United Kennel Club
UKC Breed Standard - Terrier Group
Revised January 1, 1999
The immediate ancestor of the Toy Fox Terrier is
the larger Smooth Fox Terrier. The original Fox Terrier breed
standard was written in England in 1876. The size of the breed at
that time was 18 to 20 pounds. Owners of these brave little dogs
found that the smallest, which they called "runts", were the
scrappiest of the bunch. These little dogs were prized for their
temperament. Smaller dogs were developed and eventually were found
in the seven-pound range.
The United Kennel Club began registering the
Smooth Fox Terrier in 1912. Between then and the mid-1920's, the Toy
Fox Terrier was developed, being a miniature of the previous breed,
however they were still registered under the name of Fox Terrier
(Smooth). Those dogs appear almost identical to the dogs of today.
It was not until February 24, 1936, that U.K.C. began registering
the Toy Fox Terrier under its current name.
The Toy Fox Terrier is small in size, with a
body that is square when viewed from the side. The length of the
head, neck and legs are in proportion to the length and depth of the
body. The body is compact, with the short tail carried upright. With
a short, glossy coat that is predominantly white, the appearance is
elegant, balanced and aristocratic. Highly intelligent, alert,
loyal, fearless and having much endurance, this small dog, above
all, has the conformation, characteristics and personality of a
The Toy Fox Terrier is self-possessed, spirited and determined. They
are energetic, lively and strong for their size. They are not easily
intimidated by other pets. Most are comical, entertaining and
playful all of their life, which is generally long in comparison to
many other breeds. They are friendly and loyal to their master or
owners, yet protective. As a rule they are easily trained and adapt
to showing in conformation and obedience.
Any individuals lacking good terrier attitude and
personality are to be
A typical head unmistakably stamps the dog as being of this breed.
The head is in proportion to the rest of the
body. It resembles a blunt wedge when viewed from both the front and
in profile. When viewed from the front, the head widens gradually
from the black nose to the base of the ears in practically an
unbroken line. The distance from the nose to the stop is equal to
the distance from the stop to the occiput.
The skull is moderate in width and slightly
rounded. The skull and muzzle are both in proportion to the length
and overall size of the head. The muzzle tapers gradually from the
base of the ears to the nose. Medium stop; somewhat sloping.
The cheeks are flat and muscular, with the area
below the eyes well filled-in.
Faults: Domed skull (apple head). Flat skull. Deep, sharp
stop. Shallow stop. Roman nose.
Faults: Backskull or foreskull too wide.
Narrow muzzle. Wide muzzle. Short muzzle. Long muzzle. Cheeks too
bulgy or too flat.
-- A full complement of strong, white teeth meeting in a scissors
bite is preferred. An even bite is permissible. Loss of teeth should
not be faulted for a dog of any age as long as the bite can be
determined as correct.
Faults: Overshot over 1/16 inch. Puppy
teeth retained after one year of age.
-- Dark in color; as dark as possible being preferred. Clear and
bright, with a soft, intelligent expression. Globular, round, and
somewhat prominent, yet not bulging. They are set well apart and fit
well into the sockets.
Faults: Light color. Too large or too
small. Protruding. Squinty. Dull. Set too wide apart. Set too close
together. Lack of expression.
-- The nose is black in color. Puppies are usually born with
pink-colored noses, which generally turn dark before or by weaning
Faults: Brown nose. Brownish tinge. Small
pink or flesh-colored specks on nose.
-- Pointed, inverted, V-shaped: placed well up on the sides of the
head. Close together, but never touching. The inner base is on a
level with the top of the skull. Always erect when alert; carried
erect in motion. The size is in proportion to the size of the head
and the overall size of the dog.
Faults: Rounded. Set too wide
apart. Low-set. Too large. Too small. Flop ears.
The length of the neck is approximately the same
as that of the head and is in proportion to the body and size of the
dog. The neck widens gradually, blending smoothly into the
shoulders. The neck is clean and is slightly arched in a graceful
Faults: Neck too short, too thick or with loose, excess skin.
Ewe neck. Goose neck.
The shoulders are sloping and well-laid-back
(approximately at a 45 degree angle); blending smoothly from neck to
FORELEGS -- When viewed from the side, the forelegs are straight
from the elbows to the feet, which point forward. When viewed from
the front, the forelegs are some distance apart and drop straight
from the elbows to the feet. The elbows are close and perpendicular
to the body. The pasterns are strong and straight while remaining
flexible. Bone size is in proportion to the size of the dog.
Dewclaw removal is optional, but recommended.
Faults: Straight shoulders. Loaded
shoulders. Steep shoulders. Down in withers. Too far apart at
withers. Out at elbows. Tied in elbows. Down in pasterns. Bowed
In shape, the body appears square when viewed
from the side, with height approximately equal to length. The height
is measured from the highest point of the withers to the bottom of
the front feet. The length is measured from the prosternum (front
point of the shoulder - forechest) to the point of the buttocks.
