach the Toy Fox Terrier from the front. It is often a good idea to say hello or good morning to the exhibitor in a friendly tone, but refrain from making “puppy talk” to the dog. Overly enthusiastic puppies will try to jump into judge’s arms; some less confident puppies will sway away from the judge, and it normally takes a bit of ring experience and maturity before a Toy Fox stands like a statue for a judge’s exam. With the short, satiny coat it doesn’t take a lot of manhandling to check the structure on this breed. Gentle hands are needed to do the exam. After you have examined the dog, ask the exhibitor to show the bite. There is no disqualification or fault for missing teeth, per the Toy Fox Terrier standard, so the oral exam should be a quick and easy review to ensure it is scissors. Undershot, wry mouth or overshot more than ⅛ inch are disqualifications.



The difference between the 9" and 11" Toy Foxes is illustrated here by two whose sizes were wicketed to verify. Both meet the “preferred” size, but the difference is deceiving.

While the dog is on the table, it is a good time to review if there are any size or color disqualifications. Toy Fox Terri- ers must be between 8 ½ an 11 ½ inches, with 9-11 inches preferred. Over or under the acceptable range must be dis- qualified. We often see 11 inch dogs wicketed when the other exhibits are on the small end of the scale, and 9 inch tall dogs wicketed when everyone else in the ring is hovering near 11 inches. Do not be afraid to call for the wicket if you question a dog’s size, but be aware that 3 inches in a Toy breed is a sizeable variation and the only preference is not larger or smaller, but 9 to 11 inches. Be aware of color requirements. The standard calls for a body that is a minimum of fifty percent white. It does not say that all white is preferred, but it gives direction regarding the faulting of color, other than ticking, below the elbow or hock. (Note: Color below these points is a fault and not a disqualifica- tion as some folks will state loudly from outside the ring.) The color disqualifications are a head more than fifty percent white, a blaze extending into the eye or ear, bodies that are not more than fifty percent white, head and body of different colors, any color not clearly stated in the standard, and a Dudley nose. The Toy Fox Terrier’s distinctive ears must be erect or they must be disqualified. Once you are done with the table exam, it is time to check their movement. As the Toy Fox Terrier originated as a work- ing Terrier, in addition to being a beloved pet and, sometimes, a circus performer, the movement should be effortless, smooth and flowing, with the legs moving nearly parallel and in a line at a walk or slow trot. The standard does not call for single tracking. However, with speed, some convergence will be nor- mal. The topline should remain straight, and head and tail car- riage is erect while gaiting. Movement is balanced with good reach and drive. Please fault dogs that hackney when moving. (Conversations with Toy Fox breeders will indicate they are in accord that hackney movement is highly undesirable.)

The Toy Fox Terrier is a fun dog; spirited and full of personality. These animated and playful dogs have been known to entertain the judges and spectators at the expense of the exhibitors who are trying so hard to pres- ent their dogs. If you have an appreciation for the character and personal- ity of this breed, along with their beauty, balance, and elegance—and, perhaps, a bit of patience—you will find judging the Toy Fox Terrier to be an enjoyable part of your day’s schedule. For further information and education on the Toy Fox Terrier, the parent club’s website is a great resource. The Breed Standard as well as a link to the Illustrated Study of the AKC Breed Standard may be found at

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Susan has been showing dogs since 1978. In 2013, she decided to segue from Sporting into Toys, and she now has Toy Fox Terriers and one Toy Manchester. She is Vice President of the American Toy Fox Terrier Club, a Brevard Kennel Club Board Member, Chairperson for ATFTC’s Meet The Breeds, Judge’s Education and Facebook

page, and she is the Legislative Liaison for BKC. Susan is a past President and Training Director for the Brevard County Dog Training Club and has been an active member of other clubs over the years. She stewards for two Ring Steward Associations and enjoys judging matches and sweepstakes.



By Jon Rawleigh

M ost of my adult life, other than dogs, has been spent as a teacher. In that time I have learned that you can’t save every- one. I also learned sometimes if you plant a couple of seeds, or create a challenge, you can win some of the battles. I’m not going to explain everything in the standard in this writing. Th at is your job, your responsibility and your chal- lenge. Th at is if you want to be considered a respected judge of TFT. I will try to plant seeds and challenge you. I will give you tips and thoughts on the process, to help you sort out this delightful breed. Stories A judge once told me that if he could recognize a breed then it had all the type it needed. However true that comment is, in a simplistic way, it’s not the core knowledge you want adjudicating the National. All too often we see in the rare breeds, generic judging with “ fl ash and dash” or “best down and back wins.” Big wins bestowed on dogs with no type while the one with type walks. I have also heard breeders of other breeds say, “We have a couple of types in our breed.” My only question as a judge should be which one more closely matches the Standard. Th ere is a big di ff erence in eliminating dogs with faults (negative judging); to rewarding dogs with attri- butes and breed hallmarks that match the standard (positive judging). At the end of the day, fault judging can’t be as much fun as looking for the unique char- acteristic’s that make them di ff erent than breeds of similar type. Another story. An elderly lady breed- er I knew decided to go for her judg- ing license. She picked the breeds she wanted, back when you could do that.

