TERRIER TOY FOX
Let’s Talk Breed Education!
JUDGING THE TOY FOX TERRIER TOYFOXTERRIER Judging the
BY SUSAN B. THIBODEAUX
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.
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JUDGING THE TOY FOX TERRIER
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 http://www.atftc.com/breed_std/breed_std.htm.
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.
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THE TOY FOX TERRIER
BY SHERYL IRWIN
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
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THE TOY FOX TERRIER
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.
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TOY FOX TERRIER 1. Where do you live? What do you do outside of dogs? 2. A breed that gained fame as a ratter has become a top companion. How does the breed’s terrier temperament affect their household behavior? 3. How do you place your puppies? How does the breed’s terrier temperament affect house- hold behavior? The Toy Fox Terrier’s temperament is very active and curious. He is very loyal to his owner and/or family. High energy level when needed and yet can be a couch potato at times.
I don’t breed with any frequency. Only when I need a new show puppy, will I breed a litter. If there are any extra puppies in the litter, I will place them through a referral or to someone who has been waiting for one of my puppies. The Parent Club has been active in supporting the Breed. In the last few years they have been actively pro- moting breed and judging Seminars at many shows all over the country. I feel this has been very beneficial to Judges, new exhibitors and breeders. The Parent Club has also been successful in getting a flyer on Toy Fox Terriers and photos included with the litter papers and Registration that AKC sends to new owners. The Toy Group is a difficult group. They are majority of long coat or rough coated dogs. The Toy Fox Terrier with his satin sleek coat does stand out. He has nothing hidden. Good quality stands out when he hits his show poise in the ring. There is nothing on him that can be fluffed, sprayed or shaped, what you see is what you get. What is the breed’s most endearing quality? I like their attitude. They are active, always ready to go or be with you. The Toy Fox Terrier is so intelligent and can do well in Obedience, Rally and other like activities. They really like the Barn Hunt. I have bred my bloodlines for a number of years, and in some cases own parents, grand parents and even further on a few. So when I breed I have an idea of what I am going to achieve with this breeding. At birth you will do the first cut for a show puppy. Markings will tell you if they will be good for a show dog. A wrong placed spot or a marking will eliminate a show prospect. Another cut can be done at eight to ten weeks, when they are up on their feet. Attitude, gait and overall balance comes into play. You make you choice and put them up for six to seven months, and hope every- thing you saw and liked as baby comes together for a new champion. My favorite memory was when my dog won the Nation- al Toy Fox Terrier Specialty four years in a row. He also became the First Toy Fox Terrier Platinum Grand Cham- pion of record. His grandmother was the first Toy Fox Ter- rier Grand record a few years back. I like their attitude. They are a big dog in a small pack- age. Always your best friend and brighten up each day.
4. Is your parent Club giving you adequate support? 5. In the Toy Group, the TFT stands out. Is this good or bad? 6. What is the breed’s most endearing quality? 7. At what age do you choose a show prospect? 8. What is your favorite dog show memory? 9. Is there anything else you’ d like to share about the breed? Please elaborate. GENE BELLAMY I was born and raised in Oklahoma City a number of years ago. Attended local schools and graduated from Oklahoma State University. Spent my professional career in Property and Casualty insurance fields. Twenty years with a large National Insurance Company as Personal Lines Manager, retired and continued with Independent Insur- ance Agency as part owner and Vice President. Retired again after 20 more years. I have always been interest in animals, I enjoy the competitiveness of showing. Started in 4-H with raising and showing hogs, continued on to horses, dogs, cats and rabbits. My first dog was a Boston Terrier which was given to me by a family friend I was about six months old and she was my dog for about 12 years. The next dog I had as a child was a Tan and White Toy Fox Terrier. They were called Ambertoy then. In High school, I bought my first regis- tered Boston Terrier female. From this little female came my first Champion Boston Terrier four years later. I showed Bostons for a number of years. Was notified of my 50 year award of Judging by AKC this year. For several years I was not active in showing. My wife and I had two children and we were focused on their interest and activities. In early 2000, I again acquired another Toy Fox Terrier, and then another and here I am. I live in Oklahoma City and have been retired from Insurance Industry for 20 years. In addition to the dogs, I raise registered Zebu Cattle, registered KuneKune pigs and have Arabian Horses, Quarter horses, a Saddle Show Mule and a herd of miniature Donkeys.
