The Smooth Fox Terrier
Smooth Fox Terrier is a breed of dog, one of many terrier breeds. It
was the first breed in the fox terrier family to be given official recognition
by The Kennel Club (circa 1875; breed standard 1876). It is well known,
and although not a widely popular breed today outside of hunting and
show circles, it is extremely significant due to the large number of
terriers believed descended from it.
The Smooth Fox Terrier is a balanced, well-proportioned terrier with
a distinctive head that has a tapering muzzle, fiery dark eyes, and
folded v-shaped ears set well up on the head, but not prick. It is a
sturdy dog in that it is well-muscled and exhibits endurance, but should
not appear in any way coarse or cloddy.
The male Fox terrier is tame but it will also respond to your commands.
Shoulder height of a male Smooth Fox Terrier should be no taller than
17.5 inches with females proportionally less, and a male in show condition
should weigh approximately 18 lbs.
The tail should be set well up on the back and be straight or slightly
curved, but not carried over the back or curled.
Its coat is hard, flat, and abundant. This breed does shed somewhat.
In color they should be predominantly white—some are even all
white—but typically with markings of black and tan, black, or
tan. Red, liver, or brindle are objectionable and disqualifying faults
in the show ring. Heads are usually solid colored, but a variety of
white markings are permissible, including half or split faces, blazes,
or color only over the eyes and/or ears.
The Smooth Fox Terrier's development as a breed is largely undocumented,
but the dog has been known as a distinct breed in England since at least
the 18th century; the first documented evidence of the Smooth Fox Terrier
came in 1790, when a man by the name of Colonel Thornton painted a portrait
of his beloved dog, Pitch.
Conventional wisdom has long held that the Smooth Fox Terrier and Wire
Fox Terrier are variations of the same breed; in recent years, however,
an increasing number of experts have stated the opinion that the two
breeds are not related at all. Whereas the Wire Fox Terrier is probably
directly descended from the Rough Black and Tan Terrier of Wales, the
Smooth Fox Terrier is thought to count the Smooth Black and Tan as its
primary ancestor, with traces of Beagle and Bull Terrier thrown in as
However, the two breeds were considered to be varieties of one breed
and were occasionally interbred until the mid 1980's when AKC changed
them from varieties to separate breeds. All modern Smooth Fox Terriers
trace back to wires many times, from Eng. Ch Watteau Chorister, through
Eng. Ch. Lethal Weapon, Eng. Ch. Corrector of Notts and Eng. Ch. Cromwell
Ochre's Legacy back to Dusky D'Orsay. Bred by Mr. Francis Redmond, Dusky
D'Orsay's sire was a Wire, Dusky Collar, and her dam a Smooth, Eng.
Ch. D'Orsay's Donna. Through Dusky D'Orsay, all modern Smooths trace
back to several famous Wires, including Ch. Cackler Of Notts and Meersbrook
The Smooth Fox Terrier's historic profession is fox bolting. A fox bolting
dog will accompany pack of foxhounds and "bolt" after foxes, driving
them out from their hiding spots and into the line of sight of the larger
dogs and men on horses. Smooth Fox Terriers with white coats were less
likely to be mistaken for the fox in close combat situations, and were
therefore more highly prized.
The Smooth Fox Terrier entered the show ring during the mid-1800s, making
it one of the earliest entrants in such events. The American Kennel
Club recognized the Fox Terrier in 1885; one hundred years later, the
Smooth Fox Terrier was recognized as being a distinct breed from the
Wire Fox Terrier.
Smooth Fox Terriers make excellent family pets. Because this is an intelligent
and active breed, they must be kept exercised, and interested, and a
part of the family. They are affectionate and playful. They have well-developed
hunting instincts. Left to their own devices and deprived of human companionship,
undesirable behaviour may be exhibited, including chasing of small animals,
constant barking, becoming bored, destructive, or escape artists if
Breed Clubs and Societies
This breed of dog is a 'Vulnerable Native Breed'.
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