She confessed to me she knew the breeds and what she liked. She didn’t know the standard and if what she liked, was cor- rect. She wanted to do right and not look like a foolish old lady. She made fl ash cards with the breed on one side and a sentence of the standard on the other side. She would mix them all up, standard quotes side up. Th en she began building her breeds. Putting parts of a standard under the breed she thought it belong to. She tried visualizing it in her mind’s eye as she went. She then turned them all over to see what was under the wrong breed.

Th at became her challenge to see and understand why it went to the breed it belong to. She ended up getting 100s on breed tests, could sort out large classes, judge in the positive mode and write cri- tiques that commanded respect. I miss her. Thoughts & Tips on Judging TFTs Assemble your class. Look hard at their pro fi le. Th e TFT is an athletic dog and should look like one. Th e standard calls for a totally balance dog. Balance is mentioned fi ve times in the standard. Th ere are clues to show you the balance from a glance.


Th ey’re called the 4 equals and they de fi ne the pro fi le: 1. Th e length of muzzle is equal to the length of back skull. 2. Th e total length of head is equal to the length of neck. 3. Th e height measured at the withers is equal to length measure from point of shoulder to buttocks. 4. Th e body measured from withers to elbows is equal to the distance from elbows to the fl oor. Th e pro fi le should denote squareness, balance and de fi nite athletic appearance. Size can range from 8 ½ " to 11 ½ "—that allows for a considerable di ff erence in size. However look for the same qualities. An ath- letic appearance displaying grace and agility in equal measure with strength and stamina. You should see this in all sizes, small to the largest. Our present day urban society doesn’t require our dogs to routinely rid vermin or sporting dogs to put food on the table. We still want the form which comes from that function. A tip when you look at your line up think form follows function and think which ones could do the intended function. Walk the Line Now we walk the line and look at the unique elegant heads; it’s one of the breed’s hallmarks that separate it from other breeds. Observe the gradual taper- ing wedge-shaped head. Th e alert expres- sion, full of interest and intelligent. Th e expression shows the Terrier in fl uence. Th e wedge shape is soft, but never round headed or apple headed. Th e ears that contribute so much to the look are set high on the head not coming o ff the side. Erect, pointed and inverted V-shaped. Showing the Fox Terrier and Manchester in fl uence and not the Chihua- hua’s in head type. On the Table It’s time to go to the table to con fi rm what you have seen on the fl oor. It’s a short-coated breed with nothing to hide. Check for bite, remember full dentition is preferred, but missing teeth are not to be faulted as long as the bite is scis- sors. Check coat texture, testicles and muscle. Th e standard calls for a muscu-

lar body with a smooth elegant outline. Th is can all be done with the lightest of touches. TFTs don’t like the unnecessary massages and mallings so often seen. Ver- ify on the table; judge on the fl oor. Col- or comes in 4 varieties with white being basic to all of them. Th e body must be over 50% white or all white. Spots on the body match the main color of the head. Combinations are: t 8IJUFCMBDLBOEUBOUSJDPMPS t 8IJUFDIPDPMBUFBOEUBOUSJDPMPS t 8IJUFBOEUBO t 8IJUFBOECMBDL Blazes on heads can not extend into eyes or ears, which would be a DQ. Time to Move An athletic dog capable of going to ground and chasing vermin, the TFT has to move with freedom and carriage to carry out the task. Not hackney or stilted. Good reach and drive able to turn on a dime (or jump over a Toy Poodle friend in full stride). Coming and going look for double tracking with slight convergence at a trot. A smooth graceful stride, not labored in any way. Head and tail carried erect in a true terrier fashion. Th e top line should always be straight and level standing and in motion. Making your Placements As you look at the class again, time to re fl ect on which ones have the hallmarks of the breed. If the choice is hard, think which one would you take home to rid the ver- min from your barn. If you have read my ramblings to this point, thank you for your time. I hope in some small way it has helped. Or maybe given you some things to ponder. If you see me at a show and have questions, please ask me. I love talking TFT. Challenge Th e ATFTC has done a great job with their standard. It is clear and concise. On their website they have a wonderful illus- trated standard ( std/ibsFlash/index.html). My last chal- lenge is spend a little time to understand the standard. Th en tell me why you can’t be a star judging TFT. Th e breed needs your e ff orts.

