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February 13, 2013 PetGuide
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Wire Fox Terrier

 
  • Height: 13-16 inches
  • Weight: 13-20 lb
  • Lifespan: 15-18 years
  • Group: AKC Terrier
  • Best Suited For: Families with children, active singles and seniors, houses with yards
  • Temperament: Independent, adventurous, courageous, playful
  • Comparable Breeds: Lakeland Terrier, Welsh Terrier

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An elegant and well-built dog, the Wire Fox Terrier is surprising strong for a dog with small structure. This breed is a hunting and tracking dog by nature, so the Wire Fox Terrier has got agility and energy to spare.

Wire Fox Terriers are courageous, alert, playful, affectionate and independent. Always up for an adventure, this dog loves to explore, run, hunt, play, and chase, so it will keep you busy. If it’s a family dog you’re looking for, you’ll be glad to learn that the Wire Fox Terrier is excellent with children. And even though it is a bold dog, it isn’t aggressive towards people. Read on to learn more about this breed.

This breed is a hunting and tracking dog by nature, so the Wire Fox Terrier has got agility and energy to spare.

Originating in England in the 1800’s, the Wire Fox Terrier was bred to assist in fox hunting. If the fox reached its hole and went into the ground, the Wire Fox Terrier would be sent in after it – this dog is small enough to fit down the hole and has the stamina to run with other foxhounds.  The Wire Fox Terrier was bred to be tough, because once it reached the fox in its den, it would have to fight. After flushing the fox from its den, the hunters would be able to hunt it down.

Although the Wire Fox Terrier is seldom used for hunting today, this dog still carries the instinct with it and will dig tirelessly for underground vermin.

The Wire Fox Terrier was crossed with the rough-coated Black and Tan Terrier and the Smooth Fox Terrier.

The Wire Fox Terrier was recognized by the AKC in 1885.

Wire Fox Terriers are known to be grazers, so it will eat its food throughout the day. A high-quality dry dog food is best, as it won’t go bad if left for long periods of time. Feel free to add fresh vegetables to your dog’s diet.

Wire Fox Terriers are courageous, alert, playful, affectionate and independent.

Training the Wire Fox Terrier can prove to be a bit difficult, especially if this is your first time owning this breed. If you’re bringing this dog home as a puppy, watch out for its sharp teeth. As well, the Wire Fox Terrier can be difficult to house train. In the beginning, you should consider staying at home with your dog as much as possible. Socialization is important, so introduce your Wire Fox Terrier to different dogs, people and environments whenever you can.

Since this dog is intelligent, you should include obedience tasks as part of your Wire Fox Terrier’s training.  It can have stubborn and independent nature, so be sure to be firm when giving commands. Reprimand your dog in a firm manner when it exhibits bad behavior. If this is your first time owning this breed or lack faith in your training skills, don’t be afraid to hire an experienced handler.

Male Wire Fox Terriers weigh 15 to 20 pounds and females weigh 13 to 18 pounds.

A happy, eager to please, excitable dog, the Wire Fox Terrier is always eager to play and makes an excellent pet for the active person. You may notice a streak of dominance in your dog – be sure you establish your role as the alpha early on. The Wire Fox Terrier was originally bred for hunting and tracking, so this dog still loves to dig under fences, in the garden, and even through sofas. Keep your dog in a secure, fenced-in yard, because this breed likes to roam and chase.

As hunting dogs, the Wire Fox Terrier will chase smaller animals such as squirrels, rabbits, or cats. For this reason, keep your Wire Fox Terrier on a leash at all times. This bold little dog has no issues starting problems with bigger dogs and will not back down to dogs that are several times their size.

Even though this breed is wonderful with children, the Wire Fox Terrier will react if it is being bothered or pestered. As well, this dog is quick to bark at any new sight or sound, which makes it a good watch dog. But overall, the Wire Fox Terrier makes a loyal, affectionate family pet.

The Wire Fox Terrier is a relatively healthy breed, but it does suffer from a few common ailments. These include epilepsy (causes seizures), cataracts (causes cloudiness to the lens of the eye and can result in vision loss), Legg Perthes disease (extreme muscle loss in the legs), distichiasis (extra hairs growing on the edge of the eyelid that can cause pressure and discomfort to the eye), post nasal drip, and deafness.

Wire Fox Terriers have a life expectancy of 15 to 18 years.

It’s no surprise that the Wire Fox Terrier likes to be outdoors, since it was bred for hunting and tracking. An active and lively breed, the Wire Fox Terrier can be exercised indoors and out, but it does help to have a fenced yard so it can run and play outside. You shouldn’t leave them outside on its own, as this dog is known to bark and dig excessively.

The Wire Fox Terrier likes to go on long walks, but be sure to keep your dog on a leash at all times, as its hunting instincts will kick in and it will chase any small animals. Since the Wire Fox Terrier needs consistent training, it’s a good idea to enroll your dog in an obedience training class. As well, there are clubs available for Wire Fox Terriers where it can indulge in its love of chasing small vermin without actually harming smaller animals.

A happy, eager to please, excitable dog, the Wire Fox Terrier is always eager to play and makes an excellent pet for the active person.

The American Kennel Club says this about the breed: “With his keen expression and readiness to spring into action at the slightest provocation, the Wire Fox Terrier is a typical terrier. Active, friendly and playful, the breed is highly trainable and excels in events such as agility.”

The Wire Fox Terrier’s coat appears to be broken, with hairs that have a tendency to twist. The texture is dense and wiry, resembling coconut matting. Its soft and finer undercoat is found at the base of the thick hairs.

Your Wire Fox Terrier should be brushed with a firm bristle brush about twice a week. To keep the coat looking its best, have your dog’s hair stripped several times a year.

Watch out for those sharp little teeth on the Wire Fox Terrier. Start obedience training as early as possible to correct bad habits from developing and be sure to teach children how to interact with your new addition.


Comparable Breeds

Go to Lakeland Terrier

Lakeland Terrier

  • Height: 14.5 inches
  • Weight: 15-17 lb
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Group: AKC Terrier
  • Best Suited For: Families with older children, active singles and seniors, houses with yards
  • Temperament: Playful, active, intelligent, entertaining
  • Comparable Breeds: Welsh Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier
Go to Welsh Terrier

Welsh Terrier

  • Height: 14-15 inches
  • Weight: 15-20 lb
  • Lifespan: 13-15 years
  • Group: AKC Terrier
  • Best Suited For: Families with children, singles and seniors, apartments, houses with/without yards
  • Temperament: Mild-mannered, independent, calm, curious
  • Comparable Breeds: Airedale Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier