Toy Fox Terrier Community Shares Their Thoughts on the Breed

Toy Fox Terrier puppies in a basket

We asked the following questions to various experts involved with the breeding & showing of Toy Fox Terriers. Above photo from the article “Toy Fox Terriers”, by Barbara “BJ” Andrews, ShowSight Magazine, February 2013 Issue. 

  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?
  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 Insurance 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 registered 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.

How does the breed’s terrier temperament affect household 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 promoting 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 everything you saw and liked as baby comes together for a new champion.

My favorite memory was when my dog won the National Toy Fox Terrier Specialty four years in a row. He also became the First Toy Fox Terrier Platinum Grand Champion of record. His grandmother was the first Toy Fox Terrier Grand record a few years back.

I like their attitude. They are a big dog in a small package. Always your best friend and brighten up each day.

Terrie Crawford

I live in Columbia, Tennessee and I love to read and travel in our new motorhome.

How does the breed’s terrier temperament affect household 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 wonderful 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 affectionate 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.

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 Terrier Club for many years and have served in many different positions. While there is always a need for better communication 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, performance prospect or a companion—these guys really can do it all.

Lila Fast

I have been around dogs and cats all my life, but started 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, Virginia 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 Terrier. 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 tickets 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.

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 generation. 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, California in beautiful 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 outside of dogs, except for a little gardening.

How does the breed’s terrier temperament affect their 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.

Is the breed standing out a good or bad thing? I personally 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 showing 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 finishing her first Vizsla at the 1984 AKC Centennial. Married to an Army soldier, Susan used their assignments overseas to show her Vizslas, Cockers and English Cockers across 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 Legislative 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 military 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.

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 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. 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 waiting 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 breeder. 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 supported. 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 announcements, 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 members 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 consider 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 scrolling 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

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 winning 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 conformation, 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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