BIO In his dog career Jon Rawleigh has owned and shown to their Championship, Danes, English Setters, English Cockers and Bulldogs. He decided to retire from his teaching profession and turn to han- dling as a career. In that time period he showed to their Championship, 76 di ff er- ent breeds. He showed dogs to Group 1s in all 7 Groups and won BIS in four di ff erent Groups. He also was owner/handler of the top winning English Cocker in 1981. Jon was also active in dog clubs. He served as President of Genesee Valley KC in Rochester, NY. Served on the Board of Tonawanda KC in Tonawanda, NY. President of the Poodle Club of Oklahoma and served on the Board of the Professional Handlers Association. He retired from Handling and went to work for the AKC as an Executive Field Representative. Later on he went into the AKC o ffi ce as Assistant Vice President for Communications. He left AKC and went to work at Onofrio Dog Shows as a Superintendent and Training Director. He retired from Onofrio to play golf, but ended up showing dogs again. Jon’s educational activities included serv- ing as a Research associate at the National Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology. He studied cognitive learn- ing styles Involving Media. He was requit- ed to a Community Collage, to serve as the Department Head of a Media Center, where he developed Programmed instruction and Television Instructional Programs. Jon is now showing dogs and serving as Educational Chair for the ATFTC.


JUDGING THE TOY FOX TERRIER By Kelley Maldon ATFTC Judges Education Chair T he Toy Fox Terrier is a small terrier that ranges in size from 8 ½ " to 11 ½ ". Th ey are the epit- ome of a big dog in a small package. Th eir that was the blue print for the breed does. It states a dog of correct size should weigh between 3 ½ and 7 lbs. Th e UKC standard goes so far as to disqualify a dog that does not fall within this size range. Toy Fox Ter- riers are both “Toys” and “Terriers”.

personality and temperament should reflect terrier courage and animation. Th ey should have grace, elegance and agility all displayed in equal measures that balance and compliment the total dog. Type and temperament are embodied in a well-balanced, square package of terri- er attitude that moves forward with grace, elegance, gusto and style. Th e body is bal- anced with the length approximately equal to the height. Th e length is measured from the point of shoulder to the point of but- tocks with the height being measured from the withers to the ground. Substance should be substantial but not overdone for the size of the dog. Although the AKC breed standard makes no men- tion of the correct weight for a Toy Fox Terrier, the original UKC breed standard

Th e Toy Fox Terrier’s characteristic traits are his elegant head, square ath- letic body with a short tail set on high, and his short, satiny and predominantly white coat (with or without body spots). He is naturally well-groomed, proud, animated and alert. Th e head is elegant, balanced and expressive with no indication of coarse- ness. Th e distance from the nose to the stop is equal to the distance from the stop to the occipital point. Th e skull is slightly rounded but never domed or apple head- ed. Th e expression is intelligent, alert and full of interest. Th e eyes are round and dark, set well apart and fitting well into the sockets. Th e ears are high set, close together and balance with the size of the head and the body.

“The Toy Fox Terrier’s characteristic traits are his ELEGANT HEAD, SQUARE ATHLETIC BODY WITH A SHORT TAIL SET ON HIGH, AND HIS SHORT, SATINY AND PREDOMINANTLY WHITE COAT (with or without body spots).”

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When moving the backline is level and flat in motion as the little dog double tracks in a straight line with slight conver- gence at a trot. Th e movement is balanced and coordinated with good reach and strong drive. Any resemblance to a hackney gait is to be faulted. His lithe muscular body has a smooth elegant outline which moves forward effortlessly. Movement should be judged on a loose lead. The dog should never be strung up nor should he run around the ring at lightning speed. Th e forequarters are well angulated and the shoulder firmly set with adequate muscle but not overdeveloped. Th e shoulders are sloping and well lay back,

blending smoothly from the neck to the back. Th e forechest is well developed. The standard is silent in regard to the TFT’s upper arm, its length or position on the body. However, the AKC standard leaves little doubt by stating, “Fore-chest is well developed”. The “Terrier front” with its shorter upper arm and no fore- chest is a specialized digging front and is incorrect in the Toy Fox Terrier. There are four color combinations allowed in the Toy Fox Terrier. They are white, black and tan tricolor; white, chocolate and tan tricolor; white and tan; and white and black. The body of the dog should be over fifty percent white and can have body spots that match the main color on the head.

