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  • Temperament: Friendly, Independent, Amusing
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 124 of 194
  • Height: 15½ inches
  • Weight: 18 pounds (male), 15-17 (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Group: Terrier Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Smooth Fox Terrier standing facing left
Smooth Fox Terrier head facing left
Smooth Fox Terrier sitting in three-quarter view facing forward
Smooth Fox Terrier coat detail
Smooth Fox Terrier

Find a Puppy: Smooth Fox Terrier

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Terrier, like the Hound, must on no account be leggy, nor must he be too short in the leg. He should stand like a cleverly made hunter, covering a lot of ground, yet with a short back, as stated below. He will then attain the highest degree of propelling power, together with the greatest length of stride that is compatible with the length of his body. Weight is not a certain criterion of a Terrier’s fitness for his work-general shape, size and contour are the main points; and if a dog can gallop and stay, and follow his fox up a drain, it matters little what his weight is to a pound or so.

HEAD

Eyes and rims should be dark in color, moderately small and rather deep set, full of fire, life and intelligence and as nearly possible circular in shape. Anything approaching a yellow eye is most objectionable. Ears should be V-shaped and small, of moderate thickness, and dropping forward close to the cheek, not hanging by the side of the head like a Foxhound. The topline of the folded ear should be well above the level of the skull. Disqualifications – Ears prick, tulip or rose. Cheeks must not be full. Jaws, upper and lower, should be strong and muscular and of fair punishing strength, but not so as in any way to resemble the Greyhound or modern English Terrier. There should not be much falling away below the eyes. This part of the head should, however, be moderately chiseled out, so as not to go down in a straight slope like a wedge. The nose, toward which the muzzle must gradually taper, should be black.

BODY

Neck should be clean and muscular, without throatiness, of fair length, and gradually widening to the shoulders. Back should be short, straight (i.e., level), and strong, with no appearance of slackness. Chest deep and not broad. Brisket should be deep, yet not exaggerated. The foreribs should be moderately arched, the back ribs deep and well sprung, and the dog should be well ribbed up. Loinshould be very powerful, muscular and very slightly arched. .

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders should be long and sloping, well laid back, fine at the points, and clearly cut at the withers. The elbows should hang perpendicular to the body, working free of the sides. The forelegs viewed from any direction must be straight with bone strong right down to the feet, showing little or no appearance of ankle in front, and being short and straight in pastern. Both fore and hind legs should be carried straight forward in traveling. Feet should be round, compact, and not large; the soles hard and tough; the toes moderately arched, and turned neither in nor out.

COAT

Should be smooth, flat, but hard, dense and abundant. The belly and underside of the thighs should not be bare.

HINDQUARTERS

Should be strong and muscular, quite free from droop or crouch; the thighs long and powerful, stifles well curved and turned neither in nor out; hocks well bent and near the ground should be perfectly upright and parallel each with the other when viewed from behind, the dog standing well up on them like a Foxhound, and not straight in the stifle.

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smooth fox terrier illustration

About the Smooth Fox Terrier

Smooths are quite similar to their close relatives, Wire Fox Terriers. Like their crispy-coated cousins, Smooths stand no more than 15.5 inches at the shoulder. The distinguishing physical trait, besides coat type, is the head: A Smooth’s head is more V-shaped than a Wire’s. The dense, flat coat is predominantly white, with black, tan, or black-and-tan markings. These cleverly made hunters are strong and sturdy, but never coarse and clunky. Short-backed and symmetrical, they move with the unwavering grace of a pendulum clock.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Smooth Fox Terrier

Find a Puppy: Smooth Fox Terrier

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
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Care

NUTRITION

The Smooth Fox Terrier should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

The Smooth Fox Terrier’s short but hard, dense coat should be groomed weekly with a thick brush or hound glove. A bath every month or so should be sufficient—unless the dog follows his nature and ends up digging a hole in the mud, in which case “bathe as needed” is the guidance that applies. Nails should be kept trimmed and neat. The ears should be checked weekly to remove any excess wax and or debris, which can cause ear infections, and the teeth should be brushed as often as possible.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Weekly Brushing

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Occasional

EXERCISE

Like most terriers, the Smooth Fox Terrier is lively and athletic and requires ample exercise. Long walks with his owner, chasing a tennis ball in the backyard, or playtime in a large, securely fenced area are all great ways to exercise your dog and keep him mentally and physically fit. Never allow your Smooth Fox Terrier to run off-lead, as he is likely to take off if he catches sight of a small animal he perceives as prey.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Energetic

TRAINING

Smooth Fox Terriers are bold but not aggressive toward people. They make excellent watchdogs in the home. New owners should be aware that the breed’s innate sense to dig may affect the family yard or flowerbeds unless the dog is taught otherwise. Alert and “on the tiptoe of expectations,” Smooths make excellent watchdogs. They are lively, cheerful, and funny. Equally at home in the city or country, they are best kept in a fenced yard or on a lead, as they can eagerly run off to follow any adventure. Some can mature to become jealous or aggressive toward other dogs, cats, or other small pets. Puppy training classes with a sensible, terrier-savvy trainer are highly recommended.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Friendly

HEALTH

Smooth Fox Terriers are generally healthy dogs, and responsible breeders test their stock for health conditions such as patellar luxation and cardiac disease. The teeth should be brushed often, using a toothpaste formulated for dogs. Regular visits to the vet for checkups and parasite control help to ensure the dog a long, healthy life.

