There are actually two types of Fox Terrier, the Smooth and the Wire haired, which the American Kennel Club (AKC) classifies as two distinct dog breeds.
The Smooth Terrier variety has a short, thick, smooth and waterproof outer coat with a soft undercoat. The Wire Terrier variety has a rough coat that is dense, hard and somewhat curly.
The Wire also has longer hair around the eyes, muzzle and feet. Both these Terriers are mainly white with tan and/or black markings.
Fox Terriers stand about 15 inches tall at shoulder height and weigh approximately 15 to 20 pounds. Both of these Terrier breeds are members of the AKC Terrier Group. Also you might want to check out our profile on the Toy Fox Terrier.
History of The Fox Terrier
Fox Terriers were originally developed for fox hunting in 19th century England. These Terriers were used to chase the fox from its den after the fox hounds had cornered it.
The Wire was ranked 77th and the Smooth 103rd out of 154 dog breeds in 2004 AKC registrations.
Temperament of The Fox Terrier
Fox Terriers are probably the liveliest and most energetic of all the terrier breeds. The two varieties, the Wire haired and the Smooth, differ only in coat type.
The temperaments of both Terrier breeds are identical. These Terriers are very intelligent, curious, cheerful and love their families. The breed has so much energy that it never runs out of steam.
These dogs love to play and will chase a ball or Frisbee for hours on end. Fox Terriers make great playmates for older children but still retain their hunting instincts and shouldn’t be left alone with small pets.
These Terriers should be kept on their leashes when being walked. The breed has a stubborn streak and socialisation and training should be started when they are puppies and continued into adulthood.
Fox Terriers can be possessive of their food and toys. Terrier owners should be active, firm and confident. This breed is not suitable for novice dog owners.
Fox Terriers need a lot of daily exercise so their limitless energy doesn’t drive their family crazy. The breed needs a fenced yard so it won’t escape and chase small prey.
The Wire needs a fair amount of grooming. The Wire’s coat needs to have the dead hair plucked out of its coat several times per year. It also needs twice weekly brushing and combing.
The Smooth only needs a weekly brushing with a rubber brush to remove loose and dead hair.
Both Terrier varieties can live from 12 to 15 years. Common health problems include eczema and skin allergies. Less common health issues include: heart problems, seizures and digestive problems.