Smooth Fox Terrier Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits

Best suited for a family with an active lifestyle, the smooth fox terrier is friendly, energetic and outgoing and is a terrific companion for children as the dog never tires of playing.

Smooth Fox Terrier at a glance
The Smooth Fox Terrier Dog Breed

The Smooth Fox Terrier has a strong aptitude as a trick dog and has been shown around the world in performance troupes and circuses.


Weight Range:

Male: 17-19 lbs.
Female: 15-17 lbs.

Height at Withers:

Male: 15 in.
Female: 14 in.


Dolicocephalic (long face)


Exercise Requirements: 20-40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Very energetic
Longevity Range: 10-13 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: High
Tendency to Dig: High
Social/Attention Needs: High

Bred For:

Fox bolting


Length: Medium
Characteristics: Flat
Colors: White should predominate
Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate

Club Recognition:

AKC Classification: Terrier
UKC Classification: Terrier
Prevalence: So-so

The Smooth Fox Terrier always portrays a lively and active appearance.

The body of this breed is compact and muscular, built for speed and agility. The dog has a short body but a long sleek face with ears that fold forward toward the cheeks. These dogs are from 13 to 15 inches tall and weigh 16 to18 pounds (seven to eight kilograms).

The coat of a Smooth Fox Terrier is short, flat against the body, and dense. Usually, the hair covers the belly and inner thighs as well. The color of the coat is predominately white with markings of black and tan.


Befitting of their strong hunting instinct, the Smooth Fox Terrier has a keen sense of smell, good eyesight and remarkable staying power to finish the job. This drive carries over to everyday life, whether playing a game of fetch or digging in the yard. The smooth is easily trained, but he needs a strong hand to control his desire to hunt. This breed is happiest when active and is best suited to a family who is on the go.

As a companion, the Smooth Fox Terrier is affectionate and protective. He makes a good watchdog with a tendency to be vocal.

Living With:

Anyone who leads an active lifestyle and likes to take his dog along will be perfectly suited to this breed. The smooth fox terrier is friendly, energetic and outgoing. These dogs are wonderful companions for children and never tire of all sorts of games.

The coat of the smooth fox terrier is easy to keep looking neat. A daily brushing will keep it clean and prevent excessive shedding in the house. Daily exercise will naturally keep the smooth looking fit.  


Smooth fox terriers originated in England during the 18th century. Until 1860, any dog that was quick, agile and small enough to bolt a fox from his hole was termed a fox terrier. It did not matter to the huntsman what style of Terrier was kept, as long as he performed his work. In the hunts, the dog was often carried in a bag slung over the shoulder of the "terrier man."

Other times, the terrier followed along behind the other hounds. When the fox would go into the ground, the terrier was brought up to go into the hole and flush out the fox. In addition to hunting fox, the smooth has been successfully used to hunt and retrieve birds and track deer.

The smooth fox terrier is one of the most universally recognized purebreds. Although considered a sporting terrier, the smooth fox terrier is more often seen as a pet and show dog.
The breed also has a strong aptitude as a trick dog and has been shown around the world in performance troupes and in circuses. One of the most famous portrayals of the breed is in the painting "His Master's Voice" by Francis Barraud, which shows a black and white terrier peering into the horn of a phonograph. The rights to this painting were first acquired by the Victor Talking Machine Company and then in 1929 by RCA.