Fox Terriers are spunky, fearless, loyal dogs who adore the outdoors as much as they enjoy people. They were developed to work as part of fox hunting parties, bolting foxes from their dens out into the open where Foxhounds and hunters then took over. Their small size allowed them to get into the foxes dens, and t heir long legs helped them keep up with the hounds. Today, Fox Terriers still enjoy running and digging, and are happy to do so alongside kids of all ages. They are active dogs who require a family who is committed to exercise, but for experienced owners, these terriers make a great family pet.
Fox Terriers are small, but they have energy to spare and need a lot of exercise to maintain health and happiness. Even when indoors they are always “on the go,” constantly moving about the house. You should walk your Fox Terrier several times a day, but jogging is even better. Fox Terriers prefer running to walking, so joggers have a true blue companion in this breed. They chase balls to the point that some owners believe they are obsessed with the activity, and can use up all of their energy playing fetch, as long as your arm doesn't tire out in the process. Their size makes Fox Terriers fine apartment dogs, but a commitment must be made to keeping up with a regular exercise program.
Fox Terriers can be a handful to train. They are independent thinkers who will make you prove that you are a worthy leader. Training sessions should begin early and conducted with a firm but gentle hand. Consistency is important, as Fox Terriers will test boundaries and the minute a rule is bent will attempt to run roughshod over the house. Praise is a good motivator, but food works the best. Once a Fox Terrier learns that there is something in training that benefits him (treats), he will come around quickly.
Once leadership has been established and basic obedience has been mastered, Fox Terriers should move on to advanced obedience, trick training or agility activities. They need to work their brains as much as their bodies, and keeping them focused on learning new activities can prevent your Fox Terrier from making mischief in the house, especially when left alone.
Fox Terriers are very aggressive toward other dogs, picking fights and refusing to back down when he is picked upon. Unfortunately, the Fox Terrier can't defend himself very well and is bound to lose most fights he picks. It is very important, no matter how well-behaved you believe your Fox Terrier to be, that you keep him on a leash or in a securely fenced area at all times. This keeps him safe from fights, but also keeps him from running after small animals, which this breed is also very prone to do. A Fox Terrier will not obey commands to return home if he takes off after a cat, rabbit or squirrel. It is also best if your Fox Terrier is the only pet in the house. He'll pick fights with dogs, terrorize cats and stalk small caged animals.
Fox Terriers are prone to excessive barking. This trait is classic Terrier and can be difficult to train out of the dog. This makes Fox Terriers excellent watchdogs, but lousy housemates and neighbors, especially if you live in close proximity to other people. Teaching your Fox Terrier to obey commands to cease barking can save the sanity of the neighborhood.
Fox Terriers are small, but they can escape a fence in the blink of an eye. Fences should be high, and also sunk low beneath the ground and yard time should always be supervised. They can jump higher than you think, and are expert diggers who can tunnel quickly under a fence in search of new adventure.