THE WIRE-HAIR FOX-TERRIER 213
In the early days the smooth was not crossed with the wire
to anything like the extent that it was later, and this fact is
probably the cause of the salvation of the variety. The wire
hair has had more harm done to him by his being injudiciously
crossed with the smooth than probably by anything else.
The greatest care must be exercised in the matter of coat
before any such cross is effected. The smooth that is crossed
with the wire must have a really hard, and not too full coat,
and, as there are very, very few smooths now being shown with anything like a proper coat for a terrier to possess, the very greatest caution is necessary. Some few years back, almost incalculable harm was done to the variety by a considerable amount of crossing into a strain of smooths with terribly soft flannelly coats. Good-looking terriers were produced, and therein lay the danger, but their coats were as bad as bad could be ; and, though people were at first too prone to look over this very serious fault, they now seem to have recovered their senses, and thus, although much harm was done, any serious damage has been averted. If a person has a full-coated wirehair bitch he is too apt to put her to a smooth simply because it is a smooth, whom he thinks will neutralise the length of his bitch's jacket, but this is absolute heresy, and must not be done unless the smooth has the very hardest of hair on him. If it is done, the result is too horrible for words : you get an elongated, smooth, full coat as soft as cotton wool, and sometimes as silkily wavy as a lady's hair. This is not a coat for any terrier to possess, and it is not a wire-hair terrier's coat, which ought to be a hard, crinkly, peculiar-looking broken coat on top, with a dense undercoat underneath, and must never be mistakable for an elongated smooth terrier's coat, which can never at any time be a protection from wind, water, or dirt, and is, in reality, the reverse.
The wire-hair has had a great advertisement, for better or worse, in the extraordinarily prominent way he has been mentioned in connection with " faking " and trimming. Columns have been written on this subject, speeches of