The Toy Fox Terrier
Amereican Fox Terrier "Amertoy"

descriptive textDog breed info
Toy Fox Terrier
(American Toy Terrier)
Weight: 4 — 7 lbs
Height: 9” — 11”
AKC Rank 2008 #86
Lifespan: 13—14 yrs
Origin: United States

Dog Breed Info - The Toy Fox Terrier

descriptive text

Breed Overview

Origin Early 1900’s. Vermin control. Today, Companion, lapdog.

This breed goes back to the 1800’s when it descended from the Smooth Fox Terrier. Toy Terriers were popular with American farmers by the early 1900’s who kept them for controlling the rodent population on the farm. Fans of the breed crossed it with three other breeds, the Chihuahua, the Toy Manchester Terrier and Italian Greyhound. This reduced the size of the dog to the “toy”: class. This is a particularly energetic, lively and entertaining little dog that loved an audience. The Toy Fox was shown in the AKC ring in 2003 for the first time.


Good. This little dog learns pretty fast, especially with clicker training. Give it a try. Works great for most all dogs.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Toy Fox Terrier? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Some Toy Fox Terriers can be a little slow to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it, but most learn right away.

If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

descriptive text


The Amertoy loves to play. They love to investigate and snoop in far corners, cabinets and under beds. They have a lot of energy and a big curiosity. The little TFT does well with older, careful, obedient children that know how to treat a delicate little dog. This breed will entertain and then curl up on your lap. The Toy Fox Terrier is not keen about strangers and is a one-family dog. It is an intelligent dog, alert and learns tricks quickly after which it tends to “show off” with its’ entertainment sessions. This dog needs toys, human companionship and an audience.

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Somewhat. Picks his dog friends. Not aggressive, but wary of some dogs.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Somewhat. Best if raised with other pets but can adapt if introduced properly,

Friendly Toward Strangers

Wary of strangers. Does all right after introduced and starts to feel comfortable with the new people in his life.


Exceptionally playful.


The Amertoy is very affectionate.

Good with children?

Maybe - Older, considerate children are OK. This is a very small dog and is easily injured. Not made for toddlers and young, rambunctious kids.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes. Full of tricks and energy, lively lapdog, entertaining, very affectionate, loyal, good watchdog and easy to care for. The Toy Fox is a good match for seniors. If longevity or training are an issue, give the senior a break and find a Toy Fox Terrier Rescue. Adopt a dog 2 or 3 years old that is house trained and knows a few commands. You;'ll; save a lot of headaches.

Living environment

Apartment, house, condo, farm all okay. Must wear coat or sweater on chilly days.

A small yard is all this dog needs to snoop and sniff and explore around in.

Energy level

Fairly high energy.


Exercise needs, daily

Two good walks or some vigorous play time. The Toy Terrier needs plenty of training and exercise lest it digs and barks for an outlet.


Very good. Barks at any unusual activity.

Guard dog

No. Too small to be effective.


None to very little.


Brush weekly with a stiff bristle brush — your Amertoy will appreciate the extra attention.



Suggested Reading - The Toy Fox Terrier

The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog emergencies, illnesses and injuries. It is a valuable book for all dog owners.


Toy Fox Terrier Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Amertoy puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
Toy Fox Terrier Breeders in the USA with puppies for sale. At the time of this writing, the site shows only 2 breeders in the States. Try going online and searching for additional locations.

Toy Fox Terrier Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Toy Fox Terrier Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Toy Fox Terrier Rescue - (Nationwide) Be sure dog health and a past history is looked into when adopting a dog.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but I do know this breed is scarce and Petfinder (above) only had 150 or so to adopt. Go online and search Toy Fox Terrier Rescue, kennels and shelters to find more available for adoption.

Dog Health Issues For The Toy Fox Terrier
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Amertoy by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Patellar luxation—Limping, Hind Leg Lameness, Hind Leg Held Up, Can’t straighten back leg. Caused by an unusually shallow spot on the femur, weak ligaments and misalignment of tendons and muscles that align the knee joint and allow the knee cap (patella) to float sideways in and out of position. This can be caused by injury or be present at birth and can affect both rear legs of the Toy Fox Terrier. It’s most common in small and toy dogs. If your dog has trouble straightening the leg, is limping, or is walking on three legs and holding one hind leg up, look for patellar luxation. Several of my dogs have had the problem and all I’ve done is reach down, massage the knee a little until they drop their leg, and we’re good to go for another 3 or 4 months. Severe cases require surgery for a fully lame leg.

  • Legg-Perthes—A disease of the hip joint in young dogs like the Toy Fox Terrier. It is a deforming of the head of the femur head where it fits into the pelvic socket and is generally noticed at around 6 to 8 months age. The disease affects small and toy breeds and can range from mildly debilitating to totally debilitating. It’s very painful and the dog will have a lame leg at the affected hip. Pain can become severe in some dogs and the dog will go from occasional limping to continuous carrying of the leg. Severe muscle atrophy can set in with the appearance of shortening of the affected leg. Restricted joint movement is also a common sign Legg-Perthes. Surgery will usually restore a dog to a fairly normal life but prevention at the breeding stage is the right solution.

  • Demodicosis—A skin disease known as “Red Mange.” Loss of hair, itching, reddening of skin and areas can become crusty. Sometimes cured with topical creams. May spread. Treatment is in the form of medications.

  • Congenital hypothyroidism with goiter — This problem only occurs in newborn Toy Fox Terrier's and they usually die by age 3 weeks. It's a Toy Fox Terrier breeders problem.

  • Von Willebrand"s Disease—A deficiency in clotting factor in the blood. The affected dog does not properly utilize the blood-platelets for blood-clotting. Thus, the dog is prone to excessive bleeding if in an accident or surgery.

Other health problems could occur with your Toy Fox Terrier. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


Return To Dog Breeds

Return To Toy Breeds