Buying or Adopting a Wire or Smooth Fox Terrier
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2018
Is a DOG really the right pet for you?
I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.
Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?
Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:
Is a Fox Terrier the right breed for you?
Are YOU right for a Fox Terrier?
Can you provide what this breed needs?
- Someone home most of the day
- Fenced yard (6-8 feet high, not an electronic/underground fence)
- No young children in the household
- No dogs of the same sex in the household
- Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Fox Terrier stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
- "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as a challenging dog sport (agility, rally obedience, musical freestyle, flyball, earthdog); challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; tricks and games such as Musical Toys and Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
- Brushing (Wire Fox) – moderate
- Trimming/clipping (Wire Fox) – a lot, every few months
- An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
- A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
- An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Fox Terriers are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
- An owner who is okay with moderate/heavy shedding (Smooth Fox)
- Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Fox Terrier to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior or aggression
- Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Fox Terrier, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say
Should you get a male or female Fox Terrier?
Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?
Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?
Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Fox Terrier be?
Where can you buy or adopt a Fox Terrier?
Fox Terriers used to be very popular, but they're much less common today. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, Wire Fox Terriers rank 101st and Smooth Fox Terriers rank 124th.
Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
Fox Terriers are available from Dog Rescue groups. Fox Terriers may be turned over to Rescue just because of the dynamic traits that are common to all terrier types – scrappiness, bossiness, stubbornness, barking, chasing. Other Fox Terriers are given up simply because of changed family circumstances, and these dogs may have no behavior problems at all.
Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Fox Terriers are occasionally found here, but shelter personnel may mislabel a terrier mix as a Fox Terrier, even when it's not. Fox Terrier rescue groups do keep their eyes peeled on shelters and humane societies across the country, and if a Fox Terrier turns up at a shelter, the rescue group does try to move the dog into their rescue network.
Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy a Fox Terrier from a show breeder, who breeds Fox Terriers to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring. You can also buy a Fox Terrier from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.
Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of a Fox Terrier puppy should have:
- a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have normal knees
- a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or a report from a veterinary cardiologist – dated within the past year – certifying that the dog has had an Advanced Cardiac Exam and has a normal heart
If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Fox Terrier ends up with bad knee joints.
Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
Fox Terriers are often found in pet shops. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!
How To Choose a Good Fox Terrier Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Fox Terrier puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.
AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Fox Terrier puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?
To help you train and care for your dog
To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.