Toy Fox Terrier Information
TheDogPlace.org Judges Interviews Online©
With Margo Carter
Phoenix Rising Toy Fox Terriers, UKC Judge
Note* Format based on ShowSight Seminars developed by columnist Barbara J. Andrews. Top breed authorities are asked the same questions, in the same order providing a broad range of experience.
What is the single Biggest misconception about your breed?
"That it is delicate and a lap dog. Also, many people expect TFTs to be snappy, yappy and hyperactive but they are not."
What is the most defining physical characteristic?
"The head. Well-balanced with a tapering stop and muzzle, and erect ears. The distinctive touch is the mask of either black or tan (sometimes chocolate)."
Which behavioral characteristic most typifies the breed?
"They have all the typical Terrier characteristics, but are especially fearless and have an attitude which suggests that they think they are Irish Wolfhounds."
What is the most common judging mistake in your breed?
"Judges not familiar with the breed tend to look upon the TFT as another version of the MinPin rather than as a small working Terrier. This is especially bad because the MinPin is known for its hackneyed gait which is a serious fault in a TFT. The gait of a working dog, which the TFT is, should have drive and purpose without wasted motion."
Would you prefer the breed be judged standing or moving?
"Moving. Any dog can be trained to hold a pose which would hide structural faults. It is extremely hard to hide the faults when a dog is gaiting."
Is there a breed related cosmetic alteration judges should be aware of?
"Nothing that is specifically breed related, but some breeders have been known to enhance a dog's color. Noses have been filled in with Magic Marker and tan trim made richer or darker with dyes."
Which fault is of greatest concern to breeders today?
"There is no one fault common to the breed as a whole. Certain lines/areas of the country will have a common fault. Fortunately, today's ease of travel gives the breeder a chance to view and import dogs, which, with careful breeding practices, will help erase a particular fault from their line."
Is there any one thing you would like to see changed in the breed standard?
"I would like to see the height limits re-evaluated. There are two body types within the breed, with the blending of the two ideal. The current height limits penalize the cobby or compact dog. The cobby dog is small, square and heavy boned. This body type is needed in the gene pool to offset the rangy dog which is tall and lanky. Without the cobby dog, the breed will become larger and lose its substance. Most breeders will breed what is winning in the ring and if the height limit throws out the sturdy little cobby dog, the breed will be in trouble."
Name one way in which the breed has most improved in the last 10 years.
"The head has become more balanced. It is now rare to see an apple head or snipey muzzle."
What are the three words that best describe your breed?
"Feisty. Intelligent. Loyal."
Thank you, Margo Carter.