fox-terrierBoth the Wire-haired Fox Terrier and the Smooth Fox Terrier originated in the 19th century, descending from earlier varieties of English terriers. They were used by the nobility for fox hunting and were carried in saddlebags until the fox went to ground.

The Fox Terrier’s job was to drive the fox out of its lair so it could be chased down again. The working classes also kept Fox Terriers to keep down populations of rats and mice.

The Fox Terrier is a happy fellow, eager to please and lots of fun


The Fox Terrier is everybody’s friend. They are excitable, alert, outgoing, friendly dogs with an extra helping of exuberance.

The Fox Terrier thrives on vigorous exercise. They are intelligent and need lots of stimulation to stop them being bored and destructive. A squeaky toy will keep them entertained as will a game of ball chasing in the back garden.

They can be fearless when provoked and they stand their ground when challenged, making them good watchdogs. Fox Terriers are easily trained and are especially motivated by food which makes training easier.


The Smooth Fox Terrier needs only a regular bath and a weekly brush to minimize shedding. The Wire Fox Terrier needs a lot more attention – regular brushing and clipping about four times a year.

A daily walk or an off-lead game in the park is never enough for the average Fox Terrier. These dogs like to be on the go all the time. A twice-daily walk and a game of ball or chasing keep them happy,

Like all dogs, Fox Terriers require regular tick, flea, intestinal worms and heartworm treatments. Consult your veterinarian on treatment options. Desexing and vaccination against diseases, such as the deadly parvo virus and highly infectious canine cough, are also important to discuss with your vet.


Fox Terriers need a lot of human company, exercise and friendship. In return they will be a devoted and loyal companion. Foxies are good with children and with other animals, and as a good all-round pet they can’t be beaten as long as they are exercised daily.

Their size makes them especially suitable for older people as long as they can keep up with the Foxie’s exercise needs. An active owner is best.

They can live in an apartment but do need to be taken out for daily walks.

Fact file

Breed classification Terrier
Size Small/Medium
Origin Great Britain
Lifespan 12-15 years
Colors All white, white with black or tan markings
Cost $700+
Common hereditary problems Fairly free from any serious hereditary problems.