Fox Terrier is a breed of small, square-shaped dogs traditionally specialized in burrow hunting. Today fox terriers exist in two varieties – wire-haired and smooth-haired.
Although originally bred as hunters, these dogs will make good companionship to anyone looking for activity.
Good nature, lively mind, playfulness, strong psyche, courage and devotion to one’s “pack” – these are the strengths of the Fox character.
It’s amazing how many conflicting qualities are organically combined in the appearance of a handsome fox terrier.
At the beginning of the 20th century, breeders favored sleek fox terriers as more skilled hunters. In addition, while working in the burrow, the tight-fitting coat of the dogs almost did not get dirty, so it practically did not need to be cared for.
The history of the origin of the fox terrier is full of interesting events. These dogs were faithful companions of kings, entertained the crowded audience in the circus, were permanent participants in various dog shows.
When fox hunting in England reached its peak in the late 18th century, hunters realized that they needed a dog capable of pulling prey out of their burrow. The result was a smooth fox terrier.
There is no exact information about the first puppies of this breed. But, according to assumptions, the first fox terriers were black and tan. In 1790, a portrait was painted of a certain Mr. Colonel Thornton, in which he was depicted with a dog of this breed.
The breed has changed little since those distant times. Over time, breeding of the breed has led to the emergence of wire-haired fox terriers. The main difference between the smooth-haired and wire-haired terriers was the coat itself, as well as the shape of the head, which was slightly different.
Researchers suggest that, despite the external similarity, as well as the same disposition, the smooth-haired and wire-haired fox terriers have different ancestors. There is an opinion that breeders did not initially show wire-haired terriers to the general public.
In 1876, the first fox terrier club was formed in England. Members of this organization have developed a breed standard, which, despite the fact that more than a century has passed, remains unchanged. True, minor changes were made, but they concerned only the weight of the male, which was allowed to participate in various exhibitions.
A fox terrier named Caesar was the favorite pet of King Edward VII. The dog wore a collar with the inscription “I am Caesar. I belong to the king. ” After the death of Edward in 1910, the dog was very sad, and during the funeral ceremony Caesar with painful eyes obediently followed the owner’s coffin.
Fox Terrier is not a breed for introverts and couch potatoes. These dogs love to play and frolic, along the way in contact with humans. Therefore, the best host for a Fox terrier is an adherent of an active lifestyle or a professional hunter.
In the homeland of the breed, the first standard was developed back in 1876, officially approved in 1913. Since then, it has been only slightly modified, which speaks of an established type of fox terrier.
FCI documents are now valid:
- Wire-haired Fox Terrier – No. 169 of 2009
- Smooth Fox Terrier – No. 12 of 2017
Fox Terrier is a small dog with great capabilities and pronounced temperament. Compact, square format, stable and hardy due to a fairly strong bone and good musculature, but by no means coarse.
Fox’s trademark is a very large head with an elongated, but not narrow muzzle and a special clever expression. Small ears of a triangular shape are necessarily on the cartilage, directed angularly forward, to the corners of the eyes. The round eyes are very dark and lively.
A well-filled nipple (muzzle) speaks of a powerful fox jaw capable of holding a grip. The standard does not specify in detail the dental formula, but prescribes to have the entire set of 42 teeth in stock. A scissor bite is required.
The list of characteristic signs of a fox terrier also includes:
- The neck is at least as long as the head.
- Pronounced withers.
- Short, straight, firm back.
- Shortened powerful loin.
- Tail set high.
Given the small size, the legs of the terrier must have exceptionally correct angles for harmonious, sweeping movements. The hind legs are very strong, with very strong musculature, set wide apart for confident work in the burrow.
Color requirements are almost the same for both coat types: two- or three-color, with red and black spots on a predominantly white background. For “smooth” ones, a pure white color is allowed.
Smooth-haired type – the coat is not as short and thin as, for example, a dachshund. Rather tough, but straight, elongated in places (on the tail), very thick.
Wire-haired type – the guard coat is very hard, up to 4 cm long, but not straight, resembles a wire. It covers the body with an elastic dense wave. In section, the guard hair is thickest on the outside, thin at the base. The undercoat is soft and short, dense undercoat. On the head, a decorating elongated hard hair in the form of eyebrows, mustache and beard is required.
An important parameter is the height of the fox terrier: up to 39 cm at the withers. With this height, the dog should not weigh more than 8 kg (“hard” a little more).
