Updated 07-09-2023

Fox Terrier

The original purpose of the Fox Terrier was to help with fox hunts by luring foxes out of their dens. However, you can still find some working in the hunt country in the northeastern United States as companions and show dogs.

Fox Terriers have a lot of brains and energy to spare. They do best with those who will engage them in active play, as without this stimulation, they may resort to undesirable habits. Provide your dog with plenty of opportunities for exercise and mental challenge, and you'll have a loyal friend by your side. In order to learn everything there is to know about Fox Terriers, please refer to the list below!


  • Overeating is a problem for some Fox Terriers because of their voracious appetites. Keep them in shape by keeping an eye on what they eat and giving them plenty of opportunities to get active.
  • Crate training is highly suggested for housebreaking a Fox Terrier.
  • Fox Terriers are known for their loud, high-pitched barks.
  • Rabbits, birds, cats, and even other dogs are fair game for a Fox Terrier's pursuit. As a result of their tenacious nature, they often get into conflicts with other dogs, even those that are far larger than them. When your Fox Terrier is not in his fenced-in yard, he should always be restrained.
  • Fox Terriers, unless properly socialized and taught, should not be left alone with non-canine pets.
  • Fox Terriers are very active dogs who need at least half an hour of daily activity. They can become destructive or annoying barkers if they don't have an outlet for their boundless energy.
  • Fox terriers are devoted to their families and like playing, but they are too rough and active for very young children.
  • Fox terriers, on the other hand, are masters of elusion. They'll try to escape from their yards by digging tunnels or jumping over fences, and they have a better vertical leap than you may expect.
  • Fox Terriers, while not entirely extinct, are a unique breed. Finding a reputable breeder can be challenging when looking to acquire a puppy, and even then, you might have to wait a few months for a litter to be born.


Social Appearance 


It's a common misconception that a little dog is better suited to living in a limited space. Many tiny dogs have too much energy and are too yappy to live in an apartment building. An apartment dog's best attributes include being quiet, low energy, somewhat peaceful indoors, and respectful to the other inhabitants. Your dog's personal space in your apartment can be improved by purchasing one of these fantastic dog cages.

Sensitivity Level

Depending on the dog, a strong rebuke can be taken in stride by some, while others regard even the tiniest hint of disapproval as a personal attack. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as "easy-going," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," will be able to handle it better. Do you have young children, host a lot of parties, or have a hectic lifestyle? Choose a dog that isn't overly sensitive.


You can't tell from looking at them whether or not they're hyperactive, but when they do anything, they do it vigorously. They tug at their leashes (unless you teach them not to), they push their way through barriers, and they down their meals in huge, gobbling gulps. A home with young children or an elderly or feeble person may not be the best place for these dynamos to learn proper etiquette. On the other side, a dog with poor vitality adopts a more reserved demeanor.

Potential for Playfulness

The playful nature of certain dogs never fades away, and they're always ready for a game, whereas the reserved and serious tendencies of other dogs develop through time. Think about how many times a day you want to play fetch or tag with your dog, and whether or not you have children or other dogs who can act as substitutes.

Personality Appearance


In the same way as working dogs, such as those that herd sheep, are bred for intelligence and decision-making, working dogs like those who run all day need to exercise their bodies. The two most common activities that a bored pet engages in are digging and chewing, both of which require mental stimulation. There are several ways to keep a dog's brain active, including obedience training, interactive dog toys like tug of war, and dog sports like agility and search and rescue.

Energy Level

Energy-draining dogs are always on the lookout for a new activity. There are several jobs that require a lot of stamina from dogs, such as herding livestock or recovering prey for hunters. Children are more likely to engage in activities such as jumping, playing and exploring new sights and smells as a result of this change in their environment

A low-energy dog is more like a couch potato than a dog that needs a lot of exercise. Think about your level of physical activity and whether or not you find a hyperactive dog irritating before making your final choice.

Easy To Train

Easy to train dogs can more easily form associations between a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and a reward than dogs that are more difficult to train. Dogs that require more time, patience, and repetition are more difficult to train.

Getting your dog interested in training will require incentives and games because many breeds are intelligent but have a "What's in it for me?" mentality when it comes to learning new things.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others form deep bonds with one individual but are uninterested in the rest of the family; still other types shower their entire family with affection. Canines raised in homes with people tend to be more open to human interaction and develop stronger ties, regardless of their breed or upbringing.


Kids-friendly dogs are calm, strong enough to bear the hefty hugs and pets kids can dish out, and have an unfazed attitude about rushing, scream-inducing children. There are several names you may not expect to see on the list: Fierce-looking Both Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are regarded as family dogs (which are considered Pit Bulls). Chihuahuas, which are small, sensitive, and potentially sharp, are not always family-friendly.

