Smooth Fox Terrier

Smooth Fox looking forward

Quick Facts


18 pounds (male)

15 to 17 pounds (female)


15.5 inches at the shoulder

Average Lifespan:

12-15 years

Known For:

Gentlemen of the terrier world, very clever and sturdy hunters.


Step into the delightful and energetic world of the Smooth Fox Terrier! With origins tracing back to England, this sprightly and intelligent dog has brought joy and companionship to families for generations. Initially bred for fox hunting, the Smooth Fox Terrier quickly won hearts with its playful nature and became a cherished pet among dog enthusiasts. 


The American Kennel Club recognizes its characteristic bravery and friendly disposition, qualities that make it an endearing companion for those seeking a spirited furry friend!

History and Origin

Embarking on the journey of the Smooth Fox Terrier’s history, we travel back to 19th-century England. The breed came into existence with a specific goal in mind – aiding in fox hunting by driving the foxes out of their hiding places, showcasing their courage and determination. With the rising popularity of fox hunting, the Smooth Fox Terrier found its niche, symbolizing the British hunting tradition.


As the sands of time shifted, so did the role of the Smooth Fox Terrier. From a dedicated working dog, it evolved into a beloved family companion, maintaining its vivacious and energetic characteristics. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1885, marking a significant milestone in its canine journey. 


While the Smooth Fox Terrier might not be as ubiquitously famous as some other breeds, it has enjoyed moments in the spotlight, featuring in films and literature, demonstrating its versatile charm.

Breed Characteristics


Barking Tendency

Dog Friendly

Health Issues

Shedding Level









Cat Friendly

Exercise Needs


Social Needs








App. Friendly

Child Friendly


Energy Level

Stranger Friendly

Watchdog Instincts







Appearance and Size

Elegance and agility define the appearance of the Smooth Fox Terrier. Adorning a sleek coat and distinctive features, it presents a picture of balance and athleticism. 


Adult Smooth Fox Terriers typically weigh between 15 to 18 pounds and measure about 15.5 inches at the shoulder. The coat is predominantly white, often accompanied by black, tan, or a combination of both, which adds a touch of charm to their appearance.


The head of a Smooth Fox Terrier is a defining feature, characterized by a narrow, tapering shape and alert expression. Their dark, vibrant eyes and V-shaped ears contribute to their lively and intelligent demeanor. Despite their small stature, Smooth Fox Terriers are strong, robust, and equipped with a graceful gait, ready to explore the world with zest and zeal.

Personality and Temperament

The Smooth Fox Terrier is truly a bundle of joy! Renowned for its adventurous spirit, this breed is playful, energetic, and always ready for a good time. It’s not just their physical agility that stands out; their mental acuity is equally impressive. These dogs are clever, quick learners, making them a joy to train and engage with.


Loyalty runs deep in the Smooth Fox Terrier. They form strong bonds with their families and tend to be quite protective, making them excellent watchdogs. However, their energetic nature means they are always on the go, so be ready for plenty of playful antics and spirited games! They are also known for their mischievous streak, so expect some cheeky behavior and lots of laughs along the way.

Health and Lifespan

Every dog breed has its unique set of health considerations, and the Smooth Fox Terrier is no different. Generally, they are a hardy breed with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, but it’s essential to be aware of some health issues that can affect them. These include cataracts, deafness, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, which affects the hip joint. 


Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy lifestyle can mitigate these risks and ensure your Terrier leads a long, happy life.


Nutrition is a cornerstone of your Smooth Fox Terrier’s well-being. A balanced diet, along with regular exercise, will help maintain their optimal weight and overall health. Being an energetic breed, they thrive on physical activity, so regular walks, playtime, and mental stimulation are vital for keeping them happy and healthy.

Care and Maintenance

Smooth Fox grooming

Caring for a Smooth Fox Terrier is a rewarding experience filled with joy and companionship. Their short, smooth coat makes grooming relatively straightforward – regular brushing and the occasional bath will keep them looking their best. Due to their lively nature, they do require a good deal of exercise. A daily walk, coupled with some playtime, will keep their spirits high and bodies healthy.


Nutrition is equally important; a well-balanced diet will ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients. Being intelligent and energetic, Smooth Fox Terriers also thrive on mental stimulation. Interactive toys, puzzle games, and training sessions will keep their minds sharp.


Smooth Fox Terriers are adaptable and can live happily in both apartments and houses, as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation. They form strong bonds with their families and appreciate being included in activities and family time.

Training and Behavior

Embarking on the training journey with a Smooth Fox Terrier is both exciting and rewarding. Known for their intelligence and eagerness to learn, these little terriers are generally receptive to training. However, their independent and sometimes stubborn nature means that consistency and patience are key. Positive reinforcement techniques work wonders with this breed, encouraging them to showcase their best behavior.


Behaviorally, Smooth Fox Terriers are known for their boundless energy and playful antics. They can be a bit mischievous at times, so establishing boundaries early on is essential. Socialization from a young age will help them interact positively with other pets and people, fostering well-rounded and adaptable companions.

Smooth Fox Terrier and Families

Smooth Fox with people

Smooth Fox Terriers are renowned for the joy and companionship they bring to families. Their loyal and protective nature makes them excellent family members. They tend to form close bonds with their human families, enjoying being part of the household activities. 


Their energetic and playful demeanor makes them a hit with older children who can match their spirited nature.


However, due to their energetic play, it’s advisable to supervise interactions with very young children. They generally get along well with other pets, especially when socialized early, but their terrier instincts can make them chase smaller animals.

Adopting a Smooth Fox Terrier

Thinking about bringing a Smooth Fox Terrier into your home? That’s wonderful! Adopting a dog is a rewarding experience, and this lively breed can bring a lot of joy into your life. When considering adoption, research reputable breeders or rescue organizations. Ensure that you’re prepared for the energy and enthusiasm that a Smooth Fox Terrier brings along.


Before adopting, consider the needs of the breed and evaluate whether your lifestyle can accommodate them. Smooth Fox Terriers thrive on interaction, exercise, and mental stimulation. Ensuring you can provide a loving, active, and engaging environment will pave the way for a happy and harmonious relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the temperament of a Smooth Fox Terrier?

Smooth Fox Terriers are lively, intelligent, and affectionate. They are known for their bold and energetic nature, requiring plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

How much exercise does a Smooth Fox Terrier need?

They are an active breed that needs plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks, runs, and play sessions are ideal for meeting their energy requirements.

How are Smooth Fox Terriers with families?

They can make excellent family pets for active households. They are good with children but may chase smaller pets due to their high prey drive.

What health issues can affect Smooth Fox Terriers?

They are generally healthy but can be prone to certain conditions such as deafness, patellar luxation, and eye problems. Regular veterinary visits are advised for early detection and management.

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