Recommended Health Test from the National Breed Club:

  • Patella Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam
Smooth Fox Terrier
Smooth Fox Terrier
Smooth Fox Terrier
Smooth Fox Terrier
Smooth Fox Terrier

History

Foxhunting in its traditional form is now banned in England, but for generations it was the passion of the British gentry. A full-dress foxhunt, with all its pageantry and ritual, was an arresting sight: dozens of hunters and horses, huge packs of hounds, and tenacious fox terriers, all thundering across the vast, rolling estates of the very rich. The terriers rode in saddlebags and were released when the fox went underground. After terriers routed the fox, the horses and hounds would resume the chase.

Did You Know?

Herbert Hoover had two Fox Terriers named Big Ben and Sonnie.
His job was to harass a fox out of its hole. The dog would snap and growl and lunge at the hiding fox until it bolted.
The Smooth is thought to have come about from crosses of the Old English Terrier, smooth coated Black and Tan terriers of England, Bull Terriers, Greyhounds and Beagles.
They can be traced back to the middle of the 19th century when both Smooth and Broken Coated were from the same origins and classed as one breed.
The breed standard for this dog was drawn up in 1876 by officers of the Fox Terrier Club and there are few differences with today's standard. Now the weight for dogs is more clearly stated and docking, though customary, is optional.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Terrier, like the Hound, must on no account be leggy, nor must he be too short in the leg. He should stand like a cleverly made hunter, covering a lot of ground, yet with a short back, as stated below. He will then attain the highest degree of propelling power, together with the greatest length of stride that is compatible with the length of his body. Weight is not a certain criterion of a Terrier’s fitness for his work-general shape, size and contour are the main points; and if a dog can gallop and stay, and follow his fox up a drain, it matters little what his weight is to a pound or so.

HEAD

Eyes and rims should be dark in color, moderately small and rather deep set, full of fire, life and intelligence and as nearly possible circular in shape. Anything approaching a yellow eye is most objectionable. Ears should be V-shaped and small, of moderate thickness, and dropping forward close to the cheek, not hanging by the side of the head like a Foxhound. The topline of the folded ear should be well above the level of the skull. Disqualifications – Ears prick, tulip or rose. Cheeks must not be full. Jaws, upper and lower, should be strong and muscular and of fair punishing strength, but not so as in any way to resemble the Greyhound or modern English Terrier. There should not be much falling away below the eyes. This part of the head should, however, be moderately chiseled out, so as not to go down in a straight slope like a wedge. The nose, toward which the muzzle must gradually taper, should be black.

BODY

Neck should be clean and muscular, without throatiness, of fair length, and gradually widening to the shoulders. Back should be short, straight (i.e., level), and strong, with no appearance of slackness. Chest deep and not broad. Brisket should be deep, yet not exaggerated. The foreribs should be moderately arched, the back ribs deep and well sprung, and the dog should be well ribbed up. Loinshould be very powerful, muscular and very slightly arched. .

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders should be long and sloping, well laid back, fine at the points, and clearly cut at the withers. The elbows should hang perpendicular to the body, working free of the sides. The forelegs viewed from any direction must be straight with bone strong right down to the feet, showing little or no appearance of ankle in front, and being short and straight in pastern. Both fore and hind legs should be carried straight forward in traveling. Feet should be round, compact, and not large; the soles hard and tough; the toes moderately arched, and turned neither in nor out.

COAT

Should be smooth, flat, but hard, dense and abundant. The belly and underside of the thighs should not be bare.

HINDQUARTERS

Should be strong and muscular, quite free from droop or crouch; the thighs long and powerful, stifles well curved and turned neither in nor out; hocks well bent and near the ground should be perfectly upright and parallel each with the other when viewed from behind, the dog standing well up on them like a Foxhound, and not straight in the stifle.

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smooth fox terrier illustration

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
White Check Mark For Standard Color 199
White & Black Check Mark For Standard Color 202
White & Tan Check Mark For Standard Color 217
White Black & Tan Check Mark For Standard Color 219
White Tan & Black Check Mark For Standard Color 220