Wire Fox Terrier

The Wire Fox Terrier has long been a popular family and hunting dog. Not much has changed in this classic breed. Their long snouts, bearded chins and alert eyes are still hallmarks of the breed. If you are looking for a charming and amusing companion you need look no further than this beautiful breed. Read on to learn more about the Wire Fox Terrier.

Description of the Wire Fox Terrier

Often simply called the Wire, the name comes as no surprise given their textured hair. These dogs have a very dense and wiry coat that gives them a tough protective layer.

They come in mainly white, with patches of any other colors except brindle, red, liver, or slate blue. Red is especially problematic because it gives them the appearance of a fox, which you definitely don’t want when out hunting foxes!

You can easily distinguish the Wire Fox Terrier from other terriers not only by his coat, but also by his stately appearance. Their long and broad snouts, framed by semi-folded ears and a keen expression, are classic Wire attributes. These dogs have short bodies but are deep-chested and appear durable and strong.

They are agile hunters, originally bred to seek out foxes in the 1700s. There are now two distinct varieties of Fox Terrier, both smooth and wire. They became two distinctive breeds in 1985, but despite having different coats, both are beloved by those who know them.

Life Expectancy and Size

This breed is generally healthy and the average Wire Fox Terrier will live 12 – 15 years. They do have certain health issues they are predisposed to, but most don’t affect their lifespan. Working with a reputable breeder can help ensure your puppy lives to his fullest potential.

Though they may look quite large and imposing in pictures, the Wire is actually quite a small dog. They are strong and tough, but only stand about 15.5 inches tall and weigh 15 – 18 pounds.

Protective Ability

The Wire Fox Terrier is a natural watchdog, always eager to sound the alarm if anything seems out of the ordinary. They take pride in defending their homes and families, but are always eager to meet new people, with proper introductions.


As with many other terriers, the Wire often feels some independence, so be patient and consistent with your training. They are quick to learn and love their families, but you may have to be creative to keep them interested.

Using positive rewards-based training like treats and games are a great way to get your Wire Fox Terrier motivated to learn. These dogs also tend to love to tug and dig, so you can use these as rewards for good behavior!

Keeping training sessions relatively short in the beginning will also set your dog up for more success with longer and more complex session later on. These dogs are smart so just break things down and be consistent and they will learn!

The bright dogs are a great choice for canine sports. This will work not only their minds but also their bodies and give them a great opportunity to bond with their humans.

Energy Level

These energetic dogs love to be on the move and will surely keep you on your toes. Their love of hunting translates well into chasing after a ball or playing tug-o-war. Though small, they are rugged dogs and will be able to keep up with most active individuals.

While adaptable to a more sedentary lifestyle, it is important that these dogs still get enough exercise everyday. The Wire Fox Terrier does enjoy snuggling up to his family on the couch, but without enough daily movement may become anxious or destructive.

What Living with a Wire Fox Terrier is Like

This is an all-around kind breed.

These dogs love their families and are often quite good with children. Other dogs raised with your Wire will find him a fun companion, but be careful when introducing your Wire to new dogs. This breed loves to instigate trouble, his humans should always supervised them when playing with new dogs.

Energetic and fun, these entertaining firecrackers are always on the move and love to play games with you. But after an exciting day playing games and going for walks, these loving dogs want to curl up next to you while you read or watch TV.

Care of the Wire Fox Terrier

The Wire Fox Terrier is quite adaptable. Plenty of family time and adequate exercise are really the main things this breed needs to be happy.

Environmental Needs

These dogs do well in most climates. They may be a bit more tolerant of warmer weather, but can adapt to colder climates as well. Consider investing in a jacket if your Wire will be spending a lot of time in cold weather.

Exercise Needs

As a terrier, the Wire needs plenty of exercise to stay fit and healthy. You can achieve this through multiple longs walks a day, backyard playtime, and canine sports.

The Wire Fox Terrier is a prey-driven dog, so you should keep this feisty pet on leash or fenced in at all times. This will prevent him from running off after a furry creature – such as the neighbor’s cat!

Shedding and Grooming

The grooming for a Wire Fox Terrier can range from a quick daily brushing to intensive show ready preparation. It all just depends on what your dog will be doing.

If he is just your family pet a daily brush and occasional clipping are enough to keep his coat healthy and mat free. If your dog will be going into show he will need hand stripping and special attention to make sure his coat is in tip-top shape.

This breed sheds little.

It is also important to always keep their nails trimmed and ears cleaned to avoid discomfort or infections.

Ideal Home Environment

The Wire Fox Terrier is adaptable to any home where he receives enough time and exercise. Families with children will find a caring and fun dog. But anyone can have a great companion in this breed. They make protective and attentive pets.

Always be aware that your Wire may become ill at anytime and this can be an expensive or time-consuming process to deal with.

Health Concerns

The most common concerns for this breed tend to be genetic. Hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, patellar luxation, and “wobbler’s gait” are all potential health issues for the Wire Fox Terrier. Working with a reputable breeder and regularly taking your dog in for check-ups can help catch, treat, or prevent these problems.

Behavior Problems

These prey-driven dogs will be quick to forget all their commands if they catch sight of a furry animal. Be sure to keep them fenced in or on leash to prevent them from wandering off.

Early socialization is also important to ensure your dog grows up to be a well-mannered pup. They can become a bit crazy around people and other dogs if not exposed to many different situations early on.