The body is balanced and tapers slightly from the
ribs to the flank, with an evident, moderate tuck-up.
The back is short and strong. The backline is
strong, straight and firm, blending smoothly from the neck and
shoulder to the tail.
The chest is deep, with an oval-shaped,
well-sprung rib cage. The brisket extends to or just above the
elbows. The chest is in proportion and in balance with the rest of
Faults: Sway back. Roach back. Sloping croup. Taller at
hips than at withers. Taller at withers than at hips. Short-bodied.
Long-bodied. Too much or too little tuckup. Lack of muscling. Muscle
bound. Barrel-chested. Narrow chest. Brisket too shallow or too
deep. Pointed brisket (when viewed from front.)
Strong and muscular; free of droop or crouch. The
rump is well-filled-in on each side of the tail. The hipbones are on
a level with or just below the back. Good width and depth at pelvis.
Good muscling over hips, blending smoothly down over the upper to
the lower thighs.
Any male six months of age, or older, should have
two normal size testicles clearly visible and well-seated in the
LEGS -- The hind legs appear strong and straight down to the
feet. The upper and lower thighs are strong, well-muscled and of
good length. The stifles are clearly-defined and well-angulated. The
hocks are well bent. When viewed from the rear, the stifles, hocks
and feet are straight and parallel to each other. Bone size is in
proportion to the size of the dog. If present, dewclaws are removed.
Faults: Sloping, breaking off in rump. Narrow and/or
shallow pelvis. Faults: Hind legs lacking angulation or
over-angulated. Hipbones above the back level. Lack of muscle in
hips and thighs. Too much muscle in hips and thighs. Thighs too
short or too long. Bow-hocked. Cowhocked. Straight in stifle.
Over-angulated stifle. Stifles turning in or out. Legs too close
together or too far apart.
The feet are oval in shape and compact, with
arched toes and hard, tough and well-cushioned pads.
Faults: Round feet. Splayed. Flat. Feet
turned in or out.
Set on high and on a level with the back.
Carried gaily, above the horizontal line of the back when the dog is
in motion or at attention; may be dropped when the dog is at ease.
Docked with approximately 2/5th of the full tail remaining;
equivalent length if a bobtail. Minimum length about one inch,
maximum length about three inches, for dogs six months of age or
Serious Faults: Tail
curled. Tail carried straight over the back. Set too low.
Faults: Too short. Too long. Not
carried gaily when in motion.
A distinguishing feature of the breed, the coat
is short, satiny and shiny; fine in texture and smooth to the touch.
It is slightly longer at the ruff (back of neck and shoulder);
uniformly covering the body. The underline, inside of front legs,
and lower part of back legs are covered with at least a thin coat of
hair. The skin is firm but pliable.
Serious Fault: Wiry coat.
Faults: Too long, too coarse. Dry and
dull. Too thin. Loose or non-pliable skin.
White is the predominating body color. White is
not the predominating head color. Predominating to mean "more than
ACCEPTABLE COLORS & COLOR PATTERNS
-- White and black with tan trim.
Black predominates on the head. The ears are
black on the back with a very narrow, black rim on the inner edge.
The tan trim is found on the cheeks and/or chops and as eye dots.
Face with or without a white blaze. A blaze may extend onto either
or both sides of the lower muzzle. White frost or tiny white spots
on the lower muzzle are acceptable. White is the predominating body
color, with or without black spots. Ticking is permitted to some
degree provided the white predominates and general good looks are
maintained. It is preferred that the black markings be free of any
tan or brown shadings or very small tan or brown spots, but not
-- White and Black
Everything in regard to color and markings are
the same as above, except there is no tan trim.
-- White and Tan
Tan predominates on the head. The ears are tan on
the back with a very narrow tan rim on the inner edge. Trim is a
lighter or darker shade of tan on the cheeks and/or chops and eye
dots, if visible. Face with or without a white blaze. The blaze may
extend onto either or both sides of the lower muzzle. White frost or
tiny white spots on the lower muzzle are acceptable. The body is
predominantly white, with or without tan spots. Ticking is permitted
to some degree provided the white predominates and general good
looks are maintained. It is preferred that the tan markings be free
of any black or brown shadings or very small black or brown spots,
but not faulted.
Faults: A wide blaze that extends up to
the eyes. Black or tan coloring, other than speckling (ticking) on
the legs below the wrist joint of the forelegs or the hock joint of
the hind legs. Any variation from that which is stated for the color
and markings in any color combination is a fault. In a White and Tan
- tan markings that are too red, chocolate- shaded or brindled.
Dogs six months of age or older must weigh from
three-and-one-half up to, and including, seven pounds.
Movement is smooth and flowing, with the legs
moving straight, parallel and in a line at a walk or slow trot, with
the back straight and the head and tail up. There is balance and
coordination with good reach in the front and good drive from the
rear. Movement is used to evaluate gait and to evaluate the parts
involved in gait, therefore the points allotted to movement are
included when considering all the dog's structural parts involved.
