wirehaired fox terrier

Wirehaired Fox Terrier

General Description

(Wire Fox Terrier, Fox Terrier Wire Coat, Wire) The Wirehaired Fox Terrier is a unique looking breed. Its most distinctive feature is its long muzzle ending in a wiry beard.  Like its beard, the rest of the breed’s coat is also wiry but is also quite thick.  The breed comes in colors ranging from pure white to a mix of white and black or tan.  At the top of their narrow heads, their small ears fold down halfway adding to its interesting look.  Their tiny eyes are set deep in their heads and sparkle with the dog’s lively personality. Their heads extend into a long, muscular neck and a compact body.  The dog’s front legs are straight and their tail is usually docked so it stands straight up.

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The Wirehaired Fox Terrier is brave and devoted to its family. They can often be wary around strangers and do not always get along with other dogs. However, they are good family dogs who enjoy playing with children and being the center of attention. They are very energetic and mischievous which means they can sometimes become bored. The breed has a tendency to become diggers, particularly when bored, and to bark when they feel threatened. They are commonly possessive over toys and people which can cause them to bite. Because of their stubbornness, it is important they get some training and that their owner is firm.


13-16 inches


13-20 pounds

General Health

The Wirehaired Fox Terrier is generally a healthy breed that can enjoy life for more than 15 years.  One of the more severe genetic issues the breed faces is epilepsy.  The Wirehaired Fox Terrier can also suffer from Cushing’s disease, Legg-Perthes disease, luxating patellas, and skin allergies.  Additionally, as with some other breeds, the Wirehaired Fox Terriers have a risk for deafness which increases with the amount of white visible on the dog.

Rarely Wirehaired Fox Terriers are known to have issues with their kidneys causing their kidneys to be half sized. Symptoms included random peeing in inappropriate places. (when sitting on your lap or sleeping) If gone untreated, the breed will have extensive urinary issues and ultimately kidney failure This is a issue is becoming more numerous in this breed due to excessive breeding. Please contact your vet asap if your pet develops these symptoms.


Wirehaired Fox Terriers were bred in England exclusively for hunting fox not for companionship.  Like other terrier breeds, these dogs were created by crossing Dachshunds, Beagles, and similar small hunting dogs.  Although the breed is now mainly a companion animal, this was not the case until the1930s. The breed is probably best well-known for its appearances in late 1930’s movies, such The Awful Truth (1937) and Bringing Up Baby (1938).  Prior to that, Charles Darwin kept a Wirehaired Fox Terrier as a pet.


Wirehaired Fox Terriers should get plenty of exercise otherwise they will become defiant and mischievous. The breed needs long walks or an enclosed yard to run in. They also need to be trained or have something to keep them busy. As with most dogs, it is important for the breed to get plenty of socialization as puppies to prevent potential problems later.  Their coat does not require much maintenance, but they do need to be brushed two to three times a week. A few times a year, their coat needs to be shaped by a groomer.

Ideal Environment

The most vital requirement for owning a Wirehaired Fox Terrier is time for exercise. They are very active and enjoy long walks. They at least need a yard to run around in. Without enough exercise, the breed can become difficulty to live with and very destructive.  Because it is intelligent, the breed should get training to keep its mind stimulated and to keep it out of trouble. Since they are active, it is best they not live with older people. However, they are good with children and families.

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