Illustration by Louis Agassiz Fuertes
Among the best known of all dogs is that buoyant, irrepressible, and violently affectionate creature known as a fox terrier. Somehow he is always associated in many minds with sunshine and dancing, and when properly cared for and kindly treated he is a joyous thing.
Like other dogs, when ill treated or badly cared for, he can degenerate into anything. Often, from overfeeding and insufficient exercise, he becomes fat. and a fat, wheezy dog, except an aged and decrepit one, is a disgusting object to any real dog lover.
There are two varieties of fox terrier— smooth-coated and wire-haired—and which is the better is a matter of taste. It is true the smooth-coated dog has always been the more popular, but apparently for the sole reason that his coat is smooth; in other respects the dogs arc almost identical.
When properly reared and trained they are as courageous as they are cheerful, which leaves little to be said for their courage.
The smooth fox terrier is a sprightly, cleancut little dog of from 12,10 20 pounds weight, with a short compact body and straight, strong legs that never tire or even show signs of fatigue. His keen, rather pointed nose should taper smoothly to the head, with just a little "stop," and a slight break in the line of the nose and forehead. The alert expression is due partly to the bright, rather deep-set eyes and partly to the pointed, semi-erect ears, which turn inquisitively forward. The jaws, while fine and fox-like, are deep enough to be of good service, and as a vermin dog the fox terrier has no superiors in courage and willingness to face the music.
In color he should be chiefly white, with black markings on head and body. These are to be left largely to the taste of the judge; a little tan is usually seen if the head is largely marked, occurring on the chops and in a small spot over the eye and where the "bristle" grows on the cheek; brown, red, or brindle body markings are decidedly objectionable.
The wire-haired fox terrier should conform to the standard for the smooth dog in every respect except in coat. In place of the close, smooth, hard coat, he should have a hard, wiry, harsh coat of broken surface. Silky or woolly hair is very faulty.
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