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Wire Fox Terrier

Wire Fox Terrier Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A small, energetic and intelligent breed with a distinctive wiry coat.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.


Wire Fox Terriers are considered a Small dog breed.
Weight:7-8 kg.
Height:38-41 cm (15-16 inches).
Length:38-41 cm (15-16 inches).


The average lifespan of a Wire Fox Terrier is 12-15 years


What type of dog is a Wire Fox Terrier, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Wire Fox Terriers are known for their energetic, playful and loyal personalities. They are intelligent and curious dogs that love to explore their surroundings and interact with their owners. They have a strong-willed and independent nature, which can sometimes make them difficult to train.

Wire Fox Terriers are generally friendly and outgoing with people, but they can be wary of strangers and other dogs. They are protective of their family and can be quite vocal when they sense a threat. They have high energy levels and a need for exercise, which can make them a good choice for active families.

In terms of temperament, Wire Fox Terriers are known for their tenacity and determination. They are often described as “feisty” and “spirited,” and they have a strong prey drive that can make them excellent hunters. They are also renowned for their love of digging and can be quite destructive if left unsupervised.

Overall, Wire Fox Terriers are lively, intelligent and loyal dogs that make great companions for active families. They require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy and they thrive on attention and affection from their owners. With proper training and socialization, they can be well-behaved and obedient pets, but they are best suited for experienced dog owners who can handle their strong-willed nature.


Wire Fox Terriers are considered to be highly intelligent dogs. They are quick learners and have a strong desire to please their owners, which makes them easy to train. They have good problem-solving abilities and an ability to think on their feet. However, like all dogs, their intelligence can vary from individual to individual and their level of intelligence can be influenced by factors such as training, socialization and genetics.


Wire Fox Terriers are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them relatively easy to train. However, they can also be stubborn and independent, so consistent and patient training is necessary. Positive reinforcement methods, such as treats and praise, work best with this breed. Early socialization and obedience training are also important to prevent any behavioral issues. Overall, with proper training and socialization, Wire Fox Terriers can be well-behaved and obedient companions.


Wire Fox Terriers typically sleep for around 12-14 hours a day, but this can vary depending on their age, activity level and overall health. Puppies and older dogs may require more sleep, while highly active dogs may need less. It’s important to provide your Wire Fox Terrier with a comfortable and quiet place to sleep, as well as plenty of opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation during their waking hours.


Wire Fox Terriers are vocal dogs and can bark quite a bit. They were originally bred as hunting dogs and their barking helped to alert their owners to the presence of prey. However, with proper training and socialization, their barking can be managed. It’s important to note that excessive barking can be a sign of boredom, anxiety or other underlying issues, so it’s important to address the root cause of the barking.


Wire Fox Terriers are not heavy droolers. They may drool occasionally, especially when they are excited or anticipating food, but it is not a common trait of the breed. Overall, they are considered to be a relatively clean and low-maintenance breed when it comes to drooling.


Wire Fox Terriers are moderate to heavy lickers. Like most dogs, they use licking as a way to communicate, show affection and explore their environment. However, excessive licking can also be a sign of anxiety, boredom or a medical issue, so it’s important to monitor your dog’s licking behavior and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns.


Wire Fox Terriers are known for their agility and athleticism and they are capable of jumping quite high. On average, they can jump up to 3-4 feet high, but some individuals may be able to jump even higher with proper training and conditioning. However, it’s important to note that excessive jumping can be harmful to their joints and should be avoided.


Wire Fox Terriers are avid diggers and they have a natural instinct to dig. They were originally bred for hunting small game and digging was an essential part of their job. As a result, they may dig holes in your yard or garden if they are not given enough exercise or mental stimulation. However, with proper training and exercise, you can minimize their digging behavior. It is important to provide them with plenty of toys and activities to keep them occupied and prevent boredom. Additionally, you can create a designated digging area in your yard where they can satisfy their digging instincts without damaging your lawn or garden.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Wire Fox Terrier the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Wire Fox Terrier.


