AKC Dog Breeds: Smooth Fox Terrier

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Terrier Group
Height:13-16 inches   Weight: 13-20 pounds  Color: white, with black, tan, or black & tan markings

The Smooth Fox Terrier is a well-proportioned, active, cheerful, and independent breed. They are elegant, eager, compact, and extremely courageous. This is a bold and daring breed that is not easily intimidated and possesses both beauty and brains. Considered to be one of the oldest terriers, this breed originated in 18th century England as a foxhunter and ratter. Though not as popular as other terrier breeds, they are well known and established. Today the Smooth Fox Terrier is primarily a family companion and show dog. This breed requires early intensive and extensive socialization and obedience training. The Smooth Fox Terrier is willful, will challenge authority, and attempt to be dominant. They are prone to excessive barking. They will not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods but must have an experienced owner and handler.  Bred in the mid-1800s, the breed was paired with the Wire Fox Terrier until the mid-1980s, at which point they became recognized as a separate group. The Smooth Fox Terrier was registered with the AKC in 1885.

General Appearance
The Smooth Fox Terrier is a very elegant, smart and stylish little dog dressed in a short white coat with black or brown markings. The breed has a flat, tapering, narrow skull, and ears that fold forward making "V" shaped flaps. The tail is normally docked to 1/4 its length and stands on top of the dog rather than hanging out behind. The Fox Terrier is blessed with many weapons of attack such as strong jaws, well-developed teeth, eagerness, physical strength, and above all, courage. It is a well-built, elegant dog - concentrating a lot of strength in a little space. The eyes are dark, small, deep set and extremely lively. The neck is thick and muscular.

Full of energy and character, the Smooth Fox Terrier is an alert and inquisitive dog with a real curious streak. These dogs need plenty of exercise, and thrive on play and physical interaction. However, they are agile, fast, and enjoy chasing so it is important that they have a safe and secure area in which to play and exercise when not on a leash. The Smooth Fox Terrier can be stubborn, independent, and wicket in terms of his sense of humor, and is best suited to those with experience of dog ownership who can be assertive and confident. The Smooth Fox Terrier can also be very possessive of his food and belongings, and is often manipulative if he thinks he can get away with it. These dogs are keen diggers, and also like to bark. His bark coupled with his excellent sense of sight and sound makes him an effective watchdog. Although small in size the Smooth Fox Terrier is not afraid to stand up for himself, or even pick a fight. He can be bossy, quarrelsome, and even aggressive with other dogs of the same size, and will chase smaller animals including cats unless raised with them. These dogs do not like to be treated roughly or pestered, and are best suited to children that are gentle and older. Some will get along fine with strangers, whereas others may be reserved and even wary. Providing he receives consistent training from a confident yet patient owner, and has plenty of interaction and early socialization, the Smooth Fox Terrier can make an entertaining pet and companion.

The Smooth Fox Terrier is a low maintenance dog, which is perfect for those that have little time to dedicate to grooming. The Smooth Fox Terrier needs occasional brushing with a firm bristle brush and professional stripping of the coat twice a year. Bathing or dry shampooing should be done when necessary.  These dogs are medium shedders, and his coat does seem to shed all over the place so this is not the right choice of allergy sufferers.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
Deafness may be a problem in predominantly white dogs. Some minor concerns are post nasal drip, lens luxation, distichiasis, cataracts, Legg-Perthes, and shoulder dislocation. The life expectancy of the Smooth Fox Terrier is 12-14 years.

Activity Level

Boisterous and playful, the Smooth Fox Terrier requires daily physical exercise and mental stimulation. They benefit from and enjoy securely leashed walks, family play sessions such as ball and Frisbee, and a safely fenced area to freely romp and run in. Smooth Fox Terriers will become destructive and bark incessantly if bored or lonely. They will do okay in an apartment provided they are given sufficient exercise, attention, and stimulation.


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