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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 probably descend from the Black and Tan Terrier / Welsh Terrier and was once considered the same breed as the Smooth Coated Fox Terrier. The Wire was used to bolt foxes from their den and sometimes dispatch them for the hunters. They are a keen nosed dog with typical Terrier tenacity. The Wire Fox Terrier became very popular after World War II and is still a popular breed in Europe and America.


True to it's Terrier roots, the Wire Fox is a keen hunter and skilled at locating and dispatching prey, mainly vermin nowadays. They make wonderful pets and are very friendly towards children and usually ok with strangers, even though they can be a bit territorial at times. Early socialisation is important to stop this trait, so encouraging visitors into your home really will make a difference. They like to be around people they know and can be wary if anxious about certain people. They are comical and can outwit you with their intelligence. They often start fights with other dogs, even if well socialised, so best walked on a lead. Adult training classes can help, but this breed is plucky, feisty and rarely back down. Their inquisitive nature can get them into trouble. Training is hard going. Not due to lack of intelligence but down to their stubborn ways. They excel at agility, obedience and Earth trials, but it takes a long time and patience to get there. They like to learn, but at their own pace and when it suits them. Repetition is boring to them, so rough games, food based training and problem solving work best. They cannot be trusted off a lead unless in a very safe area. They will chase rabbits, deer, squirrels and even bicycles and cars, the chase instinct is so strong in them. Forget recall. They need lots of exercise, a couple of 15 minute walks a day will not be enough for a Wire Fox Terrier. Given the chance to run around a safe area, playing fetch or frisbee or a decent jog with their owner will be enough, but the more you offer them, the happier they will be. Very long walks and hikes suit them well. They aren't a lazy dog and will need plenty of exercise to keep their minds active. They bore easily and it would be better to vary the routes you take/places you visit. This also prevents them from learning where the holes are in fences. Wire Fox Terriers are very greedy dogs and weight gain can become a problem if food intake is not closely monitored.

Being typical hardy Terriers, they suffer little in the way of health concerns and often cope well with ailments, so you need to keep a close eye on them for any slight change as they hide them well. Lens Luxation and Cataract are the only minor health issues with the breed.


The Fox Terrier (Wire) has an intense and inquisitive temperament. They absolutely must explore every new place they visit often seen checking every corner of the room for something to hunt. These bundles of energy and lean muscle are always up for a game and never back down from a challenge. Early socialisation is important especially with other dogs.

Health Problems

Health problems that may affect 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 and blood clotting disease.

Breed Details

  • Status: Common
  • Life Expectancy: 10 - 15 years
  • Weight: 7 - 9.5 kg
  • 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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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!