Smooth Fox Terrier

Smooth Fox Terrier courtesy Denise Visco

Quick Facts

  • Weight: 13 – 20 pounds (5.90 – 9.07 kg)
  • Height: 13 – 16 inches (33.02 – 40.64 cm)

The Look of a Smooth Fox Terrier

Smooth Fox Terriers have small, well-proportioned frames covered in smooth white coats with black or brown patches. They have broad, flat heads with long, somewhat chiseled muzzles. Their V-shaped ears usually bend forward, and their keen, dark eyes are set slightly apart. They have lean and powerful necks that slope down to deep chests and short backs. Their tails, sometimes docked, are carried high. Overall, the Smooth Fox Terrier has a cheerful but vigorous look.


  • Intelligent
  • Scrappy
  • Loyal
  • Brave
  • Reliable
  • Protective

Ideal Human Companion

  • Active, sporty types
  • Families
  • City-dwellers

What They Are Like to Live With

Smooth Fox Terriers are feisty, high-energy dogs with loads of chutzpah. They love to spend their days frolicking in the yard, wrestling on the carpet and exploring the neighborhood. Full of love and affection, they form incredibly strong bonds with their families. Smooth Fox Terriers want to be close to their families, involved in every birthday party, movie night and backyard barbecue.

The Smooth Fox Terrier’s strong family bonds, combined with its natural courage, make it an outstanding watchdog. Their loyalty knows no bounds, and they have an extremely effective bark. The legend of the Fox Terrier is packed with stories of rescue and bravery, from rescuing children to fending off dangerous animals.

Smooth Fox Terriers are extremely energetic, not to mention curious and intelligent. They need vigorous exercise and “tasks” to maintain a stable mind and body. Take them jogging, walking and running any time of day. If you’re a hiker, they make excellent exploring companions: No matter how deep and dark the forest, they will always be concerned about your safety. Bring a Fox Terrier home and treat it well, and you’ve got a friend for life.

Things You Should Know

Though small, Smooth Fox Terriers have big personalities. They need firm but positive training from an early age to ensure proper socialization. With a steady, guiding hand to show the way, Fox Terriers will get along very well with new people and other animals.

Bold and fearless, Fox Terriers may confront larger dogs. Also, being natural hunters, they have the tendency to chase birds and squirrels. Always keep them on a leash for their own protection and, if possible, allow them to occasionally run free in a controlled environment.

A healthy Smooth Fox Terrier can live as long as 15 years. Generally healthy, this breed can sometimes develop cataracts and skin allergies. Smooth Fox Terriers are fairly easy to groom, needing only the occasional brushing. They shed very little.

Smooth Fox Terrier History

One of the oldest English terrier breeds, Smooth Fox Terriers were developed in the 1800s to drive foxes out of their dens once the Hounds had chased them in. For almost a century, Smooth Fox Terriers and Wire Fox Terriers were categorized as the same breed. However, they have very different origins: The Smooth Fox Terrier derived from the working terriers of Wales and Durham, while the coarse-coated Wire Fox Terrier—bred for rougher terrain—has the Beagle and the Greyhound in its family tree. Official standards for each breed were established fairly recently—in 1984.

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