Wire Fox Terrier

Home > Dog Breeds > Wire Fox Terrier
15-17 lbs
12-15"
England

The Wire Fox Terrier is believed to be descended from the Rough-Coated Black and Tan Terrier of Wales; it is an old English breed. Some say that the Terrier from Wales interbred with Terriers from Cheshire and Shropshire along with a Beagle mix. The Wire Fox Terrier of today has roots back to the 18th century, when hunters needed a small, energetic, brave dog who was not afraid to go after its prey, or “go to ground,” as the English like to say. The Wire Fox Terrier is a small dog, only about fifteen inches tall and usually less than eighteen pounds. He is highly energetic and extremely brave. 

Purpose
vermin hunting, fox bolting
Date of Origin
1800s
Ancestry
rough-coated black and tan terrier

Wire Fox Terrier Health

Average Size
Height: 13-15 inches Weight: 17-19 lbs
Height: 12-15 inches Weight: 15-17 lbs
Minor Concerns
  • Distichiasis
  • Cataracts
  • Lens Luxation
  • Shoulder Dislocation
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Deafness
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hearing
  • Skeletal
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination

Wire Fox Terrier Breed History

The Wire Fox and the Smooth Fox Terrier were at one time considered to be variations of the same breed; however, Wire Fox Terriers are considered to be descended from the rough-coated black and tan Terriers from Wales, Derbyshire, and Durham. At one time, breeders crossed the Wire and Smooth Fox Terriers to produce more white pigmentation and a cleaner-cut head. The Wire Fox Terrier is a breed that has been treasured by even the most royal owners. Edward VII owned a Wire Fox named Caesar; when Edward passed away in 1910, Caesar marched alongside his casket in the funeral procession. The Wire Fox Terrier was recognized as its own breed in 1985. It is still a fairly rare breed, but it is a popular show dog. The Wire Fox Terrier has won thirteen Best-in-Show awards at Westminster. The Wire Fox Terrier derives its name from a variety of sources: the “wire” is a description of its coat; the “fox” is the type of game it was generally used to hunt; the Terrier is the family from which the dog originates. 

Wire Fox Terrier Breed Appearance

The Wire Fox Terrier is a medium sized dog; it is a square-figured dog with V-shaped ears and strong jaws. The muzzle tapers down to the nose, and the bite is a scissors bite. It has a double coat; the top coat should not be curly, but thick, wiry, and twisted – some liken it to the shell on a coconut. The undercoat is short and fine. Its outer coat is so thick that one cannot see the skin of the dog if he attempts to part the fur.  It is predominantly white with black and tan markings. While docking the tail is illegal in Europe, often the tail will be docked at least a quarter of the original length.

Eye Color Possibilities
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
Brindle
White
Silver
Red
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Wire Fox Terrier Breed Maintenance

Although the Wire Fox Terrier will need stripping and professional grooming from time to time, he is relatively a low-maintenance type of dog. Brushing him weekly with a bristle brush will normally keep his coat in top shape. However, you will definitely want to have his coat stripped several times a year. If you plan to put your Wire Fox Terrier in the show ring, you will have to do this more often. The Wire Fox Terrier sheds very little, and he is considered to be a good dog for those with allergies. The Wire Fox Terrier needs a daily walk or jog. He can alternatively be set loose in a fenced-in area for free exercise time. However, any time he is out (outside of a fence), be sure to keep him leashed, especially around small animals. He is still a hunter at heart.

Brushes for Wire Fox Terrier
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Comb
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Wire Fox Terrier Temperament

The Wire Fox Terrier is a courageous little dog. He is happy, lovable, and playful. He is great with children. It is important to remember that he is first and foremost a hunter, so caution should be taken around rabbits, birds, and other small animals. He has a tendency to wander, so be sure to keep him in a fenced-in area when he is outdoors (unless he is leashed, of course). He often gets along with other dogs, and he can easily be taught tricks due to his high intelligence. He needs daily exercise, and he also needs a firm handler. The Wire Fox Terrier can develop Small Dog Syndrome (a behavioral condition in which the dog can become unpleasant, snappy,  bark excessively, and even become aggressive). He may also guard objects, even his own food, from other dogs and possibly his owners. The Wire Fox Terrier can easily vie for the “alpha” dog spot if he feels his owner/handler/family is not firm enough or consistent. It is important to remember that these are not traits characteristic of the Wire Fox Terrier but his reaction to how his owners interact with him. A firm, consistent routine with definite rules for the Wire Fox Terrier will benefit both the dog and his owners. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
45 minutes

Wire Fox Terrier Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.6 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

Wire Fox Terrier Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 10 inches Weight: 12 lbs
Height: 9 inches Weight: 10 lbs
12 Months
Height: 13 inches Weight: 15 lbs
Height: 12 inches Weight: 14 lbs
18 Months
Height: 14 inches Weight: 18 lbs
Height: 13 inches Weight: 16 lbs

Wire Fox Terrier Owner Experiences