Is a Smooth Fox Terrier right for your family?

Considering a furry addition to your family? We’re here to help you gather all the information you need to help you decide if a highly energetic Smooth Fox Terrier is the right fit for you. Book in a consultation with your local Greencross Vets if you’d like to know more.

A little fox hunter

The Smooth Fox Terrier was originally bred to hunt foxes, hence the name ‘Fox.’ They actually hunted both foxes and badgers, following them into the grounds of the earth hence the name ‘Terrier’, which is derived from the Latin word ‘terra’ meaning earth. The first evidence of the Smooth Fox Terrier was in 1790 when ‘Colonel Thornton’ painted a portrait of his Terrier, Pitch. However it wasn’t until the 19th Century that the Smooth Fox Terrier became a distinct breed in England. The Fox Terrier Club was formed in the UK in 1876, uniformity of type was established and the original standard for the breed was issued for the Smooth Fox Terrier the same year. Fox Terriers were well known and very popular, however Wire Fox Terriers appeared in the show ring some twenty years later. The British recognition of both varieties was quite late in the general plan of dog showing. The first Terrier in Australia was an all white female called ‘Careless.’ She made her way all the way from England to Sydney in 1868.


It’s all in the name. The Smooth Fox Terrier has a smooth, hard and dense coat that sheds very little. Because they were originally bred as hunting dogs, they are neither leggy nor short, making them run fast and jump high. They are small in size, have great balance, symmetry and stand around 33-41cm in height at the shoulders. Males weigh between 7.5-8kg, while females weigh between 7-7.5kg. Their nose is black, eyes are dark and moderately small while their ears are small, V-shaped and dropping forward close to cheek. They can be all white, white with tan, white with black and tan, or white with black markings.

Small but fearless

The temperament of the Smooth Fox Terrier is friendly, fearless and forthcoming. They may be small in size but don’t underestimate their energy. Make sure they get plenty of exercise to maintain their health and happiness. Because of their history with hunting, they are naturally quick, love to jump, dig and have endless adventures. Although they can be a handful to train at first, they come around quickly once they get the hang of it. If you’re after a watchdog, they are excellent barkers. Just make sure you train them to obey commands, otherwise they can become nuisance neighbours. See your local Greencross Vets if you’d like to know more about a Smooth Fox Terrier’s temperament.



The Smooth Fox Terrier is suited to all kinds of situations and lifestyles. They could run, play and discover for hours. They have a zest for life that makes them amazing companions. Just make sure you have the time to take them on plenty of walks and adventures. The Smooth Fox Terrier is a highly energetic dog, and may not be the best choice for first time dog owners. They can make a suitable family dog, however they may be a little too rough and energetic to play with younger children. Ask your local Greencross Vets if this breed would suit your family’s lifestyle.

Health & Wellbeing

The energetic Smooth Fox Terrier breed generally has very few health problems. If healthy and happy, they can live for about 15 years. Some health issues to be aware of though are Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Atopic Dermatitis, Abnormal Dentition, Oesophageal Achalasia and Myasthenia Gravis. Regular trips to the vet and a healthy diet and lifestyle minimise any of these risks. Talk to your local Greencross Vets for more health information.


As far as their beauty regime goes, they are relatively low maintenance. Just brush them once a week with a firm brush. If their coat is properly maintained they will rarely need a bath. But it’s important to check their ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation or wax build up. Just like humans, you will need to brush their teeth on a daily basis to avoid plaque and hence build up of tartar and gum disease.

At Greencross Vets, nothing is more important than the health and wellbeing of your four-legged friend. If you have any more questions, please reach out to your local Greencross Vets. You can find your local Greencross Vets here. We’re more than happy to help!

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