Breed - Its Points
Of all known breeds of dogs, the subject of this article is, unquestionably, the most popular, and not without good reason. He has a marvellous knack of adapting himself to surroundings, which, perhaps, is the best possible reason for his supremacy, both as a companion, and also for sporting purposes.
There are two varieties of fox terrier - the smooth and the wirehaired. The present article deals exclusively with the smooth variety.
From the very earliest records it is clear that the fox terrier has been associated with sport, and certain it is that the prize-winner on the show benches of today is quite the equal of his ancestor at doing the work required of him, though much has been written to the contrary. Indeed, certain owners of well-known winning strains are now in the habit of entering their stock regularly to fox: and badger, with results that have been eminently satisfactory. The great majority, in fact, have been found, if anything, too game and hard-bitten; for the function of the terrier is to bolt his fox, not kill him.
The great excellence of the present-day show dog is very largely due to the influence of a few of the largest breeders, who, by constant selection of the fittest and most typical specimens, have succeeded in establishing each a distinct type of his own, notable for some distinctive points.
Foremost, without a doubt, in the smooth variety is the kennel of Mr. Francis Redmond, of Totteridge, N. This gentleman, who, for close on thirty years, has applied himself to the scientific improvement of the smooth fox: terrier, has evolved a type that is as near perfection as possible.
The principal characters of his strain are marvellous shoulders, bone, front legs and feet, and quality. The winners he has produced are endless, but prominent among such we may mention Champion Donna Fortuna (who was never beaten, and who figures prominently in the celebrated painting, dear to the heart of every fox terrier breeder and exhibitor, ' The Totteridge Eleven," by Arthur Wardle), also Champions Dame Fortune, D'orsay, Donnington, Don Caesario, Despoiler, Daddy, Dominie, Duchess of Durham, and a host of others.
Camp Washington, sire Champion Oxonian, dam Camp
Warter. A splendid example of a typical fox terrier, alert and full of character
Another kennel that at one time figured prominently was that of Mr. Robert Vicary, of Newton Abbott. This gentleman, who is the master of a pack of foxhounds, evolved a type that was famed for their wonderful heads and expressions, and their marvellous propensities for work. Indeed, it was an accepted fact that all his dogs were workers.
The champions Venio, Vesuvienne, Valuator, Vis-a-vis, Visto, and Vesuvian, will indicate the wonderful array of tip-top specimens evolved from Newton Abbott.
The name also of Mr. T. C. Tinne, the Secretary of the Fox Terrier Club, and one of our oldest breeders, comes at once into the mind of the fancier. What marvellous heads distinguish the terriers bred by him!
Of the latter-day generation who have figured prominently are Mr. Sidney Castle, of Blackheath, Mr. Frank Reeks, of Christchurch (whose Champion Oxonian will leave a lasting impression on the strain of to-day), Mr. Desmond O'connell, of Jarratt (the breeder of Champion Oxonian), Mr. George Raper, of Leeds, Mr. Wraith, Mr. H. Tudor Crosthwaite, and, lastly, Mrs. Bennett Edwards, of Haydon Hall, Pinner.
As regards show points, the head should be of good length, with plenty of jaw power; cheeks quite clean, and not in the least thickened; ears V-shaped, small, and the point carried towards the eye, which should be nearly round, very dark, and deep-set - a prominent, light eye is particularly objectionable. Teeth should be quite level and sound; the neck long and well-arched; front legs perfectly straight, when viewed either from the front or in profile; feet small and compact, those most desired being as much like the domestic cat as possible.
Another very important point is the bone, which should be as round as possible, in this particular resembling that of the foxhound.
The shoulders should be quite flat and free from bossiness, top, or back, quite level, and as short as possible compatible with liberty; hindquarters strong and muscular, with the hocks well let down.
The coat should be short and dense, and not too profuse. This is a point that at present demands much attention, as some otherwise very excellent show specimens are sadly handicapped by having one that is too long, and devoid of hard texture.
The general appearance should be gay and business-like. The dog should always appear to be able to gallop, and fit for a day's work.
Weight is no very great criterion, but, in general, dogs should weigh about eighteen pounds and bitches about sixteen.
The fox terrier is a hardy dog, and, with reasonable feeding and care, will do well in almost any climate. He should be treated as a companion, never as a lap-dog, and allowed a proper amount of regular exercise. As a vermin dog he has few equals, and will face a foe double his weight.
The cost of a good companion puppy will average about three guineas. As with other breeds, it is best to buy from a breeder of good repute. An exhibition specimen will, of course, cost many times this sum.