There are two varieties of Fox Terrier — Smooth and Wire. The Smooth coat does not require so much grooming, but will benefit from a bath and a good brushing with a hound glove to remove dead hairs.
The Wire variety has a dense, wiry texture of about 3/4 inches (2 cm) on the shoulder to 11/2 inches (4 cm) on the withers, back, ribs and quarters, with an undercoat of short, softer hair.
The hair on the back and quarters is harsher than that on the sides. Hair on the jaws is crisp and of sufficient length to impart the appearance of strength to the foreface. The leg hair is dense and crisp. The eyes are well defined by careful trimming.
MAINTENANCE: This classy little dog really looks his best when nicely trimmed. The Smooth molts, but regular brushing keeps loose hairs to a minimum. The Wire does not molt and the coat of a pet Wire dog should be stripped or clipped about three to four times a year, and then brushed a couple of times a week with a pin brush to keep the coat free of mats and tangles. The coat of a show Wire requires more regular attention and fine trimming.
Although it is quicker to clip a pet Wire, and they will still look very smart, clipping will make the distinctive rich colors in the coat quite a lot paler and will make the coat lose its typical wiry texture.
Equipment needed: The Smooth requires a hound glove and thinning scissors; the Wire requires a pin brush, combination comb (narrow one end, wide one end), ordinary scissors for cutting between the pads, thinning scissors, stripping knife.
Breed tip: In the following we detail a basic outline on how to groom a Fox Terrier; however, the best advice if you want to show a dog is to consult with experienced breeders who can guide you on the finer points of grooming – achieving an expert trim comes only with experience.
Wire Fox Terrier
- Brush the Fox Terrier’s coat with a pin brush and follow by combing through.
- Hand or knife-strip the neck and body to the required length, from the point of the neck down to the elbow and along the body with the growth of the coat, arching slightly over the hips to give shape. Where pets are concerned, this part is frequently clipped with a No. 5 or No. 7 blade.
- Clip the stomach and the inside of the groin.
- Hand- or knife-strip (or clip) the head from the brows to the base of the skull, down both sides of the ears.
- Trim from the outer corner of the eye, down the cheek and under the neck to taper to a V at the throat.
- If hand-stripping, ears should be hand-stripped or plucked using finger and thumb, including the edges. If you are clipping the ears, you should use the scissors on the edges to neaten them.
- Strip or clip the top of the tail and scissor underneath, cleaning the hair from the anal area.
- Bathe the dog in a plain, mild shampoo, and rinse thoroughly. Bathing can soften the coat, so bathe only when necessary.
- Towel-dry in the direction of the coat. Brush the coat to keep the coat flat and use a handheld hair-dryer to dry, or air-dry. Avoid using a cage-dryer, as the coat will “lift,” and most Fox Terriers will hate being in a cage
- Check the dog’s nails, ears and teeth.
- Go over the trimmed parts to remove any lifted hair. Use a knife or thinning shears, or clippers where applicable.
- Comb through.
- Comb the eyebrows forward and pull the hair, using your fingers, into a V in the center. Use the scissors to tidy the ends.
- Comb down once again, pulling the eyebrows
to a triangle. Scissor the ends to get a neat
- Trim out the hair from between the pads and around the toes to give a round, compact appearance. When scissoring the feet, put the dog’s foot on the table, as you will get a better finish.
- Comb forward and trim the beard.
- Pull some of the longer hair on the front legs using your fingers to get a tubular shape, leaving the hairs still fairly dense, and then scissor the ends to get a neat finish. Pulling some of the hair on the legs helps to keep the white a bright color and stops the legs becoming too soft in texture.
- Trim the bottom of the chest fringe and under the chest, following the contours of the body.
- Pull some of the longer hair, using your fingers. When standing behind the dog, the back legs should appear straight from the top of the leg to the feet. The top and middle part of the back legs over the thighs should therefore have short, neat hair with slightly longer hair around the lower part of the leg and the hock area. Use the scissors to tidy up the ends of the hair.
Smooth Fox Terrier
- Brush through the entire coat with a hound glove.
- If preparing for a show, tidy the hair with thinning scissors and clippers to sharpen the outline and to clean around the side of the cheeks.
- Bathe the same as you bathe Wire Fox Terrier.
- Check the dog’s ears, teeth, nails and pads.