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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Smooth Fox Terrier Dog Breed: Info Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Smooth Fox Terrier Dog Breed: Info Pictures, Temperament & Traits

Smooth Fox Terrier

Are you looking for a dog that is small enough to cuddle in your lap, but upbeat and adventurous enough to handle any outdoor excursion? Look no further!

Smooth Fox Terriers are self-possessed little dogs that equally enjoy solo adventures and spending quality time with the family. Folks with an outdoorsy, active lifestyle will find these pups to be great company!

Breed Overview


13 – 16 inches


13 – 18 pounds


12 – 15 years


White, white and tan, black and white, tri-color (white, tan, black)

Suitable for:

Active families or individuals, terrier-savvy owners, those seeking a small and effective watchdog, city or country life with appropriate room to run, playmates for older children


Active, Intelligent, Alert, Fearless, Playful, Affectionate, Independent, Friendly, Amusing

The earliest documentation of the Smooth Fox Terrier dates to sometimes in the late 18th century. Foxhunting was a great passion of the English gentry for hundreds of years, and these athletic dogs were just one of many breeds developed to take part in the epic, pageant-like hunts.

The agility and enthusiasm of these dogs endeared them to hunters and families alike. Though fox hunting is now illegal, Smooth Fox Terriers are still used as hunting dogs, performers, and companions today.

Smooth Fox Terrier Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

divider-dog Smooth Fox Terrier Puppies

Image Credit: Peakpx

The bright curiosity and affectionate nature of the Smooth Fox Terrier have melted many a heart. But before you get lovestruck by those puppy dog eyes, make sure you’re ready to take on the commitment of new dog ownership.

You may want to consider: Do your work and social schedules allow for plenty of time to play and exercise a high energy pup? Are your other pets compatible with a dog that has a significant hunting instinct? Do you have the financial stability to care for a dog for 15 years or more?

Temperament & Intelligence of the Smooth Fox Terrier

Image Credit: Pxhere

These pups are often called the gentlemen of terriers due to their cheerful, devil-may-care attitude and lively spirit. They want nothing more than to roam, adventure, and play!

Smooth Fox Terriers are gregarious types that enjoy socializing with humans. They are bold, but almost never aggressive with people. These vigilant fellows make excellent watchdogs.

As with most terrier types, Smooth Fox Terriers are clever dogs. And due in part to their alert intelligence, they need a significant amount of mental, physical, and social stimulation to develop into well-behaved companions.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Smooth Fox Terriers are funny, friendly creatures that love having multiple family members to entertain or socialize with. They can make excellent companions for older kids and outdoorsy families.

However, like many terrier breeds, Smooth Fox Terriers don’t always get along with smaller children. The poor motor control and roughness of littler kids can be tough for smaller dogs. Supervision is advised, as is socializing both dogs and kids with each other.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

It is not appropriate to introduce your Smooth Fox Terrier to any small pets. Though a sweet-natured dog, the hunting instinct is strong in this breed. That means you should keep your cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs out of sight of this hunting pooch.


Things to Know When Owning a Smooth Fox Terrier

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

For these athletic little pups, healthy proteins and fats are the most important part of their diet. Choose food with plenty of lean animal proteins like fish and fowl to give them the energy, muscle building capacity, and healthy omega fatty acids they need to stay active.

Smooth fox terrier puppy sniffing food bowl
Image Credit: Aleksey Boyko, Shutterstock

Commercial dog foods have made it easier than ever to give your canine companion a well-balanced meal. There are many brands on the market, however, that use cheap and poor-quality ingredients to keep costs low.

Avoid dog foods with low-nutrient foods like these in their ingredient list:
  • By-products, leftover foods like brewer’s rice, and castoffs
  • Unspecified animals products like “blood meal” or “animal fat”
  • Excessive amounts of cheap grains like wheat, corn, and soy

Exercise 🐕

Small in stature but with a big heart that loves to run and roam, Smooth Fox Terriers are highly active. Though sized appropriately for smaller homes, these inquisitive and energetic dogs should have access to a fenced-in yard or larger property to get their zoomies in!

They love to dig, explore, and play. These cheerful terriers do best with multiple outdoor exercise opportunities throughout a day as well as fun family activities to participate in.

Training 🎾

Smooth Fox Terriers are smart and learn quickly with firm, positive reinforcement. But they are also stubborn and easily bored. These pups require a terrier-experienced owner to give them structure and guidance.

There are a few deeply ingrained terrier instincts that you may want to address with these dogs in training. For example, instilling a reliable recall is highly recommended, because these independent and inquisitive dogs love exploring.

Digging up the garden and excessive barking may also be issues you encounter if these dogs are bored or under-exercised. To curb such instincts, give Smooth Fox Terriers ample outdoor space to roam as well as guidance about when and where behaviors like these are appropriate.


Grooming ✂️

Smooth-coated and short-haired, grooming the Smooth Fox Terrier is a quick and easy affair. Shedding is minimal, and nothing a weekly brushing can’t fix. If your pup comes home covered in dirt after a good dig in the yard, you can wipe them down with a damp cloth in between baths.

And don’t forget to check ears, teeth, and nails regularly as well. Depending on your Smooth Fox Terrier’s propensity for dirt, ear and teeth should get a weekly cleaning and nails a monthly trimming.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Smooth Fox Terriers are genetically quite robust and healthy. However, there are a few inherited diseases they are prone to as well as physical.

Minor Conditions
  • Eye issues
  • Legge-Perthes disease
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Deafness
  • Goiters
Serious Conditions
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia

divider-paw Male vs Female

The male Smooth Fox Terrier is a peppy, slightly stocky dog. He is more likely to develop behaviors like wanderlust, mounting, humping, and urinating to mark territory as he reaches maturity.

Females are a little smaller and are generally a little more relaxed and less prone to hyperactivity.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Smooth Fox Terrier

1. Smooth Fox Terriers are Born Entertainers

The natural intelligence, agility, and athletic prowess of the Smooth Fox Terriers made them a popular breed in circuses and traveling shows in the early 1900s. But what really caught the eye of both trainers and audiences was the obvious joy these dogs take in being the center of attention.

Smooth Fox Terriers love entertaining and participating in activities with their families!

2. They Are Great Watchdogs

Smooth Fox Terriers are alert, clever, and incredibly perceptive. They are also very friendly dogs, but that doesn’t get in the way of their duty to the family.

Their keen minds mean they are social and sweet when introduced to people, but suspicious and protective if a stranger approaches the home unannounced.

3. You Will Probably Tire Out Before a Smooth Fox Terrier Does

Smooth Fox Terriers have historically been bred for athleticism and stamina when hunting prey that has underground burrows. They had to be able to chase down prey and even dig them out of their holes.

But their hunting history doesn’t mean these pups don’t know how to have fun. Quite the opposite – Smooth Fox Terriers love a good game or run! Be it fetch, agility training, jogging, biking, or tug-of-war these dogs will wear you out if you let them.


Final Thoughts

So, is the Smooth Fox Terrier the pooch for you?

If you don’t have a yard for them to exercise in or have no previous dog experience, then this pup will likely be a challenging breed.

But those who can provide significant outdoor exercise and activities, as well as training may have found their perfect little watchdog!

Looking for more dog reads? Check these breeds out!

Featured Image Credit: Marry Kolesnik, Shutterstock

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