The Mischievous
Smooth Fox Terrier

descriptive textDog Breed Info
Smooth Fox Terrier
Weight: Male 17 — 19 lbs
Weight: Female 15 — 17 lbs
Height: Male 14” — 16”
Height Female 13 — 15”
AKC Rank 2008 #104
Lifespan: 10—13 yrs
Group Terrier
Origin: England

There is a dog illness section
at the bottom of the page.

Dog Breed Info - Smooth Fox Terrier

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Breed Overview

Origin 1700’s. Original function: Fox bolting, vermin hunting. Today, Earth dog trials.

The Smooth Fox Tarrier was a good hunting dog, finding fox in their boroughs and forcing them to bolt out into the open. The Smooth Coated possibly came from the Black and Tan Terriers, the Beagle, Bull Terrier and the Greyhound.. A hundred years after the American Fox Terrier Club was set up, the AKC divided the Fox Terrier into two separate breeds. By 1985, we had the smooth version and the wirehaired versions, both registered by the AKC.


Smart and easy to train. Some can be stubborn but clicker training works well and they can learn anything quickly if taught right. They enjoy training sessions.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Smooth Fox Terrier? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Smooth Fox Terrier puppies are generally fairly easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


Like her brother, the Wire Coated, this is a hunting dog, full of zest, feisty and energetic, always ready to chase anything that’s loose and moves. She is independent, full of mischief and loves adventure. The Smooth Fox Terrier lives to run, chase, hunt and explore her territory so any time she can get in the field is fine with her. The breed needs heavy socialization as puppies and continuing on through life. They are wary of dogs, other pets This is a terrier and likes to dig and bark if left alone too long or gets bored.

If you happen to get a Fox Terrier with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Not really. Wary of strange dogs. Can even be aggressive. Will pick and choose her dog friends.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

No, generally not. Maybe if raised with other pets but she would prefer to be the only pet in the house. She will chase and possibly kill small animals like hamsters in the house, thinking they are rats or vermin of some sort.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Friendly. Can be wary, but generally accepting. Bring on the relatives, neighbors and friends. Invite your Smooth Coated Terrier to a back yard barbecue.


Yes. Very playful, mischievous, fun-loving dog.

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Yes. Very affectionate. Great family dog.

Good with children

Yes. Especially older, well behaved kids. Likes to romp and run with them.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Maybe. If the senior can walk a mile or two a day, throw a ball for a half hour and drive a car to the vets’ office, the Smooth Fox Terrier would work out. This dog is affectionate, playful, trainable, a great watchdog, is lively yet a good companion and is easy to care for so I think it could be a go.

Living environment

Apartment, condo, house or farm okay as long as she can get outdoors for exercise, to romp and for exploration time. A house with a doggie door and a fenced yard is ideal for this dog as she will entertain herself if given the chance.

Energy level

Fairly high energy. She needs an outlet for her energy.

Exercise needs, daily

High. Two good walks on leash OR some vigorous games of fetch or anything where she can run hard for exercise. Even training sessions are helpful.


Excellent watchdog. She loves to bark anyway, and an approaching person is just another reason to let fly.

Guard dog

No. Too friendly to be a killer guard dog.


Yes, does shed.


Brush at least once a week to remove dead hair, oftener when shedding.

Smooth Fox Terrier Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Fox Terrier puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training. Here's a worldwide breeder link where you might find something useful:
Smooth Fox Terrier Breeders with puppies for sale.

Smooth Fox Terrier Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Dog Rescue - (Nationwide) At the time of this writing, Petfinder is listing only 77 Fox Terriers for nation-wide adoption and some of those may be mixed breeds.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but this is a scarce breed and hard to find so go online and search for Smooth Fox Terrier Rescue groups, kennels, foster homes and anything else you can think on. There might be more out there..

Health Issues For The Smooth Fox Terrier
Below are the dog illness or illnesses or medical problems listed for the Smooth Fox Terrier by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Epilepsy—Serious seizure disorder occurring around two to four or five years of age.

