Wire Fox Terrier

Dog Breed Profile
Wire Fox Terrier

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• High energy level
• Medium exercise needs
• Very playful
• Very affectionate
• Shy towards other dogs
• Shy around other pets
• Very friendly around strangers
• Difficult to train
• Great watchdogs
• Not very protective
• High grooming requirements
• Medium tolerance to heat
• Medium tolerance to cold


This sturdy little dog breed makes an excellent companion for children thanks to his playful and adventurous nature. The Wire Fox Terrier is independent and likes to dig, and can be scrappier than other terriers. His friendly nature isn’t lost in his mischievous tenancies, but he can be reserved around people he doesn’t know, and is not friendly with strange dogs.

His compact size doesn’t take anything away from his ability for speed and endurance, as well as his powerful gallop that served him well as a horseback hunter’s companion. The Wire Fox Terrier hardly sheds, and his dense coat, although it looks crinkled, requires brushing only three times a week..

  • Cannot be expected to live outdoors
  • Health conditions that need to be tested for are his eyes
  • Grooming needs include at least thrice weekly brushing and shaping every three months
  • The Wire Fox Terrier is a very affectionate and friendly, playful animal that is trainable
  • Has a great relationship with family members, young and old, not very protective but do make great watchdogs
  • The average size of a male is 17 to 19lbs and 15.5 inches tall
  • The average size of a female is 15 to 17lbs and 15.5 inches tall

Care & Health:

Take your Wire Fox Terrier for a good walk or play with him in a fenced in area to accommodate his high energy. Although his coat suggests otherwise, he prefers to lie indoors close to his family.

Be sure to brush his dense coat three times a week and have him shaped every three months.

Major Health Concerns:

– none

Minor Health Concerns:

– lens luxation, distichiasis, cataract, Legg-Perthes, shoulder dislocation and occasionally deafness, patellar luxation

Test for:

– eyes

Life Span:

– 10 to 13 years

Breed History:

Bred in the British Isles in the 1860s, the Wire Fox Terrier was a popular hunter’s companion capable of chasing small game from their dens. He’s a descendent of the black and tan terrier (rough coat), and although there have been debates over the origin of the smooth and wire fox terrier’s lineage, it is now thought that they have different backgrounds.

This little dog began his show dog career almost 20 years after the smooth fox terrier, he became popular following the end of the 2nd World War. It was one hundred years after the formation of the American Fox Terrier Club that the AKC recognized the breed as separate from the smooth fox terrier. Today the Wire Fox Terrier is considered one of the ultimate show dogs and pets.

  • Family history is terrier
  • Originally from England
  • First bred in the 1800’s
  • Original purpose was vermin hunting, fox bolting
  • Today they are used for earth dog trials