The Smooth Fox Terrier is a long-legged, medium-sized terrier from Great Britain. There are two well-known types of fox terrier, the smooth-haired variety and the wire-haired variety. The Wirehaired variant is much better known, although both variants are equally popular with hunters. In addition to being used as a hunting dog, the Fox Terrier has also found its way into many family households and single lives. He is a loyal companion and an obedient working dog. He is now bred in a working line and a companion line, however both lines fall under the same FCI standard. In the FCI standard, the smooth-haired fox terrier can be found in the FCI group 3 terriers, section 1 high-legged terrier working test of your choice with the standard number 169.
Smooth-haired Fox Terrier dog breed
FCI Group: 3: Terriers
Section: 1: Long Legged Terriers
Country of origin: Great Britain
Colors: White-Black, Tan-White
Life expectancy: 12-15 years
Suitable as: hunting, companion, and family dog
Personality: Intelligent, Alert, Fearless, Playful, Active, Affectionate
Leaving requirements: high
Drooling Potential: –
The thickness of hair: –
Maintenance effort: low
Coat structure: straight, lying flat, smooth, hard, dense, full
Child-friendly: rather yes
Family dog: rather yes
Social: rather no
Origin and breed history
The Fox Terrier is a valued hunting dog from Great Britain. It was bred in two variants right from the start of breeding, with the smooth-haired variant being the first to be presented at an exhibition. Long before the breed was officially recognized by the FCI, the Fox Terrier was held in high esteem by hunters and gamekeepers in England. This is also shown by the dog’s name, which is closely related to its hunting use. The word terrier originally comes from the Latin “terra” for earth. This was used very early on to designate all hunting dogs that were sent to underground animal burrows in Great Britain. The fox in the name comes from English and means fox. Tracking down the fox in its burrow and driving it out is the main task of the fox terrier when it is being hunted.
Due to its medium size, it is ideal for burrow hunting and its stubborn nature drives the dog forward, even when its prey fights back. Since the fox terrier runs in the pack of other hunting and cattle dogs during so-called par force hunting, it was bred to be long-legged. This distinguishes him from most other building hunting dogs. Due to these requirements, a breed image soon crystallized and the targeted breeding of the fox terrier began as early as the middle of the 19th century. First, the smooth-haired variant of the fox terrier was bred and presented at breed shows in the 1970s, followed by the better-known wire-haired variant of the dog. The first club was also founded at this time and in 1876 the Fox Terrier Club took over the breeding of the dogs. Around ten years later, the first Fox Terrier Club was established in Germany. Due to its suitability for hunting, the long-legged hound was soon used for various hunting purposes and spread to many countries.
The breed standard was recognized by the Kennel Club in 1876 and in Germany the first German Fox Terrier Club was founded in 1889 and the studbook for German breeding was established. It didn’t take long for the fox terrier to win people’s hearts. He was no longer seen only as a pure hunting dog, but also as a companion and family dog. Everywhere you could see the medium-sized high-legged dogs running. He was hailed as the perfect terrier and puppy numbers were at a record high.
Nature and temperament of the smooth-haired fox terrier
The Smooth Fox Terrier is considered to be very lively and active. He is a real bundle of energy and wants to be kept busy. If you are looking for a quiet couch potato, you should never get a fox terrier. Due to his use as a hunting dog he is still very active with his nose and has a very strong terrier will. Free running can only be guaranteed with safe anti-hunting training. In addition, the fox terrier can be very stubborn, since he has to make his own decisions when hunting foxes. He is a courageous dog who can defend his owner but is easy to train.
He is very loyal and affectionate to his owner. He enjoys group activities and makes a very good playmate for children. He watches over the house and reports visitors, but is not an annoying barker. He is open and curious towards strangers and he has no problems with other dogs either. The fox terrier brings life into the house, he is so active and playful that he infects everyone with his enthusiasm. He is a real go-getter and loves to experience things together with his owner. He needs good socialization and training to make a good family pet. Nevertheless, he is only conditionally suitable for life and the city, he is simply an active dog who wants to do a lot and needs his exercise.
Is the Smooth Fox Terrier a hunting dog?
The Fox Terrier is a very versatile hunting dog. It was originally bred for building hunting, but is also an excellent scavenger and herding dog. The terrier’s hunting heritage is clearly noticeable and it is still used today as a hunting dog.
The appearance of the Smooth Fox Terrier
The Fox Terrier has a very distinctive appearance. He is a medium-sized and long-legged dog. His body appears almost square, his tail and neck point very straight up and he carries his head erect with an inquisitive and alert look. The ears are forward and snapped off. He has a very energetic gait and seems ready to jump at any time.
On average, the smooth-haired fox terrier has a height at the withers of about 40 cm and weighs only 8 kg. Since he is very lively, he rarely suffers from being overweight. There are two different types of fox terrier fur. The smooth-haired fox terriers were bred first, followed later by the more well-known wire-haired fox terriers. In both variants, the fur should be very dense, in the smooth-haired variant it lies close to the body, while in the wire-haired variant the fur is a little longer and wiry. The same colors are allowed in both coat variants. The base color should always be white, with black markings allowed, black and tan markings and tan markings only.
Because its popularity as a family and companion dog has increased so significantly, it is now bred in a working line as a hunting dog and in a companion line as a loyal and happy family dog.
When is a Smooth Fox Terrier fully grown?
The fox terrier is fully grown at about 7 to 8 months, but mentally it is still a teenager and should be treated as such.
