The term “Fox Terrier” actually encompasses two separate breeds: the Wire-Haired Fox Terrier and Smooth-Coated Fox Terrier. The only real difference between these two breeds is their coat.
They share the same temperament, habits, needs, health and disposition. In 1985 the Wire Haired and Smooth Coated were separated into two breeds, as they were no longer interbred.
The Fox Terrier originated in England where it was used to hunt foxes down once they traveled underground into their lair. “Foxies,” as they are fondly referred to, had to be agile, fearless and tough enough to fight a fox – traits that are still common to them today.
A slightly aloof dog with a mischievous streak, the Foxie is a great watchdog who is both loyal and entertaining for his owners.
- Spirited, playful and adventurous
- Affectionate and devoted
- Slightly aloof
- 15 to 20 pounds
- 15 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder
- Great watchdog
- Foxies require commitment as they like to be with their pet parent at all times
- Not a dog for a first-time pet parent, given their delight in mischief and desire to dominate; a strong, experienced owner is necessary to keep these dogs in check
- While Foxies enjoy children, they are some of the feistier breeds of terrier and should always be supervised
- Not suitable for homes with young children (under 10)
- Due to their natural prey instinct, great care should be used when introducing Foxies to other animals; they are likely never to see household pets like guinea pigs, birds or hamsters as anything but prey
- Great dogs for urban living provided they are exercised properly
- Foxies can be extremely stubborn but respond well to innovative, brief training sessions that are reward-based
- Never one to back down from a challenge, the Fox Terrier is always ready to stand up for himself regardless of the size of the other dog; training to discourage barking at other dogs and socialization at an early age is the best bet
- Teaching a Foxy the recall command is imperative because if they get loose and chase prey, they will not come back unless properly trained
- Master diggers, they will probably need to be taught what not to dig
- Fox Terriers are wonderful exercise companions; they are always up for more walking – at least two hours of daily on-leash walking will do nicely
- When off leash they must always be in a secured area lest they see prey and take off to chase
- Coats for both breeds come in white with black and tan markings
- The Smooth coat requires a weekly brushing to remove dead hairs
- The Wire-Haired coat requires brushing two to three times per week with a metal comb and professional grooming every six to eight weeks
- Foxies have minimal grooming needs and are a sturdy breed; other than keeping their ears clean and nails clipped, they have no special needs
- A rugged set of breeds that may be genetically prone to epilepsy, cataracts, post nasal drip, skin allergies and lens luxation
- As with all white dogs, Foxies that are predominantly white face the possibility of deafness
- 15 to 17 years
- American Fox Terrier Rescue is made up of volunteers all over the U.S. and Canada who take in Fox Terriers from animal shelters and help re-home dogs being given up by their owners.