Dog Friendly

Dog friendship and human friendship are two entirely different things. The fact that a dog is friendly with humans doesn't mean it's immune to aggression or aggression from other dogs; some canines choose to play rather than fight; others will just run away. The type of animal isn't the only consideration. Dogs who have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother at the age of six to eight weeks are more likely to be socially competent.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means that you'll have to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothing and in the home. It's worth noting, however, that shedding varies widely among breeds. Some dogs shed all year long, while others ``blow" just during specific times of the year, and still others don't shed at all. If you're a stickler for cleanliness, you'll need to choose a breed that sheds less or lower your expectations. You can use a deshedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

While greeting you, some dogs may cover their arms with ropes of drool and create large, wet patches on your clothing. If you don't mind a little drool, go for it; but if you're a stickler for cleanliness, you may want to look for a dog with a low drool rating.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and appearance. If you don't have the time or money to take care of a dog that requires a lot of grooming, you may want to look into hiring a professional.

Exercise Needs

Evening walks around the neighborhood are perfectly acceptable for some breeds. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, require regular, rigorous exercise.

They can gain weight and release their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, including barking, chewing, and digging, if not given enough exercise. Those looking to train their dog for an energetic canine activity, such as agility, should consider getting a dog that needs a lot of exercise.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


Up to 15 inches tall at the shoulder


15 to 19 pounds

Life Span:

10 to 15 years


Fox Terriers have a long and storied past, and their beauty and charm are timeless. He has won more Best in Show prizes at Westminster than any other breed, has ridden to the hunt with kings, and has amused the people in circuses and films.

The appearance of both Smooth and Wire Fox Terriers has remained largely unchanged for decades. All the way from Colonel Thornton's Pitch in 1790 to today's foundation canines Old Jock and Belgrave Joe in Smooths and Meersbrook Bristles and Cackler of Notts in Wires, the two breeds have remained remarkably consistent in appearance.

The smooth coated black and tan terrier, Bull Terrier, greyhound, and beagle are likely the ancestors of the modern Smooth Fox Terrier. Black and tan terriers with a rough coat originated in Wales, Derbyshire, and Durham, and these dogs are thought to be the forebears of modern-day Wires.

The original function of the Fox Terrier was to accompany hunters in a saddlebag or box while they pursued hounds. After the fox had been cornered, the Fox Terriers were let go to chase him away.

In the latter part of the 18th century, the foundations for the contemporary Fox Terrier were laid. By the 19th century, dog breeds looked more or less the same. During the year 1876, the Fox Terrier Club of England was established. It was at this time that the Wire and the Smooth, which had previously been considered to be two variants of the same breed, were split apart into their own registries with their own breed standards. In the 1870s, 276 Fox Terriers were entered into a single dog show, proving their widespread popularity.

The American Fox Terrier Club, founded in 1885, was the first breed-specific organization to be admitted to the American Kennel Club when it was established the year before. As a result, throughout the next century, in the United States, Fox Terriers were grouped together as a single breed despite there being two distinct subtypes. Separate breed requirements were not implemented until 1985. The Smooth Fox Terrier has dropped from the AKC's top spot ten years ago to the present position of number 110. The Wire has gained in popularity and is now ranked at #97, but this is still lower than its 2000 high of #68.

Personality & Temperament

The Fox Terrier is a joyful, high-energy dog that is also smart and loyal. They are devoted to their loved ones and will defend them if necessary. Fox Terriers are energetic pets that get along well with kids and are often a source of amusement for the younger generation. The breed needs early and consistent socialization if it is to coexist safely with cats and other small animals.

Even while adult Fox Terriers typically don't suffer from separation anxiety due to their strong personalities, it's still important to socialize and train newborn puppies to be comfortable being left alone at an early age. Fox Terriers are good guard and watch dogs due to their protective and fearless natures; they will bark to alert others to danger.

Types of Fox Terrier

Fox Terriers are two different breeds of the terrier dog type: 

  • Smooth Fox Terrier  
  • Wire Fox Terrier


Fox Terriers, if given the right kind of care, can lead fulfilled and content lives. Be careful to provide your dog plenty of opportunities for training, socialization, and exercise. The specifics of Fox Terrier grooming depend on the breed and whether or not your dog will compete in dog shows.


The average lifespan of a Smooth or Wire Fox Terrier is at least 12 years. Dogs of these breeds tend to have long, robust lives and typically have few if any inherited health issues. DNA testing schemes, which are mandatory for UK Kennel Club Assured Breeders, have not yet been subjected to any sort of screening. Nonetheless, there are issues that could potentially impact the breed. Among these are:

Patellar Luxation

The stifle, or knee, of the hindlimb is affected by this disorder. When this happens, the kneecap, also known as the patella, moves out of place. Cases of varying severities may require surgical intervention. It can happen to one or both of your legs.


Fox Terriers are susceptible to a variety of health issues, and hearing is one of the more common ones.