“THE TOY FOX TERRIER’S TEMPERAMENT IS VERY ACTIVE AND CURIOUS. HE IS VERY LOYAL TO HIS OWNER AND/OR FAM- ILY. HIGH ENERGY LEVEL WHEN NEEDED AND YET CAN BE A COUCH POTATO AT TIMES.”
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Toy Fox Terrier Q& A
“Each TFT has their own set of unique personality quirks. I prefer a calmer thinking type that is quiet. I breed for these traits.I believe success in creating a well rounded TFT that fits any family.”
TERRIE CRAWFORD I live in Columbia,
How do I place my puppies? I am listed on our Parent Club site as well as another website for breeders. Many of my placements are through word of mouth. Is my parent Club giving me adequate support? I think so, I have been involved with the American Toy Fox Ter- rier Club for many years and have served in many different positions. While there is always a need for better communi- cation between the BOD and the club members, I feel that we really do try. Is the breed standing out good or bad? I think that it is a good thing! They are certainly a “what you see is what you get” breed which I love. What is the breed’s most endearing quality? They are the most loving, comical and playful companions one could ask for. At what age do I choose a show prospect? I evaluate at eight weeks, and usually decide closer to five or six months of age. My favorite dog show memory? There are so many, but one of my favorites is when a young TFT had been flown in to us the day before a Toy Specialty. My partner in dogs was showing him and they clicked so well that they took BISS the second day. The uproar from the local crowd should have scared him to death, but instead he took it as his due! He was—and still is—all that and a bag of chips! Whether you are looking for a show prospect, perfor- mance prospect or a companion—these guys really can do it all. LILA FAST I have been around dogs and cats all my life, but start- ed show dogs in 1978. My first show dog was an Afghan Hound my mentor was Karl Willis. I then got a Saluki and a Harrier. I was a federal employee at the Knoxville, Vir- ginia in the kitchen, when I lost my weekend off at work I placed all my dogs. That’s another story. Then we got a Silky Terrier for our son, David, to show in 4-H. When I was able to get weeks off again I got our first Toy Fox Ter- rier. I also co-own now a Rat Terrier that I show. I live in Knoxville, Iowa. Outside of dogs, I enjoy going to the county and State Fair, horse racing, horse shows, Sprint car racing, especially the Nationals, and talking to people from all over the world. My husband and I enjoy going to the Drake University games. We have season tick- ets to football, basketball men and women. I also show and Judge conformation in United Kennel Club. How does the breed’s terrier temperament affect his household behavior? Each TFT has their own set of unique personality quirks. I prefer a calmer thinking type that is quiet. I breed for these traits.I believe success in creating a well rounded TFT that fits any family.
Tennessee and I love to read and travel in our new motorhome. How does the breed’s terrier temper- ament affect house- hold behavior? Toy Fox Terriers make great house dogs, but they are known to bring you back “surprises” from the back yard—may be a
gopher, a rabbit or a snake! How do I place my puppies? I usually have a waiting list for puppies, TFTs are very popular as pets as well as show dogs. I have never had to advertise. My goal is to get each one of my puppies a loving home where they will stay for the rest of their life! Is my parent Club giving me adequate support? The parent club is trying to educate the public on this wonder- ful breed! Is the breed standing out a good or bad? It is great, the quality of our breed continues to improve and they have become competitive in one of the toughest groups. What is the breed’s most endearing quality? TFTs are very loyal to their owners, they are fun to be around! At what age do I choose a show prospect? I think it depends on the pedigree, but you should be able to look at a puppy at 12-16 weeks and see what (hopefully) the future holds! I got my current special at eight weeks, he was a standout at that young age. My favorite dog show memory? Winning the national specialty with a Veteran Min Pin in 1999 over a huge entry. Will never forget it! TFTs are easy to love. Very little grooming, very affec- tionate and playful. Excellent in agility, barn hunt, as well as conformation. Learns quickly and anxious to please! CINDY ENROUGHTY I live in Aztec, New Mexico and work full time as a Production Assistant in the San Juan Basin. How does the breed’s terrier temperament affect their household behavior? Honestly, I think that the terrier part is in perfect proportion to the toy influence. While the prey drive can be strong, the size is much easier to handle than larger terriers.
