Smooth Fox Terriers have many credentials for being great family dogs. They are short haired, which makes for ease in grooming. They’re relatively smaller dogs for those without the room or large amounts of money for dog food. They’re active enough to play with children and take part in a variety of activities.
The fox terrier is a loyal companion. They are active awesome little dogs for areas where large dogs aren’t allowed. There are two varieties – the smooth is a short haired coat while the wire haired has a little more coat and grooming needed. By the standard “old scars or injuries, the result of work or accident, should not be allowed to prejudice a terrier’s chance in the show ring unless they interfere with its movement or with its utility for work or stud.” Present day the standard calls for a maximum of 15-1/2 inches at the withers with the length from withers to root of the tail not more than 12 inches and the head 7 to 7-1/4 inches. With this balance in show condition this puts a conditioned dog at about 18 pounds with females slightly smaller. The fox terrier has a fire in their eyes and seems to look at life as an experience. The big difference of course is the coat – where the smooth should have a short ‘hard’ coat the wire haired should have a wiry longer coat with a shorter finer undercoat underneath. There is hair on the jaws to add strength to the face and thould have about 3/4 to one inch on the shoulders and neck to about 1-1/2 on withers, backs, ribs and quarters. This is a general guide for a show dog.
Gait – or how the dog moves – makes a difference. They are bred to be a functional dog capable of hunting, as their name implies, foxes. Their natural inclination is to go after small furry things – a factor that bears careful introduction if you have cats in the home! They can be terrier aggressive with other dogs but vary in temperament. Training makes a big difference. The breed club boasts over 600 members from 44 states and 11 countries.
Because they’re active hunters they should always be securely fenced or leashed. They can too easily get into trouble. They’re little dogs with big hearts and enough energy for the most active of families. There are regional rescues available to help dogs and people match up for pet homes.
These are not your typical lap dogs. They’re keen on chasing small furry things – cats, dogs, rats, squirrels – and can be quite determined in their quest to catch them. They love toys, movement, squeaky things. They love attention and being active. They’ll notice ‘intruders’ – they can be barkers. They’ll bark for the sheer joy in playing, to warn someone away, to tell you about the noise they heard. They’ll bark playing in water or running after a ball. Agility, flyball, earthdog competitions are good outlets for them. Give them a job, even if your fenced yard is all they have let them chase squirrels out of the yard.
The fox terrier is a wonderful family companion. Give the breed a look for your home.