Activities For Smooth Fox Terriers

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Introduction

The Smooth Fox Terrier is a born hunter, and even the name says it; they love to hunt. Being such a small dog, about 17 pounds on average, they are able to dig into small dens where rats, moles, and yes, even foxes hide. But, these dogs are not all about hunting. They also like to run and play, and they are very athletic with a lot of energy to expend. In fact, if they do not use that energy, you may find that your pooch used that excess energy to dig a bunch of holes in the yard, chew up your socks, and drive the neighbors crazy with frenzied barking.

Earthdog Trials

Most Popular
1 Vote
Sunny Day
Cheap
Easy
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Rats
Tubes
Treats
Activity description

Your Smooth Fox Terrier should be a master at this sport, which requires hunting, digging in the dirt, and finding the prey. This sport is usually done with small terriers like your dog, and you will find that they take to it very easily. You probably won’t have to do much to teach your pooch what to do, but you may need to teach them the basic rules. This sport can be done in any weather but it is best done in sunny weather because you don’t want your dog to get all covered in mud and it is too hard to dig in the cold dirt. The only expense you will likely have from this sport is to supply the prey, which is typically a rat. The rat will be in a small tube in the premade tunnels behind bars where your dog cannot harm them. 

Step
1
Intro to the prey
Let your pup get used to the rat by placing a cage in the middle of the room. Give your dog praise and a treat any time they look at, bark at, or paw at the cage. This should be done for about 30 minutes a day for a few days.
Step
2
Littering
Use some of the litter from the cage to make a trail to a den that you have dug. Place one of the rat tubes in the tunnel with litter in it so your dog can find it by scent. Then, let your Smooth Fox Terrier do what instincts tell them to do. It will probably only take a few minutes before your fur buddy is crawling in the hole after the tube.
Step
3
Replace litter with prey
Place the rat in the tube next and do not use litter. Just let your dog find the scent and they should be able to follow it to the tunnel. This may take some coaxing without the litter trail but after a few weeks of training, you should be ready to compete.
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Barn Hunt

Popular
1 Vote
Any Day
Cheap
Easy
30 - 45 min
Items needed
Rats
Tubes
Hay bales
Treats
Activity description

Barn hunt is quite similar to Earthdog trials except the rats are hidden in hay rather than in the dirt. This sport is another one that your Smooth Fox Terrier is perfect for since they were bred to hunt rats. While there are rules for the official competitions, there are many friendly unofficial competitions held by groups or individuals where you can practice with your pooch and have some fun. You don’t need a barn for barn hunt; all you need is hay bales, some rats, and some plastic tubes for the rats. However, if the weather is bad, a barn comes in handy. Otherwise, it is best to barn hunt on a sunny day. You don’t want the hay to get wet because it gets slippery and dangerous. Your doggo has to find the tubes with the live rats hidden under the loose hay, and they're timed on how long it takes. The fastest dog wins. 

Step
1
Commanding
Teaching your Terrier to follow commands should not take long. With a pocket full of treats and some patience, you should have your Smooth Fox Terrier following your commands in no time. Of course, it is best to keep practicing for a few days to make sure they keep those commands in their head.
Step
2
Seek and find
Train your dog how to find the rat by setting up your own practice run. You can do this using hay and hay bales, or you can use grass clippings or whatever else you have handy. Train your poochie for about an hour a day for a few days to a week.
Step
3
Just do it
Start out by joining a group or club of those unofficial barn hunts with your little buddy to get used to the rules, crowds, and other dogs. Some pups may take a while to get used to being around so many people. It just depends on your dog. Once your fur buddy is comfortable in the unofficial hunt, you can try the official hunts and try to win some trophies.
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Lure Coursing

Least Popular
1 Vote
Sunny Day
Cheap
Normal
1 - 2 hrs
Items needed
Lure
Treats
Activity description

Lure coursing is another hunting exercise that your Smooth Fox Terrier should be pawesome at. It is basically chasing a mechanical lure across a field of about six to eight hundred yards long. The prey will turn and run over and under obstacles like a real rabbit or rat would do, and your pup has to chase it from start to finish without leaving the course. Because of the nature of lure coursing, a sunny day is best, so the field is dry and not slippery, which may cause accidents or injuries. To train your pooch, you can just use a piece of cloth or fur made to look like a rabbit or rat tied onto a long piece of fishing line for your dog to chase. You better be fast though, or your dog is going to catch it every time. Most people use a mechanical or motorized lure that goes fast enough so that the dog cannot catch it. 

Step
1
Find those instincts
Take an hour or two of every day to let your Smooth Fox Terrier learn how to use their instincts. Have them chase the lure around the yard or you can go to a park and let them chase it. Try not to let your pooch catch it or the game is over. Once your dog does catch it, give them a treat.
Step
2
Let them run
Take your dog to a lure coursing competition and let them watch. If your fur buddy seems excited and wants to play, go ahead and enter them in a competition. You may not win at first, but that is the best way to learn. After a few competitions, you will both be experts and may even win a few trophies or ribbons.
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More Fun Ideas...

Disc Dog

Playing fetch is fun but playing with a disc (or frisbee) is even more fun. Grab two discs, some treats, and head out to the park with your Smooth Fox Terrier. Start by tossing it a few feet and telling your pooch to bring it back. Make sure you reward your buddy with a treat when they do it right. When they come back with the disc, they may not want to drop it; that is why you bring two. Once you toss the second one, your fur baby will have to drop the first one to pick up the other one.

Trickery

Teaching your Smooth Fox Terrier how to sit, stay, give paw, and lay down may be easy, but have you ever thought of trying some more difficult tricks? What about having your pooch play dead when you point at them and say bang? Or maybe you can teach your pupper how to jump through a hoop. These dogs are athletic and can do just about anything. Grab some treats and see what you can teach your dog to do.

Conclusion

No matter what type of breed your poochie is, they need to spend time with you every day so make sure you have time for them before you get one. Terrier breeds need more exercise than most other breeds because they have so much energy. If your buddy does not get enough attention and exercise every day, you may come home to find that your socks are all chewed up, and your neighbors left you a nasty message about your pup’s pawesome barking skills.