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Toy Fox Terrier Q& A
“THAT TERRIER TEMPERAMENT IN A DIMINUTIVE PACKAGE MAKES FOR A LOT OF FUN! They are playful and full of themselves and yet love to cuddle. They sometimes get a little too assertive with barking and bouncing when our horses or the neighbors’ dogs come near ‘their’ fence line and no lizard, squirrel, frog or bird is safe in Toy Fox Terrier space.” Lila Fast continued
How do I place my puppies? When placing puppies, I like to meet the families or individuals looking to add one of my dogs. I research them prior to meeting them to insure my dogs and family are safe. This helps me to match them with the appropriate puppy. Is my parent Club giving me adequate support? I believe both AKC and UKC parent club are very pro active within the breed and supporting those with in it. Is the breed standing out good or bad? I believe the uniqueness of the TFT within the toy group can give him a competitive edge over the normal lap dogs. He is graceful, spunky, funny and ultimate show machine. What is the breed’s most endearing quality? They are loyal to their families, smart, and quick as whips. At what age do I choose a show prospect? When picking a show prospect I look at which will improve my next gen- eration. I then watch them from birth cover the next few weeks I slowly shorten list until I am down to two. Then I evaluate with other breeders. I take is all into consideration. Eight weeks and then by 16 weeks I have my pick. My favorite dog show memory is Cassidy winning the Grand Champion class and Best of Breed at the UKC Toy Fox Terrier Nationals. Cass is 12 1/2 now and going strong. KATHERINE LA RUE I live in Ukiah,
Is the breed standing out a good or bad thing? I person- ally have had a great year in the all-breed standings so I will say “good”. What is the breed’s most endearing quality? Loyalty. My dogs would walk through fire for me—very bonded to their people. At what age do I choose a show prospect? At seven weeks I can tell structure and balance. Seven months adult teeth are in and they must not single track when moving. My favorite dog show memory? In TFTs, winning the National Specialty 2013 under Darryl Vice whom I so admire as a Breeder/Judge in two tough Toy breeds. I’d also like to share that I grew up show- ing Dobermans and these little dogs remind me of them with their fearless but loving nature. Once you have lived with a TFT it is not easy to be without one. SUSAN THIBODEAUX Susan began
showing in 1978 with Cockers. In the 1980s she became a Vizsla person finish- ing her first Vizsla at the 1984 AKC Centennial. Married to an Army soldier, Susan used their assignments overseas to show her Vizslas, Cockers and Eng- lish Cockers across
California in beauti- ful Mendocino Wine Country. What do I do outside of dogs? I have a dog grooming shop and go to shows, so I guess the answer to that is nothing out- side of dogs, except for a little gardening. How does the breed’s terrier tem- perament affect their
Europe. In 2013 Susan decided to retire out of the Sporting breeds into Toys and she now has Toy Fox Terriers and one Toy Manchester. She is an American Toy Fox Terrier Club Board Member, Brevard Kennel Club Board Member, is currently responsible for the ATFTC’s Meet The Breeds, Judge’s Education, and Facebook page and is the Legisla- tive Liaison for BKC. She 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. After years of moving around with my husband’s mili- tary career and then my job, we settled in Cocoa, Florida. I am Vice President with a company which provides a variety of services to the Federal government. I also have Appaloosa horses and am a hobby wildlife photographer.
household behavior? TFTs play with toys always to sharpen their hunting skills. They will rid your garden of gophers and moles. How do I place my puppies? My favorite homes have previous TFT experience. Is my parent Club giving me adequate support? ATFTC is not a member club of AKC so by definition is not really a parent club. At about 100 members, in my opinion, it barely functions.
