GUIDE TO BUYING Fox Terrier
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW.

Dogs in general are very demanding, so if you are not prepared to make a
commitment perhaps you should consider some other less demanding animal.


Fox Terriers have an average life span of between 14 and 14 years; in which time you will have invested a fair amount of time, energy and money.


Who will be responsible for the care and training?


Will this be undertaken by all members of the family or just left to one person.


Is this person young or old; will they need help with feeding and training?

There are several books available to help with the care and training of your puppy which can be obtained from most libraries.


Before deciding on a puppy consider the following points.


See both the sire and dam of the puppy and if possible the grandparents, also
older siblings of the puppy.


Is the environment in which the puppies are being reared clean, and do the puppies look healthy?


Would the breeder be willing to offer help and advice should problems ariselater with the puppy?


Does the breeder raise the type of Fox Terrier you would like and in a manner, which appears to be caring and conscientious?


If you find after acquiring your puppy that it is unsuitable for whatever reason to your requirements would the breeder take the puppy back.


Health care
Ask the breeder about vaccinations and worming. Are there any known health concerns in this bloodline?


Has the puppy been seen by a veterinarian and given a clean bill of health?


Would it be sensible to have a dog neutered and a bitch spayed - find out the cost of performing these operations? As they can be expensive especially
spaying.


Look around before buying.
Only buy from a breeder who you consider reliable and ethical and raises puppies in a healthy environment, as only then can you be sure of the genetic
health behind the puppy.


Tell the breeder what you expect/hoping to achieve with the puppy. What your lifestyle is like and anything else you think the breeder should know. Often the breeder will want to quiz you on your suitability as the owner of one of their
Fox Terriers; most breeders want to make sure that their puppies are being placed in an environment that suits the puppy.



Choosing your puppy.

It has been said that `the puppy for you will find you' but this is not necessarily the case.

Go to see the litter on two separate occasions if possible. As the puppy
that seems lethargic may have been playing and is now ready for a nap and the litter mates who are full of life have just woken from theirs.


A good breeder knows their puppies and may be-able to make a suggestion as to which puppy would suit your lifestyle.


Keep in contact with the breeder.


Caring breeders are always interested to hear about their puppies, and should be the first to know if you encounter any problems. Breeders provide a good source of information on health care, diet and training.


Owning a dog is a commitment. So should you find yourself unable to continue this commitment, please do not abandon your dog to just any
rescue service, instead contact the breeder who will do their best to help find your Fox Terrier a new home.


Learn More about Fox Terriers


The Fox Terrier in both forms, Smooth and Wire, is known throughout the world, but is from British origins.

It probably owes its existence to the same types of dog that produced both the Bull Terrier and the Black and Tan (now Manchester) Terrier.

Uniformity of type was established in the late 1800s when the original standard for the Fox Terrier was drawn up in 1876.

 

Smooth Fox Terrier

Wire Fox Terrier

History The Smooth is thought to have come about from crosses of the Old English Terrier, smooth coated Black and Tan terriers of England, Bull Terriers, Greyhounds and Beagles.

They were used by hunters with the foxhounds to locate foxes when they went to ground by barking and so pinpointing the position of the fox for the huntsman.

They can be traced back to the middle of the 19th century when both smooth and broken coated were from the same origins and classed as one breed.


History The Wire is thought to have come about from crosses of the Old English Terrier, smooth coated Black and Tan terriers of England, Bull Terriers, Greyhounds and Beagles.

They were used by hunters with the foxhounds to locate foxes when they went to ground by barking and so pinpointing the position of the fox for the huntsman.

They can be traced back to the middle of the 19th century when both smooth and broken coated were from the same origins and classed as one breed.

Later, devotees of both coats bred like to like and developed the Wire and Smooth Fox Terrier as we know it today.

The breed Standard for this dog was drawn up in 1876 by Officers of The Fox Terrier Club, there are few differences with today’s Standard. Now the weight for dogs is more clearly stated and docking is no longer permitted

They are both members of the terrier group, originating from Great Britain. They were originally used for locating the position of foxes in their tunnels, killing vermin and hunting rabbits.

Today they are still used as hunters but more commonly as companions.

Character & Temperament

In general the Smooth is a friendly, devoted and affectionate dog with lots of personality.

They are a good watchdog and can be protective if they feel a member of their family is in danger or being threatened. Smooths get on well with children and do make ideal family pets.

They have to be socialised from an early age especially with cats and any other household pets.

Keen gardeners may find that this dog digs up their plants rather quickly as digging is one of their favourite pastimes if not corrected, but as with many other breeds, with initial training this is not a problem.

They may be troublesome with other dogs if not properly socialised.

Character & Temperament

In general the Wire is a friendly, devoted and affectionate dog with lots of personality.

They can be protective if they feel a member of their family is in danger or being threatened. In the past they have had a reputation of being a bit snappy and wilful but if you select your puppy carefully this should not be a problem.

Wires get on well with children and do make ideal family pets.

They have to be socialised from an early age especially with cats and any other household pets.

