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The Smooth Fox-terrier








To attempt to set forth the origin of the Fox-terrier as we know him
to-day would be of no interest to the general reader, and would entail
the task of tracing back the several heterogeneous sources from which
he sprang. It is a matter of very little moment whether he owes his
origin to the white English Terrier or to the Bull-terrier crossed
with the Black and Tan, or whether he has a mixture of Beagle blood
in his composition, so it will suffice to take him as he emerged from
the chaos of mongreldom about the middle of the last century, rescued
in the first instance by the desire of huntsmen or masters of
well-known packs to produce a terrier somewhat in keeping with their
hounds; and, in the second place, to the advent of dog shows. Prior
to that time any dog capable, from his size, conformation, and pluck,
of going to ground and bolting his fox was a Fox-terrier, were he
rough or smooth, black, brown, or white.

The starting-point of the modern Fox-terrier dates from about the
'sixties, and no pedigrees before that are worth considering.

From three dogs then well known--Old Jock, Trap, and Tartar--he claims
descent; and, thanks to the Fox-terrier Club and the great care taken
in compiling their stud-books, he can be brought down to to-day. Of
these three dogs Old Jock was undoubtedly more of a terrier than the
others. It is a moot point whether he was bred, as stated in most
records of the time, by Captain Percy Williams, master of the Rufford,
or by Jack Morgan, huntsman to the Grove; it seems, however, well
established that the former owned his sire, also called Jock, and
that his dam, Grove Pepper, was the property of Morgan. He first came
before the public at the Birmingham show in 1862, where, shown by
Mr. Wootton, of Nottingham, he won first prize. He subsequently
changed hands several times, till he became the property of Mr.
Murchison, in whose hands he died in the early 'seventies. He was
exhibited for the last time at the Crystal Palace in 1870, and though
then over ten years old won second to the same owner's Trimmer. At
his best he was a smart, well-balanced terrier, with perhaps too much
daylight under him, and wanting somewhat in jaw power; but he showed
far less of the Bull-terrier type than did his contemporary Tartar.

This dog's antecedents were very questionable, and his breeder is
given as Mr. Stevenson, of Chester, most of whose dogs were
Bull-terriers pure and simple, save that they had drop ears and short
sterns, being in this respect unlike old Trap, whose sire is generally
supposed to have been a Black and Tan Terrier. This dog came from
the Oakley Kennels, and he was supposed to have been bred by a miller
at Leicester. However questionable the antecedents of these three
terriers may have been, they are undoubtedly the progenitors of our
present strain, and from them arose the kennels that we have to-day.

Mention has been made of Mr. Murchison, and to him we owe in a great
measure the start in popularity which since the foundation of his
large kennel the Fox-terrier has enjoyed. Mr. Murchison's chief
opponents in the early 'seventies were Mr. Gibson, of Brockenhurst,
with his dogs Tyke and Old Foiler; Mr. Luke Turner, of Leicester,
with his Belvoir strain, which later gave us Ch. Brockenhurst Joe,
Ch. Olive and her son, Ch. Spice; Mr. Theodore Bassett, Mr. Allison,
and, a year or so later, Mr. Frederick Burbidge, the Messrs. Clarke,
Mr. Tinne, Mr. Francis Redmond, and Mr. Vicary. About this time a
tremendous impetus was given to the breed by the formation, in 1876,
of the Fox-terrier Club, which owed its inception to Mr. Harding Cox
and a party of enthusiasts seated round his dinner table at 36,
Russell Square, among whom were Messrs. Bassett, Burbidge, Doyle,
Allison, and Redmond, the last two named being still members of the
club. The idea was very warmly welcomed, a committee formed, and a
scale of points drawn up which, with but one alteration, is in vogue
to-day. Every prominent exhibitor or breeder then, and with few
exceptions since, has been a member, and the club is by far the
strongest of all specialist clubs.

It will be well to give here the said standard of points.

* * * * *

HEAD AND EARS--The Skull should be flat and moderately narrow, and
gradually decreasing in width to the eyes. Not much stop should
be apparent, but there should be more dip in the profile between the
forehead and top jaw than is seen in the case of a Greyhound. The
Cheeks must not be full. The Ears should be V-shaped and small,
of moderate thickness, and dropping forward close to the cheek, not
hanging by the side of the head like a Foxhound's. The Jaw, upper
and under, should be strong and muscular; should be of fair punishing
strength, but not so in any way to resemble the Greyhound or modern
English Terrier. There should not be much falling away below the eyes.
This part of the head, should, however, be moderately chiselled out,
so as not to go down in a straight line like a wedge. The Nose,
towards which the muzzle must gradually taper, should be black. The
Eyes should be dark in colour, small, and rather deep set, full
of fire, life, and intelligence; as nearly as possible circular in
shape. The Teeth should be as nearly as possible level, i.e.,
the upper teeth on the outside of the lower teeth. NECK--Should be
clean and muscular, without throatiness, of fair length, and gradually
widening to the shoulders. SHOULDERS AND CHEST--The Shoulders should
be long and sloping, well laid back, fine at the points, and clearly
cut at the withers. The Chest deep and not broad. BACK AND LOIN--The
Back should be short, straight, and strong, with no appearance of
slackness. The Loin should be powerful and very slightly arched.
The fore ribs should be moderately arched, the back ribs deep; and
the dog should be well ribbed up. HIND-QUARTERS--Should be strong
and muscular, quite free from droop or crouch; the thighs long and
powerful; hocks near the ground, the dog standing well up on them
like a Foxhound, and not straight in the stifle. STERN--Should be
set on rather high, and carried gaily, but not over the back or
curled. It should be of good strength, anything approaching a
pipe-stopper tail being especially objectionable. LEGS AND FEET--The
Legs viewed in any direction must be straight, showing little or
no appearance of an ankle in front. They should be strong in bone
throughout, short and straight to pastern. Both fore and hind legs
should be carried straight forward in travelling, the stifles not
turned outwards. The elbows should hang perpendicular to the body,
working free of the side. The Feet should be round, compact, and
not large. The soles hard and tough. The toes moderately arched, and
turned neither in nor out. COAT--Should be straight, flat, smooth,
hard, dense, and abundant. The belly and under side of the thighs
should not be bare. As regards colour, white should predominate;
brindle, red, or liver markings are objectionable. Otherwise this
point is of little or no importance. SYMMETRY, SIZE, AND CHARACTER--The
dog must present a general gay, lively, and active appearance; bone
and strength in a small compass are essentials; but this must not
be taken to mean that a Fox-terrier should be cloggy, or in any way
coarse--speed and endurance must be looked to as well as power, and
the symmetry of the Foxhound taken as a model. The terrier, like the
hound, must on no account be leggy, nor must he be too short in the
leg. He should stand like a cleverly-made hunter, covering a lot of
ground, yet with a short back, as before stated. He will then attain
the highest degree of propelling power, together with the greatest
length of stride that is compatible with the length of his body.
Weight is not a certain criterion of a terrier's fitness for his
work--general shape, size and contour are the main points; and if
a dog can gallop and stay, and follow his fox up a drain, it matters
little what his weight is to a pound or so, though, roughly speaking,
it may be said he should not scale over twenty pounds in show
condition.

DISQUALIFYING POINTS: NOSE--White, cherry, or spotted to a
considerable extent with either of these colours. EARS--prick, tulip,
or rose. MOUTH--much overshot or much undershot.

* * * * *

In order to give some idea of the extraordinary way in which the
Fox-terrier took the public taste, it will be necessary to hark back
and give a resume of the principal kennels and exhibitors to whom
this was due. In the year in which the Fox-terrier Club was formed,
Mr. Fred Burbidge, at one time captain of the Surrey Eleven, had the
principal kennels. He was the pluckiest buyer of his day, and once
he fancied a dog nothing stopped him till it was in his kennels. He
bought Nimrod, Dorcas, Tweezers, and Nettle, and with them and other
discriminating purchases he was very hard to beat on the show-bench.
Strange to say, at this time he seemed unable to breed a good dog,
and determined to have a clear out and start afresh. A few brood
bitches only were retained, and the kennels moved from Champion Hill
to Hunton Bridge, in Hertfordshire. From thence in a few years came
Bloom, Blossom, Tweezers II., Hunton Baron, Hunton Bridegroom, and
a host of others, which spread the fame of the great Hunton strain.
When the kennel was dispersed at Mr. Burbidge's untimely death in
1892, the dogs, 130 lots in all, were sold by auction and realised
P1,800; Hunton Tartar fetched P135, Justice P84, Bliss P70, and
Scramble P65.

