The Smooth Fox Terrier, also known as the Fox Terrier, the Smooth-haired Fox Terrier, the Smooth-coated Fox Terrier and most affectionately as “the gentleman of the terrier world,” is an old English breed that has been shown in the United States for more than a century. It developed in the 17th century as a hunting and sporting dog that specialized in flushing foxes and other vermin from their dens. Its keen senses of sight and smell, together with its size and stamina, made it especially well-suited to that task. The Smooth Fox Terrier is, as they say, “all terrier.” It is plucky, active, short-backed and intently focused on whatever job it is given to do. It is used less to hunt fox and rodents now than it was historically and is more commonly used as a show dog and a companion. Potential owners should remember that this small terrier has an almost insatiable instinct to dig and is quite vocal. The Smooth Fox Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club as a breed distinct from the Wire Fox Terrier in 1995. The combined breed was admitted into the AKC, with a smooth and a wire variety, in 1885.
The mature male Smooth Fox Terrier should not exceed 15½ inches at the withers and should not be more than 12 inches from withers to the root of the tail in length, with the female being slightly smaller but in the same proportion. The adult male in show condition usually weighs about 18 pounds, with a bitch being about 16 pounds in the same condition. The breed’s coat is smooth and flat but also hard, dense and abundant. White predominates with a few black patches, and brindle, red or liver markings are not preferred, because they too closely resemble the color of the fox. Its tail typically is docked to about ¾ of its original length and is set high and held upright.