Did you know?
The first documented evidence of the Smooth Fox Terrier came in 1790, when a man by the name of Colonel Thornton painted a portrait of his beloved dog, Pitch.
Smooth Fox Terrier
Fox-terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs. – Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat
The Smooth Fox Terrier was developed in England. One of the oldest of the Terriers, the Romans in England in 54 BC first observed small dogs being used by hunters to chase quarry into burrows and dens, demonstrating the instinctive terrier behaviour of “going to ground”. This particular terrier breed has been around since the 18th century and likely earlier.
He was the first breed in the fox terrier family to be given official recognition by The Kennel Club in about 1875 and is the original Fox Terrier from which the Wire Fox Terrier was created. This dog claims a significant number of terrier breeds as descendants.
As you might expect of one of the oldest of the terrier breeds, his exact development is unclear. The first documented evidence of the breed dates to 1790, when a Colonel Thornton painted a portrait of his dog, Pitch.
The Smooth Fox Terrier is a hunting dog who was bred for “fox bolting”. A fox bolting dog runs with a pack of foxhounds and “bolts” after foxes, driving them from their hiding spots and into the open in sight of the larger foxhounds and mounted hunters.
Photos displayed courtesy of Wanda Stacey, Venandi, Alberta
The Smooth Fox Terrier stands up to 15 1/2 inches (39 cm) tall at the shoulder.
He has a smooth, hard coat that is mostly white with markings in any colour except brindle, red, or liver. The terriers with white coats were less likely to be mistaken for the fox during crowded hunts, and were therefore more highly prized.
The coat should be hand stripped to remove dead fur twice per year.
As the living representative of the dog pictured listening to “His Master’s Voice”, the Smooth Fox Terrier became an extremely popular pet in North America for a while. However, although he remains well known among hunters, he is not often seen today outside of the show ring.
The Smooth Fox Terrier has the feisty personality common to terriers. He is enthusiastic, lively, and highly energetic. Therefore, he may not be ideal for the first time dog owner.
An ideal children’s companion, he never refuses a chance to run, chase, or play.
An entertaining family pet for the active household, the Smooth Fox Terrier is affectionate, trustworthy, and eager to please.
As his breed purpose is to hunt small animals, he has a high prey instinct. Small pets such as cats may trigger his hunting instinct and being a terrier, he may try to dominate other dogs.
As with most terriers, he will stand his ground against other dogs, and will benefit from early training and socialization. He is intelligent and learns quickly but can be stubborn.
Alert, determined, and inquisitive, the Smooth Fox Terrier needs a confident leader with a loving but firm and consistent hand. They are game little dogs and always ready for anything. The explorer Richard E. Byrd frequently took his Smooth Fox Terrier, Igloo, with him on his trips to Antarctica.
This is an active breed who needs lots of off-leash exercise and so is happiest in a home with a large fenced yard.