Upbringing and keeping of the smooth-haired fox terrier – this is important to note
Although the fox terrier has the typical terrier characteristics and has a pronounced hunting instinct, it is nevertheless a bright and easy-to-lead companion for its human. Consistent training is necessary, with the owner setting clear rules and using positive reinforcement through toys or treats. Due to his energy and the high drive to play and prey, he is always happy to be motivated to train. Due to its high energy level, it makes sense to practice at least one more dog sport with the fox terrier. With a good relationship with his owner, he can even be trained to be an assistance dog or a rescue dog.
Due to their good obedience and enthusiasm for training, they can be quite suitable for beginners, just remember that the Fox Terrier is a hunting dog. He will probably always retain his hunting instincts, which can be controlled with good training. Visiting a good dog school that is familiar with hunting behavior is definitely recommended. In addition, the dog owner should be interested in dog sports and lead an active life in order to do justice to the medium-sized terrier’s energy and urge to move. With a good education and socialization, the Fox Terrier makes a good companion in the city, but for this he needs a reliable handler.
How much does a smooth fox terrier cost?
A healthy puppy from a good, reputable breeder will cost around 1600 to 1800 euros. There are still price differences in the breeding line, the hunting dog line is usually sold a little cheaper, but the prices here are also between $1200 and $1400.
Nutrition of the Smooth Fox Terrier
The fox terrier is a very robust dog, it only extremely rarely suffers from intolerances or allergies. He tolerates both wet and dry food very well. Since he has a lot of energy, he should be given a high-quality feed that covers all of his needs. Meat should be the main ingredient in dog food and unnecessary additives such as grains or flavorings should be left out.
When feeding, it is important that the food is adapted to the age of the fox terrier. As a puppy, he should therefore be fed puppy food until he is 8 months old and the switch to senior food should take place around the age of eight. A change of food at the appropriate age makes sense, since the needs of the dog differ greatly in the different stages. Seniors need more support for their internal organs, especially the liver and kidneys, which can become sensitive with age. A puppy, on the other hand, needs a lot of energy and support with bone growth.
What do Smooth Fox Terriers eat?
Like all dogs, fox terriers primarily eat meat. Of course, they need many other nutrients in addition to the meat, but the meat should always be the main ingredient. In no case can he be fed vegan.
Health – life expectancy & common diseases
Being a hardy hunting dog, the Fox Terrier is also in good health. Although the animals were very fashionable for a short time, the breeders could continue to pay attention to the preservation of the dogs’ health. Nevertheless, it is very important to only get your fox terrier from a reputable breeder or animal emergency aid and to give it enough exercise and activity every day so that it stays fit and healthy for a long time.
If the medium-sized terrier leads a good life with its owner, it can live to a very old age. On average, Fox Terriers live between 13 and 16 years. They very often stay fit and active into old age. Since they neither tend to be overweight nor are they sensitive in any other way, vaccinations and regular check-ups at the vet are usually the only preventative health measures.
How old does a Smooth Fox Terrier get?
Fox terriers are very robust and healthy dogs that have a very long life expectancy if they are cared for properly. A fox terrier can live between 13 and 16 years. They remain playful and fit into old age, and there are no known hereditary diseases that affect the dog’s health.
Grooming of the Smooth Fox Terrier
The Fox Terrier is a very easy-care dog. Since both coat variants are very short, brushing the dog every few days and checking the ears for abnormalities is sufficient. The fox terrier should keep its claws short itself, due to the large amount of exercise the dog needs and due to its passion for digging. During moulting, the Fox Terrier sheds a little more fur than during the rest of the year, but it’s still a fairly sparsely shed dog. However, it is important that its owner does not shear the already short fur, as this only destroys the natural protection of the fur.
Smooth Fox Terrier – Activities and Training
The Fox Terrier is a working dog, it has a lot of energy and needs exercise and activity. With his zest for action, he can inspire his owner and also motivate him to move more. Long trips are a must for the fox terrier and it is best for both dog and owner to find at least one dog sport that both are enthusiastic about. With a good education, he is an ideal companion on the horse and can really let off steam on long rides. He can also join the bike or be a fun companion when jogging. A good way to keep the dog busy is to keep its nose busy. Search games, tracking work or even training as a rescue dog are suitable for this. The smart fox terrier is often used as a person search dog.
As a dog sport, pretty much any sport is suitable for the active fox terrier. It makes sense to try out the various sports together with a club and find out which ones are equally fun for the dog and the owner and which can be easily integrated into everyday life.
The Fox Terrier needs at least three long walks each day, each lasting an hour. However, simply walking is not enough, he should be employed and trained on the trail. A ball or other popular toy is ideal to keep him occupied on the walk.
Good to know: Special features of the Smooth Fox Terrier
The Fox Terrier is still used as a versatile hunting dog. This is also what makes the dog special, it is very energetic and self-confident. His active nature inspires his owner and the other people around him. It was in vogue for a while in the 1920s, and not without reason. His friendly nature travels with everyone and motivates them to be active with their dog.
His hunting instinct can be easily controlled but should not be underestimated, especially when being led by a novice dog.
Disadvantages of the Smooth Fox Terrier
The Fox Terrier has an active nature that needs a lot of time and attention. If not properly exercised, he can be prone to problematic behavior. But this is purely due to a lack of employment. In addition, dog beginners can quickly be overwhelmed with hunting instinct.
Is the fox terrier right for me?
Despite its small size, the Fox Terrier is not an easygoing lap dog, it is an active hunting dog that needs a lot of exercise. He needs a lot of time to really be fully utilized, but he also delights his owner with his friendly and cheerful nature. You can’t sit on the couch with a fox terrier all the time, he needs the physical challenge and will also carry and inspire his family.
He gets along very well with children and other dogs, and his playfulness makes him a good companion for children. He should get to know other animals very early on so that he does not see them as prey. Dog beginners and active seniors with the necessary ambition can get a fox terrier if they are aware of what an active dog they are.