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Toy Fox Terrier Q& A
“I honestly can’t understand why these adorable fun dogs aren’t hugely popular. Their adoration for their owners, their sense of fun, their joy in performing whether conformation, agility, tricks, barn hunt, FAST CAT, hik- ing trails with us or playing fetch, their trainability, their snuggling to be with us, minimal grooming and portabil- ity just make them such fantastic dogs.”
Susan Thibodeaux continued How does the breed’s terrier temperament affect their household behavior? Don’t forget they were popular circus dogs too! That terrier temperament in a diminutive package makes for a lot of fun! They are playful and full of them- selves and yet love to cuddle. They sometimes get a little too assertive with barking and bouncing when our horses or the neighbors’ dogs come near “their” fence line and no lizard, squirrel, frog or bird is safe in Toy Fox Terrier space. But the comical fun they provide? Well, my husband has been quoted as saying the only thing wrong with Toy Fox Terriers is we didn’t discover them sooner. How do I place my puppies? The usual ways—word of mouth, listing on club sites, AKC Marketplace, social media. We don’t have frequent litters—I breed when I’m ready for the next generation so we don’t maintain a wait- ing list. I pass puppy buyers to other breeders I respect when I don’t have puppies so I hope when I have puppies they return the favor. It worked for me in Vizslas for three decades so I assumed the same niceties in my newer breed- er. So far so good—we have fabulous breeders and great members in the ATFTC. Is my parent Club giving me adequate support? A fun question since I’m on the board. Being a breed lower in numbers, we’re a small club and as with any club finding volunteers with time and expertise for some of the more technical or consuming tasks can be difficult. We went without a newsletter for a period of time but we have a new editor, Chris Bowker, who is doing an outstanding job with it now. Our website was old and the code no longer sup- ported. My husband, bless his heart because he’s told me over the years to quit volunteering him, took it on after the club had gotten some very expensive quotes and he rewrote much of the code to make it usable again. Litter announce- ments, the members’ pages, the breeders’ list and front page news are all up and running again. He’s continuing to update and improve it at no cost to the club. I administer the parent club Facebook page and keep news of our club specialties updated as well as referring prospective puppy buyers to our breeders’ listing on the club website. We also have a members only Facebook group and more members are beginning to make use of it. We have some newer mem- bers anxious to get involved and I believe we’ll be asking them to take on some of tasks in the next year. Is the breed standing out good or bad? It’s very good. We don’t have coat to try to camouflage any weak spots—what you see is what you get. So I wish more judges would con- sider the Toy Foxes for recognition when these lovely dogs are in the group. When I was specialing Sparkles I used to joke three things had to happen for us to place in the group.
