What Were Smooth Fox Terriers Bred For?

Smooth Fox Terriers are a delightful dog breed that has captured the hearts of many pet owners around the world. With their sleek appearance and spirited personalities, it’s no wonder why these dogs have become so popular. But have you ever wondered what they were originally bred for? In this blog post, we will dive into the fascinating history of Smooth Fox Terriers and explore their purpose as working dogs.

The Origins of Smooth Fox Terriers

The origins of Smooth Fox Terriers can be traced back to England in the 18th century. They were developed by crossing various terrier breeds, including the Old English Black and Tan Terrier (now extinct), Bull Terrier, Greyhound, and Beagle. The goal was to create a small yet fearless dog with exceptional hunting skills.

Fox Hunting

Smooth Fox Terriers were primarily bred for fox hunting. During this time in England, fox hunting was a popular sport among the upper class. Hunters would ride on horseback while their faithful terriers followed closely behind.

These tenacious little dogs played a vital role in fox hunts by flushing out foxes from their underground dens or hiding spots known as earths or coverts. Once located, they would tirelessly pursue and bark at the fleeing fox until hunters could catch up with them.

Rodent Control

Apart from their prowess in fox hunting, Smooth Fox Terriers also excelled at controlling rodents on farms. These versatile dogs were highly valued for their ability to eradicate vermin such as rats and mice that posed a threat to crops and livestock.

Their compact size allowed them to easily navigate tight spaces like barns or granaries where rodents often took refuge. With their sharp senses and agile nature, they became indispensable assets to farmers looking to protect their livelihoods from these pests.


While Smooth Fox Terriers were primarily bred for their working abilities, they quickly won the hearts of their owners and became beloved companions. Their playful and affectionate nature made them excellent family pets, providing endless entertainment and loyalty.

Today, while fox hunting might not be as prevalent as it once was, Smooth Fox Terriers continue to bring joy to countless households around the world solely as cherished companions. Their intelligence and energy require mental stimulation and regular exercise to keep them happy and well-adjusted in a domestic setting.

In Conclusion

Smooth Fox Terriers were originally bred for fox hunting and rodent control purposes due to their fearless nature, agility, and sharp senses. Over time, they transitioned from working dogs to beloved family pets thanks to their delightful personalities. Whether you’re looking for an energetic companion or a charming addition to your household, these versatile dogs are sure to capture your heart with their boundless enthusiasm.