Smooth Fox Terrier

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Smooth Fox Terrier

Swift and energetic, the Smooth Fox Terrier is originally developed for Britain’s traditional foxhunts, and called the “gentleman of the terrier world.” They are close cousins with Wire Fox Terriers who were bred for the same purpose. SFTs are very suited to the active family as they need consistent training and exercise.

Other Names Fox Terrier
Color White, White & Black, White & Tan, White Black & Tan, White Tan & Black
Height Males: 15-16 inches. Females: 15-16 inches.
Weight Males: 16-18 pounds. Females: 15-17 pounds.
Life Span 12-15 years
Personality Friendly, Independent, Amusing
Exercise Energetic
Popularity #122
Groom Needs Weekly
Kids Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes with supervision
Watch Dog
Family Dog
Litter Size 4-6

Smooth Fox Terrier Pictures

Smooth Fox Terrier Video


A true member of the Terrier Group, the Foxie (as it is fondly called) is an amiable and amusing dog regarded by many as the gentleman amongst all terriers. As their name suggests, Smooth Fox Terriers were popular foxhunts in olden days England. Their backs are reduced in length, with remarkable symmetry. Smooth Fox Terriers are highly energetic, with a tendency to drift into an independent attitude. Without proper exposure and, they grow to bark very often.

They are small- to medium-sized dogs — a standard Foxie stands 15-16 inches from shoulder to paw. The females run quite smaller than the males, hence weighing around 15-17 pounds where a male tips the scales towards 19 pounds. They are lively and enjoyable companions and have an average lifespan of 11-15 years.

Living with Smooth Fox Terrier

Smooth Fox Terriers need a minimum of grooming, occasional brushing with a firm bristle brush, and a rubber hound glove a couple of times a week to keep the dog looking neat and keep the shedding under control. And they just need a bath every month, unless the dog gets dirty. 

Besides, the owner needs to brush your dog’s teeth several times a week to keep fresh breath and prevent gum disease. And check and clean the ears on a weekly basis with a gentle cleanser to remove any excess wax or debris that may cause ear infections. Last, trim the nails monthly to prevent painful cracking.

Lively and athletic, the Smooth Fox Terrier requires plenty of exercise like most terriers. A daily exercise about one to two hours is helpful to keep healthy for the dog, which could be in the form of long walks or jogging. And if it is possible, this dog breed prefers running free in a securely and fenced yard. Importantly, keep your Fox Terrier on a leash when in unfenced areas, because he has a strong hunting instinct and would chase anything that moves. Also, the Smooth Fox Terrier is not suitable for visiting dog parks, because he may try to pick fights with other dogs. Early socialization is suggested to help prevent aggression towards other dogs.

Generally, it is recommended to feed the Smooth Fox Terrier with one and a half to two cups of high-quality dry dog food every day, divided into two meals. And there should be clean and fresh water at all times. More importantly, the food amount should depend on the dog’s weight, size, age, and activity level. 

Some dogs are easy to get overweight, so you need to watch their calorie consumption and weight level all the time. Treats may be an important aid in training, but excessive intake can lead to obesity. Also, owners need to distinguish which human food is safe for dogs and which are not. If you have any problems with your dog’s weight or diet, just consult from your veterinarian.

Smooth Fox Terriers are prone to the following health conditions: Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, deafness, patellar luxation, eye conditions, including cataracts and lens luxation, obesity, etc. 

Major concerns: none

Minor concerns: distichiasis, lens luxation, Legg–Perthes, cataract

Occasionally seen: patellar luxation, deafness

Suggested tests:

Cardiac Exam

Patella Evaluation

Total Annual Cost: $2674

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

Smooth Fox Terriers are bold but not aggressive toward people, and they are great watchdogs in the family. As this breed has plans of their own for fun during obedience training sessions, the Smooth Fox Terrier is sometimes slow to housetrain. It is suggested to use patience, brief lessons, and plenty of positive reinforcement when training, then your dog would learn basic commands with ease. 

And starting early socialization and puppy training is recommended for the Smooth Fox Terrier, and it requires a consistent approach and may challenge authority on occasion. Besides, they are better kept in a fenced yard or on a leash, because they would be eagerly run off to follow any adventure, and some of them can mature to become jealous or aggressive towards other small animals.


Long ago in England, foxhunting was a popular sport. It was a common sight to find a hunter packing two dogs — usually a terrier and a hound- to the hunt. While the terriers helped in routing the fox and bolting it out of its lair, the hound would chase it down till it had subdued the fox. Smooth Fox Terriers were one of such terrier dogs of old. In fact, Smooth Fox Terriers were the first fox terrier dog type to be recognized by the Kennel Club.

The history of the Smooth Fox Terrier is, for the most part, undocumented and it wasn’t until the 18th century that the breed became popular in England. There used to be a notion that the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Wire Fox Terrier were varieties of the same breed, but recently experts have affirmed that these two breeds are not related at all. While the Smooth Fox Terrier is thought to have originated from the Smooth Black and Tan Terrier with strains of the Bull Terrier and Beagle included, the Wire Fox Terrier is probably a descendant of the Rough Black and Tan Terrier.

The two breeds (Smooth Fox Terrier and Wire Fox Terrier) had been regarded as varieties of the same breed and were often interbred, until the middle of the 1980s, when they were separated into two distinct breeds by the American Kennel Club. The Smooth Fox Terrier originated in England, then its popularity grew and spread abroad. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885, and today, it is a well-recognized breed in many parts of the world.

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