First the judge had to be willing to use a Toy Fox, second the judge had to be willing to put up an owner handler and third Sparkles had to behave. They came into alignment on more than one occasion because she had about twenty group placements when she retired. Some TFT exhibitors, and I have to say I would agree, have the impression that a few judges got approval for TFTs so they could get the Toy group and don’t really know our breed. Judges who are unsure of our breed or would like greater appreciation of them, can get refreshed by going to the Breed Standard page on our club’s webpage and scroll- ing to the bottom. Our illustrated breed standard is at the bottom of the page – they might have to unblock the flash player—the club did this a number of years ago and its one of the best illustrated breed standards I’ve seen. The link is http://www.atftc.com/breed_std/ibsFlash/index.html What is the breed’s most endearing quality? How do I choose? The mix of comedic with cuddling in this breed just can’t be ignored. They go from laying in your lap to making you laugh over their silly expressions and funny antics. You will never be alone in your house again when you own a Toy Fox Terrier—they love you! At what age do I choose a show prospect? We start deciding at eight to ten weeks who will be leaving for pet homes and who will stay to be ‘grown out’ a few months. In my first years in TFTs I bought my initial show Toy Fox Terriers from my mentors at four to five months old after they grew their potential show pups up a bit. I still rely on Denise Monette and Sheryl Irwin for advice and wisdom— they have both been fabulous mentors to me and as I’m deciding on which puppies stay or have any TFT questions they are so willing to help. Love them! What is my favorite dog show memory? Sparkles win- ning Best of Breed at Eukanuba and getting to show in the televised Toy group. She showed like a rock star. There were shows where she and I weren’t on the same page—going in the ring is always extra interesting when you have a tiny opinionated food focused Einstein but she showed like a dream that day in both breed and the group. I still watch the group video clip sometimes. I honestly can’t understand why these adorable fun dogs aren’t hugely popular. Their adoration for their owners, their sense of fun, their joy in performing whether confor- mation, agility, tricks, barn hunt, FAST CAT, hiking trails with us or playing fetch, their trainability, their snuggling to be with us, minimal grooming and portability just make them such fantastic dogs. I am surprised many people just don’t ever have them on their radar when they are looking for a new dog. Toy Fox Terriers are the best little dogs!
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THE TOY FOX TERRIER
by SHERYL IRWIN
T he Toy Fox Terrier is an American breed that was developed by dog fanciers in the 1930s. It is said that this was achieved by crossing ‘runt’ Fox Terriers with Toy breeds such as the Miniature Pinscher, Italian Greyhound, 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 eligible to fully participate in conformation events in 2003. From 2003 to 2017, a mere 14 years, there has been a signifi- cant improvement in the overall qual- ity of the TFT. Limited only by height parameters and not restricted by weight allowed breeders 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 wil- lowy 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 movement, 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 ath- letic little dog with his grace and agil- ity 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 that 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 examina- tion. Many exhibitors train their show
268 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ULY 2017
It is also important to note that it is not a fault or a disqualification 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 when judging the Toy Fox Terrier. It is preferred that the portion of the coat that is white be ‘clear white’ but a small amount of tick- ing is not to be penalized. Hopefully this explanation of color has cleared up and lingering 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 entertain- ing 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-pos- sessed attitude and sense of determi- nation and courage, by keeping those traits strongly rooted in their breeding programs as to not breed out that which embodies the total Toy Fox Terrier. REFERENCES: The Toy Fox Terrier Official Breed Standard, The Toy Fox Terrier Illus- trated Breed Standard, The Toy Fox Terrier Judges Guide ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
stylistic differences from breeder to breeder, region to region, and coast to coast. One of the many wonderful things about these delightful little ter- riers is that there’s something for every- one! 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 writ- ten AKC Breed Standard in all aspects of that standard regardless of size. Then we come to color! There are nine disqualifications listed in the Toy Fox Terrier Breed Standard and six of them pertain 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 bod- ied 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 chocolate, a slight tinge (or fringe) of tan alongside any body spots near the chest and under the tail is con- sidered normal bi-color patterning and therefore should not be faulted.
Sheryl Irwin has been loving and raising Toy Fox Terriers since early 2001. She is a Breeder/ O w n e r / H a n - dler and breeds under the reg-
dogs to move into different positions by using a ‘crowding their space’ maneu- ver 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 check- ing for a scissors bite which can easily be determined by examination of the front and both sides of the teeth with- out 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 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 cook- ie cutter breed and that is not a bad thing as long as each style is within the breed standard. There can be significant
istered kennel name of StarFox Toy Fox Terriers. Having produced many champions and multiple group plac- ing 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 the several commit- tees. She has been seated on the Board of Directors since 2013, is an AKC and ATFTC approved mentor and present- er, and currently serves as the Judges Education Chair for the American Toy Fox Terrier Club.