Blazes are acceptable as long as they do not extend into the eye or the ear. The above illustrations were created by Jeanne Flora and the written descriptions which serve to further clarify the AKC Breed Standard are the culmination of two years of work by the Judges Education Committee, Kelley Maldon, John Davidson and Olen Nichols. The complete Illustrated Breed Standard in PowerPoint for the Toy Fox Terrier was approved in 2008 and it can be found on the American Toy Fox Terrier Club website at http:// index.html.

“THE BODY OF THE DOG SHOULD BE OVER FIFTY PERCEN T WHITE and can have body spots that match the main color on the head.”

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Health of the TOY FOX TERRIER


T oy Fox Terriers (TFTs) are awesome little dogs! They are a lot like humans in little dog suits. With proper socializa- tion they can excel in a great deal of different areas from Conformation to Performance Events, and they are really excellent at being great companions. When considering any breed for your home, it is important to understand the health conditions that could be found in that breed. TFTs generally live 13 to 15 years, but it is not uncommon to see them make it to 16 or 17 years. Keeping TFTs at an ideal weight can help them live longer and healthier lives; they love their food, so this can be a challenge. Overall, TFTs are a healthy breed, but there are a few conditions occasionally seen that are important to be aware of.



“If you are considering getting a TFT, you will want to make sure your breeder tests for these conditions.”

First of all, the easiest conditions to manage in this breed are the genetically passed conditions that currently have DNA tests. These conditions are congenital hypothyroidism with goiter (CHG), primary lens luxation (PLL), spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA), and degenerative myelopathy (DM). For CHG, SCA, and DM, the genes and expression of the genes are “clear,” “carrier” (not affected), and “affected.” PLL is a little different because the

expression of the genes are “clear,” “carrier/low risk,” and “affected.” With proper DNA testing, these conditions are relatively easy for breeders to manage with both clear and carrier dogs in their breeding programs. If you are considering getting a TFT, you will want to make sure your breeder tests for these conditions. The next health condition to be aware of in this breed is patella luxation. When TFTs are one-year-old or older, they can have their patellas certified through OFA. All breeding dogs should have their patellas evaluated by a veterinarian prior to breeding and throughout their lives. Having a sire and dam with good patellas does not guarantee that all of their puppies will have good patellas, but the chances



“There are conditions that can impact their health, but with diligent guardians of the breed as breeders, we can continue to improve the health of our little breed even more!”


Amanda (Mandy) Halsey is a lifelong animal enthusiast. She started showing animals at the county fair in fourth grade and continued through high school. She took up showing and training horses in middle school and continued into her twenties. Mandy was

will be much higher. Parents with luxating patellas tend to produce puppies with the condition, so dogs with luxating patellas should not be used in a breeding program. Lastly, there are a couple of additional health issues that some breeders are making an effort to eradicate from their breeding pro- grams. Some liver function conditions are known to be found in this breed. It’s pretty rare to see things like portosystemic liver shunts, but another condition of the liver called hepatic microvascular dysplasia (HMD or MVD) is sometimes found in TFTs. Dogs with HMD live fairly normal lives, but responsible breeders still need to do periodic blood work and/or liver bile acid tests to look for signs of liver disease and use that information to eliminate affected dogs from their breed- ing programs. Additional health conditions that some breeders test for are Von Willebrand disease and eye conditions like Progressive Retinal Atrophy. In conclusion, TFTs, as a whole, are a very healthy breed. There are conditions that can impact their health, but with diligent guard- ians of the breed as breeders, we can continue to improve the health of our little breed even more!

a member of her high school's horse judging team, and she even has an Associate’s Degree in Equestrian Studies with an Emphasis in English Riding from the University of Findlay. She believes her background in evaluating equine structure and movement gives her a big "leg up" in being able to find nicely put together dogs in her Toy Fox Terrier breeding program. Mandy purchased her first Toy Fox Terrier in 2002 and started showing in Conformation shows in 2003. She still enjoys showing her Toy Fox Terriers to this day, but finds a balance in enjoying life with her husband and two children, working as an intervention specialist (special education teacher), being an active member of her church, and showing and raising her dogs. Mandy writes or puts together health articles for the American Toy Fox Terrier Club newsletter. Her focus is on raising healthy Toy Fox Terriers with excellent breed type, beautiful movement, and great temperaments.