Important! The previous version of the Smooth Fox Terrier standard lacked height requirements, which led to negative trends. Now the standard has been restored.
The fox terrier level is determined by the correct balance of all parameters. A tilt towards a too long neck and head, an overdeveloped chest is not good.
Even with an excellent exterior, the fox can be disqualified at the show and excluded from breeding if he is cowardly, lethargic, childish, non-contact and unreasonably aggressive.
All fox terriers do not tolerate loneliness, so an animal left without control for a long time is able to arrange a local apocalypse in an apartment.
Character and training of the Fox terrier
A good fox terrier gives an impression of cheerfulness and positiveness. He is curious, but usually not stupid to get into trouble beyond his ability. Another thing is that his opportunities are rather big.
The hunting past (and for many dogs, the present) has given terriers valuable qualities that allow them to live an active life without negative consequences:
- Fast reaction.
- Independence in decision making.
Sanguo-choleric by nature, fox is ready for any kind of action: game, hunting, sports. This should also include training. A properly structured training course is perceived by dogs with interest and enthusiasm. But not at once. Every terrier will first try to do it in its own way.
The combination of violent activity and self-will of young Foxes leads many owners to despair. Indeed, the first year and a half with a Fox is difficult. But do not give up. Terriers are perfectly trained and remember the “material” well, you just need to work with them persistently and not give in to emotions.
Fox terriers, as a rule, are not “food workers” – rewarding with snacks is required only in the initial period of the training process. Much more valuable to the dogs is the feeling of lifting, winning and the confidence they get from successfully completing the course with the owner.
Foxes are docile and inquisitive, not prone to despondency and long self-examination. All this makes them excellent companions for sports and tourist leisure, any outings to nature. They love to swim, and even more – to dig the earth and sand. All terriers are good at serving, easily master the “obstacle course” and sports games with objects.
Hunting foxes are versatile, they are used not only for hunting foxes. They have enough flair to search for large feathered game and any wounded animals, they work on the trail of blood and wild boar. They are careful in the burrow and are rarely injured.
Working line dogs are more serious, they have a “Nordic” character and high self-esteem. They start attaching a young terrier after changing teeth and no later than 12 months. The learning process on an artificial burrow should be entrusted to an experienced baiter.
Confident and inquisitive nature of the fox terrier can bring some nasty things to family life. For example, there are cases of “forays” on the kitchen table or flowerbed. Keep in mind that puppies are just as active as adult dogs. Therefore, you will need a lot of time and attention to educate these dogs.
Dogs of this breed are distinguished by their activity, responsiveness and intelligence. They are prone to mischief, while they are very adorable and just as cunning. Fox Terrier can outsmart anyone, sometimes such antics cause frank laughter in many. The vigilance of these pets makes them excellent guardians, but sometimes their vigilance can cause the dog to be annoying.
Fox terriers are very sociable and inquisitive, so such pets are very friendly to people, but without much hesitation they sometimes start a fight with their relatives. Fox Terriers, like other dogs, need early socialization. They need to be taught to communicate with people, to acquaint them with various objects, sounds, etc. Socialization is a guarantee that your pet will be comprehensively developed.
Fox Terrier is a dog with dominant manners. This means that as it grows up, the puppy will repeatedly try to switch roles with the owner.
Holding the Fox is both easy and difficult. The main problem is the dog’s enduring vigor; the more you walk and play with her, the happier she is. Fox cannot be tired for long. A short respite, and he is ready for battle again.
Fox Terriers are very strong and impetuous dogs. They will need a sturdy wide collar with a sturdy carabiner. On a leash, foxes always pull forward powerfully, however, it is not recommended to drive them on a harness. Better to train, they are quite capable of the command “Near!”.
Foxes have a highly developed grasping reflex and a desire to catch up with prey. For this reason, organizing their leisure time, on the one hand, is simple – it is enough to acquire equipment (ball, puller, sticks, frisbee) and a good company of peers. The best option is joint walks with friendly dogs.
On the other hand, daily walking on a leash will not satisfy the Fox. And you cannot entrust an active dog to a child. When in the company of other dogs, the fox can be cocky and even pugnacious.
Fox’s games are violent, with jumping, growling, tuggling and hunting techniques, and he loves to play on equal terms. For this reason, such a dog cannot be recommended for a family with small children up to 4–5 years old.