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TOY FOX TERRIERS by DENISE MONETTE
T he Toy Fox Terrier or TFT as he is known to his friends, is a highly intelligent Toy Dog with a big dog personality. Small, short haired and athletic, he is a devoted little dog of immense charac- ter and charm. His predominantly white body with solid colored head is accented with body spots. Alert, athletic, intelligent and loyal with an endless devotion to his family. A short sleek coat, smooth body and square proportions, his erect V-shaped ears and docked tail are his trademarks. Weight at maturity is 4 to 8 lbs. Height at the shoulder is 8 ½ " to 11 ½ ". Four acceptable color combinations of white, black and tan, tan and white, chocolate, tan and white and black with or without body spots. Healthy and long lived, it is com- mon to find spunky individuals liv- ing to 17 years or more. The breed is friendly, happy, curious and confidant by nature. He loves life, his friends and his toys in equal measure well into his golden years! Historically seen in circus acts the TFT is a quick learner, is highly trainable and agile making the TFT is well suited for agility competi- tion, obedience or service work. The show ring finds him in his own
spotlight, impressing the crowd with his amazing performance! Breed lore places the origins of the Toy Fox Terrier on the farms of Middle America in the last century where a smaller Terrier was utilized to control rodent populations in barns and out- buildings. It is thought that the “runts” of litters of Smooth Fox Terriers were retained as breeding stock and crossed with several Toy Breeds to create the diminutive Toy Fox Terrier we see today. Prized as determined hunters and loyal companions, these small rat- ters could squeeze into tight spaces to seek out their rodent quarry. So cher- ished was this tenacious little compan- ion, their masters were said to have
packed up the plucky little Terriers in their saddle bags to accompany them in their days work on the ranch. The breed has retained their hunting and working instincts to this day. As an apartment dweller, in the family home or out on the ranch, the versatile TFT makes the perfect com- panion for the elderly. As a family pet or a fishing buddy, the charming TFT has proven to be highly adaptable fam- ily member. They have a natural affinity with children, interacting in their play. Highly adaptable, they make excellent canine companions in any home setting. It is no wonder why the breed has developed such a loyal following.
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TOY FOX TERRIERS IN BRIEF
DR. JOHN F. DAVIDSON
ring and people were bringing their dogs in, putting them on a table and he got to play with every single one of them! In 1984, I was ready to begin my judging career.
I live in central Illi- nois, just outside Peoria. I concluded my 47th year in education as a teacher and administrator at the end of 2015, retiring from Illinois Central College. I live on a hobby farm with my wife, Sally, and have a flock of 30 sheep. An acre of garden keeps me busy, but on many evenings we will have grown every- thing on our plates. I have bred and shown Toy Fox Terriers for 44 years and began judging for UKC in 1974. I began judging for AKC when the breed was recognized and now have the Toy Group. I am the author of the Toy Fox Terrier: Wired for Action . ANN HEARN I live in Buford, Geor-
I live in a small village, Des- tin; which is in the panhandle of Florida. My family, garden and house take up most of my time. I try to attend city coun- cil meeting when an issue interests me. I had a Toy Poo- dle while living in England, German Shepard while living in Morocco and I have been involved in Pugs since 1969. I started showing in 1972 and judging in 1990.
1. Describe the breed in three words. JFD: Wired, affectionate and smart as a whip.
AH: Winsome, mighty and fulfilling. CP: Alert, balanced and appealing.
