This section is from the book "The Terriers. A History And Description Of The Modern Dogs Of Great Britain And Ireland", by Rawdon B. Lee. Also available from Amazon: A History and Description of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain and Ireland: The Terriers.
The following are the description and scale of points drawn up by the Fox Terrier Club, which was established in 1876, and there are several other minor clubs which adopt the same.
The skull should be flat and moderately narrow; broader between the ears, 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 ears should be V-shaped, and rather small; of moderate thickness, and dropping forward closely to the cheek, not hanging by the side of the head, like a foxhound's. The jaw should be strong and muscular, but not too full in the cheek; should be of fair punishing length, but not so as in any way to resemble the greyhound's or modern English terrier's. 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 slope like a wedge. The nose, towards which the muzzle must slightly taper, should be black. The eyes should be dark rimmed, small, and rather deep set; full of fire and life. The teeth should be level and strong.
Neck, clean and muscular, without throatiness, of fair length, and gradually widening to the shoulders.
Shoulders, fine at the points, long and sloping. The chest deep, but not broad.
Back, short, straight, and strong, with no appearance of slackness behind the shoulders; the loin broad, powerful, and very slightly arched. The dog should be well ribbed up with deep back ribs, and should not be flat-sided.
Hind Quarters, 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, without much bend in the stifles.
Stern, 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, viewed in any direction, must be straight, showing little or no appearance of ankle in front. They should be large in bone throughout, the elbows working freely just clear of the side. Both fore and hind legs should be carried straight forward in travelling, the stifles not turning outwards. The feet should be round, compact, and not too large; the toes moderately arched, and turned neither in nor out. There should be no dew claws behind.
Coat, should be smooth, but hard, dense, and abundant.
White should predominate. Brindle, red, or liver markings are objectionable. Otherwise this point is of little or no importance.
The dog must present a generally 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; neither 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 thus 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, it matters little what his weight is to a pound or so, though, roughly speaking, it may be said he should not scale over 2olb. in show condition".
"Nose, white, cherry, or spotted to a considerable extent with either of these colours.
"Ears, prick, tulip, or rose.
"Mouth, much undershot or overshot".
The above points and descriptions, though carefully drawn up by a consensus of authorities, are somewhat conflicting, especially where it is stated that the teeth should be level and strong, for later on in the disqualifying points we are told that, only for being "much undershot or overshot" should disqualification take place. Ninety-nine judges out of a hundred will disqualify a dog however little undershot he may be, and quite right too; instances where they have not done so have only occurred where the judge has failed to notice the defect. Terriers a little overshot or "pig-jawed" are not so severely treated, though, of course, a perfectly level mouth is an advantage.
The club has not issued a numerical scale of points specially for the smooth variety, and although judging thereby I believe to be a fallacy, because there is likely to be as much difference of opinion as to the number of points to be allowed separately as collectively, the following apportionment is to my idea about correct, although it differs somewhat from those compiled by other writers.
Head, jaw, and ears ...
Shoulders and chest ...
Back and loin .........
Stern and hindquarters
Legs and feet..................
Size, symmetry, and character..............
Grand Total, 100. K
Little additional is there now to be said as to the smooth fox terrier, and my general experience of him as a dog is, that properly trained and entered he cannot yet be beaten. Of course, there are softhearted fox terriers as there are pointers and setters that may be gun-shy, but such are as much the exception in one case as the other. That he is so little used in actual fox hunting is a matter to deplore. Some time ago, when reading that volume of the Badminton Library which deals with hunting, I was mightily surprised to see so little allusion to terriers. Yet the writer, the Duke of Beaufort, is a hunting man, one who loves to hear his hounds singing in their kennels at night, and is never so happy as when the favourite flowers of his pack are making it warm for bold reynard across the meadows of the Midlands. Terriers are only mentioned three times throughout the volume - in one place where they are recommended as assistants to harriers when trying along a hedgerow, again, as likely to be useful to the earthstopper, and on a third occasion as requisites for otter hunting. This neglect notwithstanding, a good fox terrier can still be useful in driving a fox from a drain, and our modern strains might do their duty as well as the best that ever ran between John o'Groats and Land's End. When once properly entered, a fox terrier never seems happy until he gets it - the fox - driven from his lurking place underground.
Much more - very much more - could be written of the fox terrier, especially as to his work, but those who think I have not said enough must refer back to the "History of the Fox Terrier," already alluded to. That he will do his work after game underground goes without saying, and he has been trained by one of the modern electric lighting companies to assist them in a part of their business, and I cannot better close my story of the fox terrier than by copying the following from a London newspaper:
"The method adopted by the Crompton Electric Lighting Company in laying their connections consists in copper strips (technically known as the 'strip') conducted along the whole of their system in culverts underground. It is necessary to carry these strips through the culverts in lengths of about 100 yards each, and they are laid four abreast. These strips are supported on transverse bars at intervals of 10 yards. The difficulty and expense of laying these strips was a serious consideration for the company, until it occurred to the foreman of the works that a terrier might be trained to carry a guide rope along the culverts, to the end of which the strip could be attached, and then easily drawn through. He had in his possession a fox terrier about nine months old, which he immediately began to train for the business. To induce a terrier to travel 100 yards underground is not such a very difficult task, but it must be remembered that at every 10 yards came the transverse supports, and it was necessary for her to jump over these every time until she could be depended upon to jump over every support without fail, else she was useless for the work in hand, and herein lay the great difficulty in her education. However, by patience and perseverance on the part of her master, aided by the naturally honourable disposition of Strip, perfection was reached, and she never makes a single mistake now.
"Working in the dark culverts she can be implicitly trusted to assist the company in her department, and has laid many miles of wires both in London and Brighton. And the company, recognising the value of a good servant, pay her fair wages, which she receives every Saturday morning along with other employes of the company".