We want to know everything about dogs. Everything! But there are countless breeds of dog out there, and each one is a unique animal with its own history. That's why every week, we shine a spotlight on a different breed. This week, learn some fun facts about Fox Terriers.
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THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB REGISTERED ITS FIRST FOX TERRIER IN 1885
The Fox Terrier was an early entrant to the American Kennel Club. The AKC recognized the breed in 1885, just one year after the club’s founding. The first Fox Terrier registered with the AKC was named Cricket.
IN 1984, THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB SEPARATED FOX TERRIERS INTO TWO BREEDS
For most of their history, Smooth Fox Terriers and Wire-Haired Fox Terriers were considered two varieties of the same breed. But in 1984, 99 years after it first recognized the Fox Terrier, the American Kennel Club officially distinguished these types as two distinct breeds.
Pictured: A Wire-Haired Fox Terrier (above) and a Smooth Fox Terrier (below).
FOX TERRIERS ARE FAIRLY RARE AMONG AMERICAN DOG OWNERS
Not very many U.S. dog lovers own Fox Terriers. According to the AKC’s registration statistics, Wire-Haired Fox Terriers rank 96th in the nation, while Smooth Fox Terriers trail at 116th. That’s down from 77th and 99th in 2003, respectively.
FOX TERRIERS HAVE WON MORE WESTMINSTER BEST IN SHOW TITLES THAN ANY OTHER BREED
The terrier group is responsible for by far the most Best in Show wins at Westminster, and within the group, the Wire-Haired Fox Terrier is the winningest breed. Fox Terriers boast a combined 18 total victories. (In second place are Scottish Terriers, with eight wins.) Of the 18 Best in Show Fox Terriers, 14 have been Wire-Haired Fox Terriers, including 2014’s winner, GCH Afterall Painting The Sky.
THE SINGLE MOST SUCCESSFUL DOG AT WESTMINSTER WAS A FOX TERRIER
Although Wire-Haired Fox Terriers have won the greatest number of Best in Show titles at Westminster, the show’s most decorated dog was a Smooth Fox Terrier named Ch. Warren Remedy. She won not only the first ever Westminster Dog Show, but also the second and the third. Her three consecutive Westminster Best in Show titles remain the most ever won by an individual dog.
CHARLES DARWIN OWNED A FOX TERRIER
It should come as no surprise that history’s most famous naturalist, Charles Darwin, was a dog lover. Growing up in 19th-century England, Darwin owned many dogs, including terriers, a retriever, a Pomeranian and a Scottish Deerhound. Later in life, he owned Polly, a Wire-Haired Fox Terrier who originally had belonged to Darwin’s daughter. Polly even modeled for illustrations in Darwin’s last book, “Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals.”
ENGLAND’S KING EDWARD VII OWNED A FOX TERRIER
King Edward VII ruled England from 1901 to 1910. For almost the entirety of his reign, he owned a Fox Terrier named Caesar, who was the king’s beloved companion. When King Edward died in 1910, Caesar dutifully led his master’s funeral procession. For some time after that, Caesar was visibly depressed and refused to eat. Queen Alexandra eventually helped restore the dog’s health and happiness. Caesar died in 1914.
Pictured: Caesar walking in King Edward VII's funeral procession.
NIPPER, THE RCA-VICTOR DOG, IS A FOX TERRIER
One of the most iconic logos of all time is the famous dog-and-gramophone image that has adorned the products and advertisements of various related audio companies and record labels, most notably RCA. The logo comes from a Francis Barraud painting called “His Master’s Voice.” The canine model for the original painting was a Fox Terrier named Nipper.
THE 1934 FILM 'THE THIN MAN' POPULARIZED THE FOX TERRIER AS A FAMILY DOG
W.S. Van Dyke’s “The Thin Man” features Dashiell Hammett’s husband-and-wife detective team of Nick and Nora Charles, and also their dog, a Wire-Haired Fox Terrier named Asta. The popularity of the movie, due in part to the charming Asta, spawned five sequels. Canine actor Skippy, who played Nick and Nora’s dog in the first two films, had his name changed to Asta in real life to reflect his subsequent stardom.
Next: 10 Cool Facts About Dachshunds!
THE DOG FROM 'MY DOG SKIP' IS A FOX TERRIER
The popular family movie “My Dog Skip” is based on Willie Morris’ autobiographical memoir of the same name. Morris’ boyhood dog, the titular Skip, was a Fox Terrier. However, Skip was “recast” as a Jack Russell Terrier for the movie version of Morris’ story.