One of the most feisty, mischievous, energetic and buoyant dog breeds in existence, Fox Terriers are a delightful breed of dogs. Smooth Fox terriers or Foxies as they are popularly known as are handsome, happy and stylish with a high spunk that makes them highly inquisitive with a “whoever may care” attitude. Fox Terriers are one of the happiest breeds in the entire canine world, and that happiness and joy of life is reflected in their eyes. Though blessed with a good temperament, their feisty nature may not make them excellent pets for first time owners or families with small children. If you are a proud owner of this happy breed or if you are planning to get a Smooth Fox terrier as a family pet, you are making an exciting decision. We bring to you all the aspects that you will have to keep in mind before getting a Smooth Fox Terrier so that you are able to provide an environment that develops a healthy dog and a long lasting companionship.History
Fox terriers have a rich ancestry behind them. When fox hunting became a popular sport in England, the hunters wanted a breed that could enter fox dens and charge the fox out of their hiding places, and so the Fox terriers were bred. While the breeders were not able to keep a record of the breeds, Smooth Fox terriers are considered to be a blend of black & tan Terrier, Dachshund, English Hound, Beagle and a Foxhound. For the longest period of time, Smooth Fox terriers were used by farmers to take care of their farms and protect them from foxes, rats and other small vermin that may destroy the crops. Fox terriers would find the animals in the ground and dig till they reached near the animal and then would start barking or growling till the animal decided to come out of hiding where the hunters / farmers would kill them. The first Fox Terrier to be recognised by the American Kennel Club was in 1885 but it was only in 1985 that the Smooth and Wire Fox terriers were recognised as two separate dog breeds. The first standard for a Smooth Fox terrier was established in 1876.Unique Aspects
One of the most unique aspects of a Smooth Fox Terrier is it’s tail. Unlike other dogs, the tail of a Smooth Fox terrier does not wag but quivers. The tail of a SMooth Fox terrier is straight and strong enough to pull them out of trouble. The other unique aspect of a smooth fox terrier is it’s high energy levels and inquisitiveness. A smooth fox terrier is extremely alert and will react to the smallest of the noise making them excellent guard dogs.
The Smooth Fox Terrier looks adorable with its black face and white body (the most common color). These comical dogs can make quiet a sight but there exceptional energy and stubbornness has not found many takers in the celebrity world.
The Smooth Coat Terrier has been part of a few movies but we could find only one that has their notable presence, it is ‘The Single Man’. This feisty breed has garnered the celebrity status elsewhere though. Nipper, the mascot for HMV and RCA was a Smooth Coat Terrier. Snitter was a protagonist in the novel of The Plague Dogs. Other than this Titina travelled with Umberto Nobile on Airship Norge and Airship Italia. Then there was Dash, a smooth fox terrier that accompanied Sir Aurel Stein in his global archeological expeditions.
Celebrity Smooth Fox Terrier owners
It seems that the celebrity world at home and abroad has not yet caught to the fancy of the Smooth Fox Terrier. Nonetheless we have a small list of some celebrities who were the proud parents of this breed. It includes Ellen Terry, Herbert Hoover and Willi Moris the famous author who based the book ‘My Dog Skip’ on his own Smooth Fox Terrier.
A smooth fox terrier has a smooth dense coat that requires minimal grooming. Smooth fox terriers are known to shed twice a year especially when there is a change in the weather. A smooth fox terrier does not require regular baths either, only when he / she gets very dirty. The coat may be dense in nature but can be easily groomed and dries off very quickly. If the dog is being introduced in a show, additional brushing / trimming may be required.Dental grooming is also a must for the Fox terriers. Regular brushing will ensure that there is no tartar or plaque buildup and the mouth of the dog remains clean and there are no chances of the onset of any periodontal problems. To avoid any injury to the feet especially during running or playing, it will be advised that the nails of the dog are regularly trimmed and kept short. Cleaning of ears using a ear wipes will also help avoid any ear infections or wax buildup. While grooming, check for any rashes or redness in the skin, especially between the paws and the ears. A good grooming regime begins from an early age. Introducing your dog to dental, grooming and bathing regimes will ensure that the puppy gets accustomed to the routine and is comfortable with it.
Smooth fox terriers are in general a very healthy breed. However there may be some litter that may be affected by inherited health issues. Before getting a new puppy it will be advised that all medical history of the parents of the pup is referred to rule out any genetic or hereditary disorder that might inflict the pup.
Deafness - According to research Fox terriers are prone to deafness. Living and training a In case your dog is deaf or has become deaf overtime, do not breed them.
Cataracts - cataracts are formed in the retina of the eye and make it to difficult to see things clearly. When a dog has cataract, the dog will have a cloudy appearance in their eyes. Cataracts can be surgically removed to improve the vision of the dog.
