Wire Fox Terrier Dog Breed

By: Chewy EditorialPublished:

Wire Fox Terrier Dog Breed

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About the Wire Fox Terrier Dog Breed

The Wire Fox Terrier was bred to be a bolting dog in fox hunting. It would run into fox holes and drive the fox out to the waiting hunters. Although it resembles its cousin, the Smooth Fox Terrier, the Wire Fox Terrier was bred independently in England during the 1800s. The breed remains a popular hunting breed today and has become favorite companion dog as well.

Wire Fox Terrier Physical Characteristics

The Wire Fox Terrier has a small to medium build. Its head is triangular with a long narrow muzzle and semipricked ears. Its tail is medium in length and is held erect.


Most commonly seen in white with tan and black or white and tan.


Wiry and short in length.

Wire Fox Terrier Personality and Temperament

Activity Level



The Wire Fox Terrier is bright and brave. It loves to play games and is generally hyper by nature. It is very protective of its human family and will bark at strangers, making them good watchdogs.

Things to Consider

The Wire Fox Terrier will do better with older children than with young children. It often chases small animals and therefore does not fare well in homes with cats and other small animals. A high attention dog breed can also be food aggressive and is known to dig in the yard when they are not given as much attention as needed.

*Note: This is not a good breed for the first time dog owner.

Wire Fox Terrier Care

Ideal Living Conditions

The Wire Fox Terrier would do best in the country or city.

Special Requirements 

The Wire Fox Terrier requires daily exercise and benefits from tasks or jobs to keep it busy.

Wire Fox Terrier Health

The following conditions are commonly seen in Wire Fox Terriers:

Wire Fox Terrier History and Background

The ancestry of the Wire Fox Terrier can be traced to English hunting dogs of the mid-19th century. These dogs were skilled at jumping and dislodging game, particularly a fox that tries to seek cover.

Some experts believe the Wire and Smooth Fox Terriers shared a common background, with the Wire Fox developing from the Welsh Black and Tan Terriers, but in 1984 the American Kennel Club approved separate standards for the Wire and Smooth Fox Terriers.

Smooth Fox Terriers preceded the Wire breed in dog shows by about 15 to 20 years, but each became popular in their own right.

Breeders crossed Wire Fox Terriers with Smooths early on in order to improve the Wire strain by reducing its size, increasing the whiteness of the coat, and giving it a sleeker silhouette. However, interbreeding has been discontinued for many years.

Today, the breed has retained its keen expression and energetic demeanor. For this reason, it is loved among hunters and families alike.

By: Chewy Editorial


By: Chewy EditorialPublished:

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