Smooth Fox Terrier


  • Photo of a Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Photo of a Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Photo of a Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Photo of a Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Photo of a Smooth Fox Terrier
    Ekaterina Utorova/Getty
  • Photo of a Smooth Fox Terrier
    Kyle Reynolds/Getty
  • Photo of a Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Photo of a Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Photo of a Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Photo of a Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Photo of a Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Photo of a Smooth Fox Terrier
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Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

12 to 15 years



Maintenance Level:


Shed Level:




Coat Color:

WhiteWhite And Black; White And Tan; White Black And TanWhite Tan And Black
Blue Ribbon

Best For

Smooth Fox Terriers are energetic and intelligent dogs known for their bravery and love of adventure. They thrive in active homes with pet parents who appreciate their spirited nature and can provide consistent training and exercise.

Smooth Fox Terrier Traits

Smooth Fox Terrier Temperament

Active, intelligent, gregarious and inquisitive—that’s the Smooth Fox Terrier. There’s a lot of energy packed into that little body. These dogs often express themselves in comical and entertaining ways, like burying underneath a pile of cushions with nothing but a cute, waggy tail sticking out. They adore people and would do anything to please you—but with a strong prey drive, they’ll quickly abandon you to give chase if a critter scurries by.

Some of these qualities can get the Fox Terrier in trouble, especially in a multi-pet home. With their energetic personality and strong hunting instincts, they’ll need considerable training on order to resist chasing your cat or other small pets; they may do best in a home without them. They also don’t get along particularly well with other dogs unless properly socialized. If you’re adopting an older Smooth Fox Terrier, it might be too late to temper these tendencies. If you’re bringing a Fox Terrier puppy into the household, the expression of these traits can be kept in check through early socialization (exposure to new people, pets and experiences) and training.

Thankfully, though, this feisty attitude towards other animals doesn’t apply to humans. With people, they’re usually lively, engaged and eager to please. They won’t typically bite a person unless they’re cornered and feel like they’re in danger. A Smooth Fox Terrier puppy starts out quite vocal when it comes to barking and, unlike some other breeds, they won’t grow out of it. To keep this from becoming a nuisance, consider training to help curb the barking from a young age.

Training is typically easy for a Smooth Fox Terrier thanks to their intelligence, so this is likely to be a great bonding and rewarding experience for both of you.

How to Care for a Smooth Fox Terrier

Raising a Smooth Fox Terrier dog is rewarding, but it won’t always be easy. With their sharp intellect and abundant energy, they can turn to troublesome digging or stealing food from the dinner table if healthy outlets for these traits aren’t provided. To stimulate their minds and bodies, daily exercise and consistent training are an absolute must. On the other hand, their grooming needs are pretty low—just schedule in a weekly brush to keep their coats clear of dead hair.

Smooth Fox Terrier Health

The Smooth Fox Terrier lifespan typically ranges from 12 to 15 years, though some have been known to live even longer when well cared for. Overall, they’re a very healthy and hardy breed, though there are a few potential health problems to look out for. Thanks to good breeding practices, many of these issues are less common, but there’s still a chance your dog could inherit one of the below:

  • Patellar Luxation: Luxating patella is the condition in which the kneecap slips in and out of place. It can be common in small breed dogs. If you notice your pet lifting one of their hind legs while running or kicking their leg out to the side, this could indicate patellar luxation. Mild cases, which usually resolve themselves, are typically treated with pain medication and joint supplements, but surgery may be needed in severe cases.
  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: Hip and elbow dysplasia are potentially inherited diseases that affect the joints and typically result in arthritis. These conditions can be treated through both surgical and non-surgical methods. Non-surgical treatments may include pain medication, joint supplements, weight management and physical therapy.
  • Heart Valve Disease: Another inherited condition that breeders often screen for is heart valve disease. With this condition, the heart valves in older Smooth Fox Terrier dogs start to weaken and deform, which strains the heart. Often, the first sign is your veterinarian detecting a heart murmur on routine physical examination. In that case, your vet will likely refer you to a veterinary cardiologist for an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to determine the cause.
  • Eye Problems: Smooth Fox Terriers, especially older dogs, may be at risk for developing eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma and primary lens luxation. These conditions could lead to blindness unless treated with eye drops or surgery. If your pet is having red, cloudy or bulging eyes; rubbing at the eyes; having ocular discharge; acting as if they are in pain; or running into things, see your veterinarian immediately.
  • Deafness: Deafness can be congenital (inherited at birth) or acquired (as a pup ages), and can affect Smooth Fox Terriers. While there is no cure, deaf pets tend to do well and can be taught hand signals to help communication with their pet parents.

