The Wire Fox Terrier is one of two Fox Terrier breed variations recognized by the American Kennel Club. Standing aloof with its sturdy, short backed and symmetrical body, Wires are an energetic terrier with an independent nature and confident, yet inquisitive, look written all over their faces. Thanks to their sociable nature, Wire Terriers are a charmingly perfect companion to any family. 

Brief History

It was during the late 1700’s when Fox Terriers were seen as capable hunting dogs, used for British fox hunts. Their main job was to draw foxes from their burrows to allow hunters to pursue them in the open. From their early use in fox hunts, Fox Terriers, especially Wires, went on to be phenomenal show dogs of the early 20th century. In 1985, the AKC recognized both Wire and Smooth Fox Terriers as separate and distinct dog breeds. One famous Wire in history is Ceaser, King Edward VII’s favorite dog.  

wire fox terrier

Physical Features

The Wire’s general build is compact, yet strong. They’re neither too leggy, nor too short and often stand with a cleverly alert posture. Their ears and tail fall forward while their eyes are round and tend to shine with intelligence. Wire Fox Terriers have a rough and wiry white coat with tan or black markings. The wiriness is often more pronounced on their muzzles and mouths.

Average Height:

15 inches

Average Weight:

15-18 pounds

Life Expectancy:

12-15 years


Wires have a keen expression which is often shown by their eyes, ears and tail. Their confident and alert nature made them ideal companions for humans who love to hike and explore. They are loyal to their owners and are also very patient with children as well as other dogs.

Special Needs

Wire Terriers are an exuberant breed and they require a lot of attention in order to avoid boredom. Their training necessitates a great sense of humor, patience and consistency. They also respond well to positive training and will always shut down if treated harshly.  

Possible Health Concerns

In general, Wire Fox Terriers are a healthy breed. Responsible breeders are however advised to screen their stock for conditions such as: elbow and hip dysplasia, various eye disorders (glaucoma, primary lens luxation and cataracts), luxating patellas and wobblers gait — which is a neurological condition.

wire fox terrier breed


Wires are an energetic breed full of life both indoors and outdoors. Due to their large prey drive, they’ll need to be kept on a leash or within a fenced area. Daily exercise routines with activities such as long walks or playing chase are a fun way of keeping a Wire both physically and mentally fit. Sporty activities that require lots of intelligence, speed and agility are another fun way for them to exercise.


The Wire’s coat is rough and wiry with a short length. Owners should make sure to spend some time brushing their wire’s coat to remove loose hairs and avoid shedding. Nails should also be trimmed frequently and teeth brushed once a week. It’s also important to check their ear regularly for wax and dirt.

Wire Fox Terriers are intelligent, loyal and confident. They are fun, active and adventurous companions.

wire fox terrier dog breed

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