THE WIRE FOX TERRIER STANDARD
The following is the standard for the Wire Fox Terrier,
agreed and adopted at the Association's Annual General Meeting held at Walsgrave,
Coventry on 11th October 1985. It is considered that this Standard, revised and
approved by many of the owners of today's leading wires, will be readily
understood and followed by breeders, exhibitors and judges.
GENERAL APPEARANCE - Active and lively, bone and strength in small compass, never cloddy or coarse. Confirmation to show perfect balance, in particular this applies to the relative proportions of skull and foreface, and similarly height at withers and length of body from shoulder points to buttocks appears approximately equal. Standing like a short backed hunter covering a lot of ground.
CHARACTERISTICS - Alert, quick of movement, keen of expression, on tiptoe of expectation at slightest provocation.
TEMPERAMENT - Friendly, forthcoming and fearless.
HEAD & SKULL - Top line of skull almost flat, sloping slightly and gradually decreasing in width towards eyes. The foreface should be slightly longer than the skull otherwise the head will look weak and unfinished. Foreface gradually tapering from eye to muzzle and dipping slightly at its juncture with forehead, but not dished or falling away quickly below eyes where it should be full and well made up. Excessive bony or muscular development of jaws undesirable and unsightly. Full and rounded contour of cheeks undesirable. Nose black.
EYES - Dark, full of fire and intelligence, moderately small, not prominent, as near circular in shape as possible. Not too far apart, not too high up in skull not too near ears. Light eye highly undesirable.
EARS - Small, v-shaped, of moderate thickness, flaps neatly folded over and dropping forward close to the skull. Top line of folded ear well above level of skull. Prick, tulip or rose ears highly undesirable.
MOUTH - Jaws strong, muscular and level with perfect, regular scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Under, or overshot bite is an unacceptable fault.
NECK - Clean, muscular, of fair length, free from throatiness, broadening to shoulder, presenting a graceful curve when viewed from side.
SHOULDERS - When viewed from the front, should slope steeply downwards from their juncture with the neck towards the points, which should be fine. When viewed from the side they should be long, well laid back, and should slope obliquely backwards from the points to withers, which should always be clean cut. A shoulder well laid back gives the long forehand which in combination with a short back, is so desirable in terrier or hunter.
CHEST - Deep and not too broad, a too narrow chest being almost as undesirable as a very broad one. Excessive depth of chest and brisket is an impediment to a terrier when going to ground.
BODY - Back short, level and strong without slackness, loin muscular, slightly arched. Brisket deep, front ribs moderately arched, rear ribs , deep, well sprung. Very short coupled.
HINDQUARTERS - Strong, muscular and free from droop or crouch. Thighs long and powerful. Stifle curved, turning neither in nor out. Hocks well let down, upright and parallel, when viewed from rear. Combination of short second thigh and straight stifle highly undesirable.
FEET - Round, compact with small, tough and well cushioned pads, toes, moderately arched, turning neither in nor out.
TAIL - Set high, carried erect, not over back, nor curled. Of good strength and fair length to maintain a balanced appearance. Previously customarily docked. ***
LEGS - Viewed from any direction be straight, the bone of the fore-legs strong right down to the feet. The elbows should be perpendicular to the body, working free from the sides, both fore and hind legs being carried straight through in travelling.
MOVEMENT - Movement, or action, is the crucial test of conformation. The terrier's legs should be carried straight forward while travelling, the fore-legs changing 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 curved at the stifles, which admit of a strong forward thrust of 'snatch' of the hocks. When approaching, the forelegs should form a continuation of the straight of the front, feet being the same distance apart as the elbows. When stationary it is often difficult to determine whether a dog is slightly out at shoulder but directly he moves the defect - if it exists - becomes apparent, the fore-feet 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-hock, 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.
COAT - Dense, very wiry texture, 1/2" on shoulder to 1 1/2" on withers, back ribs and quarters, with undercoat of shorter, softer hair. Back and quarters harsher than sides. Hair on jaws crisp and of sufficient length to impart the appearance of strength to foreface. Leg hair dense and crisp. These measurements are given as a guide to exhibitors, rather than as an infallible rule, since the length of coat varies in different specimens and seasons. The judge must form his own opinion as to what constitutes a 'sufficient' coat.
COLOUR - White should predominate, brindle, red, liver, or slatey blue are objectionable, otherwise colour is of little or no importance.
SIZE - Height at withers approximately 39cm 15 1/2" in dogs, bitches slightly less. Ideal weight in show condition 8 1/4 kg's (18lbs) bitches slightly less.
FAULTS - Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
NOTE - Male animals should have two normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum. Old scars or injuries, the result of work or accident, should not be allowed to interfere with its movement or with its utility for work or stud.
** The text appearing in the Year Book in past years regarding TAILS still applies to dogs docked before 6th April 2007.
ORIGINS OF THE WIRE FOX TERRIER: The wire fox terrier was originally developed in Great Britain in the early 19th century for fox hunting. Although rarely used for hunting in this country today, the hunting instinct is still as strong as ever, which is why the wire is an excellent ratter and will go to ground for the fun of it. The wire fox terrier still works on the continent and France, in particular, expects its show dogs to work; indeed they may not become a champion until they have proved that they can go to ground.