Smooth Fox Terrier Guide

Terrier Dog Breeds

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The smooth fox terrier is square-proportioned, standing over a lot of ground but with a short back. Its conformation combines speed, endurance and power, enabling it to gallop and stay with the horses and hounds during the hunt and to follow a fox up a narrow passage. The gait while trotting gets most of its propulsion from the rear quarters. The expression, like the attitude, is keen; the carriage is alert and expectant. The coat is flat, hard and dense, also with a short, fine undercoat.

Energetic, inquisitive, bold, feisty, playful, mischievous, independent and adventurous describe the fox terrier. This breed lives to run, chase and explore. It is usually fairly reserved with strangers. It tends to bark and dig.


FAMILY terrier



ORIGINAL FUNCTION vermin hunting, fox bolting

TODAY'S FUNCTION earthdog trials

AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: <15.5 Weight: 17-19

AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: <15.5 Weight: 15-17


Energy level High energy

Exercise needs Medium

Playfullness Very playful

Affection level Very affectionate

Friendliness toward other dogs Friendly

Friendliness toward other pets Shy

Friendliness toward strangers Very friendly

Ease of training Hard to train

Watchdog ability High

Protection ability Not very protective

Grooming needs Low maintenance

Cold tolerance Medium tolerance

Heat tolerance Medium tolerance

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The smooth fox terrier is energetic and cannot be ignored. As an active dog, it will do much to exercise itself given the room. It enjoys a vigorous game or walk, as well as an off-lead outing in a safe area. Even though this breed can live outdoors in a warm climate, it does better living in the house and playing in the yard. Smooth coat care consists of weekly brushing to remove shedding hair. In fact, the smooths shed more than the wires. Some training of the ears may be necessary as puppies for proper adult shape to develop.
• Major concerns: none
• Minor concerns: lens luxation, distichiasis, cataract, Legg-Perthes, shoulder dislocation
• Occasionally seen: deafness, patellar luxation
• Suggested tests: eye
• Life span: 10 – 13 years
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The smooth fox terrier's ancestors are not documented, but the breed was certainly known by 1800 and was already popular before the advent of dog shows. It accompanied foxhound packs and dislodged foxes that had taken cover. Predominantly white dogs were preferred because they could be more easily distinguished from the quarry in dim lighting. Some speculation exists that the smooth and wire fox terriers arose from distinct backgrounds, with the smooth descending from the smooth-coated black and tan, the bull terrier and even the greyhound and beagle. The smooth fox terriers were among the first breeds to enter the show ring, classified initially with the sporting breeds. The two varieties were interbred extensively at one time, but the practice gradually declined. Because the two breeds had long since ceased to be crossed by the latter part of the 1900s, the AKC divided them into separate breeds in 1985.
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