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Fox Terrier

Fox Terrier Profile

Other Names: Wire or Smooth

Country of origin: England

Dog Group Kennel Club : Terrier

General appearance:

Fox Terriers are small breeds of dog that fall into two categories, the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Wire Fox Terrier. Although essentially the same, the coat differs between the two.  In general Fox terriers are compact and well built but are also active and lively. The coat of the Smooth Fox Terrier is dense, short, flat, and smooth. It is also quite abundant and covers not only the entire body, but the stomach and underside of the thighs as well. The color of the coat is predominately white with black or brown markings. This breed is an average shedder.

The Wire Fox Terrier has a broken coat giving the coat a shaggy type appearance. The hair of this breed should twist, and always have longer hair on the muzzle, giving him a beard. The coat of this breed should never be soft or silky and should always remain harsh and wiry. The beard of this breed is the most noticeable, and most likely requires the most maintenance. The Smooth Fox Terrier should have a flat skull and a narrow head. The ears are V shaped and drop forward close to the cheeks. The neck is muscular and of a good length. The chest should be deep but not too broad, the shoulders long and sloping. The topline should be level with a short and straight back.

Smooth FoxTerrier



Predominantly white, either fully white or white with other markings, commonly tan, black or black and tan.


Bitch              35cm - 38cm 
Dog                35cm - 39cm


                             Min                 Max
Bitch              6kg (13lbs)     7kg (15lbs) 

Dog                 7kg (15lbs)      8kg (18lbs)


Fox Terriers are quick in movement and friendly but also fearless, a trait developed due to their origins. Orginally Fox terriers were bred to be sent down fox holes when foxes went to ground during a hunt, so they would need to be able to fight off a fox. In general the fox terrier is a friendly, devoted and affectionate dog with lots of personality. They can be protective if they feel a member of their family is in danger or being threatened. Fox terriers get on well with children and do make ideal family pets. They have to be socialised from an early age especially with cats and any other household pets. Keen gardeners may find that this dog digs up their plants rather quickly as digging is one of their favourite pastimes if not corrected, but as with many other breeds, with initial training this is not a problem.

Care and training:

The Wire Fox Terrier is very lively and can be independent making training at an early age very important. This breed loses interest quickly and should have a firm and consistent handler. Making training a game and fun will be sure to keep this dogs interest. The Wire Fox Terrier should have an experienced handler, as they can be very stubborn and willful. They like to bark and dig so must be trained to stop these actions on command. They can be quite dominant over other dogs so should be properly socialised as puppies.

Overall Exercise:60 - 80 minutes per day.
This dog should have lots of exercise, they are full of energy and like nothing better than a long walk.They do well in agility and fly ball games. A fox terrier will happily join in with any outdoor games the children are playing, the rougher and dirtier the better.

Feeding requirements:

The fox terrier is not demanding in its feeding requirements. They do eat a lot considering their size but they are active little dogs. Their food can cost up to £4.50 per week


Fox Terriers need to be able to keep up with the hunt so despite their size they are fast.

Exercise: Med

Grooming: Med 

Noise: Med

Personal Protection: Medium

Suitability As Guard Dog: Medium

Level of Aggression: Medium

Compatibility With Other Animals: Medium

Suitablity for Children: High

Often docked? Yes

Average litter size: 3-6

Life expectancy (yrs): 12 -14

History:  The Smooth Fox Terrier first became noticed as a breed in the 1860s. They were originally bred to hunt vermin and foxes, as the name suggests. Their descendants are other terriers from the English counties of Cheshire and Shropshire with possibly some Beagle blood. Other breeds possibly included in the mix were black-and-tan terrier, bull terrier, and the greyhound. The Fox Terrier has been documented since 1790, where a recording of the breed was made in print and on canvas. The breed of 1790 is still remarkably similar to the breed we have today. The original Wire-haired type came from the regions of Durham and Derbyshire in England and Wales. It is not entirely known where the Smooth came from, but the Smooth did come first. Wires resulted from the breeding of a male Smooth Fox Terrier named Jock and a female of unknown breed with Wire-hair named Trap. The breed was accepted by the British Kennel Club in 1876, three years after the BKC opened.



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