Fox terriers come in three varieties; toy, smooth and wire-haired. All three offer similar personality traits, and can be mischievous if left to their own devices. These pooches tend to have endless energy, making them best for families who can keep up with them.
Feed your terrier a quality dog food once or twice a day. Fox terriers are energetic little buggers and need proper nutrition to stay healthy. Talk to your vet or breeder to determine how much food your little guy will need, based on his age and activity level. Split the amount into two meals and feed him twice a day if once doesn't seem to work or causes tummy troubles.
One word: exercise. Terriers traditionally were used to hunt small game and needed a high energy level to keep with their little prey. Take your pup outside and let him tear around your fenced yard to get out all his excess energy. Offer plenty of toys to keep him entertained between jaunts outside. Frequent walks on a leash offer exercise without the fear of having him tear off after a squirrel or other possible prey animal he sees.
Brush him once a week. Here's where the needs of the different fox terrier varieties differ. Toy and smooth coated fox terriers need only a rub-down once a week with a rubber grooming mitt to keep their coats smooth and clean. Wire-haired terriers require a pin or slicker brush for their weekly brushing, as their hair is coarser and longer. Baths are a rarity for these dogs, usually only necessary if they seem particularly dirty or smelly. Use a gentle dog shampoo and rinse all soap residue out of the coat when you're done.
Have a groomer strip your wire-haired fox terrier's coat twice a year. The coarse topcoat of your wire-haired pooch requires regular, manual removal to encourage new coat growth. Let a professional groomer take care of this time-consuming necessity, as doing it wrong could hurt your dog.
Lay down the law and let your terrier know who's boss. Terriers in general are smart, but stubborn, often making training a challenge. Start training him in proper, acceptable behavior as soon as he comes home and stay consistent. Seek help from a professional trainer if you're having trouble.
- Take your terrier to the groomers once a month or so to have his nails trimmed.
- Visit your vet regularly to keep your pooch healthy and up-to-date on all his vaccinations.
- If you have a wire-haired terrier and don't want to deal with the twice-yearly stripping his coat requires, have your groomer clip his coat short. The hair will grow back softer and the color can change, but he won't need the time-consuming plucking to remove his dead coat.
- Brush your pup's teeth every day to remove tartar and promote healthy gums.
- Toy fox terriers have thin skin and need warm places to rest and sleep. Offer a cozy dog bed or take Bruiser to bed with you at nigh to keep him warm and toasty.
- Fox terriers have hunting in their blood, and will give chase to smaller animals they deem prey. Constant monitoring and supervision is required while they are outside to keep them safe and prevent unintentional killing of smaller animals.
- These pooches like to be the only dog of the house, unless they've been raised with other pets.
- Small children can make your terrier nervous, resulting in a snap or nip if the dog feels threatened. Always supervise children around your dog to ensure everyone has a good time.
Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.