Toy Fox Terrier Care

The Toy Fox Terrier--also called the Toy Foxy or simply the TFT--is a versatile, playful toy-sized breed that's popularly known as "truly a toy and a terrier." These little dogs are great as both playtime companions and lounge buddies. They're beloved by owners everywhere--in part because Toy Fox Terrier care and maintenance takes comparatively little work.

Below you'll find plenty of details on caring for a TFT: puppy development, exercise needs, diet and nutrition and more are all covered here. For answers to all your questions about Toy Fox Terrier ownership, read on!

Toy Fox Terrier Breed Development

As a toy-sized breed, Toy Fox Terrier puppy development typically spans 13-15 months from birth to full maturity.

Physical Development: Toy Foxies grow rapidly in height and length for the first 5-6 months, then those growth rates slow somewhat while the adolescent "fills out" by gaining muscle mass and fat. A Toy Fox Terrier normally reaches its full adult size (an average of 10 inches in height and six pounds in weight) at 8-9 months of age.

Social Development: Toy Foxies develop steadily: they reach adolescence at about five months, sexual maturity at 7-8 months, and full mental maturity by about 14 months (though many will retain their playful puppylike behavior well into adulthood).

For specific milestones in Toy Fox Terrier development, refer to the following:

  • 2 Weeks: Eyes/ears open, begins walking
  • 6-8 Weeks: Old enough to be separated from mother, housetrained, introduced to solid food
  • 10-12 Weeks: Can begin exercising; vaccinations/de-worming needed
  • 5 Months: Adult coat growing in; adolescent period begins, characterized by increased independence, fear, disobedience, hyperactivity; obedience training/socialization recommended during this stage
  • 7-9 Months: Sexual maturity; can be transitioned to adult food; can begin "adult" exercise regimen
  • 14 Months+: Adulthood

Toy Fox Terrier Exercise Needs

Although the Toy Fox Terrier is a lively, active breed, its exercise requirements aren't too extensive. These dogs will fulfill much of their daily activity needs just running around being their social, curious selves.

The typical adult Toy Foxy, depending on its age and overall activity level, will only need about 30 minutes of proper exercise per day--which you can accomplish with a couple of short walks and a brief period of play. You can start exercising your Toy Foxy puppy at about 10 weeks of age by taking it on short (5-minute) walks, then you can increase the walks' length and frequency as the puppy grows.

A few things to consider when exercising your Toy Fox Terrier: first, puppies younger than seven months old shouldn't participate in activities that include a lot of jumping, running, and navigating of stairs, as doing so can injure their still-developing joints and bones. And regardless of age, it's best to keep your Toy Foxy on a leash when in public. Though they don't have strong wandering tendencies, these dogs are curious and social, and may run off in search of new playmates or environments if given the chance; at the same time, these little guys can actually be considered prey by large dogs and other predators. A leash will help you control (and protect) your Toy Foxy in these situations.When you're walking your leashed Toy Foxy, though, be mindful of your pace. Since their legs are short, Toy Foxies have to trot faster to keep up even at a "normal" walking speed--so you might want to slow it up a bit. And finally, a couple of weather considerations: interestingly, Toy Fox Terriers hate getting wet, so rain and these dogs don't mix (and swimming is not an option). They also get cold easily, so it's best not to exercise your Toy Foxy in frigid temperatures.

Precautions aside, it's important to exercise your Toy Fox Terrier every single day. If bored or restless, these dogs are known to become disobedient and fussy, and they'll dig, chew, and bark excessively--so consistent Toy Fox Terrier exercise is great for the dog's and your own peace of mind! A few exercise ideas:

  • Walking: Two 15-minute walks per day is a good target
  • Hide-and-Seek: Great indoor, rainy-day activity; give the dog a treat when it finds you
  • Dog Park: Toy Foxies usually enjoy the company of other dogs
  • Canine Sports: These dogs excel at obedience and agility trials and other competitions
  • Blowing Bubbles: Your Toy Foxy will love "attacking" the bubbles you blow

When indoors, it's a good idea to give your Toy Foxy access to one or more balls or toys that will allow the dog to burn excess energy. It's also recommended that you establish a regular exercise schedule for the dog, such as walks after breakfast and dinner and a play period in the afternoon.

Toy Fox Terrier Maintenance

In terms of shedding and drooling, these dogs don't need too much care overall. Toy Fox Terrier shedding is moderate and year-round--but with their small size, the amount of stray hairs is pretty modest. And Toy Foxies practically never drool.

Toy Fox Terriers have short, smooth coats that shed a fair amount. Since these dogs are toy-sized, though, there won't be a need for constant hair cleanup. Weekly brushing with a bristle brush or hound's glove should minimize the shedding pretty well. Owners may need to vacuum the floors and use lint rollers on clothes and furniture occasion to pick up loose hairs, but it's not a huge problem.

And Toy Foxies aren't known to drool. If your TFT is drooling excessively, it may be a sign of a medical issue, in which case a veterinarian's care is needed.

Toy Fox Terrier Diet

With this small breed comes a relatively small diet. But like all breeds, Toy Fox Terrier food will need to contain plenty of animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy, vitamins and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. This means the best food for Toy Fox Terriers is the premium dry kind (particularly brands formulated for small breeds), as this type has balanced portions of the above-listed ingredients--all of which your Toy Foxy will need to maintain its health in the long term. Cheap, generic dog food is not recommended for this breed, because it contains mostly empty "filler" ingredients that have very little nutritional value.

Blue Buffalo, Royal Canin, and Hill's Science Diet are three recommended brands that carry excellent lines of premium small-breed food.

As to portions, your Toy Foxy won't eat too much at a time. The typical adult TFT, depending on its age, size, and activity level, will only need about ½ cup of dry food per day, divided into two meals. Toy Foxy puppies, again depending on age, will need a bit less: about 0.3 cups per day, divided into three meals (not two) until six months old. A three-month-old TFT, for example, will only need a few pieces of dry food for each meal.

For further info, the following list details the feeding needs of the Toy Fox Terrier from puppyhood through maturity. The list is for dry food, and names the dog's age, weight, portion size, and meal frequency.

  • 6-7 Weeks: 0.75 lbs, 2-3 pieces (Puppy formula), 3x/day
  • 10 Weeks: 1 lb, 5-6 pieces, 3x/day
  • 4 Months: 2.5 lbs, 8-10 pieces, 3x/day
  • 6 Months: 4 lbs, 0.2 cups, 2x/day
  • 8 Months*: 5 lbs, 0.25 cups (Puppy/Adult), 2x/day
  • 9 Months+: 6 lbs, 0.25 cups (Adult formula), 2x/day

(*--Around this time, transition to adult food by first mixing in a bit of adult formula with the puppy formula. Over the course of a week, with each meal add a bit more adult food to the mixture, until the dog is eating it entirely.)

If possible, try to stick to the above-listed portions. If your TFT is constantly overfed (and underexercised), the dog will easily become obese--and a fat Toy Fox Terrier will have joint, breathing, and digestive problems, not to mention a shortened lifespan. You can help control your Toy Foxy's weight by establishing consistent feeding and exercise schedules, by not feeding the dog table scraps,and by not leaving food in its bowl all the time, thereby allowing the dog to eat whenever it wants. It's better to put the dog's bowl down only at mealtimes, then pick it up a few minutes after the dog begins eating.
If you're worried your Toy Foxy is overweight, give the dog this simple test: run a hand along its side, and if you can't easily feel any ribs, it's diet time. Reduce the dog's daily food consumption by a bit, and add an extra walk or play period to its daily exercise schedule.