Smelling and tracking ain't enough. Ya gotta think NASTY!! Heh!
~ Chief to Copper.
Chief is the secondary antagonist of Disney's 24th full-length animated feature film The Fox and the Hound (which is based on the 1967 novel of the same name by the late Daniel P. Mannix), and a minor character in its 2006 midquel The Fox and the Hound 2. He is an elderly Irish Wolfhound who is Amos' oldest pet and Copper's adoptive father.
In the first film, he was voiced by the late Pat Buttram, who also played the Sheriff of Nottingham in Disney's Robin Hood. In the midquel, he was voiced by Rob Paulsen, who also played Strut in The Land Before Time II: The Time of the Great Giving, Rinkus in The Land Before Time VII: The Stone of Cold Fire by Universal Pictures, Banzai in Disney's Timon & Pumbaa and The Lion King: Simba's Mighty Adventure, Broccoli Overlord in The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange, Farley the Fox in Charlotte's Web 2: Wilbur's Great Adventure, Snowball in Rick and Morty, Ralph in Disney's Timon and Pumbaa, Hades' singing voice in Disney's Mickey's House of Villains and Brick and Boomer in The Powerpuff Girls.
Chief is usually aggressive, short-tempered, cranky and mean. He used to hate Tod and helped his master, Amos to try and kill the fox. He is nice to Copper, but he sometimes gets jealous and cranky with him, and he used to dislike him when Amos first brought him home. He is kind of like a foster father and mentor to Copper.
The Fox and the Hound
Chief is Amos Slade's oldest hunting dog and Copper's foster father and mentor.
He was first seen sleeping in his doghouse. Later on, he got a surprise from his master, Amos Slade, and the surprise was shown to be a hound puppy called Copper, and Amos said that Copper is someone for Chief to look after from now on, but Chief was shown to dislike him, but grows to like him later on, and later becomes a father figure to him. Chief usually stays in his doghouse, but he occasionally chases Tod when the fox comes to see Copper.
After that, Amos takes both of his dogs, Copper and Chief on a hunting trip so that Chief and Amos could teach Copper about hunting.
By springtime, Amos has collected a lot of skins and trophies with the help of a grown up Copper. Amos, Copper and Chief later return, as Tod comes to see Copper again, That night, even though Copper revels in his success, Chief notes that Copper's tracking skills are not enough to be a good hunting dog, and that Copper must learn to think nasty.
When Tod saw Copper again, Chief wakes up causing to him to bark and snarl, alerting his master that the fox came back. Amos and Chief both tried to kill the fox once more. Chief helped Amos chase Tod to a railroad bridge, as Chief traps Tod onto the bridge. Suddenly, a train comes. As Amos tells Chief to jump, Tod escapes, but Chief fell off the bridge by the train hitting him, causing him to be injured badly. Despite being hit by a train causing him to fall off a bridge, it was revealed that Chief survived. He tries to milk his injury by getting Amos' attention, but Amos threatens to break Chief's other leg if he doesn't go back to his room causing Chief to whimper while limping back to his room.
Chief was not seen again until the end of the film where he and Copper were watching their master's leg getting bandaged by Tod's former owner, Widow Tweed. It is possible that Chief realized that Tod is actually not a bad fox.
The Fox and the Hound 2
In The Fox and the Hound 2, Chief has a minor role and only says a few words. At the beginning, Chief is seen when he talks to Copper about playing nursemaid to a pup when he should be practicing for a contest, but Copper said to Chief that he doesn't need to practise and describes him as the best hunting dog in the whole county, even though Chief only won fourth place at the fair.
Later on, Dixie tells Tod to wake up Chief and have going to the fair. The young fox goes into Chief's barrel and bites him on the ear, causing Chief to hit his head on the top of his barrel. Tod blows a raspberry at Chief causing the vicious wolfhound to angrily chase the little fox to the fair. Chief caused the fair to get destroyed and then he, along with Tod, interrupt the Singing Strays' performance.
He was later seen during the final song of in the movie, "We Go Together", first chasing Tod and Copper, but gets chased by crickets and trips over apples along with Slade and Tweed.
Chief was originally going to die by getting killed by a train when it made him fall off a bridge, but, the producers decided that Chief would survive from being hit by a train, as they thought that Chief dying would be too intense for kids which are the same reasons why Trusty from Lady and the Tramp survived.
In the original film, Chief does not speak to Tod. But, in the midquel, he spoke to him.
There are differences between the book and film:
In the book, Chief died from getting hit by the train. In the film, Chief survived from getting hit by a train, however, he had a broken leg.
In the book, Chief is younger than Copper. In the film, Chief is older than Copper.
Chief is an Irish Wolfhound, which is the same breed as Sparky, who was one of the members of the Junkyard Dogs from the 2001 sequel to Disney's 1955 film, Lady and the Tramp, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure.
Chief's barks are Old Yeller's sound effects from the 1957 film of the same name.
Chief has the same eyebrows as his master, Amos Slade.