Fox Terrier (Smooth)

Country of origin:
Great Britain
Height (cm):
Weight (kg):
Life span (years):
all white, white with tan, black and tan or black markings
Hair length:
Recognized by:
FCI code:
Good with kids:
Pros Cons

  • gentle and adaptable

  • needs only standard grooming

  • very intelligent

  • great watchdog

  • prone to unreasonable barking

  • independent-minded

  • offensive to other canines and other animals

  • demands a great amount of physical and mental stimulation


The Smooth Fox Terrier is one of the oldest English terriers and was originally developed to flush out foxes and other game from their burrows. Being a typical terrier through and through, this dog is notable for its boundless vitality, reckless bravery and incredible tenacity. Currently lots of its specimens are kept solely as companion dogs.


The Smooth Fox Terrier was created in the British Isles in the XVII century to serve as a vermin eradicator and hunting dog. The strong probability holds that it originated from crossing such breeds as the smooth-coated Black-and-Tan Terrier, the Bull Terrier, the Beagle and the Greyhound. This dog helped local farmers to exterminate wild animals that would otherwise kill their livestock. It would track down the fox, rat or other small vermin to its den, fiercely digging; constantly baying and lunging until it flush the quarry out of its hideout where the hunter would wait to finish it off.

The Smooth Fox Terrier was reckoned as just the variety of the Fox Terrier along with the Wire Fox Terrier for many years. So cross-breeding was a common practice during the early part of its history. Nonetheless it entered the show ring 10 to 20 years earlier than its wire-coated relative. The first class dedicated to both types was organised at a Dog Show in 1862.

Three exemplary specimens of the breed that were exhibited at the Birmingham show (England) in 1863 greatly promoted its general acceptance as a show dog in addition to its fabulous hunting skills. By the early XX century the Fox Terrier became one of the most popular terrier breeds in its native land. The American Kennel Club (AKC) started to register its members in 1885.

The first separate standard for the Smooth Fox Terrier was drawn up in 1876, distinguishing it from its wire-haired cousin. Some clubs still treat these two canines as the same breed with different hair types. However the AKC officially recognised the Smooth Fox Terrier as the unique breed in 1984.

Great numbers of modern specimens of the Smooth Fox Terrier are either active or retired sporting dogs, although it’s also highly valued in the role of a companion animal. This dog also makes a tough competitor at various performance disciplines that meet it natural wishes to dig, pursue and explore. In spite of the fact that today other terrier varieties gained general love of dog fanciers, the Smooth Fox Terrier still has plentiful of loyal followers all around the world.


The Smooth Fox Terrier characterises with a frisky, amicable and joyful nature. This dog will become a perfect choice for sport-minded families who love spending time outdoors and enjoy the company of their canine pet. Separation anxiety may become a serious issue for this breed if it lacks attention from its masters. Children are usually delighted with its unbelievable playfulness and the dog reciprocates their feelings. Nonetheless because of its rather fiery temper it won’t put up with rough treatment and should never be left alone with too small kids.

The Smooth Fox Terrier shows a great deal of aloofness and suspiciousness towards unknown people. However its early and correct socialisation will ensure its good behaviour in the presence of strangers as well as in other situations. The Smooth Fox Terrier is a noisy dog, which will notify its masters about every unusual thing in its vicinity. It’s a good idea to train your pet to quiet down upon a command. The combination of unfailing alertness and well-expressed territorial instinct makes the breed a terrific watcher. This dog is usually very protective of both its family and house but it’s ill-suited for guard tasks because of its moderate size.

On the whole the Smooth Fox Terrier doesn’t get along with other dogs, especially of the same sex. It’s known to be highly cruel and persistent in dog fights. Moreover it commonly disregards the strength or size of its opponent and never backs down from a confrontation. A firm leash is a must while walking with this dog. The Smooth Fox Terrier also usually becomes a passionate cat chaser and should never be trusted around stray animals. Of course it can be kept together with individual pets if it has been introduced to them early enough.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· eye problems;

· deafness;

· legg-perthes;

· cervical vertebral instability;

· myasthenia gravis;

· pulmonic stenosis;

· von Willebrand's disease.


The Smooth Fox Terrier is considered to be an easy-to-care breed. Weekly brushing is usually enough to keep its hair in a good condition. Be mindful though that the dog sheds intensely twice a year and needs more frequent brushing during these times. Some owners of show dogs prefer to trim the coat of their pet to emphasize its conformation.

It’s essential to trim the dog’s nails on a regular basis as well as to check its ears and clean them as needed. This breed requires only rare bathing since in most cases it can be cleaned by rubbing its body down with a wet cloth.


The training of the Smooth Fox Terrier requires average amount of time and efforts. This dog usually strives to make its owners happy and loves learning new tricks. At the same time it certainly has natural bent for independent thinking so its obedience training may become quite a challenge. Make sure to establish clear rules and norms of behaviour for your pet and enforce them with its favourite food and multiple repetitions.

On the whole, the dog responds well only to reward-based type of training. Furthermore it’s won’t follow commands if they come from a week or indecisive person. In order to make its training successful the master should always display strong leadership over his dog.


The Smooth Fox Terrier is an easy-going and highly energetic dog that won’t be fully satisfied with its life without plentiful of both physical and mental exercises. It’s an absolute must to take it for a long and vigorous walk each and every day although the dog will be thrilled to bits to have a regular opportunity to play and explore in a securely fenced area.

If the breed member receives sufficient amount of daily activity it can adjust well to any living condition. On the other hand, without extensive and regular mental and physical stimulation this dog will quickly turn into a totally unmanageable and destructive creature.