The Wire Fox Terrier!

The Wire Fox Terrier has an almost flat skull, sloping slightly and decreasing in width toward the eyes. Its ears fold forward to form “V” shaped flaps dropping close to the cheeks. Its eyes are moderately small, dark in color and project an expression of keenness and fierceness. The tail is cut soon after birth so that it will be 4 ½ inches long when the dog is fully grown. The old English breed has a well built body dressed in a wiry coat with hairs growing so closely together that its skin cannot be seen even if it is parted with the fingers. Speed, power, and endurance complete the picture of a Wire Fox Terrier.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years

Energy Level:
Gentle; subdued.

Living Conditions:
Indoor living. Sensitive to temperature extremes.

Higher than average.

Exercise Needs:
Daily 30 minute walk; yard play.

Breed Group:


13 to 16 inches

13 to 20 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Predominantly white with black or tan markings.

National breed club:
The American Fox Terrier Club

Wire Fox Terrier Skills

The Wire Fox Terrier was developed in England for fox hunting purposes. Its job was to bolt a fox from its den or hiding place for it to flee and not to actually attack the fox. At present, it is used primarily as a companion dog, but it can also be used as a watchdog, for hunting, agility and performing tricks.

Wire Fox Terrier Personality

Although terrier breeds are generally not considered good with children, the Wire Fox Terrier seem to prove otherwise. It can be quite patient and protective and exhibits moderate dependence on humans. It is fairly friendly even with strangers but tends to be aggressive towards other dogs. It is highly trainable but easily becomes bored with repetition. The Wire Fox Terrier is alert and quick in movements, almost anticipating at the slightest provocation. Children should be properly educated in the proper treatment especially of this breed as it has been known to bite. There may be some problems with dominance challenges particularly with meek owners and excessive barking that is often high-pitched enough to be quite annoying to neighbors.

Exercise Needs

Regular long walks or playtime in the park would be beneficial for a Wire Fox Terrier living in apartments. Generous opportunities to freely run around even in a small yard or any safe area is quite good. However, it is better to have this dog on a leash as they are likely to run after cats and other small animals because of their strong hunting instinct.

Living Conditions

A Wire Fox Terrier is fit to an apartment life but should be provided with sufficient exercise. It can tolerate heat and cold fairly well but is basically an inside dog. It is definitely not a kennel or crate dog and a fenced yard is quite preferable to fulfill its need to run and play.

Grooming Requirements

For a pet Wire Fox Terrier, basic grooming consists of brushing the coat with a firm bristle brush and bathing when necessary. Stripping may be needed several times a year to keep the coat looking its best. Requirements for such are more frequent for show dogs where a more complex grooming routine is followed. Professional groomers are the most qualified to do this so an occasional trip to one even for non-show dogs is recommended. Shedding ranges from little to none.

Health Issues

Some health problems to look out for are epilepsy which is suspected to have a genetic component for this particular breed and deafness which is usually detected in predominantly white dogs. Other possible concerns include skin problems, post nasal drip, lens luxation, cataracts and shoulder dislocation.

If you liked this dog…

...and would be interested in a colored likeness of a Wire Fox Terrier, then you can try the Welsh Terrier which is within the same size range and possessing the same intelligence, reliability and good disposition towards humans.


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