Amanda Halsey, a hobby breeder of Toy Fox Terriers (TFTs), lives in West Central Ohio. Her dogs are bred under the kennel name DynAsty Toy Fox Terriers. She has been breeding and showing TFTs for 16 years.
AKC: How did you get started in breeding dogs?
Halsey: I showed horses competitively, starting around age 12, and continued through college. My first experience with Toy Fox Terriers was in 2000 when my brother brought home a Toy Fox Terrier mix named Foxy. I figured if I enjoyed showing horses that I would enjoy showing dogs, as well. In the next few years, I purchased a couple of TFTs of my own because everybody knows they are like those darn potato chips; you can’t have just one. My first TFT ended up not being show quality, but the male I purchased after her was very nice. He finished his championship very quickly and went on to be a top 10 Toy Fox Terrier for two years in a row. I was bitten by the dog show bug and was hooked.
AKC: What is the most important thing to know about your breed?
Halsey: Toy Fox Terriers are not generally a hyper, yappy breed. Many people think they have these qualities because they are similar in looks and size to some small dogs that do tend to be more that way. TFTs usually take on the energy level of their humans. For example, if you want to go for a walk or throw a ball, they are game for those activities, but if you want to sit on the couch and binge-watch TV, they will be under the blanket with you the whole afternoon and probably want to share your snacks, too!
AKC: How has AKC Marketplace helped you find puppy buyers?
Halsey: I have only been using AKC Marketplace for a short time, but I like that I can see how many views my ad has gotten. The Toy Fox Terrier is not a very well-known breed, so it’s great for breeders to have a place to showcase their litters that shows up at the top of Internet searches.
AKC: What is your favorite question to ask potential puppy buyers?
Halsey: “How do you plan to exercise and potty your dog — on a leash or do you have a fenced yard?” Toy Fox Terriers, and other small breeds need to be watched carefully when outside, due to coyotes, hawks, owls, eagles, stray dogs, etc. I care greatly for my puppies, and I do not want anything bad to happen to them. I have many other questions that I ask puppy buyers, as well. I send potential puppy buyers a questionnaire to be completed and returned to me.
AKC: What are the main qualities you look for in potential owners?
Halsey: I look for owners who will be devoted to their new puppy and treat him or her as a member of the family. I want to make sure that homes will be good for the life of my little Toy Fox Terrier babies. Many TFTs will live to be 13-16 years old or older.
AKC: What is the best advice you would give to novice breeders?
Halsey: The advice I would give novice breeders is to find a mentor who is honest, cares about the health and well-being of her dogs/puppies, who can see the good and bad qualities in her own dogs (some breeders are “kennel-blind”), and someone who is not turning out puppies for the money. Many breeders, including myself, do not make monetary profits from our dogs; it’s a labor of love. Ask this mentor a lot of questions, attend shows with him/her, and sit ringside and analyze the dogs in the ring. Look at the overall quality of the dogs from a kennel, not just the show records. There are many breeders who have wonderful dogs, but who do not have the money or time to travel the country and show their dogs to top rankings.
AKC: Do your dogs participate in AKC sports?
Halsey: Yes, I compete in conformation, and I hope to be soon dabbling in performance events. I have had many top 10 Toy Fox Terriers in my years of breeding and showing them, and, so far, I have always shown my own dogs and not relied on a handler to show them. I do work a full-time job, so I am limited in how often I can attend dog shows, but I love attending shows to visit with other dog fanciers and “talk dogs.”
AKC: What do you like best about breeding dogs?
Halsey: I love analyzing structure, genetics, and pedigrees to try to produce the healthiest and most structurally sound puppies. And who doesn’t love puppies? I love seeing them grow, thrive, and become wonderful companions and/or show competitors for their owners.
AKC: Do you have a favorite breeding story?
Halsey: My favorite breeding story has to be the story of Vegas — not Las Vegas, but Grand Champion DynAsty Valcopy What Happens in Vegas. Vegas and his siblings were born via C-section of his champion mother, Laney, in May 2008. Vegas was a showman from the start, but his littermates were all lovely, too, so I was debating between keeping Vegas or one of his brothers that went to companion homes. Long story short, Vegas went on to finish his championship title in just a few show weekends by nine months of age, and then he went on to win Best of Breed at the 2009 Toy Fox Terrier National Specialty one day before his first birthday. Within the next couple of months, Vegas went on to win multiple group placements and even a Toy Group 1st. I had placed in toy groups before with my other Toy Fox Terrier, but this was my first trip to the Best in Show ring. Showing him was quite an awesome ride, and it was even sweeter knowing that I was his breeder, owner, and handler! I am excited about the next chapter since I plan to take Vegas to some Toy Fox Terrier specialty shows to let him compete as a veteran dog.
To learn more about DynAsty Toy Fox Terriers, visit their website.