Messrs. A. H. and C. Clarke were at this time quietly founding a
kennel, which perhaps has left its mark more indelibly on the breed
than any before or since. Brockenhurst Rally was a most fortunate
purchase from his breeder, Mr. Herbert Peel, and was by Brockenhurst
Joe from a Bitters bitch, as from this dog came Roysterer and Ruler,
their dam being Jess, an old Turk bitch; and from Rollick by Buff
was bred Ruse and Ransome. Roysterer was the sire of Result, by many
considered the best Fox-terrier dog of all time; and Result's own
daughter Rachel was certainly the best bitch of her day. All these
terriers had intense quality and style, due for the most part to
inbreeding. Very little new blood was introduced, with an inevitable
result; and by degrees the kennel died out.

No history of the Fox-terrier could be complete without mention of
Mr. Francis Redmond and his kennel, going back, as it does, to the
Murchison and Luke Turner period, and being still to-day the most
prominent one in existence. We can date his earlier efforts from his
purchase of Deacon Nettle, the dam of Deacon Ruby; Dusty was the dam
of Ch. Diamond Dust; Dickon he had from Luke Turner, and in this dog
we have one of the foundation-stones of the Fox-terrier stud-book,
as he was the sire of Splinter, who in his turn was the sire of
Vesuvian.

Mr. Redmond's next great winners were D'Orsay and Dominie, two
sterling good terriers, the former of which was the sire of Dame
D'Orsay, who, bred to Despoiler, produced Dame Fortune, the mother
of Donna Fortuna, whose other parent was Dominie. Donna Fortuna,
considered universally the best specimen of a Fox-terrier ever
produced, had from the first a brilliant career, for though fearlessly
shown on all occasions she never knew defeat. Some took exception
to her want of what is called terrier character, and others would
have liked her a shade smaller; but we have still to see the
Fox-terrier, taken all round, that could beat her.

As an outcross Mr. Redmond purchased Dreadnought, one of the highest
class dogs seen for many years, but had very bad luck with him, an
accident preventing him from being shown and subsequently causing
his early death. We must not forget Duchess of Durham or Dukedom;
but to enumerate all Mr. Redmond's winners it would be necessary to
take the catalogues of all the important shows held for the past
thirty years. To no one do we owe so much; no one has made such a
study of the breed, reducing it almost to a science, with the result
that even outside his kennels no dog has any chance of permanently
holding his own unless he has an ample supply of the blood.

The great opponent of the Totteridge Kennel up to some few years ago
was unquestionably Mr. Vicary, of Newton Abbot, who laid the
foundation of his kennel with Vesuvian, who was by Splinter, out of
Kohinor, and from whom came the long line of winners, Venio-Vesuvienne,
Vice-Regal, Valuator, Visto, and Veracity. Fierce war raged round
these kennels, each having its admiring and devoted adherents, until
one side would not look at anything but a Redmond Terrier to the
exclusion of the Vicary type. The Newton Abbot strain was remarkable
for beautiful heads and great quality, but was faulty in feet and
not absolute as to fronts, each of which properties was a sine qua
non amongst the Totteridge dogs. Latter-day breeders have recognised
that in the crossing of the two perfection lies, and Mr. Redmond
himself has not hesitated to go some way on the same road.

[Illustration: FOX TERRIERS
1. Mrs. J. H. Brown's Ch. Captain Double
2. Mr. J. C. Tinne's Ch. The Sylph
3. Mr. T. J. Stephen's Wire-Hair Ch. Sylvan Result
Photograph by Revely]

It is fortunate for the breed of Fox-terriers how great a hold the
hobby takes, and how enthusiastically its votaries pursue it,
otherwise we should not have amongst us men like Mr. J. C. Tinne,
whose name is now a household word in the Fox-terrier world, as it
has been any time for the past thirty years. Close proximity, in those
days, to Mr. Gibson at Brockenhurst made him all the keener, and one
of his first terriers was a bitch of that blood by Bitters. With
daughters of Old Foiler he did very well--to wit, Pungent, sister
to Dorcas, while through Terror we get Banquet, the granddam of
Despoiler. He purchased from Mr. Redmond both Deacon Diamond and Daze,
each of whom was bred to Spice, and produced respectively Auburn and
Brockenhurst Dainty; from the latter pair sprang Lottery and Worry,
the granddam of Tom Newcome, to whom we owe Brockenhurst Agnes,
Brockenhurst Dame, and Dinah Morris, and consequently Adam Bede and
Hester Sorrel.

It has always been Mr. Tinne's principle to aim at producing the best
terrier he could, irrespective of the fads of this kennel or that,
and his judgment has been amply vindicated, as the prize lists of
every large show will testify. And to-day he is the proud possessor
of Ch. The Sylph, who has beaten every one of her sex, and is
considered by many about the best Fox-terrier ever seen.


