Fox Terrier Club

of Maryland

Smooth Fox Terrier Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE Of A Smooth Fox Terrier

The Smooth Fox Terrier 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  Smooth Fox Terrier should be cloddy, 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 Smooth Fox Terrier, like the Hound, must on no account be leggy, nor 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 stated below. He will then 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 up a drain, it matters little what his weight is to a pound or so.

N.B. -Old scars or injuries, the result of work or accident, should not be allowed to prejudice a terrier's chance in the show ring, unless they interfere with its movement or with its utility for work or stud.

SIZE, PROPORTION, SUBSTANCE

According to present day requirements, a full-sized, well balanced dog should not exceed 15 1/2 inches at the withers--the bitch being proportionately lower--nor should the length of back from withers to root of tail exceed 12 inches, while, to maintain the relative proportions, the head should not exceed 7 1/4 inches or be less than 7 inches. A dog with these measurements should scale 18 pounds in show condition--a bitch weighing some 2 pounds less--with a margin of 1 pound either way. Balance - This may be defined as the correct proportions of a certain point, or points, when considered in relation to a certain other point or points. It is the key-stone of the terrier's anatomy. The chief points for consideration are the relative proportions of skull and foreface; head and back; height at withers and length of body from shoulder point to buttock--the ideal of proportion being reached when the last two measurements are the same. It should be added that, although the head measurements can be taken with absolute accuracy, the height at withers and length of back are approximate, and are inserted for the information of breeders and exhibitors rather than as a hard and fast rule.

HEAD

Eyes and rims should be dark in color, moderately small and rather deep set, full of fire, life and intelligence and as nearly possible circular in shape. Anything approaching a yellow eye is most objectionable. Ears should be V-shaped and small, of moderate thickness, and dropping forward close to the cheek, not hanging by the side of the head like a Foxhound. The top line of the folded ear should be well above the level of the skull.

Disqualifications- Ears prick, tulip or rose. The skull should be flat and moderately narrow, 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 the top jaw than is seen in the caseof a Greyhound. It should be noticed that although the foreface should gradually taper from eye to muzzle and should tip slightly at its juncture with the forehead, it should not "dish" or fall away quickly below the eyes where it should be full and well made up, but relieved from "wedginess" by a little delicate chiselling. There should be little apparent difference in length between the skull and foref</font> ace of a well balanced head. Cheeks must not be full. Jaws, upper and lower, should be strong and muscular and of fair punishing strength, but not so as in any way to resemble the Greyhound or modern English Terrier. 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 gradually taper, should be black. Disqualifications- Nose white, cherry or spotted to a considerable extent with either of these colors. The teeth should be as nearly as possible together, i.e., the points of the upper (incisors) teeth on the outside of or slightly over-lapping the lower teeth. Disqualifications- much undershot, or much overshot.

NECK, TOPLINE, BODY

Neck should be clean and muscular, without throatiness, of fair length, and gradually widening to the shoulders. Back should be short, straight, (i.e. level), and strong, with no appearance of slackness. Chest deep and not broad. The Brisket should be deep, yet not exaggerated.The fore ribs should be moderately arched, the back ribs deep, and well sprung, and the dog should be well ribbed up. Loin should be very powerful, muscular and very slightly arched. Stern should be set on rather high, and carried gaily, but not over the back or curled, docked to leave about three-quarters of the original length of the tail.. It should be of good strength, anything approaching a "pipestopper" tail being especially objectionable.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders should be long and sloping, well laid back, fine at the points, and clearly cut at the withers.

Elbows should hang perpendicularly to the body, working free of the sides.

Forelegs viewed from any direction must be straight with bone strong right down to the feet, showing little or no appearance of ankle in front , and being short and straight in pasterns.

Fore and hind legs should be carried straight forward in traveling.

FEET should be round, compact, and not large; the soles hard and tough; the toes moderately arched, and turned neither in nor out.

HINDQUARTERS should be strong and muscular, quite free from droop or crouch; the thighs long and powerful, stifles well curved and turned neither in nor out; hocks, well bent and near the ground, should be perfectly upright and parallel each with the other when viewed from behind, the dog standing well up on them like a Foxhound, and not straight in the stifle. The worst possible form of hindquarters consists of a short second thigh and a straight stifle. Both fore and hind legs should be carried straight forward in travelling, the stifles not turning outward. Feet as in front.

COAT

The coat should be smooth, flat, but hard, dense and abundant. The belly and underside of the thighs should not be bare.

COLOR

White should predominate; brindle, red or liver markings are objectionable. Otherwise this point is of little or no importance.

GAIT

Movement, or action, is the crucial test of conformation. The terrier's legs should be carried straight forward while traveling, the forelegs hanging perpendicular and swinging parallel with the sides, like the pendulum of a clock. The principal propulsive power is furnished by the hind legs, perfection of action being found in the terrier possessing long thighs and muscular second thighs well bent at the stifles, which admit of a strong forward thrust or "snatch" of the hocks.

When approaching, the forelegs should form a continuation of the straight line of the front, the feet being the same distance apart as the elbows. When stationary it is often difficult to determine whether a dog is slightly out at the shoulders, but, directly he moves, the defect--if it exists--becomes more apparent, the forefeet having a tendency to cross, "weave" or "dish". When, on the contrary, the dog is tied at the shoulder, the tendency of the feet is to move wider apart, with a sort of paddling action. When the hocks are turned in (cow-hocks) the stifles and feet are turned outwards, resulting in a serious loss of propulsive power. When the hocks are turned outwards the tendency of the hind feet is to cross, resulting in an ungainly waddle.

TEMPERAMENT

The dog must present a generally gay, lively and active appearance.

DISQUALIFICATIONS

Ears prick, tulip or rose; nose white, cherry, or spotted to a considerable extent.