Fox Terrier

Group 2: Terriers
Male: maximum 39 cm
Female slightly less
Male: 7.3 -8.2 kg
Female: 6.8 – 7.7 kg

Energy Level:  Moderate to high
Original Function: Hunting
Lifespan: 12 – 15 yrs

Recommended for: Active people & families.

About This Breed

The Fox Terrier is among the oldest of the terrier breeds, bred for hunting, they dig into burrows and flush out the foxes. They were also good ratters, so were also kept around the stables. The two types, the wire and the smooth have been classed as two separate breeds since 1984.

They are a lively and active small dog that adapts to family life easily, they are reliable with children and easy to train. Can be vocal at times and feisty with other dogs, even large ones.

The Smooth is an intelligent terrier but can be a bit stubborn like most terriers. Training is relatively easy but owners must be consistent and firm. They like to bark and dig so must be trained to stop these actions on command. They can be quite dominant over other dogs so should be properly socialised as puppies.

General Characteristics

Appearance: Small size balanced body. Narrow head with dark eyes. Ears are V shaped & erect with the tips folding down. Tail carried erect.

Temperament: Friendly, forthcoming and fearless.

Characteristics: Alert, quick of movement, keen of expression, on tiptoe of expectation.

Colour: Smooth & Wire: White should predominate, all white, white with tan, black and tan or black markings. Brindle, red or liver markings highly undesirable.


  • Smooth: Straight, flat, smooth, hard, dense and abundant. Belly and underside of thighs not bare.
  • Wire: Dense, very wiry texture, & 3/4; in on shoulder to 1 & 1/2; in on withers, back, ribs and quarters with undercoat of short, softer hair. Back and quarters harsher than sides. Hair on jaws crisp and of sufficient length to impart appearance of strength to foreface. Leg hair dense and crisp.


  • Smooth coat is easy to care for, a rubber grooming mitt or stiffish brush used twice a week will remove any dead and loose hair reducing the amount of hair that is shed. If the coat becomes wet or muddy it does not take long to dry. It is then easier to remove the dirt from the coat when it is dry.
  • Wire coat, to stay looking good will need to be combed regularly to remove dead coat, can be clipped.

Exercise: This dog should have lots of exercise, they are full of energy and like nothing better than a long walk. They love to play chasing games. They do well in agility and fly ball games.

Health: This breed is hardy, but some can suffer from genetic eye problems.