I s your Toy Fox Terrier retired from the show ring but you are looking for something to keep him or her busy? Maybe you want something to do with your Toy Fox in between shows? Perhaps you’ve gotten a Toy Fox but aren’t ready to try the show ring? Perhaps your Toy Fox is a beloved pet that you are look- ing to have some fun with? A benefit of owning Toy Fox Terriers is that they love to learn and they love to per- form, and there are many events you and your dog can participate in. Toy Fox Terriers were often used by clowns in the early and mid-1900s because they are so easy to teach and because they love to perform. These dogs, while small in stature and usu- ally between 8-1/2 inches and 11-1/2 inches at the withers, have big person- alities and are generally fearless due to their terrier heritage. Toy Fox owners have found their dogs to be quite versatile, and Toy Fox Terriers are excelling in many dog sports. One convenient aspect of the breed is that, with their very small size, finding places to train them is simplified. If you live in the city or in a neighborhood with no yard space, it’s not a problem. A large yard or area isn’t necessary. You can do much of the training for this breed in your home or apartment! Even equipment that’s necessary for some of the activities can be made or modified, and smaller ver- sions may be bought to do the initial training or to keep them “fresh.”




From there, it’s a natural progression to Ral- ly. In Rally, your dog heels, sits, downs, stands, comes when called, stays, and performs other basic Obedience-type skills and these are executed in various combinations. There is a course set up in the ring and you go from sign to sign perform- ing what each sign directs. Rally Novice and Rally Intermediate are both on-leash, and levels above them are off-leash. Rally is less formal than regu- lar Obedience and you can talk, praise, use body language and hand signals, and proceed through the course together in sync to demonstrate your partnership with your dog. Toy Foxes can do this really well; however, sometimes their clown days express themselves. My boy, “Barnum,” prefers to play “bang… you’re dead” which he learned in tricks instead of a normal down. I lose a couple half-points and he gets lots of laughs! Another activity that also utilizes courses and gets a lot of publicity (and one that Toy Fox Ter- rier do really well in) is Agility. Toy Foxes are agile and love to run and jump. They take great pleasure in speeding around an Agility course with their owners. They sometimes share that joy with happy barks, but their sheer vivacity as they proceed over jumps, through tunnels, and zigzagging through weaves and over obstacles makes everyone smile. They are very intelligent, however, and I have it on good authority from a friend who has shown three Toy Foxes in Agility that they get bored with “excessive” do-overs.

With the circus history, earning Trick Dog titles is one activity that all Toy Fox Terrier owners can aspire to. The Novice Trick Dog title (TKN) incorporates both simple tricks and some very basic Obedience skills. As the dog proceeds through the various title levels, the complexity and number of tricks increase; but one thing is for certain—Toy Foxes love to perform for their owners. Toy Fox Terriers, in general, are very food-focused, making trick training some- thing the dogs really get into. Janet Weerts, a Toy Fox owner who competes in vari- ous events with her Toy Foxes, states, “Their high intelligence, coupled with fun- loving attitude, makes them a quick study for any new skill. A caution here: one had best teach a skill correctly the first time because, once retained, change becomes nearly impossible!” In addition to the Basic Obedience skills used for trick training, Obedience skills can quickly earn your Toy Fox Terrier titles such as Canine Good Citizen and maybe even the Farm Dog Certification.



Toy Fox Terriers are long-lived, versatile, and active dogs that thrive on doing things with their owners. Training and competing in these Companion Sports will give your dog confidence, build your relationship, and provide endless hours of fun. As the clowns have known and you will discover, Toy Fox Terriers thrive on learning and active engagement with their owners. Retiring from the show ring should be the start of new adventures and not the end of you and your dog having fun and going places. Grab the treat bag and get started! A special thank you to our Performance ATFTC members for sharing photos of their awesome dogs!

