A short-backed terrier with a long face, this dog has a short, smooth coat that is predominantly white, with or without tan, black or black and tan markings. He has smooth, elegant lines and appears strong, compact and ready for action! When fully grown the Smooth Fox Terrier stands at around 39cm or under and weighs approximately 7.5-8kg (males) and 7-7.5kg (females).
Developed from various breeds in the 19th century, including the Black and Tan Terrier and Bull Terrier, the Smooth Fox Terrier dog breed was bred to find the fox and drive it from its lair, so it could continue to be hunted by the hounds and horsemen if it went to ground. He was also used for killing vermin. Originally the breed was classed as the Fox Terrier with two varieties within it – the Wire and Smooth coats – and interbreeding between the varieties was common in the early years, but they are now considered quite separate, with their own breed standards.
The Smooth Fox Terrier is often a bold, courageous character that fears nothing, but he shouldn't be feared himself as he is a friendly dog, especially towards his owners. As you'd expect, given his working terrier heritage, this dog loves to dig, so keen gardeners should ensure any prized plants are out of reach. A dedicated dig pit where he can excavate toys or chews to his heart's content would be much appreciated.
The Smooth Fox Terrier is generally a very healthy breed. However, in common with many small/toy breeds they can suffer from kneecaps that are prone to slipping temporarily out of place (luxating patellas) and some inherited eye problems. Some inherited eye problems can arise, so routine eye testing of breeding dogs is advised.
An active dog, the Smooth Fox Terrier will need at least an hour's exercise a day, though will happily take more. He will enjoy being kept busy – be it patrolling the garden for rodents, digging, or practising a dog sport with you. He will chase squirrels, cats or other small furries on walks, so do keep him on a lead in areas where traffic or other hazards pose a danger. He will also enjoy playing terrier-type games with his owner.
Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
The short, smooth, straight coat is dense, offering protection from the environment when the dog was working. A weekly groom and a yearly trim will keep him looking very smart indeed, though daily brushing is advisable if shed hair is a problem.