Wire Fox Terrier Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits

Possessing boundless energy, the Wire Fox Terrier makes an excellent pet for the household with well mannered children. This terrier wants to please and responds well to training.

Wire Fox Terrier at a glance
The Wire Fox Terrier Dog Breed

Like the Smooth Fox Terrier, the wire fox terrier is a natural hunter bred for bravery and determination.


Weight Range:

Male: 17-19 lbs.
Female: 15-17 lbs.

Height at Withers:

Male: 15 in.
Female: 14 in.


Dolichocephalic (long face), upright ears (naturally)


Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Very energetic
Longevity Range: 10-13 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: High
Tendency to Dig: High
Social/Attention Needs: High

Bred For:

Vermin hunting, fox bolting


Length: Medium
Characteristics: Double coat, hard coat, curly
Colors: White with tan, black, etc.
Overall Grooming Needs: High

Club Recognition:

AKC Classification: Terrier
UKC Classification: Terrier
Prevalence: Common

The Wire Fox Terrier is so called because of the dense, wiry texture of his coat.

Often the coat is slightly waved, but the show standard is that the coat is never curly. White should be the predominate color of the wire with markings of black and tan.

The wire fox terrier is a small dog with a sleek build. The male is about 18 pounds and the female is usually 16 pounds. They are between 13 and 15 inches tall. The face is long with ears that fold forward toward the cheeks.


Wire fox terrier are lively and will not blend quietly into the background of your home. They thrive when given a job to do and strive to please their owners. By nature, they love to dig and may do so, especially if bored. They are best suited to a family who wants to include their pet in lots of active play.

The wire fox terrier is an alert dog and will let its owner know if a stranger is approaching. These dogs are easily trained, and obedience classes are recommended to curb the strong hunting instinct. They can learn to get along with other pets, but males can be aggressive toward other males.

Living With:

The biggest consideration in owning a wire fox terrier is the boundless energy of the breed. Wire Fox Terrier make excellent companions for children, because they never tire of games or playing outside. They are eager to please and will respond well to training. They need an abundance of exercise to keep fit.

Regular brushing with a natural bristle brush is needed to keep the coat healthy. Occasional clipping of the coat may be necessary but will soften the texture of the coat; hand stripping is required to maintain the correct texture but is too difficult for most pet owners.


Foxhound masters who wanted a quick, alert little dog that could easily accompany them on the hunt developed the modern Fox Terrier. The job of the wire fox terrier was to work with the mounted hunters chasing the fox. Like the smooth fox terrier, the wire fox terrier is a natural hunter bred for bravery and determination. Until quite recently, the two breeds were only considered coat varieties within the same breed.

The wire fox terrier originates in England. It likely developed from the white english terrier being crossed with the bull terrier or the beagle. The most important trait being the size, the wire must be small enough to go into the earth to flush out the fox. The name terrier is derived from "terra" meaning earth. Any worthy terrier had to be able to "go to ground."

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