Smooth Fox Terriers

Type: Terriers

Height: 14 - 15.5 inches.

Weight: 15 - 19 lbs.

Life Span: 12 -14 years. This breed is relatively long-lived.

Litter Size: 3 - 6 puppies.

Country of Origin: England

Activity: Indoors - Very High. Outdoors - Very High.

Watch-dog: Very High. This breed is extremely alert and very active. They may bark if something unusual is suspected.

Guard-dog: Low.


Description: The Smooth Fox Terriers are an energetic, inquisitive, playful breed who love to run, chase and explore. They are very friendly and get along well with children. However, a Smooth Fox Terrier may try to dominate other dogs and will treat other small pets in the same fashion it would a fox! This breed, being a terrier, loves to dig and bark when they need to. They are alert and determined, ready to be a great watchdog. The Smooth Fox Terrier is affectionate, trustworthy and eager.  They remain an enthusiastic little dog with longer legs than the average terrier. They have mostly white bodies, of short and leanly muscular build. They often have spots of brown and black, especially on the face. Their drop button ears and terrier build attract onlookers even outside the show ring. This breed has a long face that is more slender than the Jack Russell Terrier, which it resembles. Similar to the Wire Fox Terrier except for their coat, the Smooth Fox Terrier is one of the oldest of the terrier breeds who were bred to dig down into burrow to flush out foxes or catch small animals. Easy dogs to live with, they enjoy being a part of the family.

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Colors: White with tan or black markings, all white, brindle, red or liver. White should be predominant, and red, brindle and liver are all highly undesirable.

Coat: Dense coat of sleek short hairs which may not be thin anywhere on their body. The coat is broken, and it is short, hard, straight, and smooth. The hairs twist with an undercoat of fine, soft hair.

Temperament: The Smooth Fox Terrier is alert, determined, eager, trustworthy, and affectionate. They are trainable, get along with children, and are very friendly. Bold and active, this terrier likes to dig. Smaller animals are not an option for this breed, as they will often hunt them. The Smooth Fox Terrier is enthusiastic, energetic, and love to play.

With Children: Yes, gets along well with children and is always ready to play.

With Pets: Not usually, small pets such as cats may be fair game and they may try to dominate other dogs.

Special Skills: Vermin hunter and family pet.

Care and Training: Smooth Fox Terriers require minimal coat care except during their twice a year shedding. Brush the coat with a firm bristle brush and bathe only when necessary. Teeth and nails need regular attention as well. Exercise should consist of a daily walk on the leash and free play in a fenced backyard or a romp in the park. Learning very quickly, the Smooth Fox Terrier (like any terrier) can be stubborn. Be consistent with training and positive when training your Fox Terrier.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving - Very High. These dogs are very intelligent.

Special Needs: Exercise, a fenced yard, leash, socialization, supervision with other animals, and training.

Living Environment: An apartment is adequate if given sufficient exercise but the ideal environment is a home with a fenced backyard, as they are an active terrier. Do not leave this breed alone in the yard as they may bark and try to dig their way out. To own a Smooth Fox Terrier you need to be a confident leader who prefers an active, feisty breed, not a couch potato. The best owner for this breed would be an active, responsible owner living in a rural or suburban home.

Health Issues: Lens luxation, cataracts, Cushing's disease, deafness, hip dysplasia, Legg-Perthes disease, and skin allergies.

History: The Smooth Fox Terrier first became noticed as a breed in the 1860s. They were originally bred to hunt vermin and foxes, as the name suggests. Their descendants are other terriers from the English counties of Cheshire and Shropshire with possibly some Beagle blood. Other breeds possibly included in the mix were black-and-tan terrier, bull terrier, and the greyhound. The Fox Terrier has been documented since 1790, where a recording of the breed was made in print and on canvas. The breed of 1790 is still remarkably similar to the breed we have today. The original Wire-haired type came from the regions of Durham and Derbyshire in England and Wales. It is not entirely known where the Smooth came from, but the Smooth did come first. Wires resulted from the breeding of a male Smooth Fox Terrier named Jock and a female of unknown breed with Wire-hair named Trap. The breed was accepted by the British Kennel Club in 1876, three years after the BKC opened. Both the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Wire Fox Terrier share the same conformation and were recognized as the same breed until 1984 when the AKC approved separate standards. Reverend Jack Russell, who perpetuated and developed the Jack Russell Terrier of today, also aided in the perpetuation of the Fox Terrier. Russell kept the Wire Fox Terrier of pure strain until 1870, and only crossed with a Smooth Terrier once for improvement during that time. Today, the Wire Fox Terrier is much more popular than the Smooth, but the Smooth still reigns in Sweden.

First Registered by the AKC: 1885

AKC Group: Terrier Group

Class: Terrier

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 3), KC (GB), UKC