Keen gardeners may find that this dog digs up their plants rather quickly as digging is one of their favourite pastimes if not corrected, but as with many other breeds, with initial training this is not a problem.  

They may be troublesome with other dogs if not properly socialised.

Grooming 

Grooming the Smooth is relatively easy as they are clean little dogs.

A rubber grooming mitt or stiffish brush used twice a week will remove any dead and loose hair reducing the amount of hair that is shed.

If the coat becomes wet or muddy it does not take long to dry.

It is then easier to remove the dirt from the coat when it is dry.

Coat preparation for a show will generally involve some additional trimming and a bath.

Grooming 

Grooming the Wire does require a bit of time and it can be expensive, as you may need to get a professional groomer to keep the dog’s coat looking its best.

Hand stripping of the coat  will be necessary several times a year; this can be time consuming so you may find it easier to get someone else to do it for you.

'Hand stripping' means that the hair is pulled out rather than cut with scissors or clippers. If the hair is not trimmed it continues to grow in length, the hair does not moult like many other breeds. In the wild longer dead hairs would naturally be pulled out as they run through bushes and brambles - thus keeping their coat short.

If a wire's coat is cut it tends to lose it's characteristic wiry texture and the colours become pale.

The distinctive Wire Fox Terrier trimming should be first carried out when the puppy is around three months old. The Wire should be brushed and combed several times a week to keep the coat clean and tangle free.

To prepare a wires' coat for a show requires effort beyond what is generally needed to keep them neat and smart looking.

Work would normally begin many weeks before a show.  'Professional Handlers' are frequently used by owners to prepare the coat, get the dog into top condition and show the dog.

Preparing a Wire's coat to show standard is a skill which can be learnt from other exhibitors in conjunction with practice.

 

Exercise Requirements 

Fox Terriers should have lots of exercise, they are full of energy and like nothing better than a long walk.

They do well in agility and fly ball games. They will happily join in with any outdoor games where the children are playing, the rougher and dirtier the better.

They should be kept on a lead near traffic under proper control as they do have a tendency to chase cats or anything else that catches their attention, only because they love to play chasing games.

A fully fenced in garden is recommended. They can live with cats in their own home but outside they will chase them

Intelligence & Trainability 

Fox Terriers are intelligent terriers but can be a bit stubborn, like most terriers.

Training is relatively easy but owners must be consistent and firm.

They like to bark and dig so must be trained to stop these actions on command.

They can be quite dominant over other dogs so should be properly socialised as puppies.

They are not easy to obedience train, which is why it is usually safer to exercise them on a lead in public places or anywhere they could get themselves into mischief!

Ailments: 

As a breed the Fox Terrier is a hardy dog that doesn’t suffer from many health problems; and any problems they do have tend to be as individuals and non-breed specific.

The breed’s hardy constitution and known longevity has never led to the need for breed testing for clinical or hereditary defects.

The breed is suitable for hot, sunny climates but thrives in cool climates.

Feeding 

The Fox Terrier is not demanding in its feeding requirements.

They do eat a lot considering their size but they are active little dogs.

Litter Size Average 4-6 per litter.


The Smooth Fox Terrier Breed Standard

(© The Kennel Club)

An active and lively breed, he is likened in the standard to a short-backed, well-made hunter, covering a lot of ground. This is one of the most lively and alert of terriers, whose refinement to his present show excellence has not allowed him to become one whit unsound. Capable of standing up to any amount of exercise, he is always ready to deal with rats, rabbits and, of course, foxes. He is not the dog to let loose on a hillside covered with sheep, but is ideally suited to family life in town or, if he is properly controlled, the country. Although he is small enough to be carried if necessary, he’s tough enough to appeal to the man in the household.

General Appearance

Active and lively, bone and strength in small compass, never cloddy or coarse. Neither leggy nor too short in the leg, standing like a well made, short-backed hunter, covering a lot of ground.

Characteristics

Alert, quick of movement, keen of expression, on tiptoe of expectation.

Temperament

Friendly, forthcoming and fearless.

Head and Skull

Skull flat, moderately narrow, gradually decreasing in width to eyes. A little stop apparent, cheeks never full, jaws, upper and lower, strong and muscular, falling away only slightly below eyes. This portion of foreface moderately chiselled out, so as not to go down in a straight line like a wedge. Nose black.

Eyes

Dark, moderately small, as near as possible circular in shape but not prominent. Expression bright and intelligent.

Ears

Small, V-shaped and dropping forward close to cheek, not hanging by side of head. Fold of ear above level of skull. Leather of moderate thickness.

Mouth

Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Neck

Clean and muscular, without throatiness, of fair length and gradually widening to shoulders.

Forequarters

Shoulders long and sloping, well laid back, fine at points, cleanly cut at withers. Legs from any angle must be straight showing little or no appearance of an ankle in front. They should be strong in bone throughout.

Body

Chest deep, not broad. Back short, level and strong without slackness. Loin powerful, very slightly arched. Foreribs moderately sprung, back ribs deep.

Hindquarters

Strong and muscular, quite free from droop or crouch; thighs long and powerful, hocks well let down, good turn of stifle.

