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Fox Terrier (Wire) Dogs

A wire fox terrier's wonderful great big beard A wire fox terrier's beautifully soft white coat A beautiful little white and black wire fox terrier showing off it's lovely long legs A wonderful little wire fox terrier, ready to play with it's owner A wire fox terrier's wonderful, long nose and wiry ears A wire fox terrier showing off it's beautiful, long nose and wiry beard A beautiful, adult wire fox terrier enjoying some exercise outside A close up of a wire fox terrier's incredible, scruffy beard A healthy adult wire fox terrier showing off it's beautiful, short body A young wire fox terrier lying on the grass, ready to play

Breed Rating (2 Reviews)



The Wire Fox Terrier first appeared in England in the mid-19th century. Their ancestry is thought to include other terriers (Black and Tan, Welsh, Bull) and possibly Greyhound, and they were developed as fox and rat catchers, able to pursue quarry underground. The Smooth Coated and Wire Coated varieties were classed as the same breed until 1985, even though the Fox Terrier (Smooth and Wire haired types alike) was the first breed to be recognized by the English Kennel club in 1875. The Wire Fox Terrier became very popular after World War II in America.


The Wire Fox Terrier is a keen hunter, and a great lover of rabbit holes and trails left by anything from mice and rats to raccoons and possums. They do not hesitate to dispatch small prey. They make wonderful pets, though, and are very cuddly and friendly in the home, with adults and children alike, and are usually okay with strangers too. Early socialisation is key to their good behavior in the home, so having visitors in your home all the time makes all the difference.

WFTs are comical and like to try to outwit you. They will start fights with other dogs, even if well socialised, so it is best to walk them on a lead. Their inquisitive nature can get them into trouble, and training needs lots of patience and persistence. It is not that they lack intelligence – they are just very stubborn and single-minded. They cannot be trusted off a lead unless in a very safe area. They will chase anything – even bicycles and cars, and you can forget recall. They excel at agility, obedience and Earth trials, though, once they get there! They like to learn at their own pace and only when it suits them. Repetition is boring to them, so rough games, food based training, and problem-solving tasks work best.

WFTs need lots of exercise, and the more you offer them, the happier they are. Very long walks and hikes suit them well, as they need physical exercise and mental stimulation alike. They get bored easily, so varying the walks is a good idea. This also makes sure they don’t head for the same holes in the fences or holes in the ground every time.

Wire Fox Terriers are very greedy and will wolf down food and pile on the weight, given the chance, so food intake needs to be closely monitored. They suffer very few health concerns, though, and tend to recover well from ailments. You need to keep a close eye on them and note when there is any change in behavior, as they hide their suffering very well.


The Fox Terrier (Wire) is friendly, intense, and inquisitive. They insist on exploring every new place they visit, checking every corner of a room or scouting for rabbit and fox holes. They are lean and energetic, always up for a game and never ones to back down from a challenge. Early socialization is important, especially with other dogs.

Health Problems

Possible issues with Fox Terriers (Wire) include Legg Calvé Perthes disease (degeneration of the femoral head which can lead to lameness and joint swelling), canine hip dysplasia (CHD), patellar luxation (dislocation of the knee cap), heart disease, eye disease, blood clotting disease, and cataracts.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 10 - 15 years
  • Weight: 15 - 21 pounds
  • Height: Up to 15"
  • Rare: No
  • Coat: Medium - Hypoallergenic
  • Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
  • Town or Country: Either
  • Minimum Home Size: Small House
  • Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
  • Breed Type: Pest Control Dog
  • Size: Medium
  • Energy Level: High
  • Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour

Fox Terrier (Wire) Pictures

Fox terriers enjoying the sun with hens in the background
Fabulous Fox Terriers

Latest Reviews For Fox Terrier (Wire) (2 of 2)

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1 Star:


A fun packed friend. - Jan,

I was brought up with 'wires', in fact i learnt to walk hanging onto the curly coat of one.They will be very protective of THEIR family, even snarling at a stranger approaching the pram, that dog stopped a burglar, and was found sitting in the doorway of a jemmied open front door, laughing, but the flat was untouched. I have found they are better when bought up with children, so they are more tolerant of being dressed up, and mauled about.My current dog is elderly and tells my grandchildren off if they wake her up.My Mabel is 13 1/2 now and blind, but still loves her walks, and till a few years ago regularly killed all the mice in the compost bin.Great at games, hide and seek and agility, a great sense of humour, jumping on the tummy of sleeping dads. They need a garden, not a lap dog, sweet when puppies, but don't be fooled, they are Duracell bunnies in disguise and never boring.

Fabulous Family Dog - Tanya,

Our foxie is 6 years old now and is very true to the description given above. He is a source of endless enjoyment and very much part of the family. He travels with us abroad, as long as he has a lap to sit on or a body to lean against he is very happy in the car on long journeys. Our youngest was 8 when the dog arrived and they have always been great buddies. I would imagine that for a smaller child the breed could be overwhelming as on his hind legs ours is as tall and very lively!