Wire Fox Terriers are an active breed that requires a moderate amount of exercise. They should have at least one hour of exercise per day, which can include walks, runs, playtime and training sessions. They also enjoy activities such as agility, flyball and obedience competitions. It’s important to note that Wire Fox Terriers have a high prey drive and should always be kept on a leash or in a securely fenced area during exercise.


Wire Fox Terriers are small to medium-sized dogs that require a moderate amount of space. They are active and energetic dogs that need daily exercise and playtime. A fenced yard or a daily walk is necessary to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. However, they can adapt to apartment living if they receive enough exercise and attention. As long as they have enough space to move around and play, they can thrive in various living environments.


Wire Fox Terriers are active and energetic dogs that require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. While they can adapt to apartment living if given enough exercise and attention, they are better suited to homes with a yard or access to a park or open space. Without enough exercise and stimulation, they can become bored and destructive. Additionally, their high-pitched barking can be a nuisance to neighbors in close quarters. If you are considering a Wire Fox Terrier for apartment living, be prepared to provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation and to train them to control their barking.

Left Alone

Wire Fox Terriers do not tolerate being left alone for long periods of time. They are social animals and thrive on human interaction and attention. If left alone for too long, they may become anxious, destructive or develop separation anxiety. It is recommended that they are not left alone for more than 4-6 hours at a time and are provided with plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them occupied while their owners are away.

Kid/Family Friendly

Wire Fox Terriers can be good with kids and families, but it depends on the individual dog’s personality and temperament. They are generally energetic and playful, which can make them great companions for children who also have a lot of energy. However, they can also be stubborn and independent, which may require some patience and training to ensure they behave appropriately around children. It’s important to socialize your Wire Fox Terrier from a young age and supervise interactions with children to ensure everyone is safe and happy.

Perfect Fit

A Wire Fox Terrier would be a perfect fit for a household that is active and has a lot of energy to keep up with this breed. They are known for their high energy levels and need for exercise and mental stimulation. They also do well in homes with a fenced yard where they can run and play safely. Wire Fox Terriers are loyal and affectionate dogs that thrive on human companionship, so they would do well in a household where someone is home most of the day. They are also intelligent and trainable, so they would do well with owners who are willing to provide consistent training and socialization. Overall, a Wire Fox Terrier would be a great fit for a household that is active, has a lot of love to give and is willing to provide the necessary exercise and training to keep this breed happy and healthy.

Pros and Cons:

While they can make great pets for the right owner, there are also some potential drawbacks to owning one. Here are five pros and cons to consider:


  1. High energy: Wire Fox Terriers are very active and love to play, making them great companions for people who enjoy outdoor activities.
  2. Intelligent: These dogs are highly intelligent and can be trained to do a variety of tricks and tasks.
  3. Low shedding: Wire Fox Terriers have wiry coats that don’t shed much, making them a good choice for people with allergies.
  4. Loyal: These dogs are known for their loyalty and devotion to their owners.
  5. Affectionate: Wire Fox Terriers are very affectionate and love to cuddle with their owners.


  1. Stubborn: Wire Fox Terriers can be stubborn and difficult to train, especially if they are not properly socialized from a young age.
  2. High maintenance: These dogs require regular grooming to keep their coats looking neat and tidy.
  3. Prone to barking: Wire Fox Terriers are known for their loud barking, which can be a problem in apartments or close quarters.
  4. Can be aggressive: Some Wire Fox Terriers can be aggressive towards other dogs or strangers, especially if they are not properly socialized.
  5. Health issues: Like all breeds, Wire Fox Terriers are prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia and eye problems.


The cost of a Wire Fox Terrier in Australia can vary depending on various factors such as the breeder, location and pedigree. On average, you can expect to pay between $2,000 to $4,000 AUD for a Wire Fox Terrier puppy from a reputable breeder. However, prices can go higher for show-quality dogs with champion bloodlines. It’s important to do your research and only buy from a reputable breeder to ensure that you get a healthy and well-socialized puppy.