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

Hip dysplasia is a disorder that causes pain and dysfunction in the hip socket. In this case, necrosis sets in at the femoral head. The hypothesized reason is a decrease in bone blood flow. When a hip bone dies and decays, it no longer fits snugly into the hip socket, leading to discomfort, stiffness, and finally arthritis. Affected dogs typically show symptoms between the ages of 4 months and a year.

Primary Lens Luxation (PLL)

A loose or dislocated crystalline lens in the eye caused by damage to a ligament of critical importance. This can develop into glaucoma (an increase in intraocular pressure), which is unpleasant and can result in permanent vision loss if not corrected. If a dog is going to get it, it usually does so between the ages of 4 and 5. Dogs with this condition shouldn't be bred.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Patella Evaluation
  2. Cardiac Exam


High-quality commercial or home-prepared (under veterinary supervision) dog food, normally approximately two cups daily, should be fine for the Fox Terrier. One should consume a high-protein diet. This energetic and sociable breed needs access to clean water at all times.

Due to their propensity for acquiring canine obesity, dogs of this breed should have their food intake strictly regulated. To find out how often you should feed your dog based on its age, weight, and activity level, consult your vet.


Whether your Wire Fox Terrier is a show dog or a beloved family pet will affect how you care for him or her. These dogs' coats need to be hand-stripped for a show, but a simple trim takes very little time and effort to achieve on a pet. Wire Foxes are not heavy shedders, but their coarse, hypoallergenic coats may need to be brushed frequently to prevent matting. Smooth Fox Terriers need weekly grooming with a stiff brush to remove dead and shedding hair from their dense, hard coat.

Nails should be clipped once a month and ears should be checked once a week for both Smooth and Wire Fox Terriers. Because of their digging tendencies, these dogs need to be bathed more frequently than once a month if they have access to a garden or mud in the backyard.


The Fox Terrier, like most terriers, needs substantial daily activity (approximately 30 to 45 minutes per day) to maintain mental and physical health. This breed in particular is notoriously hyperactive and may become a real pain at home if not given adequate outlets for their endless energy. These dogs have a high prey drive and must be walked on leashes and allowed to play only in secure fenced areas under close supervision. In addition, your Fox Terrier's natural predilection for hunting means that he or she will enjoy playing catch with a ball thrown in the yard.


Consistency and patience are essential for training these energetic, active dogs, but a good sense of humor goes a long way. Training sessions should be brief, positive, and interesting since despite the breed's intelligence, they are also autonomous and easily bored. Effective socialization is crucial. There have been reports of jealous or aggressive behavior from certain Fox Terriers towards other household pets.

Fox Terriers are excellent candidates for performance activities like agility sports, which call for athleticism, speed, and intelligence; these events are often used as a stepping stone to the dog show circuit. They make good watchdogs because of their innate vigilance.

Children And Other Pets

Fox Terriers have a youthful spirit and enjoy playing with youngsters, but they should not be kept by a child who is much younger than six or seven. Fox Terriers have a tendency to bite when excited, especially around children since their high-pitched voices and erratic movement can make them look like prey. Fox Terriers have been known to get possessive over their treats and playthings.

For the safety of both the dog and the child, it is important to teach youngsters how to approach and touch dogs and to monitor any encounters between dogs and young children. Do not leave children or dogs alone.

While fox terriers typically get along well with other canine and feline companions, these dogs aren't the ideal choice for households with small animals like rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs. Any dog, especially a Fox Terrier, would probably eat those creatures if it saw them.


You should only buy a fox terrier puppy from a reputable breeder who has a history of producing healthy offspring, as with any purebred dog. Do your homework before visiting a pet store to look at puppies for sale; otherwise, you might end up buying the first one you see.

Fox terrier puppies, especially in their early stages when they are still exploring their environment and learning the rules of your home, have a strong propensity for getting into mischief. Don't just abandon them without some sort of containment. If you don't, you could come back to a lot of ruined shoes, clothes, and furniture. When you get home from work, your dog may be unable to be found if you left him or her in an outside dog run.

Many people who have recently gotten a puppy find that crate training is an excellent method to avoid dangerous circumstances. Offering a treat and some praise when the puppy enters the crate will help it associate the crate with pleasant memories and help the dog begin to view it as a secure place.

Dogs Similar to Fox Terriers

The AKC Terrier Group is made up of numerous breeds, from toy to large. A few more terriers that compare to the fox terrier in terms of stature, personality, and physical appearance are:

Jack Russell

This breed is similar to wire fox terriers in appearance, but weighs roughly 12 pounds less and has shorter legs.


The Welsh terrier, a rare breed with a coat similar to that of a wire fox, is a small dog. Its typical black and brown colour has been tweaked.


This terrier, despite looking like the smooth wire fox terrier, was developed in Brazil..