Wire Fox Terrier: origins, characteristics and personality

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Wire Fox Terrier

The Wire Fox Terrier is a dog breed of fox terrier that, even though it resembles the Smooth Fox Terrier, was bred separately. This dog used to be a foxhunt but today he is a great companion and a master show dog.

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Wire Fox Terrier: origins, characteristics and personality

English fox hunting enthusiasts developed the Wire Fox Terrier during the heyday of fox hunting. The dogs as we know them today were developed in the late 1700s.

There are many beloved Wire Fox Terriers in historical records. King Edward VII, who enchanted the British Empire had a Wire Fox as his favorite dog. During the 1930s and 1940s, the breed became popular thanks to the six “Thin Man” movies.

The AKC recognized this breed in 1885.

Physical characteristics

The Wire Fox Terrier is a sturdy dog with a weight of around 7.7 to 8.6 kg (17 to 19 lb) in the case of male and 6.8 to 7.7 kg (15 to 17 lb) in females. Standards say that he should not be taller than 15½ inches tall to the withers.

The coat color is white with brown distinctive marks on the face and ears. They usually also have a black saddle or large splotch of color. They might also have some other markings in other parts of the body.


This dog is energetic and intelligent. This energy makes him mischievous sometimes so he requires a lot of attention. The dog is always alert, quick, and ready to respond to the slightest stimulus.

It is recommended for the active owner who wants to help this energetic dog as a companion. This hunting animal will chase smaller animals such as squirrels, birds, and cats. He does well around kids but he will react if bothered too much.

Caring for a Wire Fox Terrier

Wire Fox Terriers are hand-groomed if they are show dogs. This helps preserve the color and glossiness of the hair. Accompany a good exercise with a good diet. Treats can be given to him but not too many as they can make him grow obese.

He needs plenty of exercise and a yard to romp about. Always keep him on the look as he likes to bark and dig a lot.


This dog is intelligent and it has a mind of his own. This makes him especially difficult to train, so you should start from day one you bring the puppy home. House-training can also be difficult so make sure you are consistent and always use positive reinforcement.

Fun facts

  • The Wire Fox Terrier and the Smooth Fox Terrier used to interbreed, but the practice stopped in the early 1900s;
  • The original purpose of the breed was to “go to ground” and hunt small animals off their dens.

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