Fox Terrier's

Updated on May 17, 2009
N.O. asks from Rowlett, TX
6 answers

Hi Moms -
My family and I are interested in rescuing a fox terrier (smooth haired) from a local shelter and would like to get some advice from those who are familiar with the breed.

The one we are interested in getting has been neutered and is approx a year old (male).
I'm wondering if anyone can tell me from personal experience if they are good with children? Easy to housetrain? Destructive? ETC....

Whatever you can tell me about them, I'd love to hear it. I know they are considered high energy dogs but do they usually settle down after getting daily exercise or are they continuously hyper? The one we met at the shelter didn't seem extremely hyper, just seemed real excited. Anyhow, would love to get some advice because we have to get him by Monday if we decide to.

Thanks mamas for your help!

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So What Happened?

Thank you SO much for all of the helpful was all very helpful.

I wanted to let you all know we DID end up getting the dog. I truly feel in my heart this dog is meant to be with us and as much work as he may take, my family is willing to do it. He was given up by his previous owner who was an elderly lady and could not handle him so we were thinking he would do great with a famliy that has lots of energy and time to give him (which is what he needs).
So far (since Monday morning) he's been very good. He plays A LOT with my kids but it's cute playing and not to rough and he sleeps in the bed with my 3 y/o son when he naps which my son just LOVES...........and so far there has only been one accident in the house. I'm hoping that with him being new that was expected and he'll get better through more training.
Anyhow, he's a cutie and we feel he really needed another chance in life so I just pray now that everything works out and he will be a great addition to our family.

Thanks again for all of the advice!

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

My father in law has always had fox terrier's. We have two small kids 2 and 3. The male was great, but he passed away last year and the female is not good at all with kids. They can be very stubborn, hard to house train and very hyper at times. You just never know what you are going to get. My sister has one of the my father in laws pups and he is always hyper he runs an chance he gets. They also love the hunt so they bark a lot and sometimes dig. I would read up on the bread and make sure that is what you really want. How old are your children? If they are young you might look at getting a Beagle or King Charles Spaniel. They are great with small kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

N., I've got a rat terrier that we adopted as a small puppy-I was looking for a fox terrier but took the rat terrier instead.

These little guys are stubborn and full of energy. You need to make sure you and the family are ready to devote a LOT of time to making sure that this pet gets plenty of excercise, attention, and training. They are great dogs, very loyal, but you will need a lot of patience and dedication to raise them.

The biggest issue we've had with ours was peeing in the house and agression, that really stemmed from not excersizing him enough and not giving him a "job". We had a terrific trainer come in to help us and he's been doing great, but the first couple of years we had him he just about drove us nuts. Also, he's about 4 years old now so the puppy is starting to leave him, he's a lot calmer than he was say a year ago.

I'll also add from personal experience that the way an animal acts at the shelter is not necessarily what you'll have on your hands once you get home. They are under a lot of stress being there and have sometimes been sick, abused before they came to the shelter, etc. That doesn't mean it's not a good idea to rescue, places like Operation Kindness do a really good job observing animals to find out as much as they can about their disposition before adopting them out. But I adopted my Jack Russell Terrier from there and she was just the sweetest, most laid back and docile dog ever when I took her home. At her first vet visit we discovered that her spay incision was infected, and once the antibiotics started working, I had a dog that wanted to run around, play, bark, and seemed to be high strung with boundless energy. NOT what I thought I was getting but I was determined to stick it out. She calmed down after a couple of years and she's been a WONDERFUL pet. Just be prepared for the possibilities.

If you have a good feeling about this dog and are committed to adopting him, I say go for it but be prepared for anything to happen. Also, I'd highly recommend contacting Aaron Stewart at if you see any early behaviour problems that you can't seem to shake. This guy is amazing and his pricing is very reasonable-he helped us with our rat terrier in one visit. Can't say enough about him.

Best of luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

The only experience I have with a fox terrier was not a great one. He was very neurotic and hyper always. I don't think they are good with children and a dog at a shelter can act very different when he's home and gets comfortable with the family. What I mean is if he seems "real excited" in such an environment as a shelter (confined space, scary, etc), then when he's in a home where he's happy and has space, he could turn very hyper. Just a thought. It happens.


answers from Dallas on

Hi N.,
Well I'm speaking from 11 years of experience of being a vet tech. A Fox Terrier would not be in my top ten of a good family dog. All Terriers are bred for their active disposition. So even with proper exercise they can still be very mobile. ") They require alot of exercise and need good solid training. Breeds like this tend to feed off of excitement so with young children you may have your hands full. It's not impossible and it does depend on the individual personality of a dog but if the dog is true to it's breed you can bet you'll have an active dog. They can be kind of on the neurotic side as well and collect some bad behavior like non stop jumping and barking or chewing. I just hate to sound so negative but I do want to be honest. I would choose a calmer non working breed like a King Charles or a Pug. Beware of any Breed that is popular at the moment if you consider another breed as over breeding can really twist their disposition off to another angle as well.
Best Regards for finding a family dog,



answers from Dallas on

we had a rat terrier and I can tell you - he was sweet but a TERROR!!! He was very food/toy aggressive, peed and pooed in the house, needed constant exercise and attention - no matter how long we walked him or played with him - it was NEVER enough - he was hyper and would lunge at us and not sit calmly ever. It was not a good fit for my family (kids 6,10 and 12) we found him a new home after trying for 9 months (he was adopted by us as an 18 month old) - we know have a Lhasa mix and LOVE him.

Every dog is different - but terriers are known for being high energy dogs.



answers from Dallas on

Hi! I'll tell you that Fox Terrier's are loyal dogs, but if you're adopting one from the shelter, you may be inheriting someone else's issues - see if there is a reason this dog was turned in (if it was an owner release) or if it was picked up. They don't always get along great with other dogs and not always with children so any history they have will be helpful.

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