Toy Fox Terriers, being bred down from Fox Terriers, are excellent mousers and ratters and they relish Barn Hunt. Toy Foxes can get very intense when they discover that there are rats in tubes hidden in the stacked bales of hay, and their terrier personality comes out in full when they are searching for the hidden rats. My “Sparkles,” a Gold Grand Champion, begins singing when she gets to a Barn Hunt event. Her eyes become like lasers and she quivers in anticipation. She relishes the opportunity to find the rats. Using their noses can also be fun in another growing dog sport—Scent Work. In this sport, cotton swabs saturated with the essential oils of birch, anise, clove, and cypress are hidden and the dog seeks them out. The work mimics working Detec- tion Dogs but uses legal and common scents. The swabs are hidden in various elements: container, interior, exterior, and buried. As with other sports, the titles start at Novice and you can work to higher levels as you both gain expertise. Toy Foxes of all ages love this sport because they are really good at using their noses. As Toy Fox Terriers have a lot of energy and also prey drive, many Toy Fox owners find that their dogs excel in events that emphasize running. Fast CAT (see Top Notch Toys article “Run Your Toy in Fast Cat” view/360839290/22/ in the November 2021 issue) is a 100- yard dash chasing a plastic bag on a pulley. The Coursing Abil- ity Test for toy-sized dogs is a 300-yard course chasing a bag. In both, the titles are awarded based on successful runs. Other events that Toy Fox Terriers participate in include Obedience Trials, Tracking, and Dock Diving. Results for these vary but are always fun endeavors, and Toy Foxes that participate in these sports receive the accolades and admiration of Toy Fox owners everywhere.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Susan Thibodeaux began showing dogs in 1978. Ten years ago, after decades in the Sporting Group showing primarily Vizslas, Cocker Spaniels, and English Cockers, she made the decision to segue to the Toy Group and now has Toy Fox Terriers and Toy Manchester Terriers. She is Vice President for the American Toy Fox Terrier Club and on the Board of the Brevard Kennel Club. In addition to showing, Susan

can be found having fun in various events such as Rally, Fast CAT, and Barn Hunt, stewarding, teaching handling classes for BKC, and judging sweepstakes and matches.




T he Toy Fox Terrier is an American breed that was developed by dog fanci- ers in the 1930s. It is said that this was achieved by crossing “runt” Fox Terriers with Toy breeds such as the Miniature Pinscher, Italian Grey- hound, and Chihuahua to create a diminutive dog while retaining Terrier gameness, courage, and animation. Relatively new to the AKC, the Toy Fox Terrier was only accepted as Foundation Stock in 2001 and became eligible to fully participate in conformation events in 2003. Since that time there has been a significant improvement in the overall quality of the TFT. Limited only by height parameters (and not restricted by weight) allowed breed- ers to develop a dog with both strong bone and good substance, even in those dogs at the higher end of the breed standard for height. Tall, willowy TFTs on spindly legs are seldom seen in the AKC show ring anymore. The Toy Fox Terrier displays his Terrier-like, self-possessed and spirited attitude as he enters the show ring with both his head and tail carried erect. His smooth and flowing move- ment, coupled with good reach and strong drive, shows no hint of a bounce or hackney gait. A properly moving Toy Fox Terrier literally owns the ground he walks on. He is a well-balanced, athletic little dog with his grace and agility equaled to his strength and stamina. He’s all about Structure and Movement! While the TFT is a natural “show-off” and enjoys strutting his stuff in the show ring, he does not necessarily like the table—and this should be understood by the judge. The first step in making this a positive experience for both the dog and the judge is to give the dogs some space. In an effort to avoid the dog being crowded and stepping back from the judge, the exhibitor can set the dog slightly further back on the table, leaving plenty of room for the judge to approach and conduct the examination. Many exhibitors train their show dogs to move into different positions by using a “crowding their space” maneuver, so it’s only natural to expect the dog to react if crowded. The next step is to keep in mind that the judge is checking for a scissors bite, which can easily be determined by examination of the front and both sides of the teeth, without even opening the mouth. There is no need to count teeth since missing teeth are not to be faulted. The TFT is examined on the table with gentle and confident hands, judged on the floor, and know that the happy little dog you see on the ground may not be so inclined to give you ears and tails up when he’s on the table.

The Toy Fox Terrier is not a cookie cutter breed, and this is not a bad thing as long as each style is within the breed standard. There can be significant stylistic differences from breeder to breeder, region to region, and coast to coast. One of the many wonderful things about these delightful little terriers is that there’s something



when judging the Toy Fox Terrier. It is preferred that the portion of the coat that is white be “clear white.” However, a small amount of ticking is not to be penalized. Hopefully, this explanation of color has cleared up any linger- ing questions on the subject. My advice to new exhibitors and new breeders would be to bring a sense of passion to your love of the Toy Fox Terrier. Never stop learning and know that this smart, comical, and entertaining little breed will, at times, keep you humble in the show ring! For as much they can be loving, loyal, and faithful companions, I would urge new breeders to also maintain their terrier gameness, along with their spirited and self-possessed attitude, and their sense of determination and courage, by keeping those traits strongly root- ed in their breeding programs so as to not breed out that which embodies the total Toy Fox Terrier.

