The Smooth Fox Terrier Association

The  Three Kings: Vivienne Rainsbury
The Three Kings: Vivienne Rainsbury

About The Breed

Smooth Fox Terriers have been around for more years than one cares to remember. In the very early days they were known as the English Terrier and it was not until about 1860 that they were called Smooth Fox Terriers and registered as showdogs. The first known classes for the breed were at a show held at Islington agricultural hall in 1862.

Wherever they were seen, Smooths, as they are commonly known, proved to be a great attraction and became very popular with the public. There are not many people who haven't had knowledge of one of these little dogs in their family, either Mother, Father, Grandmother or Grandfather having had one as a child, and if not they knew somebody who did!

As their popularity grew it was necessary to lay down some sort of official standard to which show judges could refer so the Fox Terrier Club was founded in 1876 (for both Smooth and Wire Fox Terriers and a standard drawn up for each coat.The Smooth Fox Terrier Association itself was formed in 1932.

The Smooth Fox Terrier is a genuinely British Breed and was evolved by clever breeders of the past who knew what they wanted in a dog; a game, fearless, hardy workmanlike terrier, intelligent, active with an exceedingly good memory and quick enough to catch rats and other vermin above ground, whilst small enough to go to ground, all combined with being a very good looker.

The result is the Smooth Fox Terrier as we know him today and it is worth noting that little has changed about either his character or his looks throughout the years. He has been described as 'the gentleman of the canine race' and he certainly lives up to this reputation, both as a working, hunting dog, for which he was bred, pr as a family pet and companion.

House Pets

Smooth Fox Terriers are an ideal family dog being a 'what you will' dog: a man's or a woman's dog and they are excellent with children as long as, like any breed of dog, the youngsters do not tease them. As it is children find them great companions as they find it easy to teach such intelligent, willing workers tricks, and Smooths love to please. As part of the family you will find them to be devoted, affectionate and lovable, becoming very attached to you and yours and willing to travel with you trouble free wherever and however you want to go.

As a bonus, they make excellent house-dogs; they are small to medium in size yet have a bark as big as their hearts. They are courageous and are protective of their people, always quick to let you know if there are strangers or intruders about. At the same time they will always give your bone fide visitors a friendly welcome.


Like all breeds of dog the Smooth Fox Terrier must have regular exercise to keep fit and in trim both physically and mentally. They are active and very much enjoy a good long walk in the countryside where they can do a bit of ratting and rabbiting.
However, they willingly adapt to town life as long as they have a local park and a good sized garden to run in. It is best to keep Smooths on a lead in public places especially near roads as one of their special interests is cats: they thoroughly enjoy chasing cats mostly because they love chasing games. Having said that many Smooths live very happily with your pet cat, becoming very affectionate towards it.


Your Smooth Fox Terrier is not difficult to feed as they like, and adapt to, most kinds of food whether modern all-in-one feeds or the traditional meat and biscuits. They do eat quite a lot in comparison to their size due to their very active lifestyle. Bones (beef bones, not port, lamb or fowl) are a great treat which help to keep their teeth clean, as are hard biscuits.
Remember too that left over vegetables such as carrots, greens and garlic (not potato) will also be greatly of benefit if mixed in with regular meals.
Always have a clean bowl of fresh water available.

Coat Care

The Smooth Fox Terrier is one of the smartest looking dogs with his white coat marked in black or tan and it is easy to keep him looking like that. His coat is close fitting and it is a few minute's work to keep clean and tidy being quick to dry if wet and muddy. However, to keep up best appearance a once yearly trim is a must, and like all dogs they enjoy a brush daily which keeps their coat and their skin in tip top condition. Regular grooming too will also mean that you are not too troubled by moulting.


Smooths are natural born gardeners and will enjoy helping you to dig, especially when you are planting out your vegetables and favourite flower plants. As soon as your plants are in the ground your Smooth will take them out again and give them back to you, or, even better they will run off with your tools.
If your garden is your passion, perhaps a Smooth is not for you!