Feet

Small, round and compact. Soles hard and tough, toes moderately arched, and turning neither in nor out.

Tail

Previously customarily docked.

Docked: Set on rather high and carried gaily but not over back or curled. Of good strength.

Undocked: Set on rather high and carried gaily but not over back. As straight as possible. Tail of moderate length to give balance to the dog.

Gait / Movement

Fore- and hindlegs carried straight forward and parallel. Elbows move perpendicular to body, working free of sides, stifles neither turning in nor out and hocks not close. Good drive coming from well flexing hindquarters.

Coat

Straight, flat, smooth, hard, dense and abundant. Belly and underside of thighs not bare.

Colour

White should predominate, all white, white with tan, black and tan or black markings. Brindle, red or liver markings highly undesirable.

Size

Dogs: 7.5-8 kgs (16-18 lbs); bitches: 7-7.5 kgs (15-17 lbs)

Faults Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Note

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended in to the scrotum.


The Wire Fox Terrier Breed Standard

(© The Kennel Club)

Originally known as the Rough-haired Terrier, and used for sporting pursuits, the Wire Fox Terrier is a native breed. He is long-lived, with an expected life span of well over ten years.

It is probable that the rough coat was developed before that of the Smooth Fox Terrier but, strangely, the appearance of the Wire Fox Terrier in the show ring was some twenty years later than that of the Smooth. A strain of rough coat terriers was kept for fifty-five years by the Reverend Jack Russell, who gave his name to another terrier breed.

He is alert, very active, bold and somewhat vociferous. Cheerful and happy, he makes an excellent children’s playmate and family pet. A classy dog, who really looks his best when nicely trimmed, he is a great show dog, enjoying success in this field throughout the world.

General Appearance

Active and lively, bone and strength in small compass, never cloddy or coarse. Conformation to show perfect balance; in particular this applies to the relative proportions of skull and foreface, and similarly height at withers and length of body from shoulder point to buttocks appear approximately equal. Standing like a short-backed hunter covering a lot of ground.

Characteristics

Alert, quick of movement, keen of expression, on tiptoe of expectation at slightest provocation.

Temperament

Friendly, forthcoming and fearless.

Head and Skull

Topline of skull almost flat, sloping slightly and gradually decreasing in width towards eyes. Little difference in length between skull and foreface. If foreface is noticeably shorter head looks weak and unfinished. Foreface gradually tapering from eye to muzzle and dipping slightly at its juncture with forehead but not dished or falling away quickly below eyes where it should be full and well made up. Excessive bony or muscular development of jaws undesirable and unsightly. Full and rounded contour of cheeks undesirable. Nose black.

Eyes

Dark, full of fire and intelligence, moderately small, not prominent. As near circular in shape as possible. Not too far apart nor too high in skull nor too near ears.
Light eyes highly undesirable.

Ears

Small, V-shaped, of moderate thickness, flaps neatly folded over and dropping forward close to cheeks. Top line of folded ears well above level of skull. Prick, tulip or rose ears highly undesirable.

Mouth

Jaws strong with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Neck

Clean, muscular, of fair length, free from throatiness, broadening to shoulders, presenting a graceful curve when viewed from side.

Forequarters

Seen from front, shoulders slope steeply down from junction with neck towards points which should be fine; viewed from side, long and well laid back and sloping obliquely backwards. Withers always clean-cut. Chest deep, not broad. Viewed from any direction, legs straight, bone strong right down to feet. Elbows perpendicular to body, working free of sides, carried straight when moving.

Body

Back short, level and strong without slackness, loin muscular, slightly arched. Brisket deep, front ribs moderately arched, rear ribs deep, well sprung. Very short coupled.

Hindquarters

Strong, muscular and free from droop or crouch. Thighs long and powerful. Stifles well bent, turning neither in nor out. Hocks well let down, upright and parallel when viewed from rear. Combination of short second thigh and straight stifle highly undesirable.

Feet

Round, compact with small, tough and well cushioned pads, toes moderately arched. Turning neither in nor out.

Tail

Previously customarily docked.

Docked: Set high. Carried erect, not over back or curled. Of good strength and fair length.

Undocked: Set high. Carried erect, not over back or curled. Of good strength and fair length to maintain a balanced appearance.

Gait / Movement

Fore- and hindlegs move straight forward and parallel. Elbows move perpendicular to body, working free of sides. Stifles turning neither in nor out. Good drive coming from well flexing hindquarters.

Coat

Dense, very wiry texture, 2 cms (3/4 in) on shoulder to 4 cms (11/2 ins) on withers, back, ribs and quarters with undercoat of short, softer hair. Back and quarters harsher than sides. Hair on jaws crisp and of sufficient length to impart appearance of strength to foreface. Leg hair dense and crisp.

Colour

White predominates with black, black and tan or tan markings. Brindle, red, liver or slate-blue marking undesirable.

Size

Height at withers not exceeding 39 cms (151/2 ins) in dogs, bitches slightly less. Ideal weight in show condition 8 kgs (18 lbs) for dogs, bitches slightly less.

Faults Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Note

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended in to the scrotum.


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