Fox terriers get along well with cats, but only in their own home. You can keep them both in an apartment and in a private house, in an aviary. Dogs of the same sex in the same family are a problem. Conflicts between males are guaranteed, the options for cohabitation of any two dogs in the same enclosure should be well thought out.
Terriers do not have a tendency to gluttony and do not begging too much. But they can steal food, showing ingenuity.
Given the physical activity, small size and fast metabolism of Foxes, they should be fed with concentrated, high-quality food, in small portions. A clear schedule and accompanying feeding teams are beneficial. For travel and hunting trips, it is better to take canned meat.
Despite the white “shirt”, bathing fox terriers with shampoo is often not recommended, 1-2 times every 3 months is enough. Cleanliness is induced by wiping and combing.
Both wool varieties have a very thick and dense coat with highly developed sebaceous glands. Greasy grease protects the coat well from external factors, and it should be protected. Wool overdried by washing loses its properties and gets dirty even faster than before.
Caring for a smooth coat is simple, but with the wrong diet and insufficient walking, smooth-haired dogs often show off-season shedding – the coat is “frayed”. This is not observed in “gestures”, but they require regular trimming.
Wire fox terrier trimming is done 2-3 times a year. The only tool that the master uses is a trimming knife for easy grip of wool. Much of the work is done by hand.
Fox’s coat is one of the thickest and thickest, the breed hairstyle is quite complex – without abrupt transitions and taking into account the individual characteristics of the dog’s constitution. Therefore, the procedure is not quick and expensive. The owner can master it for hygienic purposes, but the exhibition complex grooming must be entrusted to a specialist.
The first trimming must be done to the puppy at 3-4 months old, and then it all depends on the speed of wool maturation. Be sure to choose not only the guard hair, but also the undercoat. Never cut your hair!
An additional difficulty is to accustom the fox terrier to long standing on the table. In general, a fox is not a dog that will resignedly endure any manipulation of itself; he will resist.
But it is not all that bad. Firstly, trimming can be planned according to the season and taking into account exhibitions, up to several days. Secondly, after the procedure, the owner is minimally burdened with hair care for up to two months.
Pros of trimming
- If the dead coat is plucked regularly, the coat structure and appearance will only improve each time.
- The coarse coat does not shed or shed.
- Thick “shirt” repels dirt and moisture.
- High-quality coat protects the dog from wounds and mosquito bites.
Smooth-haired dogs also need special grooming “finishing” for the show.
The wire-haired species need regular trimming, while the smooth-haired species are easily content with weekly brushing.
Fox terrier health
Problems in most cases are created by the mobile lifestyle of Foxes. These are various injuries, including those received from clashes with dogs and cats. At the same time, the fox is “tough on the wound,” as the hunters say, and courageously endures pain.
The main array of genetic diseases is associated with white coat color and the specificity of hard hair:
- Skin diseases: eczema, dermatitis, allergies.
Terriers have excellent heart muscle, which provides them with the status of active centenarians. Life expectancy is up to 14-18 years.
Fox terrier dog breed highlights
Fox Terrier is a cheerful intellectual with an original appearance and a special gait on straight legs.
What attracts in him:
- Small and compact, doesn’t eat much.
- He learns quickly, masters a lot of commands, up to funny circus tricks.
- Good friend.
Why are the townspeople in favor of other small terriers lately over the Fox? The hunting history is probably making itself felt:
- Tireless, harsh and emotional.
- Barks often.
- Rich long walks and active games are required.
- Shows independence and perseverance.
Sometimes there are dogs that are calm, slow and silent, indifferent to the world around them, without a spark in their eyes. But these are not foxes at all, it is not interesting with them.
Fox terrier fun facts
- Fox Terriers are food lovers, and therefore prone to obesity. Monitor your diet and give your dog enough exercise.
- It is difficult for an untrained dog breeder to achieve results in training, so it is better to contact a specialist.
- Fox Terriers love to chase small animals. They are also not averse to starting a fight with relatives. It is better to use a leash when walking.
- If the pet is not socialized, then it should not be left alone with other pets.
- Dogs of this breed are very energetic. They need up to 45 minutes of daily vigorous exercise. If the animal does not realize all of its energy, then interior items and decor in your home may suffer.
- Despite the fact that fox terriers are very loyal and adore children, nevertheless, while playing with children, a dog, inadvertently, can harm a child.
- Fox Terrier is a rather rare breed. Therefore, you will most likely have to spend a lot of time to buy it. Even not every kennel has a puppy for sale. You may need to order it in advance.