Country of Origin
The Smooth Fox Terrier’s heritage is mostly unknown. The first evidence of its existence comes from a painted portrait of a Smooth Fox Terrier in 1790. By some theories, the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Wire Fox Terrier are variations of the same breed (they were interbred until the 1980’s); the other possibility is that the Smooth Fox Terrier descends from the Smooth Black and Tan Terrier, Beagle, and Bull Terrier while the Wire Fox Terrier descends from the Rough Black and Tan Terrier. The Smooth Fox Terrier was a popular breed for fox bolting (chasing foxes out into the open where they could be attacked by larger dogs); white was preferred to distinguish the dogs from foxes at night. The Smooth Fox Terrier was one of the earliest show dogs, recognized as a single breed along with the Wire Fox Terrier in 1885 by the American Kennel Club and accepted as a distinct breed a century later. Many popular Terrier breeds descend from the Smooth Fox Terrier. Famous Smooth Fox Terriers include Skip from the book ‘My Dog Skip’ (apocryphally portrayed by a Jack Russell Terrier in the film), and Sir Aurel Stein’s six Smooth Fox Terrier companions, all named Dash, who accompanied him on his spectacular adventures across the globe from 1896 to 1950.
The Smooth Fox Terrier has a shoulder height of 33-41 cm (13-16 in) and weighs 7-8 kg (15-19 lbs). It has a distinctive tapered muzzle, small dark eyes, and highly set ‘V’-shaped ears which fold forward. Smooth Fox Terriers have muscular, well-proportioned bodies with a highly set, mostly straight tail and small, round feet.
The Smooth Fox Terrier has a short, smooth, hard and dense coat. The coat is predominantly white with possible black and/or tan markings. Smooth Fox Terriers have a solid or half-and-half colored face with possible markings or blaze, or color on the eyes and/or ears only. The Smooth Fox Terrier sheds a considerable amount (substantially more than the Wire Fox Terrier).
The Smooth Fox Terrier is very loyal and affectionate. It is playful, energetic and exuberant, with an abundance of courage. Smooth Fox Terriers make excellent pets, but if ignored or unexercised they will bark, dig, chew furniture, and stage escape attempts.
The Smooth Fox Terrier needs to be socialized well as a puppy. It tends to pick fights with other dogs. Although playful with children, Smooth Fox Terriers need to be watched as they can bite. They like to explore and bark occasionally.
The Smooth Fox Terrier should be brushed weekly with a firm bristled brush and bathed when necessary. Smooth Fox Terriers have a lifespan of 12-15 years. They are generally healthy, but some are prone to deafness or eye problems.
The Smooth Fox Terrier should be obedience trained as a puppy. It requires a consistent approach and may challenge authority on occasion.
The Smooth Fox Terrier requires regular exercise in the form of a long walk or play in a fenced-in yard. If unexercised, Smooth Fox Terriers may become disobedient.