Fox Terrier dog images

Fox Terrier Dog Breeds: Personality and Maintenance

Fox Terrier dog breeds were originally bred to flush foxes out of hiding during fox hunts. Today they are primarily family companions and show dogs, although occasionally you will find them hunting dogs still playing their traditional role.

Fox Terriers are classic canines that have changed little since their appearance in the late 18th century. There are two types: Smooth Fox Terrier which is elegant and intelligent, while the Wire Fox Terrier is handsome, jaunty and quite elegant when properly groomed.

Called Fox Terriers or Foxys for short, both are outgoing, active and inquisitive. They live in the moment, enjoying what is happening.

Smooth Fox Terriers are not very common these days outside of hunting and show circles, but they are important because many other terrier breeds are believed to have descended from them.

The Smooth Fox Terrier also has the distinction of being the first breed in the Fox Terrier group to be officially recognised by the Kennel Club of England in 1875.

Historically, Fox Terriers were accustomed to ‘attacking’ foxes as they ran to their hiding places and drove them towards the hunters. White Smooth Fox Terriers were highly prized because they were less likely to be mistaken for foxes.

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Although Fox Terriers are rarely used for hunting now, they still have a strong prey drive and will dig with reckless abandon after underground varmints.

 

Fox Terrier Personality

 

Fox Terrier dog breeds are alert, lively and intelligent. They are also prone to mischief, being charming but cunning. A Fox Terrier may tease you, and leave you laughing at their antics. Their watchful nature makes them excellent watchdogs, but also means they tend to be nuisance thieves.

Extroverted and inquisitive, Fox Terriers are friendly with people but do not hesitate to pick fights with other dogs. This means they are not great candidates for the dog park.

Like all dogs, Fox Terriers need early socialisation (exposure to many different people, sights, sounds and experiences) when they are young. Socialisation helps ensure that your Fox Terrier puppy grows up to be a complete dog.

 

Maintaining the Fox Terrier breed

 

Just because it is small does not mean that the Fox Terrier is suitable for flat living. He really needs a well-fenced yard where he can run around and expend all that energy during the day. And don’t count on an underground electronic fence to keep your Fox Terrier in the yard, the threat of shock is nothing compared to the desire to chase what appears to be prey: cats, rabbits, cars.

Fox Terrier dog breeds should be kept on a leash when in unfenced areas. They have a strong hunting instinct and will chase anything that moves. They will also try to fight with other dogs, so they are not good candidates for visiting dog parks.

Give your Fox Terrier at least 30 to 45 minutes of vigorous exercise daily, as well as plenty of off-leash play in the yard to keep them tired and out of trouble.

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Although they are very intelligent, they are also willful, so Fox Terriers can be difficult to train. Be patient and keep your sense of humour at hand.

They thrive on regularity and consistency, so providing clear rules and enforcing them firmly and positively will produce the most progress. Once you have discovered the secret to motivating them, they will be able to learn anything you can teach.

 

Coat colour and grooming

 

Smooth Fox Terriers have smooth, harsh, dense coats, with little hair shedding. The coat of the Fox Terrier is also dense, but twisted, resembling a coconut: the ideal appearance is that the hairs are tangled, making them look broken.

The coat may be wrinkled or have a slight wave.

The coat of Fox Terrier breeds of dogs should be so dense that you cannot pull it apart with your fingers to see the skin. At the base of these stiff hairs is the undercoat, which is short, fine and soft.

White was a prized colour in both the Smooth and Wire Fox Terrier, because it made the dogs easier to spot when hunting. Today, the breed standards, the written description of how the breed should be, state that white should be the predominant colour in both the Smooth and Wire Fox Terrier.

They may have black or tan markings. The head is usually solid in colour, but the breed standard allows markings to appear on the face, such as halfway down the face or a single colour over the eyes and ears.

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Slate blue, red or liver markings are not desirable in the show ring. Such markings do not affect a good canine companion, but you should not pay extra for them because they are ‘rare’.

Smooth Smooth Fox Terriers need only an occasional brushing with a firm bristle brush to keep them looking clean. Regular baths are not necessary, only when they roll in something coarse.

Wire Fox Terriers should also be brushed regularly to keep their coats clean and odour free.

To achieve proper coat texture, the Wire Fox Terrier is known to require hand stripping, which means that the hair is pulled out rather than clipped with scissors or clippers. This is a job that most people hand over to a professional groomer, although you can learn to do it yourself.

Another option is to have your dog’s coat clipped, however, be aware that clipping the coat changes the wavy texture, which makes the coat feel soft and can make the colours look pale.

 

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