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An Owners Guide to the Smooth Fox Terrier Temperament

Getting to know the Smooth Fox Terrier temperament is important to understand the breed.

This will help you decide if he is the right kind of dog for you.

The Smooth Fox Terrier is actually the granddaddy of many a Fox Terrier, as several breeds of Terriers have descended from him.

Smooth Fox Terrier Sitting Outdoors | DogTemperament.com

Other types of terriers include the Bull Terrier, the Jack Russell Terrier, and the Yorkshire Terrier (or “Yorkie”).

Understanding the Smooth Fox Terrier Temperament

Here’s a quick breakdown about what you can expect from the Smooth Fox Terrier temperament.


The Smooth Fox Terrier is cheery and enthusiastic. He will jump at any opportunity to play, especially when children are around.


“Brave” and “bold” are two words that people often use to describe the Smooth Fox Terrier. 

However, it is important that he understands you are his “pack leader”. Otherwise, if he senses you’re a softie, he can develop Small Dog Syndrome and become a bully. Nobody wants that!

A Quick Note about SDS

Small Dog Syndrome, or “SDS,” develops when small dogs exhibit aggressive behavior and other bad behaviors as a result of his owner's negligence.

If your mindset is more of the “oh he's a small dog, no worries,” then you are practically inviting SDS. 

This terrible mindset can lead to excessive barking or guarding issues, as well as growling, snapping, or even biting.

It’s easy to understand how this could get out of hand. Imagine a Terrier running around crazy without a leash.

Then, imagine the same scenario with a bigger dog, like a Saint Bernard or a Rottweiler.

People would be scooping up their children and running away from a Rottweiler – perhaps not so much with a little Terrier.

So, if you’re not careful, your “Terrier” can become a “terror.” 

And, since the Smooth Fox Terrier is already bold enough on his own, you don’t want to give him that kind of power!

The best way to ward off SDS is to be firm and consistent with your Smooth Fox Terrier, giving him rules and limits as to what you do and do not allow insofar as acceptable behavior.

Male Smooth Fox Terrier | DogTemperament.com


The Smooth Fox Terrier temperament consists of a higher energy level than that of other breeds.

With dogs of this ilk, frequent exercise is a must, as it helps him ward off stress and frustration. Note: this goes for mental exercise as well as physical.


The Smooth Fox Terrier is great at learning new tricks. He is a smart dog, and with patience and time, he’ll be sitting, playing dead, and playing fetch in no time.


The Smooth Fox Terrier is incredibly devoted and loyal to his family. There is no one he would rather be around than his masters. He is also good with other dogs, provided you properly introduce and socialize him with them.

A Brief History of the Smooth Fox Terrier Breed

We don't know much about the Smooth Fox Terrier breed. However, he has been a favorite in England since at least the 18th century.

In fact, the first appearance of the breed in a work of art came about in 1790, when “Pitch” appeared in a portrait painted by his master.

Smooth Fox Terrier Training

Some things to be aware of that you may need to train out of your Smooth Fox Terrier include digging, jealousy, aggression with other animals, and wandering.

One thing you'll never have to worry about though is aggression toward people. That said, he does make for a fantastic watchdog.

When you take him outside, make sure he is on a leash if you don't have a fenced-in yard. Otherwise, he will gladly run off to follow something that triggers his attention.

If you find it difficult to manage his aggression with other animals, it may be a smart idea to employ puppy training classes or a professional trainer.

It's important you take care of this early because the longer you allow him to act up, the more settled in his ways he will become.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your Smooth Fox Terrier dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

The Smooth Fox Terrier Appearance

Smooth Fox Terrier Weight and Height

  • The Smooth Fox Terrier is between 13 and 16 inches tall as an adult.
  • Depending on whether the dog is a male or female, a healthy weight is between 13 and 18 lbs. (female) or 15 to 20 lbs. (male).

Depending on whether the dog is a male or female, a healthy weight is between 13 and 18 lbs. (female) or 15 to 20 lbs. (male).

Smooth Fox Terrier Colors

As far as colors go, the Smooth Fox Terrier comes in combinations of white, including black or tan, as well as tri-color.

How Do You Groom a Smooth Fox Terrier?

You may be wondering “do Smooth Fox Terriers shed?”

If brushing your dog every day and experiencing “shedding seasons” doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, then you would be happy with a dog like the Smooth Fox Terrier.

That’s because when it comes to grooming, he’s pretty low maintenance.

You can use either scissors or clippers to keep a Smooth Fox Terrier’s coat looking clean, whichever you prefer. 

This is because the hair on his body grows evenly over the entire body – no rough collars or fluffy tails here!

Be sure to keep his nails trimmed and make sure the hair between his foot pads is clean.

Despite his shorter coat, the Smooth Fox Terrier is not what you would consider a “hypoallergenic” dog. That is, if you regularly suffer from allergies, this is not a good breed for you.

Smooth Fox Terrier Portrait | DogTemperament.com

You should also regularly brush your Smooth Fox Terrier’s teeth. 

This is not because he is more susceptible to dental problems. Rather, maintaining oral hygiene is important to his overall health.

Just like training your dog, it is also important to start grooming him at a young age. 

This is so he gets used to grooming, which is easier on you as he gets older.

