These lively but small dogs -- 12 to 15 inches (30 to 38 centimeters), 15 to 19 pounds (7 to 9 kilograms) -- are more difficult to find than many of the popular hunting breeds, but their short, powerful frames suit them for fox hunting [source: Iams]. A muscular canine with a thick neck and strong back, the fox terrier originated in 17th-century England and was bred to chase foxes out of their dens and other hiding places. Their small bodies allow them to get into cramped spaces, and their long legs allow them to keep pace with fox hounds.
In 1984, the American Kennel Club distinguished two breeds of fox terrier: smooth and wirehaired. The most notable difference between the two breads is the coat. The wirehaired fox terrier is named for its wiry coat of dense and twisted hairs [source: Dog Breed Info Center].