by Doris Donnerman
(last updated April 6, 2009)
The Smooth Fox Terrier was receiving the distinction of a classification at shows more than a decade before a similar privilege was accorded to the Wire-Haired Fox Terrier. Because of his work in driving the fox from holes, and of his keen sight and nose, the Smooth Fox Terrier was first classified among the sporting breeds.
In 1862 at the Birmingham show, there was a class for "White and Other Smooth-Haired English Terriers except Black and Black-and-Tans." The next year, a distinct class was given at Birmingham. There were very few entries, but in 1868 the classes for Fox Terriers were the best filled in the Nottingham show, having 62 exhibited.
During these years, it must be admitted that practically every type of dog with a Terrier aspect and a docked tail was shown in this class. However, some of the better breeders were steadfastly maintaining the highest Terrier standards and by 1876, since the Terriers shown by these breeders were the consistent winners, an ideal was set.
Many stories are related about the pluckiness and fortitude of these early-day Fox Terriers. A dog called Old Jim, at eleven months of age, is said to have tackled a pet monkey which had a savage disposition and was very strong. He had bedeviled the Terrier and when no one was around one day, Jim decided to take up the matter. The monkey was discovered dead in his cage. Jim was alive but somewhat the worse for wear.
The Smooth Fox Terrier is quite popular in this country, being a favorite in city, town, or country. His many good qualities are certain to keep him high in popular favor.
A full sized well-balanced dog should not exceed 15-1/2 inches at the withers and weighing right around eighteen pounds with the female weighing about sixteen pounds.
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