What Do Fox Terriers Look Like?
There are two breeds under the name: the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Wire Fox Terrier. They’re both small dogs with long legs, pointy ears, and a fox-like face. They typically weigh between 15 and 18 pounds and stand 14 to 15.5 inches tall at the shoulder. As their names suggest, the main difference between them is their coat type.
The Smooth Fox Terrier
Smooth fox terriers have a short, dense coat that lies close to their body. Their hair is straight and comes in various colors, including white, black and tan, and white and tan. Their white varieties were preferred by hunters because they were harder to mistake for the fox.
The Wire Fox Terrier
Wire fox terriers have a harsh, wiry coat that stands away from their body. Their hair is also straight, but it’s much coarser than the smooth fox terrier’s coat. Wire fox terriers come in various colors, including white and black, grizzle (a mix of gray and black), and tan.
What Is the Fox Terrier’s Temperament Like?
Fox terriers are highly intelligent, playful, and energetic dogs. They’re also full of personality, and they like to be the center of attention. Because they’re so smart, they are quick learners. They excel at obedience, agility, earth dog trials (a competitive sport for hunting breeds), and tricks.
However, these dogs can also be willful and stubborn. They need firm, consistent training methods to prevent them from becoming dominant or aggressive. Like all terriers, fox terriers were originally bred to hunt small animals. As a result, they have a high prey drive and may chase cats and other small pets.
Are Fox Terriers Well-Behaved?
These dogs need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. If they don’t get enough, they may become bored and engage in unwanted behaviors, such as digging holes or barking excessively. They’re also known for being escape artists. If they’re left alone in the yard, they may find a way to tunnel under the fence or climb over it.
How Social and Affectionate Are They?
Fox terriers are social creatures who enjoy being around people. They’re also very affectionate with their owners and love to cuddle. However, they may be reserved or even aggressive toward strangers. Early socialization is important to help a fox terrier learn how to interact appropriately with other people and animals.
The Health and Lifespan of a Fox Terrier
This dog breed is generally healthy, with a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. However, like all breeds, they may be susceptible to certain health conditions. Here’s a list of the most common concerns.
- Deafness – a common problem in predominantly white dogs. It’s hereditary and impossible to cure, but deaf dogs and their owners can still live happily together.
- Hip dysplasia – a condition that causes the hip joint to develop abnormally. It’s painful and can lead to arthritis later in life.
- Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease – a condition that affects the ball of the hip joint. It leads to pain and lameness in small dogs, but can be treated with surgery.
- Cataracts – a condition that causes the eye’s lens to become cloudy. It leads to blindness if left untreated.
- Lens luxation – a condition that causes the eye’s lens to dislocate from its normal position. It can be treated with surgery.
To help ensure that your pet stays healthy, make sure to buy from a responsible breeder who provides health clearances for the parents. You should also take your dog to the vet for regular checkups and screenings for the above conditions. The American Kennel Club recommends evaluation of the patella and cardiac exams, too.
How to Groom and Care for a Fox Terrier?
Smooth fox terriers have a short, dense coat that doesn’t require much grooming. The wire fox terrier‘s wiry coat is more high-maintenance. It needs to be brushed regularly to prevent matting and tangles. This variety of the breed also needs to be clipped or plucked (a process of pulling out dead hair) every few months.
Brush your dog’s teeth at least 3 times a week, and clip their nails monthly to prevent them from growing too long. Also, check their ears weekly and remove any excess wax or debris.
Breeders and Pricing of Fox Terrier Puppies
If you’re interested in purchasing a puppy, expect to pay between $1,500 and $3,000 for a Wire Fox Terrier and $900 to $2000 for a Smooth Fox Terrier. Prices will vary depending on the breeder’s location, the dog’s color and markings, and their lineage.
When choosing a breeder, make sure to do your research. Avoid breeders who are unwilling to answer your questions, or who breed their dogs before they reach the age of 2 (some diseases only show in fully mature dogs).
A good breeder will also allow you to meet the puppies’ parents. They’ll provide health clearances for the parents and be able to answer any questions you have about fox terriers.
The History of the Fox Terrier Breeds
The fox terrier’s origins can be traced back to England in the 1700s. At that time, there were two types of fox hunting dogs: the larger foxhounds and the smaller terriers. The foxhounds would chase the foxes until they went into their dens, and then the terriers would be sent in to flush them out.
The foxhounds and terriers were bred for different purposes, but they did share some common characteristics. For example, both had a white coat (to help camouflage them in the snow) and a strong prey drive (to help them track). Over time, the foxhounds and terriers were bred for different qualities. The foxhounds were bred for speed, while the terriers were bred for their tenacity and courage.
Is This the Right Dog Breed for You?
If you’re looking for an energetic dog who can learn tricks easily, the fox terrier is a good choice. However, they are also willful dogs who need firm (but not harsh) training methods. They’re not a good choice for first-time dog owners.
Fox terriers are best suited for families who can provide them with plenty of exercise and playtime. They’re not the best choice for families with small children, as they can be nippy when they’re excited.
Fun Facts about Fox Terriers
What are some lesser known facts about these intelligent pups? Here’s our selection.
- Many other terrier breeds descend from them, including the Jack Russell Terrier, the Rat Terrier, and the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier.
- A Wire Fox Terrier named Beauty was once awarded the Dickin Medal for conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty during military service.
- Another Wire Fox Terrier, Skippy, was a full-blown canine actor in the 1930s.
Interested in Getting a Fox Terrier?
If you think the fox terrier is the right breed for you, be sure to do your research and devote plenty of time to their training. With the right family, these dogs can be a lifetime of fun!
Do you have experience with fox terriers? Let us know in the comments below.
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