Fox Terrier (Smooth) illustration
Terrier

Fox Terrier (Smooth)

The oldest of the fox terrier breeds with a rich history

Breed characteristics

Size
Small
Exercise
Up to 1 hour per day
Size of home
Small house
Grooming
Once a week
Coat length
Short
Sheds
Yes
Lifespan
Over 12 years
Vulnerable native breed
Yes
Town or country
Either
Size of garden
Small/ medium garden

About this breed

The Smooth Fox Terrier was the first variety of the fox terriers to be recognised. From the early days of fox hunting, terriers have been kept by the hunts as earth dogs, to dig out when the fox went to ground. The terriers could run with the hounds or were carried in saddle panniers by huntsmen. The early dogs were often brown or black and tan – but there was a move to make the terriers more easily distinguished from the fox when working and this led to the introduction of the Old English White Terrier (now extinct), Bull Terrier and Beagle to produce terriers which were predominately white bodied with small patches of black and tan (hound marked).

The result was the Smooth Fox Terrier which in its evolution became the short backed, long headed dog we see today. The first class for Fox Terriers was seen at Islington London in 1862. In 1863 at Birmingham Dog Show three dogs who were to become influential in the breed competed – Old Jock, Old Tartar and Old Trap, 10 years later the Fox Terrier class at Birmingham drew 276 entries. By 1876 the first Fox Terrier Club of England had been formed and had drawn up the first breed standard. By the start of the 20th century the Fox Terrier was the most popular breed in England.

Read the breed standard

Images for this breed

The Terrier breed group

Dogs originally bred and used for hunting vermin. 'Terrier' comes from the Latin word Terra, meaning earth. This hardy collection of dogs were selectively bred to be extremely brave and tough, and to pursue fox, badger, rat and otter (to name but a few) above and below ground. Dogs of terrier type have been known here since ancient times, and as early as the Middle Ages, these game breeds were portrayed by writers and painters.

 

Breed standard colours

Breed standard colour means that the colour is accepted within the breed standard and is a traditional and well-known colour in this breed.

Breed standard colours in this breed include:

  • Black & White
  • White
  • Tan & White
  • White & Black
  • Tricolour
  • White & Tan

Other colour/s

'Other' means you consider your puppy to be a colour not currently known within the breed and one that does not appear on either the breed standard or non-breed standard list. In this instance you would be directed through our registrations process to contact a breed club and/or council to support you on identifying and correctly listing the new colour.

Non-breed-standard colours

Non-breed-standard colour means that the colour is not accepted within the breed standard and whilst some dogs within the breed may be this colour it is advised to only select a dog that fits within the breed standards for all points.

Colour is only one consideration when picking a breed or individual dog, health and temperament should always be a priority over colour.

Health

Whether you’re thinking of buying a puppy, or breeding from your dog, it’s essential that you know what health issues may be found in your breed. To tackle these issues we advise that breeders use DNA tests, screening schemes and inbreeding coefficient calculators to help breed the healthiest dogs possible.

More about health

Priority health schemes and tests

The Kennel Club Assured Breeders must use the following schemes, tests and advice. All other breeders are strongly advised to also use these.

Important health schemes and tests

We strongly recommend that all breeders, both assured breeders (ABs) and non ABs, use the following schemes, tests and advice.

Currently there are no additional health screening schemes or DNA tests for this breed. You may want to speak to your breeder, vet or local breed club about any health issues in the breed.

Find out about a particular dog's results

Please visit our Health Test Results Finder to discover the DNA or screening scheme test results for any dog on The Kennel Club's Breed Register.

You can also view the inbreeding coefficient calculation for a puppy's parents, or for a dog you're thinking of breeding from.

Have any questions about health in your breed?

If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.

Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.

Contact the breed health co-ordinator for the Smooth Fox Terrier.

Breed watch

Category 1        

Currently no points of concern specific to this breed have been identified for special attention by judges, other than those covered routinely by The Kennel Club's breed standard.

Read more about Breed Watch

Breeding restrictions

There are a number of The Kennel Club's rules and regulations that may prevent a litter from being registered, find out about our general and breed specific breeding restrictions below.

More about breeding

There are not currently any additional breed specific restrictions in place for this breed.

More information

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