Originally utilized for vermin hunting and fox bolting, the Smooth Fox Terrier weighs an average of 15-19 pounds with an average height of 15.5 inches. While its past is not well-documented, the breed appears to date back to the 1700’s. While the Smooth Fox Terrier was initially registered as a variety of the Fox Terriers (the other variety is the Wire Fox Terrier) the two have different ancestors; the smooth is thought to have come from Smooth Coated black and tan Terriers, the Bull Terrier, the Greyhound and the Beagle. One of the first breeds to enter the show ring, the Smooth Fox Terrier is typically pretty reserved with strangers and devoted to his family, allowing dogs of the breed to make excellent watchdogs.
Bred to hunt vermin, the Fox Terrier originated in England and joined Foxhound packs that chased the foxes looking for cover. Once the fox was run to the ground, the Smooth Fox Terrier would get him out. While the Smooth and the Wire Fox Terriers were originally registered as two varieties of one breed, they have different ancestors. It is thought that the Smooth Fox Terrier came from the Smooth-coated Black and Tan Terrier, the Bull Terrier, the Greyhound and the Beagle. One of the first breeds to enter the show ring, the Smooth Fox Terrier was first shown as a sporting breed as a result of the ability to track and drive foxes from their holes. In 1876 England’s Fox Terrier Club was formed. The American Fox Terrier Club, formed in 1885, was the first of the specialty clubs to become a member of the American Kennel Club. Considered one breed with two varieties in the United States, the American Kennel Club divided the Smooth and Wire Fox Terriers into separate classifications in June of 1985 and separate standards for each went into effect.
Small and muscular (standing about 15.5 inches tall, males average 17-19 pounds, females average 15-17 pounds), the Smooth Fox Terrier is square in shape with a strong jaw, teeth that meet in a scissors bite, a short back, thick neck and a narrow head. The skull of the breed is flat and narrows to the eyes and his muzzle tapers to a black nose. The eyes and eye rims of the breed are darkly colored and he has small ears that fall forward close to his cheeks. His compact body assists in his ability to run quickly for an extended period of time when hunting. The hindquarters of dogs of this breed are muscular and his tail (usually docked by ¼) stands straight up. The Smooth Fox Terrier has an undercoat with short, fine hair and an outer coat that is thick, smooth and mostly white, with markings that are tan or black.
Grooming the Smooth Fox Terrier is simple. They require regular brushing, with more care required during the two times of year that they shed. Regular tooth brushing with a toothpaste recommended by the veterinarian will help dogs of the breed maintain their dental health. Bathing and nail trimming should occur as necessary. An active breed, the Smooth Fox Terrier will exercise itself as long as it has the room to do so in his home or yard. Based on his activity level, access to a fenced in yard is helpful. He will also enjoy taking walks and playing games. Dogs of the breed do best with consistent training and are easily housebroken.