The Smooth Fox Terrier

The Fox Terrier originates all the way back in the 17th century, British Isles; but the distinction between smooth and wire hair varieties was not made for hundreds of years. In 1984 the two varieties were recognized as two separate breeds.

Because of the SFT’s great eyesight, stamina, and gifted nose, farmers used them to keep foxes and other intruders away. They were also used as exterminators and will dig until what they’ve sniffed out is gone!

The Smooth Fox Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885.

Sizing up

  • Weight: Up to 18 lbs.
  • Height: 15 1/2 inches
  • Coat: Double coated with a smooth topcoat and a soft undercoat
  • Color: White; white and black; white and tan; white, black, and tan; or white, tan, and black
  • Life expectancy: 12 to 14 years

What’s the smooth fox terrier like?
The Smooth Fox Terrier is an active, curious, and playful breed. He needs lots of exercise in a safe and enclosed environment. When off his leash, he has a tendency to chase critters and go exploring. The SFT loves children but he can get a little over excited and rambunctious around toddlers; however, he is never aggressive.

His natural alertness makes him a great watchdog. 

The Smooth Fox Terrier is an intelligent dog who loves to show what he’s learned--especially new tricks. He’s an independent thinker so you’ll need to be firm and consistent while training. Positive reinforcement is a handy tool as well.

Grooming your SFT doesn’t require much, just a good brushing once a week or as needed to remove any dead hair or mats.

The Smooth Fox Terrier is generally a healthy breed but watch for any of the following:


  • A condition that clouds the lens of the eye and in some cases can lead to blindness.

Lens luxation

  • When the eye lens becomes dislocated


  • A condition when an eyelash grows in an irregular location on the inner eyelid and scratches the dog’s cornea

Patellar luxation

  • A knee condition where one or both kneecaps can accidentally slip out of place

Mitral Valve Disease

  • A condition that occurs when the mitral valve of the heart weakens and can no longer close properly, causing blood to leak back into the left atrium which can lead to heart failure

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

  • A bone disorder and the result of decomposition of the hip joint

Myasthenia gravis

  • A condition that can sometimes be inherited and weakens the muscles

Takeaway points

  • The Smooth Fox Terrier is a great match for a family with older children.
  • The Smooth Fox Terrier makes an excellent watchdog.
  • The Smooth Fox Terrier would be a great companion for someone who loves to do outdoor activities.
  • The Smooth Fox Terrier will make sure no mice or other critters get into your home!
Reviewed on: 
Friday, January 2, 2015