Dog Health & More
Fox Terriers were originally bred to flush foxes out of their hiding places during fox hunts. Today they're primarily family companions and show dogs, although you'll occasionally find them in the hunt country of the northeastern United States, still performing their traditional role.
Additional articles you will be interested in:
Fox Terriers are canine classics who've changed little since their emergence in the late 18th century. There are two types: Smooth Fox Terriers are sleek, elegant, and intelligent, while Wire Fox Terriers are handsome, happy, and quite stylish when groomed properly. Called Fox Terriers or Foxys for short, both are outgoing, active, and inquisitive, with a devil-may-care attitude. They live in the moment, enjoying whatever's going on.
Smooth Fox Terriers are not very common these days outside of hunting and show circles, but they're important because many other terrier breeds are believed to have descended from them. The Smooth Fox Terrier also holds the distinction of being the first breed in the fox terrier group to be officially recognized by England's Kennel Club in 1875.
Historically, Fox Terriers were used to "bolt" foxes when they ran into their hiding places and drive them toward the foxhounds and hunters. White Smooth Fox Terriers were highly prized because they were less likely to be mistaken for the fox. Wires were favored for hunting in rough country, their coats making them less vulnerable to injury than their smooth-coated counterparts. Although Fox Terriers seldom are used for hunting now, they still have a strong prey drive and will dig with reckless abandon after underground vermin.
Hardy and healthy, Fox Terriers generally live well into their teens. Their handy 15- to 20-pound size makes them small enough to take just about anywhere but big enough for rough and tumble play. Their fiery disposition is evident in their small, dark eyes.
These are bold and energetic dogs that love to play with children. They're loyal to their families but impulsively scrappy with other dogs, never hesitating to pick fights, even with much bigger dogs. Unless they've been trained and socialized to get along with other family pets, they shouldn't be trusted alone with them.
Fox Terriers have a lot of self-confidence and love to explore. Never turn your Fox Terrier out in an unsecured area without a leash, and periodically check your fence to make sure he hasn't been digging an escape route.
Because they're so intelligent, Fox Terriers are naturals for obedience, agility, and earth trials. They also can learn tricks easily. Like most terriers, they're willful and need firm (not harsh), consistent training methods. Because of their smarts and stamina, they need plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them from resorting to destructive behaviors such as excessive barking, chewing, digging, and chasing other animals. Exercise, exercise, and more exercise is the key. A tired Fox Terrier is a good Fox Terrier. Unfortunately, you'll probably be tired before he is.
Fox Terriers make excellent watchdogs. So long as their barking isn't triggered by being left alone for too long in the yard by themselves, you should take comfort in knowing that your Fox Terrier will sound an alarm if he hears or sees something amiss in his territory. Your Fox Terrier will always be on the job of guarding your home and family.
With their outgoing, self-assured personalities, Fox Terriers can get into lots of mischief, including raiding the kitchen table and breaking out of the yard. They love toys and balls, and many adore playing in the water. While Fox Terrier puppies are difficult to resist, be aware that when grown, they'll need a lot of attention and stimulation to keep them out of trouble. If you can stay a step or two ahead of them, though, they're lively and long-lived companions.