Fox Terrier Wire

Fox Terrier Wire
Fox Terrier Wire pictures
Fox Terrier Wire suitability

In my own words

“Don’t mind me, I’m just watching birds from the window…I’m starting my own neighbourhood bird watch…I’m the only member so far- you should join. My breed is known for our hunting instincts, especially against small animals. This is why I need to be kept on a lead when we go for our daily jogs and cycling (I love running alongside a bike). I’m not a cold blooded hunter though; I absolutely love people, and am partial to a bit of a cuddle on the couch! My fur barely sheds so I rarely leave evidence of me being around and I’m great for allergy sufferers.

Attention seeker? Me? Okay, okay I must admit I do enjoy round the clock attention, and because you have socialized me early, I can get on with strangers as well. I’ve got a great sense of humour, and love to make you and your guests laugh.  I’m a bit of a brainbox on the quiet as well, and can learn tricks speedily so I don’t mind showing these off also. I have boundless energy, and enjoy spending all of it in good company. I’m a perfect host! Brains AND a sense of humour! I know, I know, too good to be true. Just be careful I don’t upstage you!”

My ideal owner(s)

Athletes and joggers




Outdoorsy types


Apartment dwellers

What they say about me

Highly energetic


Loads of personality




Family oriented

Is this Fox Terrier Wire for you?

Test your knowledge about the Fox Terrier Wire

Information essential about the Fox Terrier Wire

Because of their strong hunting instincts, the Fox Terrier will also hunt and possibly kill other non- canine animals, such as rabbits and birds, if given the chance. Keep this breed properly leashed or in a completely enclosed area, because the Fox Terrier likes to go off and explore.  They not only need their bodies exercised but their minds as well. It is paramount you are this dogs 100%, firm, consistent pack leader...


Kennel Club Group:  Terrier


Size: Medium

Weight Male 15 – 20 lb. (7 –9 kg) Female 13 – 18 lb. (6 – 8 kg)

Height Male 14” – 16” (36 – 41 cm) Female 13”–15” (33 –38 cm)



Famous Wire Fox Terriers include: Snowy; cartoon character Tintins’ dog and companion, Vicki; author Rudyard Kiplings dog and Caesar, the companion of King Edward VII.

Breed History:

One of the oldest English terrier breeds, Wire Fox Terriers were developed in the 1800s to drive foxes out of their dens once the Hounds had chased them in. For almost a century, Wire Fox Terriers and Smooth Fox Terriers were categorized as the same breed. However, they have very different origins: The Smooth Fox Terrier derived from the working terriers of Wales and Durham, while the coarse-coated Wire Fox Terrier—bred for rougher terrain—has Beagle and Greyhound in its family tree. Official standards for each breed were established in 1984.


The Fox Terrier was developed by crossing ancient Dachshunds, English Hounds, and later the Fox Hound and Beagle. It is one of the oldest terrier type dogs, originating in the British Isles in the 17th century. They were used by farmers who needed dogs to help get rid of the animals that would prey on the farmers stock, such as fox and rats and other small vermin. The Fox Terrier would find the animal in the ground relentlessly, digging, barking, growling and lunging until it harassed the animal out of its den where the hunter could then kill it. The Fox Terrier came in both a smooth coat and a wirehaired coat and was considered the same breed for many years. The Wirehaired Fox Terrier was bred by crossing in the rough coated black and tan terrier, for use in rough country, its coat being less vulnerable to damage than that of the Smooth Fox Terrier. The first standard for the Smooth Fox Terrier was established in 1876, separating it from the wirehaired dogs. However they are still considered the same breed with different coat varieties by some clubs, but have been separated in the United States since 1984. Both the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Wirehaired Fox Terrier were recognized by the AKC in 1885. Some of the Fox Terrier's talents include: hunting, tracking, watchdog, agility and performing tricks.


As of 2010, the Wire Fox Terrier had won more’ best in show’ titles than any other breed at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, boasting over 13 titles.


Charismatic and lively, the Wire Fox Terrier can brighten up any room. Although loving and loyal, this breed can be wary of strangers so early socialization is vital. The Wire Fox Terriers lovable personality and sense of humour can make him a hit with families, but potential owners are advised to do their research beforehand in order to make sure they can provide the right environment and lifestyle for this little firecracker. It is exciting to own a Wire Fox Terrier due to their combination of energy and intelligence, but it is also important to keep an eye on them. They do not see the difference between big and small, and will treat a horse as they would a mouse, this can lead them into trouble. It is important to keep a firm hand and alpha role when owning the Wire Fox Terrier in order for him to live a long, happy and varied life.


With a naturally alert temperament, the Wire Fox Terrier will make an excellent watch dog. He however, will not fare well as a guard dog. Although generally friendly, care should be taken with smaller children as this breed can snap when exposed to rough play, or when pestered. It is advisable that the Wire Fox Terrier is not exposed to smaller and more passive animals, as he cannot be trusted, so please consider your other pets when opting for this breed. It will take early training and socialization in order for the Wire Fox Terrier to lose their aggression towards other dogs, but will prove rewarding in later life. The Wire Fox Terrier is extremely loyal and hungry for affection, he requires a great deal of love and attention which is why he is not recommended for working couples/singles as he will hate being left alone.


Wire Fox Terriers have small, elegant frames covered in dense and curly white coats with black or brown patches. They have broad, flat heads with long, full muzzles. Their V-shaped ears usually bend forward, and their intense eyes are set slightly apart. They have long, muscular necks that slope down to deep chests and short backs. Their tails, sometimes docked, are carried high. Overall, the Wire Fox Terrier has a rugged but distinguished look.  The Wirehaired Fox Terrier is a medium sized dog. The skull is flat, moderately narrowing to the eyes. The stop is slight. The muzzle gradually tapers to the black nose. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The eyes and eye rims are dark in colour. The small V-shaped ears drop forward close to the cheeks. The neck is thick and muscular. The legs are straight. The tail is high set and is usually docked by 1/4, leaving 3/4 of the original length. Note: the practice of docking tails is illegal in most parts of Europe. The wiry coat has dense twisted, hairs similar to the hair on the outside of a coconut. The hairs are so thick and close together that when they are parted you cannot see the skin. It has a short, soft undercoat. The coat is predominately white with black or brown markings.


White should predominate brindle, red, or liver markings


Wire Fox Terriers, like many other breeds, can lose interest very quickly. Due to their lively and independent personality, it is advisable that this breed is trained from an early age with a firm and consistent handler. This is a demanding role, and is not recommended for novice trainers as proper techniques need to be performed in order to get the correct result. When handled wrongly, this breed will prove very difficult to train and become a tyrant. Do not make the mistake of underestimating this dog because of its size! Wire Fox Terriers have a feisty personality and need positive training to ensure proper socialization. This will start them off on the right foot in order to develop relationships with new people and other animals.



The Wire Fox Terrier has an impressive background in varied activities. Hunting, watch dogging, agility, tracking and performing tricks are all on this breeds list of preferred hobbies. They love exercise, and are incredibly active with boundless energy. Although he can cope without a garden, a proper exercise routine will need to be in place in order for him to be happy, and nothing can beat an unrestricted run around a fenced area. Wire Fox Terriers do well running alongside bicycles, and enjoy long jogs with owners – however it is important to keep them on a leash if small animals are around


Despite their small stature, Wire Fox Terriers are bold and fearless, and may confront larger dogs. Their natural instinct to hunt is strong, and they will seize every opportunity to chase birds and squirrels. It is important to keep them on a leash for their own protection, and allow them to only run free in a controlled environment. Wire Fox Terriers also enjoy a good swim!

The Wire Fox Terrier does require much grooming, however brushing is necessary. Stripping of the coat is required for show dogs, however can be done less frequently if not used for these purposes. Hand plucking of the coat may be necessary to remove dead hairs but should only be performed by an experienced groomer. The Wire Fox Terrier has a much longer beard along his muzzle which should be brushed and cleaned every other day to prevent caking, matting, and dirt. Washing with a mild soap and brushing with a fine-toothed comb will prevent this.  There is a complex show-grooming routine. Professional groomers have quite a bag of tricks to keep the Wire looking its best for the show ring. The Wire shed little to no hair and is good for allergy sufferers.


Epilepsy is highly suspected to have a genetic component in this breed. Some minor concerns are post nasal drip, lens luxation, distichiasis, cataracts, Legg-Perthes disease, and shoulder dislocation.

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Advice on choosing your breed »

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The following grid gives a fast track review which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if a Wire Fox Terrier is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1= strongly disagree, and 5= strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog that is good for a jogging companion scroll down and you will see in red the Wire Fox Terrier score is 5; this means he is an excellent jogging companion. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your final choice.

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Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Good jogging companion5/5
Good walking companion5/5
Likes water/swimming5/5
Likes learning new tricks5/5
Likes to hunt5/5
Likes to fetch5/5
Good gundog/retriever3/5
Barks a lot5/5
Gets easily jealous4/5
Friendly with strangers3/5
Expensive to insure3/5
Expensive to feed3/5
Happy to sleep outside1/5
Prefers countryside5/5
Suits urban environment5/5
Prefers temperate climate2/5
Prefers hot climate3/5
Prefers cold climate3/5
Moults a lot1/5
Requires lots of grooming4/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly2/5
Ideal for singles1/5
Ideal for couples with no children0/5
Ideal for family with children5/5
Good watch dog5/5
Good guard dog1/5
Good with other pets3/5
Good with other dogs3/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs1/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs1/5
Requires lots of exercise5/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners1/5
Good for experienced owners5/5
Good recall5/5
Easy to train5/5
Good jogging companion0/5
Good walking companion0/5
Likes water/swimming0/5
Likes learning new tricks0/5
Likes to hunt0/5
Likes to fetch0/5
Good gundog/retriever0/5
Barks a lot0/5
Gets easily jealous0/5
Friendly with strangers0/5
Expensive to insure0/5
Expensive to feed0/5
Happy to sleep outside0/5
Prefers countryside0/5
Suits urban environment0/5
Prefers temperate climate0/5
Prefers hot climate0/5
Prefers cold climate0/5
Moults a lot0/5
Requires lots of grooming0/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly0/5
Ideal for singles0/5
Ideal for couples with no children0/5
Ideal for family with children0/5
Good watch dog0/5
Good guard dog0/5
Good with other pets0/5
Good with other dogs0/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs0/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs0/5
Requires lots of exercise0/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners0/5
Good for experienced owners0/5
Good recall0/5
Easy to train0/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

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