As terriers go, we’re one of the most popular and well established. Fox Terriers were probably developed back in the 17th century by crossing ancient Dachshunds, English Hounds, and later the Fox Hound and Beagle. This makes us one of the older terrier type dogs. Along the way we will have been linked to the Bull terrier and Manchester terrier. Having been known as the English Terrier for many years, our breed standard was drawn up as the Smooth fox terrier in the 1870s. We have been popular due to our value to the foxhound pack since we’re small enough to be able to chase foxes from cover, something those larger hounds are unable to do! We’re fashionable in the show ring but thankfully our breed has remained true to our origins. You may hear us referred to as ‘Smooths’, personally I prefer being called an old ‘Smoothie’!
What do I look like?
Think terrier and you are probably thinking of us Smoothies. We’re compact and look purposeful because we mostly are ready for action. Our coat is smooth (naturally!), short and dense. Colours could be pure white, black-and-white or tan-and-white. Our nose is black and our muzzle which is long and strong will usually have some white on it. Our ears are a particular feature – v-shaped and small but usually held curled upwards. They really help add to our look of round the clock attentiveness.
What do I need from you?
Well foxes would be good but I realise that’s not politically correct in many circles today. We naturally love being outdoors so lots of opportunities for walking would be great. We do need a firm hand as we can be a little wilful. However we will reward that firm hand with love and affection. Due to our strong hunting instincts, we are likely to hunt and possibly kill other animals including rabbits and birds, if given the chance. You will need to be aware of this and keep us leashed or in a completely enclosed area if we have the potential to go off and explore. Deafness may be a problem in predominantly white dogs.
What I will give in return
We’re a tough, sturdy companion. We’re not particularly ferocious and are unlikely to start an argument with another dog. However we can look after ourselves (and you) so we’ll happily finish an argument. We’re generally good with children in the family, but obviously need to be supervised as should all dogs.
How big will I get?
Smooth fox terriers grow to around 14in-15in (37cm-40cm) and weigh about 16lb-18lb (7kg-8kg).
How long should I be around for?
Our lifespan is very good amongst the dog world – we will often live for around 15 years or more.
How big is our litter?
Smooth fox terrier litters are fairly modest – maybe 3 to 5 puppies.
Willie Morris, author of “My Dog Skip” and US President Herbert Hoover.
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Disclaimer: the views expressed on this page and any comments below are only a guide to typical traits and views on the breed. Individual circumstance and traits will always vary so we can be in no way responsible for any of the information provided.