Wire Fox Terrier


A small Wire Fox Terrier
Wire Fox Terrier Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)13-16in (33-41cm)
Weight13-20lbs (6-9kg)
Hair Colour(s)White with markings
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size3-6
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsMedium
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityLow
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftMedium

The Wire Fox Terrier is a small to medium sized dog with a sturdy build. The head has an almost flat skull that narrows toward the small, dark eyes, a long muzzle and a distinctive beard. The ears fold forward to form V-shapes, dropping close to the cheeks. The tail is normally docked, and the dense, wiry coat is predominantly white with black and tan markings.


Wire Fox Terriers are affectionate, lively, and alert little dogs. Although often independent, they thrive on the companionship, attention, and love of a family environment, and these little whirlwinds make very good pets and companions. They are highly trainable but this needs to be firm yet positive, and they bore easily of repetition. In addition, they have strong stubborn streaks and can be manipulative, they so are best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership. Owners with timid natures may face dominance challenges, and excessive, high-pitched barking can be a problem. As a breed, terriers are not usually considered to be good with children. However, Wire Fox Terriers do get along with older, more considerate children, although earlysocialiation is important. They are fairly friendly around strangers when properly socialised, but they tend to be aggressive towards other dogs and pets. These dogs can be very possessive when it comes to their food and belongings, and are prone to fight with other animals over them. As they are alert and have good senses of sight and sound, they make good watchdogs.

History & Skills

Wire Fox Terriers originate from England and were bred to hunt foxes. Their role was to oust foxes from their dens or hiding places and to make them scarper, rather than to attack them. Originally grouped with the smooth variety, they were finally registered as a separate breed, and these days they make good companions and watchdogs.

Breed Specific Ailments

Wire Fox Terriers tend to live between 12-15 years, and some of the health problems to watch out for include cataracts, PRA, heart problems, epilepsy, Legg-Perthes, luxating patella, thyroid problems, digestive problems and deafness, predominantly in white dogs.


Wire Fox Terriers are low shedders when groomed properly and so may therefore be suitable those with allergies. The coat should be brushed at least once a week and bathed only when necessary. The hair iside the ears should be kept trimmed, as should hair around the bottom area for hygiene reasons. Stripping may be needed several times a year to keep the coat looking its best.

Exercise & Environment

Wire Fox Terriers tend to live indoors, as they can be sensitive to temperature extremes. They need access to a yard or garden area plus a daily half-hour walk. This must be on a leash because their strong hunting instinct means they are likely to chase after cats and other small animals.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

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