Fox Terrier (Smooth-haired and Wire-haired)

Lifestyle Needs

Fox Terrier
Fox Terrier

The Fox Terrier is a small to medium sized sporting dog who is typically active, confident and somewhat noisy. He will enjoy joining in with the rough and tumble of family life.  Ideally he needs to live in a house with a garden and be given plenty of opportunity to run free in the open countryside.  The short coat of the smooth-haired variety needs grooming once a week, the wire-haired more often.

Genetic Diversity
(Known as Coefficient of Inbreeding: 'COI'. It should be as low as possible.)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 12.4% (wire-haired), 7.2% (smooth-haired) - See 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Gene Pool Size
(Known as Effective Population Size: 'EPS')

smooth-haired 80.4, wire-haired 42.1

EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

The Fox Terrier has no unnatural or exaggerated features.

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Eye Scheme and annual testing for Primary Lens Luxation (PLL).


Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : No EBVs are currently available for this breed

DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)


  • Primary lens luxation (PLL) (Smooth and Wire))
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxia (Smooth and Wire))
  • Van den Ende-Gupta Syndrome (Wire)
  • Congenital Hypothyroidism (CH) (Smooth and Wire))

Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test.

Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes


Patella luxation test

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)


  • Atopy
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Heart disease: Pulmonic stenosis
  • Wolman disease (lipid storage disease)


  • Atopy
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Heart disease: Pulmonic stenosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Wolman disease (lipid storage disease)

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

The breeder should also be familiar with the CFSG/DBRG Code of Practice for Dog Breeding

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

Breed Health Information