  • Lens luxation—Hereditary. Weak fibers holding the lens of the eye allow the lens to dislocate. The eye can not focus. This leads to painful, red eyes that tear a lot and can lead to Uveitis or Glaucoma if not treat right away. If detected early, surgery and medication might solve the problem. Common to many breeds including the Smooth Fox Terrier and Wire too.

  • Diabetes—The pancreas manufactures the hormone INSULIN. If the pancreas stops making, or makes less than the normal amount of insulin, or if the tissues in the body become resistant to the insulin, the result is called “diabetes.” The Smooth Fox Terrier can NOT control her blood sugar without injections of insulin on a regular basis, but given the insulin, the dog can live a normal life like a human can. If the dog does not receive the insulin injections at the same time each day of her life, the dog will go into a coma and she will die. Some causes of diabetes may be chronic pancreatitis, heredity, obesity or old age, but no one is sure. Symptoms are excess drinking and urination, dehydration, weight loss, increased appetite, weight gain, and cataracts may develop suddenly. Treatment is in the form of the insulin injections daily and a strict diet low in carbohydrates and sugars. Home cooking may be suggested in some cases. Frequent trips to the vet for blood monitoring will be needed but diabetes is not a death sentence.

  • Distichiasis—An eye condition involving the cornea. Eyelashes, growing improperly on the inner surface of the eyelid cause corneal ulcers due to the constant rubbing and irritation. The problem is fixed by having the vet remove the lashes if the ulcers don’t heal.

  • Atopic dermatitis's—Atopy. Hereditary. Shows at 1 to 3 years age. Skin allergy triggered by dust mites, pollen, poor quality foods and other garbage we put into the Smooth Fox Terrier’s environment. Many breeds are prone to this. The dog will lick, rub, chew and scratch the infected areas. Allergens can also come from fleas, bacteria and yeast infections. See your vet. There are many treatments ranging from medicines, antihistamines, diets, bathing, cleansing the house of dust mites and so on.

  • Cataracts—Hazy ore cloudy vision similar to humans and can cause blindness if not treated.

  • Urinary Bladder Cancer—Life threatening cancer and bladder stones blocking and making urination impossible. Can metastasize and spread quickly. Look for blood in urine, difficulty pooping, difficulty urinating, breathing problems, more frequent trips to urinate with little coming out. Go to the vet immediately for checkup. Survival will depend on where the cancer is, how far along it is and if it has metastasized or not.

  • Legg-Perthes—A disease of the hip joint in young dogs. It is a deforming of the head of the femur head where it fits into the pelvic socket and is generally noticed at around 6 to 8 months age. The disease affects small and toy breeds and can range from mildly debilitating to totally debilitating. It’s very painful and the dog will have a lame leg at the affected hip. Pain can become severe in some dogs and the dog will go from occasional limping to continuous carrying of the leg. Severe muscle atrophy can set in with the appearance of shortening of the affected leg. Restricted joint movement is also a common sign Legg-Perthes. Surgery will usually restore a dog to a fairly normal life but prevention at the breeding stage is the right solution.

  • Deafness—Hereditary or caused by: Excessive loud noise, Intolerance to anesthesia, drug toxicity, and Otitis (middle ear infection), In some cases, one ear can have no hearing from birth and the other ear can be losing the ability to hear over time, undetected, then suddenly one morning the hearing is totally gone. There is no reversing once that happens.

  • Patellar luxation—Limping, Hind Leg Held Up, Can’t straighten back leg. Caused by an unusually shallow spot on the femur, weak ligaments and misalignment of tendons and muscles that align the knee joint and allow the knee cap (patella) to float sideways in and out of position. This can be caused by injury or be present at birth and can affect both rear legs. If your Smooth Fox Terrier has trouble straightening the leg, is limping, or is walking on three legs and holding one hind leg up, look for patellar luxation. Several of my dogs have had the problem and all I’ve done is reach down, massage the knee a little until they drop their leg, and we’re good to go for another 3 or 4 months. Severe cases require surgery for a fully lame leg.

Other health problems could occur with your Smooth Fox Terrier. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide

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