Hip Dysplasia - Hip Dysplasia is a genetic disorder where the hip bone has a defect in connecting with the hip joint as a result of which the dog may experience pain or lameness in either of the rear legs. As the dog grows, he / she may also develop arthritis. Before getting a puppy, check the medical documents of the parents to rule out hip dysplasia.
Legg Perthes Disease - The Legg Perthes disease is defined as the deformity of the ball of hip joint and should not be confused with hip dysplasia. In case a dog is inflicted with legg perthes diseases, there will be wearing and the onset of arthritis. The problem can be surgically repaired and will be followed by rehabilitation therapy.
Lens luxation - Lens luxation is the problem when the lens of the eye is displaced due to a tear or deterioration in the eye ligament.
Smooth Fox Terriers are a feisty breed of dogs and their fiery disposition is evident in their excitement about everything and in their small dark eyes. Smooth fox terriers are extremely loyal to their families and hence have a very strong protective instinct about them. In case you have a small kid / another pet in the house, please do ensure that they are socialised right from the start and as much as possible, do not leave them alone with a Fox terrier. When you see a smooth Fox Terrier, it seems as if they are forever on their toes waiting for the fun to begin. Owners who will not be able to spend adequate amount of time with their Smooth fox terrier should not consider this breed as a pet. The lack of exercise can lead to destructive behaviour such as chewing on furniture or digging in the yard. Like all dog breeds, early socialisation with children, other human beings and pets will ensure a well developed and gentle temperament. Fox terriers are a proud, self confident and intelligent breed of dogs who love to explore. In case you live in a house with a backyard / garden, you will have to make sure that the fence is high and that they are in a leash.Environment
Even though a Fox Terrier may be a small breed and that they may be suitable for apartment living, they require a lot of area to exercise and expend their high energy levels. Exercising for 30 - 40 minutes and a lot of off leash play will ensure that the pent up energy levels will settle down. Fox terriers do better when socialised at an early age and if kept on a leash especially when going to a park or for a walk, as they have a tendency to pick up fights with other dogs. Fox terriers are also not very comfortable with small children around them. So as a family pet Fox terriers will fit in better with a family where there are older children.Training & Intelligence
Considered one of the intelligent breeds, Smooth Fox Terriers do well with a strict yet consistent training regime. First time owners of a Smooth Fox Terrier may want to seek professional help from Canine behaviorists or Dog Trainers to ensure that a comprehensive training regime is designed for Fox terriers that keeps them engaged. Fox terriers respond extremely well to positive reinforcements and activities that allow it to think independently. For years Smooth Fox terriers have been trained for agility, obedience and other trainings that suit a show dog breed. As parents to a SMooth Fox Terriers, be ready to spend a lot of time training and playing with your pooch. All forms of training for your Smooth Fox terrier puppy should start at an early age. It will be imperative for new pet parents to start house training as soon as the puppy arrives so that there are fewer incidents inside the house.
Smooth Fox Terriers are a healthy and sturdy breed and become mature by the age of 18 months. If you are going to mate and breed your Smooth Fox terrier, make sure that you understand thoroughly the medical histories of his / her mating partner and also the medical history of the Fox Terriers’s parents so make sure that they are not suffering from any serious genetic disorder that may be deterrent to the overall growth of the new puppies. If you are a first time pet parent, seek medical advice to ensure that the mating and breeding process is comfortable for both the dogs.Puppies
An average litter size of a Fox terrier varies between 4 - 6 puppies with an average life expectancy of 11- 14 years. When the puppies are born, it will be imperative to vaccinate them and to train them from early on as they are extremely active and if not monitored may destroy furniture and other things that might catch their attention.
A Smooth Fox terrier is a medium size dog. The skull of a Smooth Fox terrier is flat moderately narrow at the eyes with a slight stop. The muzzle slightly tapers to a dark black nose. The teeth of a Smooth Fox Terrier meet in a scissors bite. The eyes of a Fox terrier are dark and small in nature. The ears are “v” shaped and drop close to the cheeks. A wire fox terrier has a very athletic body, a short back and muscular straight legs that give the breed the necessary speed and reflexes. The tail of a Wire Fox Terrier is also the most unique one in the canine world. The short, straight and strong tail does not wag but rather it quivers. In general,Smooth Fox terriers are white in colour with tan / black marking around the head and ears. A full grown Smooth Fox terrier male will stand anywhere between 36 cms - 41 cms and weighs between 7 - 9 kgs while a fully grown female Smooth Fox terrier stands anywhere between 33 - 38 cms and weighs between 6 - 8 kgs.