By Macy Gen Veterinary AssistantMacy Gen Last updated: 8th February 2023

Wire Fox Terrier


Macy Gen Veterinary Assistant Macy Gen
Last updated: 8th February 2023

The Wire Fox Terrier commonly known as the Wire hair fox terrier, Wire haired terrier or Fox terrier belongs to the terrier breed and has a striking resemblance with the smooth fox terrier. This sturdy, smooth-coated dog has a black nose and V shaped ears that drop to the cheeks. It has a flat skull with dark colored eyes and a docked tail. The Wire Haired Fox Terrier was actually bred to chase hounds and horses.

Wire Fox Terrier Pictures

Quick Information

Dog BreedWire Fox Terrier
CoatHarsh, rough
ColorBlack, brown, white
Breed TypePurebred
Group (of Breed)Terrier
Lifespan10 to 13 years
Weight15to 20 pounds (Male), 13 to 18 pounds ( Female)
Height14 to 16 inches (Male), 13 to 15 inches (Female)
TemperamentAlert and intelligent
Good with ChildYes
Health ConcernsDeafness, Cataracts, Legg-Perthes disease, Lens Luxation, Canine Hip dysplasia

Wire Fox Terrier Video


This breed was developed in the eighteenth century in England mainly to bring out foxes from their hunting place. They would chase them to their underground burrows and the hunters would use the short, docked tail of the dog as handles to pull it out. However docking is considered illegal in most parts of Europe.

Temperament and Behavior

The Wire Fox Terrier is alert, intelligent, self-confident and love to explore. This energetic breed gets along well with children, though being too rough and energetic to play with them. They are even loyal to their families. They are however defensive towards bigger dogs and even pick up a fight with them. It is advisable not to keep them with other family pets unless they have been trained to socialize. They can be taught tricks easily and form an excellent watch dog. The Wire Fox Terriers are also mischievous at time and they often go about exploring the kitchen table or running out into the yard. They are fond of toys, balls and also enjoy playing in the water. They are very good at jumping and escaping. Thus there owners should regularly check the yards to see if they have dug holes underground to escape.

Click here for the list of popular wire fox terrier mixes



This breed being highly energetic requires a lot of mental and physical exercise to prevent barking, chewing and digging syndrome. They must be taken on a jog and must also be given sufficient space to run. They are also fond of eating which may make them overweight. Their food intake should be monitored and regular exercise will help keep them in shape.


It has a wiry coat that is easy to maintain. Its coat should be brushed with a firm bristle brush and must be bathed only when necessary. The coat should be stripped frequently to make it look good. The hair is sometimes taken out manually when it grows too long. This is done to maintain the shine and glossy texture of the coat. Sometimes groomers also clip the wire fox terrier which may make the coat curly and difficult to clean.

Health Problems

This breed mainly suffers from epilepsy that is genetic. It is even afflicted by the legg perthes disease which is a hip disorder developed in childhood. It even suffers from post nasal dip, lens luxation, cataract, distichiasis, shoulder dislocation and mast cell tumor.


The Wire Fox Terrier needs proper training for the development of adequate behavioral pattern. The puppies are to be trained so they may socialize well when they grow up. Being a hunting dog they are prone to chase rabbits, birds, cats and other dogs. Therefore they should not be taken out without a leash. Crate training is suggested for this breed.  The owner should not be harsh on them. If they are taught to socialize and behave they will be well adjusted to people and strangers. The owner should gain control of the dog and not let it dominate. With proper guidance the wire fox terrier can be exciting, amusing and trusted companions.


It is advisable to give high quality dog food that is required and suitable for the breed of this kind. The food should be divided into two equal meals.

Interesting facts

  • They have been companions of kings and have also entertained people in the circus and films.
  • The smooth terriers are elegant and intelligent while the wire fox terriers are handsome and quite stylish.
  • They are a rare breed and one may find it hard to track down a good breeder while buying a puppy.
  • The dog character ‘Snowy’ from the comic series ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ is also a wire fox terrier.

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