Get to Know the Smooth Fox Terrier: One Confident Dog


Smooth and suave, that’s how this operator thinks of himself. Look up the word “cocky,” and there’s a picture of a Smooth Fox Terrier. He knows he looks good.

One of the most competitive show dogs in the world, both the Smooth and Wire Fox Terriers started as more salt of the earth types, hunters down to the bone.

Smooth Fox Terriers by Shutterstock.

Interesting facts about the Smooth Fox Terrier

  • Fox Terriers were bred to run with foxhound packs, or to be carried in a bag by mounted huntsmen, and to bolt the fox when it took cover.
  • Hunters preferred mostly white dogs so they wouldn’t confuse them with the fox. (It’s never good form to bash your own dog on the head thinking he’s a bolting fox).
  • Fox Terriers were one of several breeds used during World War I by British and French troops as sentry dogs and messengers. They could race into the battlefield and locate wounded soldiers, and carry carrier pigeons, medicine, food, and cigarettes in pouches.
  • Smooth and Wire Fox Terriers were initially interbred, although there is disagreement as to whether they came from the same ancestry to start with.
Smooth Fox Terrier by Shutterstock.
  • The two coat types were officially split into two breeds by the AKC in 1985.
  • Smooth Fox Terriers may be confused with the Parson Russell Terrier, Rat Terrier, and Toy Fox Terrier, but the Smooth Fox is taller and has a much longer head. It may also be confused with the Basenji, but the Smooth Fox has a straight tail and folded ears and is mostly white.
  • A smooth Fox Terrier is the only dog to have ever won Best in Show at the Westminster dog show three times. A smooth Fox Terrier named CH. Warren Remedy won Best in Show at the very first Westminster dog show in 1907. She won it again in 1908. And again in 1909. She was favored to win again in 1910 but lost at the breed level. The dog who beat her, CH. Sabine Rarebit, won Best in Show. It appeared Smooth Fox Terriers had a stranglehold on Westminster. Only, no Smooth Fox has won it since.
  • Smooth Foxes are featured in the books My Dog Skip (although a Jack Russell played the role in the movie version) and The Plague Dogs, and in the film A Single Man.
Smooth Fox Terrier by Shutterstock.
  • A Smooth Fox named Igloo accompanied Admiral Richard Byrd on Byrd’s first trip to the Antarctic.
  • Another arctic explorer was the Smooth Fox Titina, who went with Umberto Nobile during the arctic exploration in the airship Norge in 1926. Norwegian adventurer Amunsen commanded the ship and was not happy she was takng up space. Titina had an official biography for the New York Times. It was reported that Titina wore a red jersey over the Pole and that Titina was “a dog marked by destiny, a dog of greatest character.” Other Smooth Fox adventurers were those of Sir Aurel Stein, who took a series of six or seven Smooth Fox Terriers with him on archeological expeditions to Xinjiang, Iran, and other countries in the early 20th century.
  • Fashion designer Tom Ford owned a Smooth Fox named John.
  • The Smooth Fox Terrier is the 122nd most popular AKC breed, down a few spots from recent years.

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