Breed History:

Wire Fox Terriers were originally bred in England in the 18th century to hunt small game such as foxes, rabbits and rodents. They were specifically bred to have a strong prey drive, high energy and a fearless nature, making them excellent hunters. Their wiry coat also provided protection from the elements while hunting in rough terrain. Today, Wire Fox Terriers are still used for hunting and also make great family pets due to their loyalty, intelligence and playful personalities.

Current Usage

Wire Fox Terriers are primarily kept as companion animals and show dogs. However, they were originally bred as hunting dogs and still possess a strong prey drive, making them suitable for certain types of work.

Some Wire Fox Terriers are used for rodent control on farms and in warehouses. They are also used in some countries as hunting dogs for small game, such as rabbits and foxes.

In addition, Wire Fox Terriers have been trained as therapy dogs and service dogs. Their intelligence, loyalty and energetic nature make them well-suited for these roles.

Overall, while Wire Fox Terriers are primarily kept as pets, they can also be trained for certain types of work and make excellent therapy and service dogs.

Guard Dogs

Wire Fox Terriers are not typically considered good guard dogs. While they are loyal and protective of their owners, they are small in size and do not have the physical strength or intimidating presence of larger breeds that are commonly used as guard dogs. Additionally, Wire Fox Terriers are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities, which may not make them suitable for guarding duties.

Where Are They Found?

Wire Fox Terriers are most popular in the United Kingdom, where the breed originated. They are also popular in the United States, Canada, Australia and many European countries.


Wire Fox Terriers are best suited to temperate climates with moderate temperatures. They can tolerate both hot and cold weather, but extreme temperatures can be uncomfortable for them. They have a thick, wiry coat that provides insulation against the cold, but they are also prone to overheating in hot weather. It is important to provide them with adequate shelter and access to water in extreme weather conditions. Overall, they can adapt to a variety of climates as long as their basic needs are met.


It is impossible to accurately determine the exact number of Wire Fox Terriers in the world as there is no central registry or database that tracks the breed population globally. However, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Wire Fox Terriers are ranked as the 101st most popular breed in the United States in 2021.

Physical Appearance:

Wire Fox Terriers are a small to medium-sized breed with a distinctive appearance. They have a muscular and athletic build, with a square-shaped head and a long, pointed muzzle. Their ears are V-shaped and fold forward and their eyes are dark and round. Wire Fox Terriers have a wiry, dense coat that is typically white with black or brown markings. They have a docked tail that is held high and erect. Overall, they have a lively and alert expression, with a confident and spirited demeanor.



Wire Fox Terriers can be predominantly white with black, tan or brown markings on their head and ears, as well as on their body and legs. The black markings are usually found on the back, tail and ears, while the tan or brown markings are found on the face, legs and chest. Some Wire Fox Terriers may also have a small amount of brindle or grizzle coloring.

Hair/Fur Length:

Wire Fox Terriers have a wiry and dense double coat that is typically around 2 inches in length. The hair on their face and legs may be shorter, while the hair on their body and tail may be longer. Regular grooming and trimming is necessary to maintain their coat and prevent matting.


Yes, Wire Fox Terriers do shed, but their shedding is minimal compared to other breeds. They have a wiry coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. They may shed more during seasonal changes, but overall, their shedding is not excessive. Regular brushing and grooming can help minimize shedding and keep their coat healthy and shiny.


Wire Fox Terriers require regular grooming to maintain their coat’s texture and prevent matting. They should be brushed at least once a week with a slicker brush and a comb to remove any tangles or debris. Additionally, they should be bathed every few months or as needed.

Wire Fox Terriers have a hard, wiry coat that needs to be stripped or hand-plucked to maintain its texture. This process involves removing the dead hair from the coat to encourage new growth. It is recommended to have a professional groomer or experienced owner perform this task.

Trimming the hair of a Wire Fox Terrier is not necessary, as their coat should be stripped or plucked instead. However, some owners may choose to trim around the face, ears and paws for a neater appearance.


Wire Fox Terriers are not considered hypoallergenic dogs. They have a wiry coat that sheds minimally, but they still produce dander and saliva that can trigger allergies in some people. If you have allergies, it’s important to spend time with a Wire Fox Terrier before bringing one home to see if you have a reaction. Regular grooming and bathing can also help reduce allergens in their coat.