for everyone! The diverse height standard of 8 ½ to 11 ½ inches at the withers allows breeders a choice as to how they would like their breeding program to develop, regarding size. It is also important for judges to understand that neither “short” nor “tall” is either right or wrong; it’s which exhibit best exemplifies the written AKC Breed Standard in all aspects of that standard—regardless of size. Then we come to color! There are nine disqualifications list- ed in the Toy Fox Terrier Breed Standard and six of them per- tain to color. One might think we are just a little color-obsessed, so here are some points to keep in mind regarding color and color combinations: • Body spots on black-headed tri-colors must be black • Body spots on chocolate-headed tri-colors must be chocolate

• Body spots on white and blacks must be black • Body spots on white and tans must be tan

(Those first four points can be summed up with one simple sentence: The color of body spots must be the same color as the predominant head color!) • A blaze must not extend into the eyes or ears • Head must be more than 50% colored • Body must be more than 50% white • Nose color must be black with the exception of chocolates, which are self-colored Toy Fox Terriers may or may not have body spots, but either white-bodied or spotted-bodied is well within the standard, and each should be given equal consideration. And, as if there has not already been enough written about color, there are a few more points that are well worth mentioning. While body spots on black-headed tri-colored TFTs are black, and body spots on chocolate-headed tri-colored TFTs are choco- late, a slight tinge (or fringe) of tan alongside any body spots near the chest and under the tail is considered normal bi-color pattern- ing and, therefore, should not be faulted. It is also important to note that it is not a fault or a disqualifica- tion for a Toy Fox Terrier to sport grey hairs. There is a gene that occurs with some regularity in this breed, and many fine examples of TFTs tend to grey early. This should be regarded as insignificant

REFERENCES The Toy Fox Terrier Official Breed Standard, The Toy Fox Terrier Illustrated Breed Standard, The Toy Fox Terrier Judges Guide

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Sheryl Irwin has been loving and raising Toy Fox Terriers since early 2001. She is a Breeder/Owner-Handler and breeds under the registered kennel name of StarFox Toy Fox Terriers. Having produced many champions and multiple Group-

placing TFTs, she continues to strive for excellence in her breeding program. Sheryl is a member in good standing of the American Toy Fox Terrier Club and has served on several committees. She served on the ATFTC Board of Directors for a number of years, previously was the Judges’ Education Chair and is an ATFTC approved mentor and presenter.



Head is elegant but the muzzle is strong rather than fi ne. While there should be no indication of coarseness , we must remember the history is that of a working terrier. Th at is also why under Bite we are told he must have a full complement of strong white teeth.. not tiny, poorly-root- ed “toy” teeth. Th e eyes are dark, includ- ing eye-rims, with the exception of chocolates. Th e eyes are round, not oval as in the Min Pin. Th ey should be full… and somewhat prominent and set well apart. Eyes are never bulging . Th e soft intelli- gent expression is de fi nitely not the hard- bitten or stern expression seen in many ter- riers. Ears are confusing to some but two things will keep you on track. First, they should be right up on top of the head, high and close together, but never touching. Ears size is in proportion to the head and body. As in most breeds, no exception is made for pups of show age. Th e ears must be erect . Th e skull is moderately wide and only slightly rounded . It is softly wedge shaped and the standard further explains that when view from the front, the head widens gradually right to the base of the ears. When viewed in pro fi le, the medium stop is not abrupt, it is somewhat slop- ing . Th e head is in equal proportion from nose to stop and from stop to occiput and should be in equal balance whether seen from front or pro fi le and it should be in proportion to the dog. Th is head study exempli fi es proper stop, ratio, proportion, strength, shape and ear size and placement. An apple head is faulty. Muzzle is paral- lel to top of skull and strong enough to grasp a varmit. Lips are small and tight. Bite is preferred full and complete with strong white teeth that meet in a scissors . Lost teeth should not to be faulted as long as the bite is correct. Neck is proudly erect, arched, curved, muscular, and should not be throaty. In fact, this is a dog that fi lls up his supple skin so there should be no wrinkles anywhere. By Barbara (BJ) Andrews Excerpts from her Judges Seminar

