The Smooth Fox Terrier dog breed is known for its bold and independent nature. At the same time, they are highly trainable, and this is one reason why they are good as pets. They are good as watchdogs too, because they are always alert and very reserved with strangers. But they tolerate other pets and dogs, and may even be friendly with them, if they are socialized early.
Being very active and full of energy, this breed is ideal for people who have high level of activity, and need a dog that matches their active lifestyle.
This is a popular dog of English origin. It is not clear how the Smooth Fox Terrier dog breed evolved, but there are evidences of its existence in the 18th century. They were already popular in England by the dawn of the 19thcentury, where they were used for hunting smaller mammals and for keeping away fox. These dogs used to take part in hunting parties along with Foxhounds. Even though they were initially considered working dogs, they entered the show circles quite early. Within ten years of the starting of the Fox Terrier Club in England in 1876, one was established in the United States too, the first breed to have that distinction.
The Smooth Fox Terriers were often crossed with the Wire Fox Terriers at that time, but eventually, the interbreeding was discontinued sometime in the latter part of the 20th century. These terriers remained popular as housedogs, but they did quite well in the show circles too, participating in the earth dog trials conducted to assess the retention of their breed characteristics such as subterranean hunting skills.
In the year 1985, their recognition as a separate breed was officially granted by AKC. However, this breed seems to have lost out to their wiry counterparts, causing them to be included in the Vulnerable Native Breeds list in the United Kingdom.
Smooth Fox Terriers are medium sized with a lean body. Their muzzle is long and tapering, with their V-shaped and small-sized ears lying half folded at the top corners of their head. The tail that is held high up at the back is thin, long, and tapering, but it is often docked to three fourth of its original length in countries where docking is not yet illegal. Their smooth coat is mainly white with random patches of black or brown.
The Smooth Fox Terrier dog breed is considered a mischievous and boisterous terrier breed. They like to stay active all the time, and should ideally have a protected yard where they can have a free run during the day. While they may spend quite some time entertaining themselves, they are people-oriented dogs that crave for human interaction. If they get their fill of exercise and activity outdoors, they may remain well mannered indoors.
This breed is well known for its trainability. They like to learn tricks, and gladly go through obedience training routines. That is one of the reasons for their popularity in dog shows.
Grooming and exercise
The Smooth Fox Terriers do not need much grooming. They are relatively heavy shedders compared to their wire-coated counterparts, but their smooth coat needs to be brushed only once a week to get rid of dead hair.
This breed being one of the most active terrier breeds, they need their quota of vigorous exercise to keep them healthy and happy. If they are left with no legitimate means of expending their energy, they will invent their own, often with disastrous results. It is imperative that those who own these dogs should find time to play with them and involve them in stimulating activities.
Smooth Fox Terriers are capable of living outdoors except in extremes of temperature. However, when reared as family dogs, they are better off spending the nights indoors with the members of their family. They particularly like to be around people at all times.
Common health issues of Smooth Fox Terrier dog breed
The Smooth Fox Terrier dog breed is not known to have any major health issues, even though they may be affected by some of the common canine health issues. Eye disorders such as lens luxation, distichiasis and cataracts are common in this breed. Patellar luxation may occasionally occur. This breed is also prone to deafness and a degenerative disorder affecting the femur head known as Legg-Calve-Perthes or LCP. The average life expectancy of these dogs is 13 years.