Smooth Fox Terrier History

The Smooth Fox Terrier breed originated in 18th century England, where they were bred for fox hunting. Likely a mix between the now-extinct Smooth Black and Tan Terriers, Bull Terriers, Beagles and Greyhounds, these dogs were prized by hunters for their speed, intelligence and tracking abilities. Their unique V-shaped head also helped during the hunt; it was perfectly shaped to enter a fox den.

Breed standards for Fox Terriers have been in place for more than a hundred years. These guidelines describe ideal Fox Terrier characteristics including height, weight and color in addition to ear, eye, tail and head shape. The standards were first set by England’s Fox Terrier Club upon its inception in 1876.

It didn’t take long for the Fox Terrier dog breed to make its way to the United States; they were in the country by 1879, and the American Fox Terrier Club was founded soon after in 1885. The Fox Terrier was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in the same year and is part of the Terrier group. In fact, the American Fox Terrier Club was the first specialty breed club to become a member of the AKC.

For many years, Smooth Fox Terriers and Wire Fox Terriers were treated as variations of the same breed. Though they’re similar in name, stature and ability, we now know that they developed independently from one another. In 1985, the AKC formally recognized this fact and declared them to be two separate dog breeds. The breed standards for both Smooth Fox Terriers and Wire Fox Terriers are maintained by the American Fox Terrier Club to this day.

While the breed enjoyed considerable popularity in the UK, they remain relatively unknown in the US; the Smooth Fox Terrier currently ranks 123rd out of the AKC’s 197 recognized dog breeds. Despite this lack of appreciation, these charming dogs make wonderful family members. The cost of a Smooth Fox Terrier puppy usually runs between $1,500 and $2,000. For this price you’re getting a dog who’s been screened for health and behavioral issues and may even come with papers. You can find reputable breeders through the AKC website. You could always consider adopting a Smooth Fox Terrier, too. Reach out to a rescue organizations, keep an eye out for the breed at your local animal shelter, or search Chewy’s database of adoptable dogs in your area.


Do Smooth Fox Terriers shed?

Yes, Smooth Fox Terriers do shed throughout the year, but their hair is short, making it less noticeable than the fur of many other breeds.

Are Smooth Fox Terriers good pets?

Yes, Smooth Fox Terriers make wonderful pets. With their inquisitive nature, cheerful disposition and energetic enthusiasm, they make excellent additions to your home. But if you already have other dogs or cats in the home, it’s best to bring home a Smooth Fox Terrier puppy; older dogs might not easily integrate into a multi-pet household.

What are the most common Fox Terrier mixes?

Note: These are not purebred dogs but mixed breeds.


Top Takeaways

Smooth Fox Terriers are intelligent, friendly, fun-loving dogs who make great family pets. They’ve got a lot of energy coursing through that little body, so daily exercise is a must. Consistent training is also necessary to work out that big brain of theirs and help keep them out of trouble—and your garden beds!

Expert input provided by: veterinarians Dr. Anthony Hall and Dr. Dimple Hall, certified dog trainers Matt Schimsky and Allison Lamminen, Smooth Fox Terrier Breeder Mardel Robeson, and AKC licensed judge Anne Beckwith.

Breed characteristic ratings provided by veterinarian Dr. Sarah J. Wooten, DVM, CVJ, a veterinarian at Sheep Draw Veterinary Hospital in Greeley, Colorado; dog trainer and behavior consultant Irith Bloom, CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA, CDBC, owner of The Sophisticated Dog, LLC, in Los Angeles; and certified animal behavior consultant Amy Shojai, CABC, in Sherman, Texas.

The health content was medically reviewed by Chewy vets.

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Top Smooth Fox Terrier Names

These are the top Smooth Fox Terrier names as chosen by Chewy's pet parents!

Female Names

  • Bella
  • Pepper
  • Luna
  • Daisy
  • Layla
  • Ruby
  • Oreo
  • Maggie
  • Lilly
  • Lola

Male Names

  • Buster
  • Cooper
  • Hurricane Howell
  • Milo
  • Max
  • Tucker
  • Diego
  • Snoopy
  • Benji
  • Buddy