No name is better known or more highly respected by dog owners than
that of the late Mr. J. A. Doyle, as a writer, breeder, judge, or
exhibitor of Fox-terriers. Whilst breeding largely from his own stock,
he was ever on the look-out for a likely outcross. He laid great store
on terrier character, and was a stickler for good coats; a point much
neglected in the present-day dog.

Amongst the smaller kennels is that of Mr. Reeks, now mostly
identified with Oxonian and that dog's produce, but he will always
be remembered as the breeder of that beautiful terrier, Avon Minstrel.
Mr. Arnold Gillett has had a good share of fortune's favours, as the
Ridgewood dogs testify; whilst the Messrs. Powell, Castle, Glynn,
Dale, and Crosthwaite have all written their names on the pages of
Fox-terrier history. Ladies have ever been supporters of the breed,
and no one more prominently so than Mrs. Bennett Edwards, who through
Duke of Doncaster, a son of Durham, has founded a kennel which at
times is almost invincible, and which still shelters such grand
terriers as Doncaster, Dominie, Dodger, Dauphine, and many others
well known to fame. Mrs. J. H. Brown, too, as the owner of Captain
Double, a terrier which has won, and deservedly, more prizes than
any Fox-terrier now or in the past, must not be omitted.

Whether the present Fox-terrier is as good, both on the score of
utility and appearance, as his predecessors is a question which has
many times been asked, and as many times decided in the negative as
well as in the affirmative. It would be idle to pretend that a great
many of the dogs now seen on the show bench are fitted to do the work
Nature intended them for, as irrespective of their make and shape
they are so oversized as to preclude the possibility of going to
ground in any average sized earth.

This question of size is one that must sooner or later be tackled
in some practical way by the Fox-terrier Club, unless we are to see
a race of giants in the next few generations. Their own standard gives
20 lb.--a very liberal maximum; but there are dogs several pounds
heavier constantly winning prizes at shows, and consequently being
bred from, with the result which we see. There are many little dogs,
and good ones, to be seen, but as long as the judges favour the big
ones these hold no chance, and as it is far easier to produce a good
big one than a good little one, breeders are encouraged to use sires
who would not be looked at if a hard-and-fast line were drawn over
which no dogs should win a prize. There are hundreds of Fox-terriers
about quite as capable of doing their work as their ancestors ever
were, and there is hardly a large kennel which has not from time to
time furnished our leading packs with one or more dogs, and with
gratifying results. It is, therefore, a great pity that our leading
exhibitors should often be the greatest delinquents in showing dogs
which they know in their hearts should be kept at home or drafted
altogether, and it is deplorable that some of our oldest judges should
by their awards encourage them.

Before concluding this chapter it may not be out of place to say a
few words as to the breeding and rearing of Fox terriers.

In the first place, never breed from an animal whose pedigree is
not authenticated beyond a shadow of a doubt; and remember that while
like may beget like, the inevitable tendency is to throw back to
former generations. The man who elects to breed Fox-terriers must
have the bumps of patience and hope very strongly developed, as if
the tyro imagines that he has only to mate his bitch to one of the
known prize-winning dogs of the day in order to produce a champion,
he had better try some other breed. Let him fix in his mind the ideal
dog, and set to work by patient effort and in the face of many
disappointments to produce it. It is not sufficient that, having
acquired a bitch good in all points save in head, that he breeds her
to the best-headed dog he can find. He must satisfy himself that the
head is not a chance one, but is an inherited one, handed down from
many generations, good in this particular, and consequently potent
to reproduce its like. So in all other points that he wishes to
reproduce. In the writer's experience, little bitches with quality
are the most successful. Those having masculine characteristics should
be avoided, and the best results will be obtained from the first three
litters, after which a bitch rarely breeds anything so good. See that
your bitch is free from worms before she goes to the dog, then feed
her well, and beyond a dose of castor oil some days before she is
due to whelp, let Nature take its course. Dose your puppies well for
worms at eight weeks old, give them practically as much as they will
eat, and unlimited exercise. Avoid the various advertised nostrums,
and rely rather on the friendly advice of some fancier or your
veterinary surgeon.

Take your hobby seriously, and you will be amply repaid, even if
success does not always crown your efforts, as while the breeding
of most animals is a fascinating pursuit, that of the Fox-terrier
presents many varying delights.





Next: The Wire-hair Fox-terrier

Previous: The Bull-terrier



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