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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Wire Fox Terrier Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care, & More!

Wire Fox Terrier Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care, & More!

Wire Fox Terrier

The terrier group is one of the largest and most diverse in the dog breed world, home to various dogs and backgrounds. While terriers like Yorkshire Terriers and Pit Bulls are quite popular, few less common breeds have the same terrier temperament.

Breed Overview


13–15½ inches


13–20 pounds


12–14 years


white, black & white, tri-color, tan & white

Suitable for:

Active families, families with older children, apartment living, homestead living


Confident, tenacious, energetic, vigilant, friendly with people, social, outgoing

Wire Fox Terriers are a classic example, which is an uncommon breed in the terrier group. These small yet alert dogs are not only true to the breed group, but they’re just as agile and outgoing as the others. If you’re looking into a Wire Fox Terrier, read on to see if this tenacious breed is right for you:

Wire Fox Terrier Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.


Wire Fox Terrier Puppies

wire fox terrier puppies
Image By: Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock

Wire Fox Terriers are purebred dogs that are neither too common nor too rare, so their price range is not as expensive as other breeds. Genetics, disposition, coloration, markings, and location are all things breeders consider when pricing puppies. The rarer the breed in a particular location, generally the more expensive a puppy will be.

Terriers are somewhat prone to temperament issues, especially the more popular ones that are overbred to keep up with the demand. It’s important to do your research and find an experienced breeder of Wire Fox Terriers. Low prices, shady facilities, and a lack of breeding experience are all red flags of a backyard breeder or puppy mill, which should be avoided at all costs.

Wire Fox Terrier hunting
Image By: TSViPhoto,Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Wire Fox Terrier

Wire Fox Terriers are true to their Terrier names in that they’re bold, brave, and boisterous dogs. Not one for sleeping all day plus a penchant for getting into trouble, they can really test the patience of both new and experienced dog owners. Wire Fox Terriers are always ready to take on the day, especially if it involves running, playing, and spending time with their families.

Though they’re naturally great at hunting, they’re arguably even better as watchdogs and will need the training to prevent excessive barking. While they can be a lot of work to handle, these small terriers pay it back tenfold through affection and bonding. Wire Fox Terriers develop strong bonds with their families, especially with one specific person.

Although sometimes independent and stubborn, Wire Fox Terriers are incredibly smart dogs. It’s easy to mistake their independent tendencies for disobedience, but they can learn with persistence. Since they were bred for hunting with little supervision, they make excellent farm and homestead dogs to chase off vermin. As long as they have a job or function, these tiny terriers can be a great addition to the right environment.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Wire Fox Terriers can be good family dogs, but they’re best suited for families with older, calmer children that know how to act around dogs. Smaller dogs like Wire Fox Terriers are more likely to snap impatiently, so it’s crucial that children aren’t overly rough or teasing. They also need to be part of an active household, especially families that enjoy the outdoors and can spend time with them. If this doesn’t describe your current living environment, Wire Fox Terriers may not be a good choice as a family pet.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Yes and no- there are a lot of things to consider before getting a Wire Fox Terrier. If you plan on getting more than one dog and raising them together, they’re generally fine and may grow attached to their “sibling.” Bringing a new Wire Fox Terrier into an established home with other dogs is generally okay, but it may take a bit of time for the household to adjust.

The problem usually lies in bringing new dogs to a house with a Wire Fox Terrier, which can cause territorial and jealousy issues. If you already have one of these dogs, it’s best to keep them as the only pet. If you still plan on bringing in a new dog, we highly recommend a slow introduction to prevent fighting, lashing out, and any other signs of aggression.

Wire Fox Terriers are natural hunters, so smaller cats and small animals like guinea pigs will probably be too tempting. Even larger cats may not feel safe around them, so it’s generally not a good idea unless they’re always separated. However, there are some Wire Fox Terriers that learn not to react and could potentially live in harmony with cats.


