One of the oldest terrier breeds, fox terriers were used to flush foxes by snarling and barking at them until they fled their dens. It is thought they are descended from the crossing of several different kinds of hounds including dachshunds, beagles, English hounds and foxhounds.
Though they are not very common today, the breed is significant since all other terriers in Britain are descended from the smooth foxie. They may be thought of as the missing link between hounds and terriers, possessing the characteristics of both.
Though there are two coat types for fox terriers, they are actually considered different breeds (with observably distinct characteristics) in many kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club that has made the distinction for over 20 years. Many now believe the two breeds are not closely related at all, with different parent dogs.
The Fox Terrier was developed by crossing ancient Dachshunds, English Hounds, and later the Fox Hound and Beagle. It is one of the oldest terrier type dogs, originating in the British Isles in the 17th century.
It was used by farmers who needed dogs to help get rid of the animals that would prey on the farmers stock, such as fox and rats and other small vermin.
The Fox Terrier would find the animal in the ground, relentlessly digging, barking, growling and lunging until it harassed the animal out of its den where the hunter could then kill it. The Fox Terrier came in both a smooth coat and a wirehaired coat and both were considered the same breed for many years.
The Wirehaired Fox Terrier was bred by crossing in the rough coated Black and Tan Terrier, for use in rough country, its coat being less vulnerable to damage than that of the Smooth Fox Terrier.
The first standard for the Smooth Fox Terrier was established in 1876, separating it from the wirehaired dogs. However, they are still considered the same breed with different coat varieties by some clubs, but have been separated in the United States since 1984.
Both the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Wirehaired Fox Terrier were recognized by the AKC in 1885. Some of the Fox Terrier's talents include: hunting, tracking, watchdog, agility and performing tricks.
The smooth Fox Terrier is, today, a trusted a ball o dog. These mid-sized terriers are renown for their determination and loyal demeanour. They are rather long lived and are very good with children and families. Foxies are very loving and can very often be found snuggling into the couch with a family member or chasing a ball or other toy in the house or yard, since they love to play.
The Fox Terrier is the oldest and largest of the British terriers. They were bred as early as the 18th century to harass the namesake fox along with other small game. Their affectionate nature and dedication to their human families makes them a particularly good companion dog for many urban dwellers.
One of the oldest breeds recognized by an official kennel club, the smooth fox terrier bas been recognized in Great Britain since the late 1870s. They are very well adapted to the task of hunting small animals in a temperate climate. In fact, they were bred to flush foxes in a very hound-like manner, going to ground and barking like mad. They also possess great stamina, as they were bred to keep up with very energetic foxhounds.
Smooth fox terriers are smart dogs, with lively, dark and intelligent eyes.
Like most terriers, the smooth fox terrier is very interested in running off after anything that moves. This is part of the temperament that makes him or her a wonderful companion dog and sometimes, a challenge to keep sufficiently occupied.
The Fox Terrier is very well bonded to their human families and very often becomes demanding of attention and affection, especially when not properly exercised. They can easily become jealous, and it is often best that they be only dogs. Jealously between dogs can cause some aggression and / or sulking.
Smooth fox terriers that don't have enough exercise or attention can easily become destructive or begin engaging in excessive, non-stop barking in a shrill voice that your neighbours will not appreciate.
They are also rather aggressive for terriers and should never be left unsupervised with other animals - even other dogs are in danger of experiencing the wrath of a smooth fox terrier. They will readily take on dogs much larger than themselves, often picking fights for no apparent reason with any other dog that dares challenge their position as top dog. Cats and other creatures are in constant danger from this breed that has been bred to independently keep the master's lands free of vermin.
This breed is also very prone to excessive barking. Often this is a result of a smooth fox terrier that hasn't gotten the amount of love and affection they feel they deserve. They can have rather high affection demands, and it is often best to have several family members to share the "load" of attention. Families with young children will find this breed tolerant of and ready to play with children of all ages.
The smooth fox terrier loves to play, and can actually satisfy many of their exercise requirements indoors. They love to chase balls and retrieve toys. Though all fox terriers will try and escape from a confined yard, intact males are especially prone to roving and should be very carefully kept on a lead or behind a very strong fence.
They make very good guard dogs, though they can be rather stubborn and wilful at times. This makes training difficult for many older people. As such, fox terriers of all sorts are not recommended for people who don't have the time and willpower to dedicate to their early training.
Their coat is rather short and sheds, unlike other terriers. This means that grooming is a very simple affair for the smooth fox terrier. Usually only a quick brushing with a bristle comb every few weeks to remove the dead undercoat hear every week or two is necessary.
Smooth fox terrier ears are folded over and should be checked every few weeks to make sure there hasn't been a build up of earwax on the outside of the ear canal. It is always a good idea to make sure the ears haven't taken on a foul, yeasty odour, as this can indicate an ear problem that will require medical intervention, such as ear mites.
While the smooth fox terrier doesn't require excessive amounts of exercise, it is important that they receive some sort of organized exercise every single day, without fail. This is a breed that can immediately begin acting out if they're not sufficiently stimulated every day, mentally and physically.
They do love to run, but should always do so in a fenced yard since they will take off after any small creature in the underbrush, and you'll be hard pressed to call them off. This is especially dangerous near traffic, and smooth fox terriers that live in urban or suburban areas will need to be kept in the yard or on the lead no matter what.
As such, it is vitally important that you train your dog to walk on a lead from a very young age so they view walks on the leash as treat rather than a punishment of some sort.
The smooth fox terrier is rather intelligent and can be among the most wilfull of dogs. As such, their training is often a matter of butting wills, and you must never let your foxie get the better of you.
It is vitally important you maintain consistency in training. If you want your dog to do something, he or she had better do it - never ever just give up or your fox terrier pup will soon realize you're a pushover and don't have to be listened to.
There should be no reason to holler at your smooth fox terrier. They generally want to please though they loose the ability to hear you or anyone when they're on the trail of prey. Training is best accomplished in this breed when done in a playful manner with positive re-enforcement, rewarding each correct act and simply ignoring the dog when it behaves badly.
This special little guy hates to be shunned and turning your back on them, depriving them of attention, is the worst punishment you can dole out, though it's best to not take it too far, since they can become overwrought when they're left alone too long. A dog in this state cannot learn and should be sufficiently calmed down with exercise and attention before training can begin again.
Housebreaking is usually a matter of being very nearby during the process so you or another family member is ready to pick up any sign. Many owners have had good luck with crate training. As long as the crate is the right size and you give a lot of praise and love when they go outside, the process shouldn't be a major problem, since they're very clever dogs that don't have bladder problems.
Giving your dog ample opportunity to do the right thing while minimizing the opportunity to do wrong may seem like you're limiting your foxy's exposure to the world, but it is absolutely necessary if he or she is to be welcome elsewhere.
And socialization from a very early age, especially with other dogs and visitors to your home, is vitally important. As a breed, smooth fox terriers are prone to not getting along with other dogs, so the more dogs you give your pup a chance to meet, the more likely he or she is to accept other dogs and not try to dominate them all. Early training is indispensable in this regard.
There are very few congenital disorders that the smooth fox hound suffers from, though some non-lethal ailments have popped up in a few Breeding lines.
Deafness: dogs that are nearly all white have a somewhat high incidence of Deafness.