Wire Fox Terriers can run at a maximum speed of approximately 48 kph (30 mph).


Wire Fox Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some of the most common health issues that Wire Fox Terriers are faced with include:

  • Hip dysplasia: a genetic condition that causes the hip joint to develop abnormally, leading to arthritis and pain.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease: a condition where the blood supply to the femur bone is reduced, causing the bone to slowly die and leading to pain and lameness.
  • Patellar luxation: a condition where the kneecap dislocates from its normal position, causing pain and difficulty walking.
  • Deafness: a genetic condition that can be present at birth or develop later in life, causing partial or complete hearing loss.
  • Cataracts: a condition where the lens of the eye becomes cloudy, leading to vision impairment or blindness.

It’s important to note that not all Wire Fox Terriers will develop these conditions and responsible breeding practices can help reduce the risk of passing on genetic health issues. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventative care can also help keep Wire Fox Terriers healthy and happy.


Wire Fox Terriers typically have 42 teeth, which includes 20 upper teeth and 22 lower teeth.


Wire Fox Terriers have excellent eyesight, which is one of the reasons they are often used in hunting and tracking activities. Their sharp vision allows them to spot prey from a distance and track it with precision. Additionally, their keen eyesight makes them excellent watchdogs, as they are able to detect any potential threats or intruders from afar.


Wire Fox Terriers typically have 8 to 10 nipples, arranged in two rows on their underside.


Litter Size:

The typical litter size for Wire Fox Terriers is between 3 to 6 puppies. However, litter size can vary depending on various factors such as the age and health of the mother, genetics and environmental factors.

Gestation Period:

The gestation period for Wire Fox Terriers is typically around 63 days, which is the same as most other dog breeds. However, it can range from 58 to 68 days. It is important to note that the exact length of gestation can vary depending on factors such as the size of the litter and the health of the mother. It is recommended to consult with a veterinarian for proper care during pregnancy and to ensure a healthy delivery.


Female Wire Fox Terriers typically go into heat twice a year, although this can vary. The first heat usually occurs between 6-12 months of age, but can occur as early as 4 months or as late as 18 months. Subsequent heats occur approximately every 6 months.

Male vs Female:

Male and female Wire Fox Terriers have some physical and behavioral differences. Males are usually larger and heavier than females, with a height of 14-16 inches and a weight of 16-18 pounds, while females are 13-15 inches tall and weigh 13-15 pounds. Males tend to be more dominant and territorial, while females are often more affectionate and nurturing. Additionally, female Wire Fox Terriers may experience heat cycles and have a higher risk of developing certain health issues, such as mammary tumors. Overall, both male and female Wire Fox Terriers make great pets and companions, but it’s important to consider these differences when choosing a dog that fits your lifestyle and preferences.

Tips and Advice:

Wire Fox Terriers are energetic and playful dogs that require proper care and attention to maintain their health and happiness. Here are some tips and advice for caring for a Wire Fox Terrier:

  • Grooming: Wire Fox Terriers have a wiry coat that requires regular grooming, including brushing and trimming. They also need to be bathed every few months to keep their coat clean and healthy.
  • Exercise: These dogs are highly active and need plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks and playtime in a fenced yard are recommended.
  • Training: Wire Fox Terriers are intelligent dogs that respond well to positive reinforcement training. Consistency and patience are key to successful training.
  • Socialization: Early socialization is important for Wire Fox Terriers to prevent aggression and shyness. Expose them to different people, animals and environments to help them become well-adjusted adults.
  • Health: Wire Fox Terriers are prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia, allergies and eye problems. Regular vet checkups and a healthy diet can help prevent these issues.
  • Mental stimulation: These dogs are intelligent and need mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Puzzle toys and interactive games can keep them entertained and mentally stimulated.
  • Safety: Wire Fox Terriers are curious and adventurous dogs that can get into trouble if left unsupervised. Keep them on a leash or in a secure fenced area to prevent them from wandering off or getting into dangerous situations.
  • Love and attention: Wire Fox Terriers are social dogs that thrive on love and attention from their owners. Spend time with them, play with them and give them plenty of affection to keep them happy and content.