Added bonus: many Smooth Fox Terriers come to adore the attention they get while you're grooming them.

So you're simultaneously giving your dog cuddles and love while also giving him the care that his body needs.

The Health and Lifespan of a Smooth Fox Terrier

Looking to spend as much time with your pup as possible? Then the Smooth Fox Terrier is a good choice. He has a rather lengthy lifespan, on average living between 12 and 15 years and, in some cases, even up to 19 years!

Overall, this breed tends to be a rather healthy one. Although, like any dog, he can certainly suffer from his fair share of ailments.

These may include:

  1. Deafness
  2. Eye disorders
  3. Skeletal problems, such as patellar luxation

Helpful Dog Health Resource:

Note: Our Health is #1 Priority. It should be no different for your dog. But you need to help him. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is the answer. This handy guide will help you recognize the symptoms of the health problems above. Get the knowledge to stay ahead of these terrible issues that can rob your lovely dog from vigor and life. Help your friend make it to 15yrs+ without pain and suffering.


A daily walk or jog is a good habit to get your Smooth Fox Terrier into. It will help him burn off some of that excess nervous energy that can lead to bad behavior.

The Smooth Fox Terrier also has a strong hunting instinct.

If a rabbit or a bird happens to cross their path, for instance, it could end up on your back stoop later on.

So, if you like to hunt, he will definitely be up for accompanying you.

As I mentioned earlier, frequent exercise with this dog is a must.

Therefore, once you find an activity that both of you love to do together, keep at it. Play fetch or Frisbee, go for jogs, go hunting or swimming – whatever keeps him going and tires him out!

Top Smooth Fox Terrier Mixes

If you’re looking for a mixed breed dog, then here are some of the few Smooth Fox Terrier mixed breeds out there:

Smooth Fox Terrier vs. Jack Russell

There are some similarities and some differences between the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Jack Russell Terrier.

For one thing, breeders developed both breeds in England for the purpose of fox hunting.

The Smooth Fox Terrier handles being alone slightly better than does the Jack Russell.

And while both dogs are good for first-time dog owners, the Smooth Fox Terrier is slightly more loving than the Jack Russell.

Finding the Perfect Smooth Fox Terrier

If you’re thinking about bringing a Smooth Fox Terrier puppy home, you may be wondering where to start.

You can find a Smooth Fox Terrier for sale either from a Smooth Fox Terrier breeder or through your local rescue or adoption agency.

How Much Does a Smooth Fox Terrier Cost?

The average price of a Smooth Fox Terrier for sale is anywhere from $1,000 to over $4,000, depending on the dog’s lineage and the location of the breeder.

Of course, adopting a dog is slightly cheaper, but that’s only the cost of the dog.

Don’t forget to factor in accessories, like leashes and collars, as well as monthly food bills and annual vet bills, which increase as the dog gets older and needs more visits.

Smooth Fox Terrier Adoption and Rescue

Many people think of adoption and get a negative feeling, but dogs and cats often get the short end of the stick when it comes to adoption. Most of the Smooth Fox Terriers who are up for adoption are adult dogs who once had loving families.

It’s just that, often, families can no longer care for the dog for one reason or another, and they have no choice but to surrender the dog to a shelter.

Then, the dog misses his family and has no place to live. And because he’s an adult, it’s harder for him to get adopted.

That’s why it’s so important to raise awareness of the advantages that come from adult rescue dogs.

For one thing, their prior owners probably already trained them, so you don’t have to worry about housebreaking them.

Plus, since they’re no longer puppies, they no longer have the drive to be destructive.

If you don’t see a Smooth Fox Terrier on your first visit to the shelter, don’t give up.

Put in an application so that when one comes in, the shelter knows to give you a call.

Smooth Fox Terrier Breeders

You have to be so careful if you’re thinking about buying a Smooth Fox Terrier from a breeder.

For one thing, it’s thousands of dollars at stake.

For another, many breeders are unscrupulous and unethical, willing to do whatever it takes to make a quick buck – including selling you a sick or aggressive dog.

Some of the red flags to look out for include:

  • Aggressive parents ( First, the apple doesn’t often fall far from the tree, and second, the breeder should be preparing the pups for home life)
  • Unsafe or dirty living conditions for the pups
  • A breeder who doesn’t ask questions (she should care just as much about giving her dog a good home as you do)
  • A breeder who doesn’t have the proper health clearances for the pups
  • A breeder who isn’t willing to or doesn’t have an answer for your questions

And never, under any circumstances, buy a Smooth Fox Terrier puppy online or from a pet store. If you buy online, you have no idea the conditions from whence he came.

And if you buy from a pet store, you are undoubtedly supporting a puppy mill with your purchase.

Better options include getting referrals from dog shows or events and then doing your research online via social media. One bad review can tell you more than 12 good ones.

Conclusion: Is the Smooth Fox Terrier Right for You?

At this point, you should have a clearer idea as to whether the Smooth Fox Terrier temperament is a good match for you and your family.

The Smooth Fox Terrier temperament is an energetic and happy one. But remember to keep him reined in so he doesn’t get too big for his britches!

You don't want that SDS to creep in and encourage him to act like he rules the roost.

He's a very active dog, so you have to be able to keep up with him physically as well as mentally.

And he's a smart dog, so training him, so long as you have the patience and determination, should be a breeze.