By Jags Goldie Last updated: 8th February 2023

Smooth Fox Terrier


Jags Goldie
Last updated: 8th February 2023

The Smooth Fox Terrier (pronunciation: Smooth fahks TAIR-ee-Uhr) is a breed of medium-sized dogs of the fox terrier family, officially acknowledged by the AKC in 1885. While it resembles its Wire Fox Terrier cousins, the smooth-coated variety is distinguished with its more prominent V-shaped head than the Wire’s. The Smooth Fox Terrier comes with a flat, moderately narrow skull, small, deep-set eyes, V-shaped, dropping ears, clean, muscular neck, short back, broad chest, long, sloping shoulders, straight legs, and a high set tail that may be docked by a quarter of its original length.

Smooth Fox Terrier Pictures

Quick Information

Alternative NamesFox Terrier Smooth Coat, Smooths, Fox Terrier
NicknamesSFT, Foxie
CoatSmooth, flat, dense, abundant, hard
ColorPredominantly white; brindle, liver, red, or black markings
Breed TypePurebred
Lifespan12-15 years
WeightFemales: 13-18 lbs
Males: 15-20 lbs
HeightFemales: 13-15 in
Males: 14-16 in
TemperamentFriendly, family oriented, active, independent
Good with ChildrenMay require supervision
Country Originated inEngland
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationACR, ACA, ANKC, AKC, APRI, CKC, CET, FCI, DRA, KCGB, NKC, NAPR, NZKC, UKC

Smooth Fox Terrier Video


Although the origin and development of the Smooth Fox Terrier are mostly unclear, the breed has been popular in England since the 18th century during which the hunters needed a companion dog that could enter the dens of foxes and flush them out of the hiding spots. It is believed that the ancestors of today’s Smooths were influenced by the Beagles, Greyhounds, and Bull Terriers.

A Colonel Thornton, in 1790, had an image painted of his Smooth Fox Terrier Pitch that indicates how they previously looked. Popular Smoot Fox Terriers that contributed to the development of the breed were Old Jack and Belgrave Joe. The uniform type of Smooths was established by the 19th century. The Smooths were first imported to America in 1879 while the introduction of the Wire followed a few years later. It gained popularity during the 1920s, as RCA used an image of an SFT named Nipper in its logo.

The AKC formally acknowledged the Smooths and Wires as distinct breeds in 1985, although AFTC (American Fox Terrier Club) maintains their breed standards.

Temperament and Behavior

The Smooth Fox Terrier, with its outgoing, self-assured disposition, can get into mischief including breaking out of your yard or raiding the kitchen. While it can outwit you with its smartness, it can make you laugh at its silly antics.

It is vigilant by nature and can alert you with its loud barks if anyone or anything trespasses its territory. As an inquisitive and outgoing dog, it gets along with people and pets it has been raised with since its puppyhood. However, it can be aggressive to unknown pets and is known to pick fights with other dogs.



Because of its stamina and lively personality, the Smooth Fox Terrier needs plenty of physical and mental stimulation to prevent it from displaying destructive behaviors like chewing, digging, chasing, and barking. Give it 30-45 minutes of vigorous activity regularly as well as lots of romps and play in a fenced yard. Since it is an intelligent breed, you may train it for agility, obedience, and earth trials.


A Smooth Fox needs occasional brushing using a firm-bristle brush to keep its hairs clean and odor-free. Bathe your pet only when its coat becomes smelly and dirty. Give it regular nail trims if its nails click on the floor.

Health Problems

The Fox Terrier is a hardy breed with no serious health concerns, but some dogs may be affected by hip dysplasia, lens luxation, cataracts, deafness, and Legg-Perthes disease.


Although the Fox Terrier is highly intelligent, it can be willful at times, making training a challenging task particularly for an inexperienced owner.


Daily walking your SFT will help it in interacting with other dogs and people, allowing it to practice proper behavior around strangers. Avoid yelling at it or pulling back on its leash if it barks at another dog. You should remain calm and distract it using a correction, which can be a swift tug of its leash sideways.

Prey drive problem

Since the SFT has a natural chasing instinct, you need to practice the recall in a fenced yard using foods and dog toys. When your dog starts chasing a squirrel or rabbit, then bring out the food reward like a hot dog or a piece of meat. Once it gets attracted to the treat and its attention is away from the prey, put its leash on and then offer the treat. Take your dog into the house only when it is in a completely relaxed state of mind. Practice this for several days so that you can control its prey drive.


Give your Smooth Fox Terrier one-and-a-half to two cups of quality dry food on a regular basis. Since it might become overweight if it overeats, you need to measure its daily amount of food.

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