Smooth Fox Terrier Breed Guide

Smooth Fox Terriers are small dogs with predominantly white coats. There may be tan or black markings, and the coat is smooth, dense, flat, and hard. The breed's belly and the underside of the thighs shouldn't be bare. These dogs have small, V-shaped ears, dark eyes, and flat heads. Smooth Fox Terriers should not measure greater than 15.5 inches tall at the shoulder or weigh more than 18 pounds.

Smooth Fox Terriers are independent dogs, but they also bond deeply with their human family members.

A friendly, active, and playful breed, the Smooth Fox Terrier is a good choice for families with children. These dogs don't require much grooming and can get most of their needed exercise through play sessions and walks around the neighborhood. Despite their small size and tolerant nature, Smooth Fox Terriers make good watchdogs.

Smooth Fox Terriers are very energetic little dogs that do well in most living environments if given enough exercise. They may not be the best choice for seniors or couch potatoes, though.

Energetic, playful, adventurous, and feisty, Smooth Fox Terriers are high-energy dogs that love to run and explore. They need lots of exercise and enjoy romping in the yard, wrestling with their loved ones, and going for hikes, walks, and jogs. These dogs won't be happy or healthy without frequent mental and physical stimulation.

Smooth Fox Terriers are independent dogs, but they also bond deeply with their human family members. They are loving and affectionate and do well with older children. The breed is fairly reserved around strangers, and this trait is part of the reason these dogs make great watchdogs.

An intelligent, bold, curious, and mischievous breed, Smooth Fox Terriers tend to find trouble in the most unlikely places. They are natural hunters and should be supervised when around small animals and birds. When outdoors, these dogs must be kept on a leash for their own safety as well as for the safety of neighborhood animals.

Smooth Fox Terriers are not known to suffer from a great number of genetic diseases or other health problems, but this is not a guarantee that any individual dog will be free of illness. Purchasing or adopting Smooth Fox Terrier puppies from a reputable source goes a long way toward ensuring a healthy dog.

This breed is prone to skin allergies and certain eye conditions, including cataracts, lens luxation, and distichiasis. Additionally, these dogs are more likely than some other dog breeds to develop shoulder dislocation, patellar luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, and various joint problems. Some of these conditions negatively affect mobility and quality of life. Deafness and heart disease are other serious concerns in the breed.

Smooth Fox Terriers can live a long and active life, provided they receive timely vaccinations, routine veterinary care, proper nutrition, and daily exercise.

Smooth Fox Terriers are a highly trainable breed, but they tend to bark and dig excessively and may be challenging to housetrain. These dogs need firm, consistent, and positive training starting early in life. Yelling, hitting, and harsh criticism are not only damaging, they are ineffective training techniques that can lead to regression, aggression, and resistance.

Living with these dogs during puppyhood is not always easy. The breed has puppy teeth that are very sharp and can quickly and severely damage shoes, furniture, and door frames. Also, the breed's innate sense to dig often results in destroyed landscape and may even cause instability in concrete foundations. Training can help these behaviors, but they may never be fully eliminated. Caring for a Smooth Fox Terrier requires patience and a sense of humor.

These dogs require a lot of attention and should only be in homes where someone is home most of the time. Smooth Fox Terriers also benefit from puppy kindergarten, trips to the dog park, and other methods of socialization. If started early enough and continued throughout life, socialization will help these dogs grow into tolerant and confident adults.

A low-maintenance breed, Smooth Fox Terriers need only occasional brushing to keep their coat healthy and manageable. Weekly brushing is usually sufficient to remove loose hair and distribute skin oils throughout the coat, but some dogs may need brushing every few days. Shedding is minimal in this breed.

The occasional bath may be necessary if the Smooth Fox Terrier rolls around in something sticky, stinky, or otherwise unpleasant. In these cases, a gentle, pH-balanced shampoo will clean the coat without drying or irritating the skin. Rinsing thoroughly is very important.

The ears should be checked on a weekly basis to look for ear wax accumulation that can cause discomfort or negatively affect hearing. Any signs of infection, such as ear swelling, odor, redness, or discharge, should be promptly reported to a veterinarian. The breed's nails need clipping every week or two, and the teeth should be brushed daily to protect against gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath odor.

The Smooth Fox Terrier is one of the oldest English terrier dog breeds. However, the breed's ancestors are not known for certain. Smooth Fox Terriers likely developed in the early 1800s to accompany foxhounds and drive foxes out of their dens.

Some speculate that Smooth and Wire Fox Terriers originated from distinct backgrounds. This may or may not be true; there is no definitive evidence. The two varieties were categorized as the same breed and were interbred for a while. This practice stopped at some point after the mid-1900s, and the AKC divided the two varieties into separate breeds in 1984.

Today, these playful pups are primarily kept as companion animals by families with children. Their love of activity makes them a good choice for hikers and hunters.

In 1885, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Smooth Fox Terrier.