Smooth Fox Terrier

Dog Breed Profile
Smooth Fox Terrier

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• High energy level
• Medium exercise needs
• Very playful
• Very affectionate
• Friendly towards other dogs
• Shy around other pets
• Very friendly around strangers
• Difficult to train
• Great watchdogs
• Not very protective
• Medium grooming requirements
• Medium tolerance to heat
• Medium tolerance to cold


The Smooth Fox Terrier is an excellent family pet, perfect for children because of its playful and friendly disposition. This dog breed is happy exploring and chasing and don’t be surprised to find several holes in the yard or flower gardens. He’s independent and mischievous, and should have obedience training early on to ensure good behavior.

He’s not aggressive with people but can be reserved around those he doesn’t know. He’s an excellent watch dog, and likes to bark. The Smooth Fox Terrier is fast and powerful, which was highly valued as a hunting companion to men on horseback. He’s an alert breed, energetic and always ready to play.

  • Cannot be expected to live outdoors
  • Health conditions that need to be tested for are his eyes
  • Grooming needs include at least weekly brushing and ear shaping as puppies
  • The Smooth Fox Terrier is a very affectionate and friendly, playful animal that is trainable
  • Has a great relationship with family members, young and old, not very protective but do make great watchdogs
  • The average size of a male is 17 to 19lbs and 15.5 inches tall
  • The average size of a female is 15 to 17lbs and 15.5 inches tall

Care & Health:

This dog breed loves attention, and his exercise needs can be met with a long walk or hardy play time in the yard. The Smooth Fox Terrier is happiest if he can live indoors and have access to the yard.

You’ll need to brush him at least once a week as he sheds often, and they often require proper ear training as puppies.

Major Health Concerns:

– none

Minor Health Concerns:

– lens luxation, distichiasis, cataract, Legg-Perthes, shoulder dislocation and occasionally deafness, patellar luxation

Test for:

– eyes

Life Span:

– 10 to 13 years

Breed History:

Although not documented, this dog breed has existed since the 1700s, popular as a farm dog to hunt prey that was detrimental to the farmer’s livelihood. The Smooth Fox Terrier was often a foxhound cohort, and usually white which helped farmers and hunters tell the difference between dog and prey.

The Smooth Fox Terrier was one of the first breeds that found popularity among dog fanciers, often being classified along with the wire haired variety, and both entered the show ring as sporting breeds. Over the years the interbreeding ended, and in 1985 the AKC recognized the smooth fox terrier as its own breed. Despite his hunting abilities he is used mostly as a pet and show dog today.

  • Family history is terrier
  • Originally from England
  • First bred in the 1700’s
  • Original purpose was vermin hunting, fox bolting
  • Today they are used for earth dog trials