Smooth Fox Terrier

The Smooth Fox Terrier, called the “gentleman of the terrier world,” is a lively, gregarious terrier with a devil-may-care attitude.

Daily Care

Grooming Tips

The Smooth Fox Terrier’s short but hard, dense coat should be groomed weekly with a thick brush or hound glove. A bath every month or so should be sufficient—unless the dog follows his nature and ends up digging a hole in the mud, in which case “bathe as needed” is the guidance that applies.
The smooth coat needs a minimum of grooming – just a quick brushing with a rubber hound glove or curry brush a couple of times a week to keep shedding under control. He’ll shed a little year-round and go through a seasonal shed in spring and fall. Other than that, just keep his ears clean and his nails trimmed. He’s definitely meant to be a no-fuss dog. Baths are rarely necessary. Just wipe the coat down once in a while with a damp chamois (don’t use one that has been treated with chemicals).
The wire coat must be stripped — plucked by hand or with a special stripping implement twice a year — or clipped regularly. A stripped coat retains its characteristic hard texture, but a clipped coat becomes soft. Clipping also affects the coat’s color. Clipping is easier, but if you like the hard texture, you’ll need to learn how to strip the dog. Between trims or stripping, keep the coat neat with regular brushing and combing. An occasional bath doesn’t go amiss.
Check the ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up. Cleanse regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Brush the teeth at least once per week to prevent tartar buildup and fight gum disease. Additionally, nails should be trimmed once per month if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally

Exercise Tips

Like most terriers, the Smooth Fox Terrier is lively and athletic and requires ample exercise. This breed needs to be taken on a daily, long walk or jog. If it is possible, these dogs will love to run free in a safe area. Keep your dog on a leash if there are small animals around. The urge for these dogs to hunt is strong and they are likely to take off chasing a small animal.

Feeding Tips

The Smooth Fox Terrier should do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval.
If you get a Smooth Fox Terrier puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it’s important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy’s diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don’t develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it’s best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It’s best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it’s good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It’s also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog’s life by several years so it’s important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
Treatscan be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about whichhuman foodsare safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Health Tips

Smooth Fox Terriers are generally healthy dogs, andresponsible breeders test their stock for health conditions such as patellar luxation and cardiac disease. Theteethshould be brushed often, using a toothpaste formulated for dogs. Regular visits to the vet for checkups and parasite control help to ensure the dog a long, healthy life.
Remember that after you’ve taken a new puppy into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping a Fox Terrier at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to extend his life. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier dog for life.


The Smooth Fox Terrier should be obedience trained as a puppy. It requires a consistent approach and may challenge authority on occasion.
New owners should be aware that the breed’s innate senseto digmay affect the family yard or flowerbeds unless the dog is taught otherwise. Alert and “on the tiptoe of expectations,” Smooths make excellent watchdogs. They are lively, cheerful, and funny. Equally, at home in the city or country, they are best kept in a fenced yard or on a lead, as they can eagerly run off to follow any adventure. Some can mature to become jealous or aggressive toward other dogs, cats, or other small pets. Puppytraining classeswith a sensible, terrier-savvy trainer are highly recommended.


The Fox Terrier was developed by crossing ancientDachshunds, English Hounds, and later theEnglish FoxhoundandBeagle. It is one of the oldest terrier type dogs, originating in the British Isles in the 17th century. It was used by farmers who needed dogs to help get rid of the animals that would prey on the farmers stock, such as fox and rats and other small vermin.
The Fox Terrier would find the animal in the ground, relentlessly digging, barking, growling and lunging until it harassed the animal out of its den where the hunter could then kill it. The Fox Terrier came in both a smooth coat and a wirehaired coat and both were considered the same breed for many years. The Wirehaired Fox Terrier was bred by crossing in the rough-coated Black and Tan Terrier, for use in rough country, its coat being less vulnerable to damage than that of the Smooth Fox Terrier.
In the United States, the American Fox Terrier Club, which was formed in 1885, became the first specialty club to become a member of the American Kennel Club, which had formed the previous year. For a century afterward, Fox Terriers in the United States were considered a single breed with two varieties. It wasn’t until 1985 that separate standards for the breeds went into effect. The Smooth Fox Terrier is currently ranked 110among the breeds registered by the AKC, down from 93rda decade ago. The Wire is more popular, ranking 97th, but still down from 68thin 2000.