• Fox Terriers in the UK
  • Fox Terrier Dogs
  • Fox Terrier
  • Fox Terrier Dog Breed
  • Fox Terrier in Great Britain
  • Fox Terriers in Great Britain
  • Fox Terriers
  • Fox Terrier in the UK
  • Fox Terrier Dog
  • Fox Terrier Breed
Exercise Level:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Height: 36 - 41cm M | 33 - 38cm F
Weight: 7 - 9kg M | 6 - 8kg F
Life Expectancy: 15 - 17 Years

Thinking of buying or adopting a Fox Terrier?


The fox terrier is a British canine classic that emerged in the late eighteenth century. There are two types of this breed: smooth fox terrier and wire fox terrier. This kind of dog breed is used to hunt quarry into narrow burrows and dens. The fox terrier is known to be friendly but fearless, which boasts of infinite energy. It is considered to be one of the best watchdogs and forms a strong attachment with families.

Looking for a fiercely protective watchdog like the fox terrier? Here is a brief background of this dog breed.

book icon


The fox terrier is a classic English breed believed to be a cross between several dog breeds, including Old English terrier, bull terrier, greyhound, and beagle. The earliest record of this breed was a dog named Pitch in 1790. It was owned by Colonel Thomas Thornton and was the subject of a painting by Sawrey Gilpin. The fox terrier became widely popular because of its fox hunting skills.

The fox terrier is divided into two breeds: the smooth fox terrier and the wire fox terrier. Albeit developed separately, both have the same origins. They are basically the same except for the characteristics of their coats and slight variance in colours and markings.

In 1876, the officers of the Fox Terrier Club of England established the first breed standard.

comb icon

Appearance and Grooming

The fox terrier is an energetic and watchful dog breed, always ready to pounce and give chase, owing to its hunting instinct. Weighing 15–19 pounds and standing 33–41 centimetres, it displays strength despite its small form and always wears keen expressions. It has a flat head that narrows with a slight stop. It sports a black nose and strong muzzles.

This dog breed has dark, round, intelligent eyes. It has small V-shaped ears that lie close to its cheeks. Boasting a perfect scissor bite, the fox terrier has upper teeth that slightly overlap the lower teeth. It has a proud neck that is muscular and quite long, supported by its wide, sloping shoulders.

When it comes to physical characteristics, the smooth and wire fox terriers are very similar except for their coats. The smooth fox terrier has a longer coat that is smooth and flat, but also hard and dense. Whereas, the wire fox terrier has what you call a broken appearance due to its dense and wiry coat. Coat colours are similar with a base coat of white, although they often have slight variations in markings such as black, tan, or a combination of these two colours.

Since both fox terrier breeds have different coat characteristics, it follows that they require different coat care. For the smooth fox terrier, occasional brushing with a firm bristle will suffice. However, the wire fox terrier will require hand stripping, where hairs are plucked out rather than cut with clippers. The latter breed is best to be taken to a professional groomer. Other grooming needs such as dental care, ear care, and nail trimming are similar.

bulb icon

Temperament and Intelligence

The fox terrier is a lively, spirited, and overenthusiastic character, but it should never be aggressive. It is sociable, very receptive to training, and excels at agility trials. It is a determined dog, alert and protective, which makes it an excellent watchdog. It gets on well with children, but strict supervision by an adult must still be observed to avoid accidents during boisterous play or interaction.

This breed will require a steady handler to provide consistent training, so it does not exhibit negative behaviours such as digging, excessive barking, and more. With that said, this type of dog is not ideal for first-time dog owners. The fox terrier forms a strong bond with its family and is known to suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods.

Proper socialisation when young will also help it get along well with other dogs; however, small animals may be a bit of a stretch. The fox terrier, originally bred as a gun dog, will be quick to give chase smaller animals at every opportunity it gets.

food icon

Nutrition and Feeding

A typical serving for an adult fox terrier is 1.5–2 cups of quality dry dog food daily, divide into two meals—morning and afternoon. Each dog has unique nutritional needs that will mainly depend on its size, age, activity level, and metabolism. Ensure that your fox terrier gets the proper nutrition it deserves by consulting with a veterinarian for guidance.

Typical daily calorie needs of an adult fox terrier that weighs 17 pounds:

  • Senior and less active: up to 520 calories daily
  • Typical adult: up to 590 calories daily
  • Physically active/working dog: up to 650 calories daily

The fox terrier should be fed with high-quality food formulated for its size. There are popular and reliable brands in pet shops and even online. However, it is best to get the recommendation of a veterinarian.

stethoscope icon

Health and Exercise

The fox terrier is a healthy breed in general, with a lifespan of thirteen to fourteen years. However, some dogs are affected by hereditary health conditions. These health issues include deafness, cataracts, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, lens luxation, and canine hip dysplasia. Although not all fox terriers will develop the diseases mentioned above, awareness is crucial for preventive measures. Always consult a veterinarian for any abnormalities.

The fox terrier is an energetic dog breed that requires the right amount of exercise. At the same time, it also needs adequate mental stimulation to avoid boredom that only results in troublesome behaviours. It loves the outdoors, so taking it for long walks will make it happy and contented, especially if it gets to engage in activities such as fly ball with its family.

pound icon

Cost of Ownership

If you are set on caring for a Fox Terrier, be ready to pay £500–£1,000 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. Part of keeping a dog is ensuring that it stays healthy and well-fed. When it comes to feeding, you will need to spend £30 to £40 a month on high-quality dog food. You also need to factor in the initial cost for dog accessories and equipment such as bowls, leads, collars, and beds, which will likely be about £200 depending on the brand.

As to healthcare you need to be prepared in case your dog suddenly falls ill or gets into an accident. You can offset some bills if you get a pet insurance, which can range from £20 for a time-limited cover up to £40 for a lifetime one. These prices vary depending on your dog’s health and age, the type of cover you choose, and whether it has pre-existing conditions.

Other outgoings to consider are veterinary expenses that may not be included in a pet insurance coverage such as vaccinations, routine checks, neutering or spaying, and annual boosters, which can have a combined cost of £800-£1000 annually. In a rough estimation, you will be setting aside £70–£100 a month for recurring expenses, depending on the type of insurance cover you choose for your dog.

Fox Terrier Breed Highlights

  • The fox terrier is a lively, spirited, and overenthusiastic dog.
  • There are two types of fox terriers: smooth fox terrier and wire fox terrier.
  • The fox terrier is ideal for experienced dog owners to provide consistent training.
  • It is known to be the best watchdog since it is quick to bark to alert its owner.
  • It forms a strong bond with the family, hence it may be prone to separation anxiety.
Fox Terrier

Are you sure the Fox Terrier is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.

Dog Breed Selector Quiz

Do you see a fox terrier get settled into your home? If you want to make sure that you're not missing on other options, check out our Pet Finder.

The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.

Listings for Fox Terrier