Country of Origin: United Kingdom
  • Activity Level: high
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  • Shedding Level: low
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  • Grooming Level: moderate
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  • Trainability: moderate
  • Good for Novice Owners: moderate
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  • Adaptability: high
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  • Kid/Pet Friendly: often
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  • Prey Drive: high
  • Watchdog: aware
  • Average Size: Small
  • Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
  • Registered?: aca, akc
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Smooth Fox Terrier Dog Breed Information





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Activity Level


Life Span

Did You Know?

The Smooth Fox Terrier originated in England and has been documented there since the 18th century. Before that point, their history is undocumented. They are close relatives to Wire Fox Terriers and were originally bred to take part in Britain’s traditional foxhunts.

During these foxhunts, which are now banned, the Smooth Fox Terriers would be up on the horse with the rider where they would ride in the saddlebags. When a fox went underground, these dogs would be released to find, hunt, and chase them out in the open for the hunt to continue.

Although they were still valued for their skills in the field, Smooth Fox Terriers made their way to the show ring in the 19th century once the foxhunts were banned. The American Kennel Club recognized the Fox Terrier in 1885 as a member of the Terrier Group.

Smooth Fox Terriers are friendly dogs with an independent nature. They tend to be quite charismatic, lively, and energetic and are known for their amusing antics. Although they get along well with children and are open with strangers, they do have a high prey drive, which means they may not get along well with other small animals in the household.

The Smooth Fox Terrier is a highly adaptable dog breed. They do well in large homes with securely fenced-in yards and can also adapt well to apartment living as long as they get enough exercise. They do well in moderate climates, but are sensitive to very cold and very hot weather.

They also do not like to spend a lot of time alone. This dog breed has a high prey drive, so they have an urge to chase and to explore. As such, they should only be let off-leash in securely fenced areas.

Overall, this is a relatively healthy dog breed. As with any dog breed, there are some health conditions to be aware of. In the Smooth Fox Terrier, potential health issues include cardiac disease and patellar luxation.

Reputable breeders test and screen their dogs to make sure things aren’t being passed on to puppies. So, don’t be afraid to ask them questions! Talk to the breeder about the genetic history of the parents and also ask to see relevant health clearances or test results.

The Smooth Fox Terrier is a moderately trainable dog breed. They are highly intelligent, eager to please, and pick up on things quickly. However, they also have a stubborn streak and an independent nature that is common to many terriers. This can be difficult for first-time dog owners to handle on their own, so puppy training and obedience classes are recommended.

True to their name, Smooth Fox Terriers have a short smooth coat. They will shed moderately year-round and only require weekly brushing. A bath every 4-6 weeks in addition to regular brushing is usually sufficient to keep this dog’s coat looking great. In addition to caring for your dog’s coat, you will need to care for your dog’s ears, nails, and teeth.

Checking their ears on a weekly basis and carefully cleaning them as needed can help prevent ear infections. Cutting your dog’s nails on a monthly basis is usually sufficient to keep them from getting too long. Practicing good dental care for dogs, like brushing their teeth or using an enzyme toothpaste every day, can help prevent dental disease.

The Smooth Fox Terrier is a high-energy dog breed. They need long daily walks plus some extra activity to run and play to stay happy and healthy. Playing fetch or playing frisbee in a fenced-in area can be a great activity for your Smooth Fox Terrier.

This dog will be happy to be active with you, so try several different activities and see what you both enjoy doing the most. You might find your dog loves to run with you, go hiking, take trips to the dog park, go swimming, and more!

A fully-grown Smooth Fox Terrier usually stands 15-16 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 15-18 pounds.

A Smooth Fox Terrier generally lives 12-15 years.

The Smooth Fox Terrier has lived in the White House before. Herbert Hoover owned two of them and they were named Sonnie and Big Ben.