Mr. Fuchs: Standard Maker

Reading through a couple of old terrier books, I found one old tome that says the fellow that set the standard for the working terrier was a fellow by the name of Fuchs who was a pretty popular fellow with the ladies.

Fuchs was supposed to be a pretty small fellow but like a lot of little men in tough neighborhoods, he was also said to carry a knife and know how to use it.

Apparently Fuchs was a poacher, and not much trusted by the locals who got tired of his petty larceny. A flashy dresser, and a regular night owl, Fuchs was known to frequent rough neighborhoods where he stood out if for no other reason than he always looked prosperous despite his not having a reputable job.

Fuchs was a restless soul and moved about often, rarely bothering to leave a forwarding address. He never kept a kennel himself, preferring to simply pick up dogs along the way, but he had such an extensive knowledge of terriers and earthwork, that it was said wherever he went terriermen were sure to follow.

Legends about Fuchs abound in the border country between Scotland and England, but my personal favorite is that he once killed a fellow just for the pleasure of it -- like that old Johnny Cash song, "The Boy Named Sue."

Many folks who saw Fuchs in life swore he was twice as tall as the coroner later measured him to be.

Shortly after the turn of the century -- and after setting the standard for the working terrier -- Fuchs immigrated to America.  He took his character flaws with him, however, and fresh off the boat he is reported to have killed a Mr. Monax and moved into his house in Virginia --  a small estate in the countryside in which his children live to this day.


Mr. Fuchs, of course, is a fox (Fuchs is fox in German). Mr. Monax is a groundhog (Marmota monax). Both the American working terrier and the red fox are immigrant stock imported to the U.S. within the last 300 years. There is marked divergence in size between "show" and "working" terriers in both the U.S. and in Europe. For a comparison, see:


Mr. Fuchs