In gaiting, the stifles, hocks and feet should
turn neither in nor out, and the hind legs should move in line with
the front legs.
Fault: Hackney gait.
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Extreme
viciousness or shyness. Undershot bite. Overshot bite of more than
1/8 inch. Wry mouth. Liver colored nose. Dudley nose. No tail. Dogs
of any age over seven pounds. Any dog six months of age or older
weighing less than three-and-one-half pounds. Ears not erect on any
dog over six months of age. Any solid-colored dog. Maltese or
chocolate markings. Any color combination in which white is not the
predominant body color. Any color combination other than stated
combinations. In any color combination, any dog whose head is more
than half white. Any dog whose head and/or ear color and body spots
are of different colors.
American Kennel Club
AKC Breed Standard - Toy Group
Approved: July 8, 2003
To create this breed, some American fanciers crossed small Smooth Fox
Terriers with various toy breeds including Min Pins, Italian Greyhounds,
Chihuahuas and Manchester Terriers. The resulting dog - the Toy Fox
Terrier - retained the gameness from the terriers and a milder, more
"livable" disposition from the other breeds used. This truly American
creation is a big dog in a small package, possessing intelligence,
courage and a take-charge attitude. Today, the Toy Fox Terrier is a
well-balanced toy dog of athletic appearance displaying grace and
agility in equal measure with strength and stamina. From the hunt to the
show ring, the Toy Fox Terrier has become a cherished companion dog and
excellent show piece. The Toy Fox Terrier has shown that he is at home
in conformation, obedience and agility trials, his favorite spotlight is
the center stage of his owner's life.
The Toy Fox Terrier is a toy and a terrier, and both have influenced his
personality and character. While retaining the terrier gameness, courage
and animation. The cross-breeding with various toy breeds still a
working terrier, and many of them delight in hunting and going to
ground. Given the opportunity, the Toy Fox Terrier will pursue the
quarry of the backyard or barnyard with diligence. Known to tree
squirrels and flush out rodents, the hunt is always welcome. Flyball or
fetch are easily learned and perfected for endless hours of activity.
However, if you enjoy a lap dog, this little companion appears to know
the latest in television entertainment of his household. Children
especially enjoy the unending energy and zeal for play throughout this
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
Size, Proportion and Substance
Size: 8.5 - 11.5 inches, 9 -11 preferred, 8.5 - 11.5 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 8.5 inches and over 11.5
The head is elegant, balanced and expressive with no indication of
coarseness. Expression is intelligent, alert, eager and full of
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
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 1/8 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 3rd or 4th
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 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 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.
The coat is shiny, satiny, fine in texture and smooth to the touch. It
is slightly longer in the ruff, uniformly covering the body.
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
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
Movement is smooth and flowing with good reach and strong drive. The
topline should remain straight and head and tail carriage erect while
Fault: Hackney gait.
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.
Any dog under 8.5 inches or over 11.5 inches.
Ears not erect on any dog over six months of age.
Undershot, wry mouth, overshot more than 1/8 inch.
A blaze extending into the eye 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
Note: The original breed standard was Approved: July 11, 2000
and became Effective: April 1, 2001 after which time, there were
significant changes as reflected above.
There is no reference to the changes on the AKC website or the Toy Fox
Terrier Club Of America site.
The first approved history and breed standard does however appear in its
original form on www.TheDogPlace.org, one of the first dog information websites and
the first to publish the UKC and AKC Toy Fox Terrier Breed Standards.
Those wishing to do further research can click to go directly to the
AKC Toy Fox Terrier Standard
Reference section contains stories, "Do Toy Fox Terriers.....",
Weight Pulling, Agility Breed Stars, and so much more.
Have fun. History may have been re-written but breeders today are making
early UKC Toy
Fox Terrier National Grand Champion Gorden's Shamrock Lad, courtesy
Date unknown but quality is visibly top notch!
and AKC Ch. Goldenhills Gone With The Wind, sired by by UKC National Grand
Ch. Apava Jet Setter, the
#1 All Time sire. "Winston" was briefly owned by Toy Fox
Terriers O'BJ where he contributed his impeccable front, rear, and rock
solid topline, but not his body length.
Carter's UKC Ch. "Precious" a Top Producer in UKC and for the Phoenix breeding program.
Precious lived well over 16 years, went everywhere with Margo and was
indeed most precious!
Use the menu bar at top to get around the site. If you are looking
for a puppy, go to
Puppies For Sale.
For accurate insight on how the breed
"Unabridged" Breed History
for interesting information on how the
breed was developed - and how it wasn't.
I hope you have found the site interesting and informative. There is
much more to explore in the
Gene Bank which contains a lot of historical pre-AKC photos and
(gasp) gets into genetics just a little.
About The Breeder explains how important the Breeder's Pedigree
is and how having a knowledgeable mentor can make it all come together
for new owners.
why soundness and agility is still important in this feature story
Toy Fox Terrier Agility Champions
unaligned news and breed features,
"National Enquirer" for the showing fancy.