Smooth Fox Terrier – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Is Smooth Fox Terrier the right breed for you? Are Smooth Fox Terriers like other terriers? Get answers in this guide. Read on.
Dog Breed Group:
Terrier Dogs
Up to 15 inches tall at the shoulder
15 to 19 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Smooth Fox Terrier is a small size dog packed with a huge level of energy.

They may seem like a great choice for first time dog owners, due to their size, but in fact, this is a breed for only highly experienced dog owners.

This breed was bred to chase small animals and as such, they may have difficulties sharing a household with smaller pets. Rethink choosing this breed if you have hamsters or rabbits.

The Smooth Fox Terrier sheds just a bit.

Their coat is smooth, dense, and hard, which means that you should have the proper grooming tools on hand to keep that coat shiny and healthy.

As a playful bred, the Smooth Fox Terrier needs a safe environment where they can run freely without a leash – a large backyard would be a great option.

This breed does best living in the house where he can be adored and loved by his favorite people, and outside when the time is right for playtime.

The Smooth Fox Terrier is probably one of the most recognizable dog breeds of today.

Smooth Fox Terriers are perfect dogs for families or singles who lead an active life and like to take the dog along.

This is an outgoing and friendly dog who will easily make new friends, both in the canine and human world.

Their coat is easy to maintain, and a daily brushing should be more than enough to keep him clean and prevent any excessive shedding.

Quick Facts

Real name: Smooth Fox Terrier
Other names: Fox Terrier
Common Nicknames: Foxie, SFT
Origin: England
Breed type: Terrier Dogs
Weight: 15 to 19 pounds
Height: Up to 15 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Litter Size: 3 – 6 puppies
Color: White, black and white, tricolor, with dark face-markings
Coat: Short and smooth coat

Smooth Fox Terrier History

Smooth Fox Terriers are famous terrier dogs.

This small terrier is one of the oldest in the terrier family. The Kennel Club recognized this breed in far 1875, while the breed’s standard was accepted in 1876.

The development of this breed is mostly undocumented. However, it’s known that this small terrier is best known as a distinct breed in England since at least the 18th century. First documents on this breed date back to 1790.

Smooth Fox Terrier Physical Appearance

Smooth Fox Terriers are always of lively and active appearance.

They are light on their feet and very compact. Thanks to their size they are more than suitable for small living spaces or apartments.

They may be small in size, but they are muscular. As such, they are built for speed and agility.

Their body is short, while the face is long. The coat is short and flat and set close to the body.

Eyes are dark, ears are of V-shape, and the skull should be falt. The back should be short, while shoulders are long and sloping.

As for the color, it may vary, but white should be dominant, while other color options include brindle, red, or liver.

Smooth Fox Terrier Personality

Smooth Fox Terriers are energetic dogs to love spending time with their families.

These small and fast dogs are a great addition to families of any size.

They are great with children of all ages, although a home with older children may be a better option. As long as children know how to interact with dogs safely, they will be polite.

It’s important to educate children on how to behave around dogs. This breed is fast to adapt to any living condition and any living space. This is why they are often seen strolling down the most dynamic city streets.

Smooth Fox Terrier Training

Dogs are capable of mastering basic commands as of eight weeks of age, and the Smooth Fox Terrier is no exception.

These dogs are energetic and always ready to please. This is why properly structured training is a must, or they will get bored.

To avoid boredom, create training sessions that are fun, engaging, short, consistent, and packed with Smooth’s favorite treats.

No dog should ever experience harsh approaches. If you feel like you are losing your temper during the training sessions, think about hiring a professional dog trainer.

Terriers tend to be stubborn a bit, so extra patience is a must.

Another option is to enroll your Smooth Fox Terrier into puppy classes. Puppy classes can be a great way to speed up the training sessions and get some pro insights into a dog’s psychology.

Smooth Fox Terrier Exercise Needs

Exercising your dog is a great way to help your pooch stay healthy.

Dogs love when there is a job to be done. For them, exercise can be seen as a form of job to be done.

Plus, by regular exercise, you will keep the dog’s joints healthy and strong.

Did you know that during walks dogs use their noses to explore the world around them? For them, walks are both mentally and physically satisfying.

To keep your Smooth terrier happy exercise-wise you should provide about one to two hours of daily physical activity.

Smooth Fox Terrier Grooming

Smooth Fox Terriers may be small, but they do shed.

They will shed like large size dogs when shedding season kicks in, which is in spring and autumn.

By regular brushing, you are in fact keeping shedding to its minimum. To remove debris and keep their coat tangle-free, use a rubber brush once a week.

If you want to keep your terrier’s coat looking clean and healthy, enable proper grooming.

This is in fact basic care:

  • Trim or grind nails monthly
  • Bathe only when needed
  • Check gums weekly
  • Check eyes daily for eye discharge
  • Clean ears when needed

Smooth Fox Terrier Health

Smooth Fox Terriers are energetic dogs who thrive on high-quality food.

Next to great meals, provide regular exercise and the best grooming routine, and you will have a happy and long-living dog.

These active dogs are in general healthy. Still, some health issues may appear along the way, because – just like humans, dogs do get sick.

Are you thinking of buying a Smooth Fox Terrier? If so, you should only work with responsible dog breeders. This way you will know the exact health condition of your dog.

Responsible breeders will screen puppies for most common health issues and present you with medical documentation as proof.

They will also walk with you around the facilities to show you other dogs and terrier puppies so you can choose the right puppy for you. They will also ask you a lot of questions.

There are two reasons for this:

  • They want to help you to provide the best care possible for your Smooth Fox Terrier
  • They want to be sure that you are the best option for their Smooth Fox Terrier

Stick to regular veterinarian check-ups if you want your Smooth Fox Terrier to reach his senior years without major issues.

Some of the issues that may appear in this breed include:

  • Deafness
  • Luxating patellas
  • Eye disorders
  • Goiter
  • Legge-Perthes disease

Once you get Smooth Fox Terrier you are directly responsible for his weight.

Make sure that you know how much to feed your dog, when, and how often.

Serve high-quality food and don’t forget about food that promotes dog’s tooth health.

Learn which human foods are off-limit and which are safe.

For example, onion and garlic are off-limits, while the cucumber is a perfect summer refreshment.

Is Smooth Fox Terrier For You?

They may be small, but they were bred to kill.

These energetic dogs may be compact and great for city living, but they are not for everyone. That being said, this breed should be an option only for experienced dog owners.

Terriers are always alert and courageous. They are also passionate diggers, and this is something that you should address properly during the early training stage.

When bored, you can expect your Smooth Fox Terrier to chew on furniture. and this is no joke.

This small size dog has a strong bite and will not think twice to show you can how powerful he is. This breed is for you if you have experience as a terrier dog owner.

Smooth Fox Terrier is for you if you have an active outdoor lifestyle because this dog will make you spend hours outside. If you prefer a lap dog who likes to stay in, then this breed isn’t for you.

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