Smooth Fox Terrier
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Smooth Fox Terrier

Last updated: Aug 31 2023

The Smooth Fox Terrier is a dog breed that was created for the purpose of fox hunting, as their name suggests. Their main job was to drive foxes outside of their burrows so that hunters may have a clear shot. Their exact origin is still somewhat unknown but the first record of this breed was when a British Colonel painted a portrait of his dog in 1790.

The Smooth Fox Terrier has moved since then to a different role, that of a family companion and a pet. These dogs have an extremely huge show potential and can be often seen taking the top three places at many dog shows.

The Smooth Fox Terrier is very energetic, like many other terrier breeds and that means that they are not the best fit for inexperienced, first-time dog owners. These dogs require a lot of daily exercise to be happy and healthy, and if you do not fulfill their needs, they tend to become destructive and bark a lot.

Smooth Fox Terrier


13-16 in (33-41 cm)

Smooth Fox Terrier


15-18 lb (7-8 kg)

Smooth Fox Terrier


Great Britain

Smooth Fox Terrier

Life Expectancy:

12-15 years

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

The Smooth Fox Terrier is an energetic hunting breed that is well-balanced and fairly muscular. These dogs have black noses and strong and muscular muzzles. Their eyes should be as dark as possible, medium in size, and they should have a bright and intelligent expression. The Smooth Fox Terrier ears are V-shaped and forward-dropping towards their cheeks. Their ears should never drop on the side of their head.

The Smooth Fox Terrier had traditionally docked tail but that tradition has been abolished and forbidden by many countries. It was believed that docked tails prevent tail injuries while the dog was working. The undocked, natural tail should be medium-long, straight, and carried rather high. These dogs should be very agile and fast.

The Smooth Fox Terrier is one of the two Fox Terrier variations, with the other one being a wiry-coated variation. Their characteristics are basically the same, with the only difference being their coat.

The smooth-coated variation has a short, sleek, smooth coat that should be rather abundant. The Smooth Fox Terrier can be either all white, black and tan, white and black, or with black markings. Brindle, red, or liver coat markings are usually very undesirable in this breed as well as in the show ring.

smooth fox terrier


Smooth Fox Terrier doesn’t require much grooming to keep the dog looking good. Regular brushing will be enough to keep the hair under control. They have hard and dense coat.

They will also need other basic care; brush their teeth at least three times a week. Check their ears for signs of infection and redness, bathe them regularly, and trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally.

Smooth Fox Terrier temperament

The Smooth Fox Terrier’s temperament is a typical temperament you would expect from a terrier dog. They are highly energetic, extremely lively, and very alert. They are enthusiastic and can be energetic barkers so it would be a great idea to teach your Smooth Fox Terrier to stop barking on command.

Their owners have described them as being funny and having a great sense of humor. They love entertaining themselves, and by doing that, they entertain everyone around them. They are almost certain to have you laughing very hard at their antics and mischiefs.

Smooth Fox Terrier

The Smooth Fox Terrier makes for an excellent watchdog that will alert you about anything they might consider suspicious or out of the ordinary. They are also very outgoing and friendly towards people they are properly introduced to. However, they are not the friendliest of dog breeds, and if you are looking to get a dog that will go with you to the dog park or hang around other friends that have dogs, maybe go for some friendlier breed.

This sort of behavior can be influenced by training and socialization but cannot be removed altogether. The Smooth Fox Terrier was selectively bred to be a hunter, so they should never be trusted around other animals they can consider as prey.

Smooth Fox Terrier training and socialization

The Smooth Fox Terrier, like any other breed, needs early socialization and training. These dogs are not the best for making new friends so make sure that you start introducing them to different environments and situations as soon as they arrive at your home. Take them to busy dog parks where your Smooth Fox Terrier puppy can meet a lot of other dogs and learn the social hierarchy and proper behavior.

Expose them to different sights, sounds, and humans as well, and you might just end up with a Smooth Fox Terrier that will be well-behaved and as friendly as possible.

Smooth Fox Terrier

These dogs are natural hunters, and those hunting instincts can be polished and nurtured to become a great hunting skill. These dogs are fairly intelligent and witty, so keep in mind that training a Smooth Fox Terrier can be a handful. Be very patient with them, be firm but fair, and use loads of praises and treats, and pretty soon, you will achieve great results with your dog.

Never use negative or harsh training methods, as they can result in a shy or overly aggressive dog.

Health problems

The Smooth Fox Terrier is generally considered a healthy breed, but they are prone to some health issues and concerns like any other dog breed. These dogs have an average lifespan of 12-15 years. 

When getting any breed, the breeder must show you the health tests that they have done for their breeding dogs. Dogs must be adequately tested because taking a chance and hoping that the puppy’s parents are healthy is a risk no one should ever take. Only healthy dogs should be bred because that is the only way to ensure that bloodlines will remain healthy and without any problems. Health problems associated with this breed are;

  • Hip dysplasia - Genetic problem affecting hips resulting from an improperly formed hip joint.
  • Cataracts - Cloudy spots on the lens of the eye
  • Eye problems
  • Luxating patella

Smooth Fox Terrier


When getting a dog, the most important thing is to get it from a responsible and reputable Smooth Fox Terrier breeder. These dogs are energetic and protective; getting a poorly bred dog can have catastrophic results. Responsible breeders will breed dogs that don’t only look good but have great characters as well. You must find a good Smooth Fox Terrier breeder that can help you learn about this breed and make an informed choice about getting a dog with these characteristics. 

If you are unsure whether this is the breed for you, check out this FREE GUIDE that will help you decide which dog breed is right for you.

World Dog Finder team


Updated at31.08.2023.

Breed History

The exact history of these dogs is not documented but we know that Smooth Fox Terriers were developed in England and the first documented document of these dogs came in the 1790s.

Smooth Fox Terrier