Things to Know When Owning a Wire Fox Terrier:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Wire Fox Terriers are almost toy-sized dogs with loads of energy, so they need a diet that supports both factors. Dog food with small-breed specifications is perfect for these hardworking dogs, especially if it’s fortified for high-energy dogs. The kibble needs to be on the smaller side to make it easier to consume, so skip any dog food made for bigger dogs. We recommend looking for a dry kibble with a mix of wet food to ensure your Fox terrier has a balanced diet. Make sure to measure out every meal to prevent potential weight loss or gain issues.

Exercise 🐕

Exercise, exercise, exercise! The key to a happy and peaceful home with any terrier is plenty of mental and physical exercise throughout the day, especially during your dog’s peak energy hours. Wire Fox Terriers are very active and will destroy the house if they’re constantly bored. They thrive off structure and routine, so they always know what’s going to happen. If you’re not able to provide a steady schedule, a hyper and energetic dog like a Wire Fox Terrier may not be the best choice.

Fast, confident, and agile, Wire Fox Terriers are the prime example of a small yet powerful agility dog. If you’re looking for ways to physically tire out your terrier while providing mental stimulation, consider starting up agility. . It’s a great way to connect with your dog, as challenging them to raise the confidence. Contact a local dog sports training center or investigate a beginner agility kit and start from home.

Image By: BestPhotoStudio, Shutterstock

Training 🎾

Training your Wire Fox Terrier will be both easy and difficult due to its spirited and independent nature. While they’re highly intelligent and motivated to learn, they can wall up and shut down with the wrong training methods. They need a balance of calm and correcting so that they understand exactly what you’re asking. Positive reinforcement is a good place to start, with a variety of food-based treats. If you’ve never owned a terrier or any dog, we recommend group puppy classes for socialization or hiring a professional dog trainer.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming your Wire Fox Terrier is crucial to maintaining its double-layered coat, which is harsh and wiry. Expect to brush out the coat with a slicker brush once a week, always brushing in the direction of the coat. Hand-stripping is also part of grooming a Wire Fox Terrier, which is a technique to remove loose fur. We recommend taking your Wire Fox Terrier to a groomer for bathing since their coats are so harsh and thick. In addition to coat care, you’ll have to clip the nails around once a month or on an as-needed basis.

Health and Conditions 

Wire Fox Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but they are prone to a few potentially serious conditions. They also tend to develop more minor conditions that other terriers typically share, which can all become costly with treatments. However, they’re hearty dogs that can pull through a lot of tough situations. If you plan on getting a Wire Fox Terrier or any kind of dog, always plan ahead for future vet visits should the need arise. Here are the most common conditions of the Wire Fox Terrier:

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Deafness
  • Mitral Valve Disease
  • Lens Luxation
  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy
  • Cataracts

divider-dog paw

3 Little-Known Facts About the Wire Fox Terrier

1. Wire Fox Terriers Come from England

A cross between a few terriers and possibly beagles, Wire Fox Terriers, originated in England for hunting. Their terrier tenacity and small size make them the ideal fox-hunting dog, especially for their ability to go underground. Wire Fox Terriers are feisty working dogs at heart, keeping true to the terrier group.

2. Wire Fox Terriers are Very Affectionate

While they can be quite independent during the day, especially when they’ve found something of interest, Wire Fox Terriers bond closely with their families. They enjoy being a companion dog after burning through their energy, often falling asleep on their favorite person’s lap.

3. Wire Fox Terriers are Double-Coated and Hypoallergenic

With their wiry, thick outer coats, Wire Fox Terriers rarely shed and are considered hypoallergenic. They’re also equipped to handle a bit of cold weather, especially since their coats are double layered. They’re great dogs for those looking for low-to-no shed dogs.



Wire Fox Terriers are hardworking hunters with a streak of independence, making the terrier part of their name as true as can be. They’re agile and energetic little companions, bred to be just that. While they can drive their owners a bit crazy, these little canines are also affectionate and loving once they’re done for the day. If you have the patience and time to devote to these fox-hunting dogs, Wire Fox Terriers can be one of the best dogs to own.

Featured Image Credit: Serhii Bobyk, Shutterstock

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