A Fox Terrier is a small breed of dog which was originally created to hunt foxes, as its name will explain it to you. Fox Terriers are rarely used today for its original purpose as they have grown to become mostly family pets or dogs which are used at dog shows, due to their ability to perform. There are two different breeds of terrier dog type, the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Wire Fox Terrier.
The difference between them is mainly by appearance as they have a different type of fur and different markings to distinguish them. This breed has also flushed out a number of different breeds which are recognized separately from this one, like the Miniature Fox Terrier, the Jack Russell Terrier, or the Rat Terrier. All and all, this is a very loveable and smart dog which is very affectionate and works well as a family dog.
Fox Terrier History & Origins
Fox Terrier dogs actually go a long way back. In fact, the earliest mention of a dog which resembles this description goes way back during the Roman conquest of Britain. People in England kept small dogs back then and used them for hunting small animals. There is also the painting of Colonel Thomas Thornton made in 1790 where he is accompanied by a white terrier hound. This is probably one of the few records of a Terrier dog that remain from so further back. Not much is known about the creation of the terrier dogs before then. Some assumptions say that it took a combination of the Beagle, Old English Bulldog, English Toy Terrier, Pointer and even Dalmatian to create a modern version of the dog.
But in the 19th century a clearer image was created as the Fox Terrier has a complete pedigree that dates back to 1870. So the modern version of a fox terrier dog was made from dogs named Old Jock, Trap and Tartar, Old Jack was bred from a black and tan terrier, Trap came from the strain out of Reverend John “Jack” Russell’s dogs, while Tartar’s background is completely unknown. All in all, these are the modern forefathers of the Fox Terrier breed that we have today.
Characteristics & Temperament
A Fox Terrier is a small, alert and lively dog. They like playing and are prone to mischief, but they are also very sly if they behave badly so you will probably forgive anything they do. But because of their lively nature they do tend to bark more than other dogs. They are great watchdogs though and will protect your properly and keep you alert. Fox Terriers can also bark at other dogs as well. This can be a nuisance and does not boast well when you take them out for a walk, and you do have to take them out as they have a lot of energy and need to exert it somehow.
As far as their training goes, you need to be frim with them but not to overtly. Try to balance it out and some experience in dog training could be useful here. Early socialization is very important here and will help you develop your dog into an all-around pet.
Appearance, Colors, Size
The size is something that defies a Fox Terrier. They are not very tall and will grow to somewhere around 15.5 inches in size. Male dogs usually weigh between 17 to 19 pounds, while females are smaller and weigh between 15 and 17 pounds.
Depending on the type of the fox terrier the coat will differ as well. Smooth Fox Terriers have a smooth coat as their name suggests. They coat is dense and they shed very little compared to others. Wire fox terriers have a wiry and dense coat. Their hair is completely twisted and looks broken but it gives them their unique look. Their coats can also be a bit crinkly and have a certain wave to it. The preferred color for a Fox terrier is always white and they also come with black, tan, or black and tan markings.
Fox Terrier Health
The Fox Terrier is not a breed which is affected by many diseases. It has been reported that the major cause of death for these types of dogs is actually old age and is only followed by cancer. The lifespan of a fox terrier can reach up to 15 years in some situations and the least is 13. But there are some other conditions which you also need to be aware of.
Smooth Fox Terriers usually suffer from Myasthenia gravis and which is inherited from an autosomal recessive gene. On the other hand Wire Fox Terriers can have symptoms of megaesophagus and also suffer from cataracts. Both of the breeds are subjected to some allergies.
Fox Terrier Grooming & Shedding
Depending on the type of your Fox Terrier you will have to introduce different grooming habits. Smooth Fox Terriers shed significantly less due to their coat. But generally speaking they all need frequent brushing to remove the dead fur and keep their coats clean and tidy. Daily brushing is in order. Bathing is not so much necessary and you can do it only if the dog rolls into something dirty.
Wire Terriers do shed as well but you might only introduce frequent brushing for them due to their fur. Due to their coat texture, you can even strip the excess fur by hand and if you really want to show your dog up you can do so by taking them to a professional groomer for some extra work.
Price and Breeders
You can easily buy a Fox terrier as they are found in all the major countries today. There are various breeders who are breeding and developing this breed and it is very much common nowadays. The most that you can find them is in America but there are other countries that have their own breeders available. They price is also not so expensive and they cost $400 – $600 USD on average.
Fox Terrier Rescue
Today many people want to rescue a dog and give them homes that they never had. This is a noble feat which works both ways, the dogs get to have their own home while the owner finds a dog without going through expensive searches. You can check out the pages of American Fox Terrier Club among others, where you will find a large offer of Fox Terrier dogs that you can adopt.