T he TFT has the viva- ciousness of the Min- iature Pinscher and the keenness of the Toy Manchester but he is decidedly di ff erent. Here are some things that make him uniquely Toy Fox Terrier. Words or phrases in bold are direct quotes from the Standard and within context. Th e AKC Toy Fox Terrier Standard says he has terrier attributes but reminds us that he is “diminutive” and like all Toys, he has an “endless abiding love for his master.” We know terriers love their fam- ily but let’s admit it, terriers may dawdle a bit when there’s an interesting sound in the bushes or another dog to be checked out. Like the Chihuahua (one of his admit- ted genetic contributors) when called, the TFT will stop whatever he’s doing and race as fast as his sturdy legs can carry him, straight into the arms or lap of his owner. He’s a perfect blend of the “courage

and animation” so prized in the terrier, and the ever-attentive, eager to please, gentler personality of the toy dog companion. Size is addressed in the AKC standard. Th roughout his history (one of only three breeds in early UKC conformation), the Toy Fox Terrier has always been weighed in or out. Th e AKC standard keeps size down by measuring out dogs over 11 ½ inches while demanding they be at least 8 ½ inches tall. One thing this does is prevent breeders from trying to breed or show “tea cups”. Th is dog is square in proportion as is the dog on the above right, but you will see many that are way too long, and if judges forgive the slightly longer in male dogs, we’ll see even more long-bodied TFTs. Th e bone must be strong and although breeders have done will with it, there is a problem known as brittle bone syndrome. Some other breeds may have brittle bones but they don’t think they are superman and are not given to leaping o ff tall build- ings as is this fearless little fox terrier.

Photo by Holloway 272 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2014

Th e neck length is approximately the same as the head but you don’t need to measure. Th is standard clearly describes overall balance with no one feature exag- gerated. A swan neck would be too weak to allow the TFT to snap the neck of a rodent in one swift shake. Topline is level wheth- er moving or standing. Th e Body tapers slightly from ribs to fl ank when viewed from above and has moderate tuck-up . It should not appear racy in outline, this is a terrier with substance. Th e chest is deep and muscular with well sprung ribs and deep brisket, reaching to the elbow. Th e Back is straight, level, and muscular and the Loin is short and strong. Th e Croup is also level with topline and well rounded. Th e Tail is set on high, held erect and in proportion to dog, meaning docked to the 3rd or 4th joint . Forequarters are well angulated but not overdeveloped meaning they are well muscled but not bulging. Th e forechest is well developed. Feet are small and oval with strong well-arched tight toes and deep pads . Hindquarters are strong and mus- cular , including the upper and lower thigh, which should be of good length . Weak underdeveloped rear quarters could be from “lack of conditioning” but in a dog as active as the TFT, that means the exhibit is not properly kept so…

A Toy Fox Terrier will always be hard and muscular if well bred and given even a short opportunity to exercise each day. Sti fl es are clearly de fi ned and well angu- lated so a steep rear with weak tendons is a serious genetic fl aw in a dog that has always earned its keep, or it indicates lack of care. Th e breed is not cowhocked. Period. Rear Dewclaws should be removed if present. Coat is shiny, satiny, fi ne in texture and smooth to the touch . It is not open, coarse or wiry. Th e ru ff and onto the neck and shoulders is slightly longer. Although the standard states it uniformly covers the body, it will be thinner on muzzle, inside of legs, and feet. Th e coat should feel as though the dog is snugly wrapped in satin. Color is usually tri-color but white and tan, black and white, and tri-color with chocolate in place of black is equally acceptable. Th e body is always over fi fty percent white regardless of the head col- or. Th e Tri-Color (black head or choco- late head) must have sharply de fi ned tan markings on cheeks, lips, and eye dots. Body spots (black, tan, or chocolate) should be rich and clear and of the same color as the head. Blazes are acceptable but may not touch the eyes or ears . Th e body should be clear white but a small amount of ticking is not penalized. Gait is smooth and fl owing , not minc- ing, not high stepping and most de fi nitely

not hackney. Th e front legs should reach well out in a straight line from shoulder to foot with no wasted motion or fl ipping of pasterns. Th e rear has strong drive as be fi ts a dog that is fi t and muscular enough to do the many tasks we have asked of him. Again, emphasis is on a lev- el straight topline and the head and tail carriage is erect. Temperament is intelligent but let’s face it, no standard calls for the dog to be a dullard. Th is standard spells it out. He learns new tasks easily, is eager to please, and adapts to almost any situ- ation. He is like other terriers and not easily intimidated so you can forgive a puppy for being a bit overwhelmed, but the adult should be self-possessed, spir- ited, determined . Th en, just to be sure you got the message, it warns that any dog lacking good terrier attitude and per- sonality is to be faulted. You will either like this spirited little dog, or you won’t. But what you must do is take time to learn what makes him a Toy Fox Terrier and how to weigh his many virtues and then make a commitment to judge him with his background and heri- tage in your mind. Feel free to judge him with pride in what Americans can do. He is among only a few breeds developed in this country and he takes a back seat to none!


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