“WINSOME, MIGHTY AND FULFILLING.”
gia, which is a suburb of Atlanta. I bead, read and knit, but more impor- tantly, I have a husband, children (grown, of course) and grandchil- dren that sometimes feel like just the normal four and sometimes feel like there’s at least 20 yawing around! But, I love them all, I really do! In 1953, I started in dogs with my first wedding anniver-
2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? JFD: This has always been a head breed. It was important to early breeders that the TFT differentiate itself from the Chihuahua, especially the head. The TFT must have a head that moves in an unbroken line to the nose. Eyes are round and prominent, but never bulge. Upright ears frame the head so that the skull looks level between the ears. The skull may be slightly rounded, but there should be no tendency toward the apple-shaped head. AH: Proper size, bone, movement and since I’m such a head freak—it must have that adorable face. CP: Balance, proper expression, high tail set and pretty feet. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? JFD: I see a tendency for the TFTs to be larger. I am sure many could not make the weight limit of seven pounds to be shown in UKC. It is, above all, a Toy breed.
sary gift from Jim—a Wire Fox Terrier puppy. I told Jim that was exactly what I wanted to do! We went to some shows in the Atlanta area and quickly realized that good old Chester wasn’t just the thing. After he was gone, we searched and found a responsible, exhibiting breeder nearby and bought a bitch from her. Lynda started it all in the show world. At the first show we went to there was a man in the middle of the
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toy fox terrier Q&A
WITH DR. JOHN F. DAVIDSON, ANN HEARN & CHARLOTTE PATTERSON
AH: No. Everyone is too busy trying to get correct type bred and exhibited, they haven’t gotten to the glamour stage yet. We beloved Americans have the distinct feeling that if a little is good, a lot more is better. CP: No, I feel the breed has improved since its AKC approval. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? JFD: They certainly have improved since the 1960s. They have gone from being apple-headed and bug-eyed with short muzzles, barrel bodies and short legs to what I call a thoroughbred style that is the opposite of adjectives above. Change develops slowly over time. I think the breed is too new to see significant differences (other than size) since AKC recognition. AH: Oh, are they ever better! Rears have come to the attention of the devoted breeders and they seem to be working hard to improve them. Front straight legs were never too much of a problem and they’re pretty well established. Level top-lines with appropriate length of back are still something to be considered when selecting that stud dog. CP: Yes, I do feel the bred has improved and has set a breed type. I think dedicated breeders are the reason they have improved.
“...THIS IS A LIVELY LITTLE DOG.”
5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? JFD: I think many new judges do not expect the TFT to be particularly saucy. Judge them moving rather than on the table. A professional handler told me once that the TFT is one of the most difficult breeds to train and is very incon- sistent in its presentation. Some lines gray earlier than others, but this should not disqualify those TFTs from the ribbons. I consider color the least of our problems. AH: They may think that it’s just a mini Smooth Fox Terrier. Not even close! CP: I feel most new judges should understand this is a lively little dog. Do not expect them to stand still for long peri- ods of time. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? JFD: I would rather that the TFT be shown as naturally as possible. No need to go to the floor—let the TFT self- stack. I don’t want to see a statue, but instead a wired little dog that believes himself to be much larger. AH: They are the most delightful, easy-to-live-with breed ever. That is probably the closest they come to a Smooth. They are fun, make an adorable picture in the ring and are not dumb. You have to think out of the box and quickly to get ahead of them! CP: This breed is a prime example of what can be accom- plished by true breeders. 7. And, for a bit of humor: what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? JFD: There was the time that two exhibitors, who also showed chickens, were going to exchange roosters at a show. (What were they thinking?) At 5 am on Saturday morning, the roosters began announcing a new day as only a rooster can. Needless to say, lights went on in all of the hotel rooms and two cars exploded out of the park- ing lot headed toward the show site. At least dogs weren’t blamed—it was those darn chicken people! And no, they did not stay over on Saturday night. AH: I must laugh at the time the puppy Bull Terrier grabbed my newly knitted scarf from around my neck as I was bent over going over him. He had more fun! Pulled me down to the floor, the handler (a novice) was so embar- rassed she ran out of the ring and I’m laughing so hard I can’t deal with the situation properly. I finally got up, she and her red face came back into the ring, decorum was restored and he won! By golly—that’s exactly the way a Bull Terrier is supposed to act!
