As this breed is associated with my first prize, when a schoolboy, now, some years since, but when dog shows were much rarer than "Black Swans," were supposed to be, I have always taken much interest in it, and have had many good specimens of both the Smooth, and Wirehaired, varieties into which the breed is divided. They are both very good and both have hosts of admirers. Some of the fanciers now exhibiting, will remember, with me, the time when no classes were provided for the "Wirehairs," and you had (as I have often done) to show them as "Broken-haired Terriers," and often meet in your class nearly all the members of that heterogeneous family, such as DandiesSkyesBedlingtons, Scottish (Airedales did not exist then), Irish, and old English, enough to try the temper of judge and exhibitors, and making the decision quite a matter of the specimen best shower and shown. But since those days, Fox Terriers have enjoyed a long term of popularity, and so far from the "Wirehaired" section being ignored, I have seen at some shows more entries in it than that of their Smooth brethren, and the figures given for high class specimens, are certainly not far behind, even if they are not before, them.
Of course, hundreds, in fact the great majority of the Fox Terriers in the country, have never seen a Fox, and probably never will, in the course of their natural life, and (as I said of many of the Dachshunds we see about, and the "Badgers," so I say of very many of the Fox Terriers to be met with everywhere) so much the better for them, as a Fox, in his earth, which is where a Terrier is wanted to deal with him, is not a "milk and water" animal to tackle, as a rule, and it requires strength, perseverance, pluck and ability on the part of his assailants. I think the following description of the necessary points required, as expressed by my friend Mr. Francis Redmond, well known to many of my readers as a very successful breeder, exhibitor, and judge of the breed, will fitly conclude my brief notice: - " The points of greatest importance in the Fox Terrier are: Head, ears, legs and feet, neck, and shoulders, back, loin and hindquarters, smartness, activity, size, and 'Terrier character/ Head. The skull should be flat and moderately narrow, broader between the ears and gradually tapering to the eyes, free from wrinkle. But little slope, or indentation, should be visible, except in profile.
The jaw should be clean cut, rather long, powerful and muscular, with little or any fullness or bulging out at the cheeks. There is a very slight falling away below the eyes, but this must be very gradual, and not to such an extent as to give a snipey, or wedgy, appearance. The lips should be fairly tight, without any superfluous skin. The nose must be quite black.