Wire Fox Terriers typically eat 1 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry dog food per day, divided into two meals. However, the amount of food they need may vary depending on their age, size, activity level and metabolism.

Wire Fox Terriers are food-oriented dogs, which means they have a strong desire for food and can be prone to overeating if not properly monitored. It is important to establish a feeding schedule and stick to it, as well as to provide them with healthy and balanced meals to maintain their health and weight. Additionally, using food as a reward during training can be effective, but it is important to not overdo it and to use healthy treats in moderation.


Here are three interesting facts about Wire Fox Terriers:

  1. They were bred to hunt foxes: As their name suggests, Wire Fox Terriers were originally bred to hunt foxes. They were used to flush out the foxes from their dens and chase them down.
  2. They have a distinctive coat: Wire Fox Terriers have a wiry, dense coat that requires regular grooming to maintain its shape. Their coat is white with black or brown markings.
  3. They have a strong prey drive: Wire Fox Terriers have a strong instinct to chase and hunt small animals, such as squirrels and rabbits. It’s important to keep them on a leash or in a secure area to prevent them from running off after their prey.


When it comes to naming a Wire Fox Terrier, it’s important to choose a name that reflects their spunky and lively nature. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit for a Wire Fox Terrier:

1. Sparky6. Charlie11. Duke
2. Ziggy7. Max12. Jasper
3. Pepper8. Rocky13. Milo
4. Scrappy9. Buster14. Finn
5. Bandit10. Scout15. Tucker


Over the years, many Wire Fox Terriers have become famous for their appearances in movies, television shows and even for their incredible feats. Some have even been owned by famous people. Here are some of the most famous Wire Fox Terriers of all time:

  • Asta – Perhaps the most famous Wire Fox Terrier of all time, Asta appeared in several movies in the 1930s and 1940s, including “The Thin Man” series.
  • Skippy – Skippy was another famous Wire Fox Terrier from the 1930s who appeared in movies such as “The Awful Truth” and “Bringing Up Baby.”
  • Caesar – Caesar was a Wire Fox Terrier who won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1907 and 1908.
  • Nipper – Nipper was the Wire Fox Terrier who appeared in the famous RCA Victor logo, listening to a phonograph with his head cocked to one side.
  • Sparky – Sparky was the Wire Fox Terrier owned by former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara.
  • Sky – Sky was a Wire Fox Terrier who won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2014.
  • King Arthur – King Arthur was a Wire Fox Terrier who became famous for his incredible feat of catching 74 rats in just one hour, setting a world record.
  • Dash – Dash is the Wire Fox Terrier owned by fashion designer Ralph Lauren and has appeared in several of his advertising campaigns.
  • Smoky – Smoky was a Wire Fox Terrier who served in World War II and became famous for her bravery and service to the military.
  • Charlie – Charlie is the Wire Fox Terrier who stars in the popular children’s book series “Goodnight, Good Dog.”


The Wire Fox Terrier is a small-sized dog breed that belongs to the Terrier group. It is known for its distinctive wiry coat that is predominantly white with black or brown markings. This breed is highly energetic, intelligent and curious, making it an excellent companion for active families. Wire Fox Terriers are also renowned for their loyalty, courage and tenacity, which makes them excellent watchdogs.

The breed’s history dates back to the 18th century when they were bred in England for fox hunting. They were trained to chase foxes out of their dens and were also used to control vermin. Over time, they became popular as show dogs and pets due to their charming personality and unique appearance.

Wire Fox Terriers are highly trainable and excel in obedience and agility competitions. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. They have a strong prey drive, which means they may chase after small animals if not properly trained.

Overall, the Wire Fox Terrier is a lively and affectionate breed that makes an excellent pet for active families who can provide them with plenty of exercise and attention. They are also great for those who enjoy training and competing in dog sports.