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Breed Priorities – Smooth Fox Terrier

Click here to read the complete article
72 – The Annual, 2016-2017

by Nikki Riggsbee

Until 1984, the Fox Terrier was one breed with two varieties in AKC – Smooth and Wire. At that time, AKC recognized the Smooth Fox Terrier and Wire Fox Terrier as separate breeds.

For this project, the Smooth Fox Terrier standard was used to derive the lists of virtues and faults, and photos of Smooth Fox Terriers were used to produce the outlines. Both Smooth and Wire Fox Terrier breeder-judges were invited to participate in the survey. The input from those who bred only Wires didn’t change the consistencies, or inconsistencies, in the composite results compared to those who bred Smooths. Seventeen of the twenty judge contributors were Smooth breeders.

The breeder-judges participating in the survey include those who judge only Fox Terriers, some who judge several breeds, and others who judge one or many groups. They average more than 32 years in the breed and have been judging Fox Terriers for over 10 years on average. The group includes many who have judged the breed at the national and other specialties.


The breeder-judges were given a list of desired breed characteristics from the Smooth Fox Terrier standard to prioritize from the most important to the least important. The responses were averaged, and the list below is in sequence by the breeder-judges’ average priority, with 1 being the most important.

1. Stand like a cleverly made hunter, covering a lot of ground
2. Shoulders long and sloping, well laid back
3. Short back
4. Height at withers the same as length of body
5. Skull should be flat and moderately narrow
6. Gay, lively and active appearance
7. Little apparent difference in length between the skull and foreface
8. Stern set on rather high and carried gaily
9. Forelegs straight down to the feet and being short and straight in pastern
10. Length of back from withers to root of tail not exceeding 12 inches
11. Legs carried straight forward while traveling
12. Feet round, compact, and not large
13. Long thighs and muscular second thighs
14. Topline of the folded ear well above the level of the skull
15. Eyes and rims dark in color
16. Well ribbed up

Click here to read the complete article
72 – The Annual, 2016-2017

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