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Wire Fox Terrier

Short and stout with a fiery look and abundance of energy, the Wire Fox Terrier stands for cuteness personified. The wiry coat enveloping its body, alongside its v-shaped folded ears and high set eyes generating a curious expression, makes it look all the more appealing. They closely replicate a Smooth Fox Terrier when it comes to appearance. However, the two have been officially identified as a distinct breed.

If on the lookout for a perfect companion to cuddle, the WFT would indeed be your ideal choice, provided you give them constant attention lest they could slip into boredom. They do not do too well with younger kids because the latter’s boisterousness could evoke the Wire’s prey drive. Though, with the older ones, they stand an instant hit.

However, its popularity level has taken a toll since the latter part of the 19th century because of a change in their living conditions and the difficulty faced in keeping it in the cities due to its high prey drive.

They have had a celebrity status since the 18th century with Caesar, a Wire Fox Terrier owned by King Edward VII of England. These dogs also featured in several works of art like Chester of Jack Frost, Bunny featuring in Hudson Hawk, and J.D from the famous animated series Millionaire Dogs.

Breed Characteristics

  • Other Names:Wire hair fox terrier, wirehaired terrier, fox terrier, wire, WFT
  • Colors:White, white and black, white and tan, white black and tan, white tan and black
  • Life Expectancy:12 – 15 years
  • Height:16 inches
  • Weight:Male: 18 pounds; Female: 15 – 17 pounds
  • Temperament:Alert, gregarious, confident
  • Good with Kids:Yes; preferably older ones
  • Exercise requirements:High
  • Hypoallergenic:Yes
  • Litter Size:3 – 6 puppies
  • Barking Capacity:Moderately high; especially on sensing danger or when they get bored
  • Health Problems:Lens luxation, glaucoma, hip dysplasia,  Legg-Calve-Perthes disease
  • Trainability:Moderate
  • Origin:England
Wire Haired Fox Terrier
Wire Fox Terrier Puppies

Wire Fox Terrier’s History: Timeline

    Late 1700s

    The Wire Fox Terries started coming into being


    Recognized by the AKC alongside 14 other breeds


    Gained recognition by the United Kennel Club

    1915 -1916

    A Wire named Matford Vic won the Westminster dog show


    The breed gained popularity after it featured as Aster in the American comedy The Thin Man Series.


    AKC distinguished the Smooth Fox Terrier and Wire Fox Terrier as two distinct breeds.


    The Wire Fox Terrier received the maximum number of best show titles in the dog shows hosted by the Westminster Kennel Club.

Photos of Wire Haired Fox Terrier
Wirehaired Terrier


Though small in size, do not underestimate their activity levels as they are loaded with an abundance of energy. You need to give the Wire an hour’s exercise each day to keep them going. Go for brisk walks once or twice a day. You may even arrange for interesting games like chase-the-ball in your backyard, though make sure it is fenced. Never miss the leash when taking it out as the sight of a smaller pet would trigger its inherent chasing instincts instantly.

The Wire fox terrier is not a heavy shedder, yet its dense, rough, and wiry coat needs regular brushing to prevent the formation of matts. If taking it for shows or dog sports too often, hand strip their coat from time to time. You could do it on your own or seek a professional’s help in this regard. Bathe it once a month or sooner if it has gotten messy. Trimming its nails, cleaning its eyes and ears, and brushing its teeth are the other grooming needs to keep in mind for better hygiene.

Giving these energetic dogs high-quality dry dog foods is essential, be it homemade or store-bought. If you are planning to give them commercially manufactured food, then Blue Buffalo, and Precise Holistic would be the preferred option.

The Wire Fox Terrier’s intelligence is a boon, but at the same time their willfulness could be a bane, hindering the training process. In fact, you need to be firm, yet calm, and tactful to make the training process easygoing and fun-filled.

To keep a check on their sense of independence obedience training is a mandate since their puppy days. Put special stress on the commands ‘stop’, and ‘stay’ so that your dog would put a halt on any undesirable activities it is doing upon hearing your stern voice.

They have streaks of possessiveness especially for their owners, so teaching your WFT to live in a crate at least for some amount of time would help them get over it.

Leash training is another important task to teach them so that they do not go haywire when taken out.

Wire Fox Terrier Size
Wire Fox Terrier Dog

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