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Toy Fox Terriers: BREED Q&A
JOHN DAVIDSON I have been breeding Toy Fox Terriers since 1972 and started judging them in 1975. I came to AKC judging when TFTs were recognized and currently am a Toy Group Judge. I am the author of The Toy Fox Terrier: Wired for Action. I am cur- rently a college professor. My wife, Sal- ly, and I live just outside Peoria, IL on a small, hobby farm. GLORIA GERINGER I have judged TFTs since 2007 and had no prior experi- ence with them. I live near Baton Rouge, Louisiana where I love to upgrade my home and plan landscaping of our four acres. KEKE KAHN My background is in Lhasa Apsos and it is there where I bred 58 AKC champions including six all breed BIS dogs and became an all-breed Judge—which took me exactly twenty- five years of study and judging. I have judged all over the world and have loved every minute of it plus breeding was my pleasure. However, breeding is heartbreaking business and takes true dedication all along the way—not for sissies! I live in Sarasota, Florida and was a stay-at-home mom. I became a good golfer and played tournaments at the state level and then turned to tennis which I also love but after breaking my back ten years ago I had to give it up. I now do a lot of reading and community work and garden a bit to keep busy. My kids are all grown up and live all over, but not in Florida. DARRYL VICE I have been judging the breed since it was in the AKC Misc. Class, and continue after they were approved to the regular classes. I was so very fortunate to judge their national specialty two years ago in Las Vegas. I had such a great entry and the quality was excellent. It was a pleasure to have so many nice TFTs together in one place. I live in Palm Springs, CA and I am on the board of the Kennel Club of Palm Springs.
The main thing I do outside of dogs is spend time with my family. My wife and I have one daughter and one granddaugh- ter who just turned 13—the love of my life. I still work full- time with the JCPenney company as the manager of the Styl- ing Salon for the past 33 years. In case no one has noticed I also like to shop for clothes. 1. What five traits do you look for, in order, when judging TFTs? What do you consider the ultimate hallmark of the breed? JD: The five most important traits are in order: Head, Bal- ance, Size, Topline, Tail/ Temperament. 1) Head: Above all, this is a head breed. The skull should be slightly rounded and look almost level between the ears. The apple head is to be avoided at all cost. A skull that appears as a blunt wedge being drawn in an unbroken line from the base of the ears to the nose is crucial. The stop is moderate (slightly sloping) and not pronounced. The eyes are large and dark and should never bulge. The V-shaped ears are held strongly erect and as high on the head as possible without touching. The nose is coal black and the bite is scissors. Under and over shot bites are disqualified. 2) Balance is important to TFT type. The distance from the occiput to stop equals the dis- tance from the stop to the nose. The length of the skull approximates the length of the neck. The distance from the feet to the withers is equal to the distance from the point of the shoulder to the point of the rump. Balance also applies to angulation with angles at the shoulder and hip being equal. Additionally, the scapula and humerous are of approximately same length as the pelvis and femur. 3) Size: The height range from 8 ½ " to 11 ½ " allows for some dramatic size differences in the same class. Despite the size, each TFT should be given equal attention and held to the standard. It is my observation that oversized entries taking the ribbons is more prevalent than the undersized winning. 4) Topline: A TFT’s topline should extend in one continuous line from the neck to the tail. The clean, slightly arched neck widens gradually to the shoulders. There should be no dips where the neck meets the body and no dips behind the shoulders. The latter would indicate insufficient lay back. The underline involves a moderate tuck up. A more pronounced tuck up is often indicative of a roach at the loin and a low set tail. 5) Tail: The ramrod straight tail is very characteristic of this cocky, alert breed. The tail of a particularly excited TFT may lean just a bit toward the head. Less desirable tails may take on the appearance of a squirrel or even worse touch the back. The tail is set on high, directly on
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