Miniature Fox Terrier -
What you Need to Know about Mini Fox Terriers

Did you just bring home a new Miniature Fox Terrier puppy and want to learn more about the breed?

Maybe you are thinking about buying a puppy and want to know if this is the right breed of dog for you and your family?

No matter what your situation may be, you will find the answers to your questions right here!



Breed History

The breed, also known as the Mini Fox Terrier, was developed in Australia in the 1800s. Its history resembles that of the Toy Fox Terrier as both breeds have British origin, were developed from smaller Smooth Fox Terriers, and were developed outside of Great Britain.

The smooth-coated terriers brought to Australia by the early settlers were crossed with the Manchester Terrier. The puppies produced from those crosses were further crossed with the Italian Greyhound, the Whippet, and the English Toy Terrier.

If you are wondering about the reasons for creating this breed, they were the same as for creation of the American Toy Fox Terrier.

Many owners of Smooth Fox Terriers were noticing that puppies that were much smaller than the rest of the litter were also much feistier and, often, better hunters. They crossed these puppies with smaller, speedier breeds to create dogs that they could use to hunt rats, mice, and other small pests.

With so many similarities and names that sound alike, no wonder that many think that Toy and Miniature Fox Terriers (some also call them Mini Foxies) is the same breed!

Today, the breed is still used for pest control on farms across Australia. They also make wonderful pets and many keep them for companionship. Though very popular at home, Miniature Fox Terriers are still relatively unknown outside their native Australia.

Physical Characteristics of Miniature Fox Terrier Puppies

Having similar backgrounds, Mini Foxies closely resemble Toy Fox Terriers.

They have small but athletic bodies that taper from ribs to flank. The back is straight and level. The ribs are well sprung and the chest is moderately deep. The neck is strong and moderately long. It widens gradually and blends smoothly into the shoulders. The tail can be docked or left natural. Bobtails can also occur and are not penalized.

The front legs are slender and appear straight when viewed from any angle. The back legs are muscular, with well bent stifles and straight rear pasterns. The well-padded feet are compact and oval.

The head is small and wedge shaped, with the muzzle that is almost the same length as the skull. The ears are V-shaped, carried high, and can be erect (when the dog is alert) or folded. The eyes are oval and can be black or dark brown. The nose is black.

The coat is very dense (less dense on belly), glossy, and feels smooth when touched. It's short, except the neck area where it's slightly longer than on the rest of the body. It comes in white with black and/or tan markings. The white should be the dominant color.

    Height Weight
  Male 9.5 - 12 inches < 12 pounds
  Female 9.5 - 12 inches < 12 pounds


Miniature Fox Terriers are inquisitive, bold, and fearless. Bred for hunting small rodents, they display speed, agility, and ruthlessness when attacking their prey.

As pets, they are loyal, loving, and entertaining. They are good with children but, like other small breeds, will probably prefer a company of older children. They crave their owner's attention and love to be included in family activities.

A well socialized Mini Foxie will get along fine with other dogs and even cats but, despite his small size, this dog is a terrier and a hunter. As such, he can't be trusted with small rodents. He should always remain on leash, unless in a fenced area, when you take him outdoors -- the hunting instinct is still there in that small body.

Though they are not known as excessive barkers, they will bark if they hear strange noises or see something they don't like. If you combined that with their natural wariness of strangers, you get a very good watchdog.

An intelligent breed, the Miniature Fox Terrier learns fast and is easy to train. They can even be trained to perform tricks. But despite their intelligence, they still need to be taught to follow the rules that are set by you. A dog that is allowed to take over the household will develop numerous behavioral problems and be difficult to live with.

Best Owner / Living Conditions

Miniature Fox Terriers are very adaptable and will adjust equally well to a city apartment and country settings.

This breed will do fine even with an inexperience owner. All that's required from an owner is to act as a leader and set some rules for the dog to follow.

Some Miniature Fox Terrier breeders may interview prospective owners to make sure this is the right breed for them.

Activity and Exercise

Like all breeds, the Miniature Fox Terrier needs regular exercise.

His exercise can consist of regular walks, playing with toys, and running and playing off leash. Because they are active indoors, Mini Foxies don't require as much outdoor exercise as some larger breeds.

But no matter how much exercise your pet is getting indoors, it should not come at the expense of daily walks. At a minimum, take your pet for 1 or 2 daily walks.

Grooming your Mini Fox Terrier

Mini Foxies are average shedders but their short coats are easy to care for and grooming requirements are very minimal.

Brush 2 to 3 times per week with a firm bristle brush to remove loose hair. Also brush your dog's teeth, check and, when necessary, trim the nails and clean the ears.

Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary.

Health Concerns

The Miniature Fox Terrier is considered to be a healthy breed with very few health issues. That's because all breeders who are members of the Mini Foxie Club of Australia screen their dogs against the genetic problems.

Buy only from reputable Miniature Fox Terrier breeders to reduce the risk of health problems common in small dog breeds (visit dog breeders to learn how to identify responsible dog breeders).

Even healthy dogs get sick. While many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, there are many others that you may handle on your own. Learn how to save time and money (and how to prevent small problems become big problems) by diagnosing and treating dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

This is a long-lived breed with the average life expectancy for a healthy Miniature Fox Terrier puppy is between 12 and 16 years. Some live even longer.

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Miniature Fox Terrier rescue. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.

Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? If you answered "YES", then check this dog behavior and obedience training guide.

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