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Adopt a Wire Fox Terrier

Wire Fox Terrier Dog Breed

Picture: Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Corbis



Area of origin:


Original function:

vermin hunting, fox bolting

Average size of male:

Ht: <15.5, Wt: 17-19

Average size of female:

Ht: <15.5, Wt: 15-17

Other names:


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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

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Wire Fox Terrier Dog Temperament

A true "live-wire," the wire fox terrier is always up for adventure. This breed lives to play, explore, run, hunt and chase. He can be mischievous and independent and may dig and bark. He is usually fairly reserved with strangers.

Wire Fox Terrier Dog Care

The fox terrier must have daily exercise. He will do much to exercise himself given the room, but he profits from a good walk on leash, a vigorous play session or an off-lead outing in a safe area. He does better as an indoor dog with access to a secure yard. The wire's coat needs combing two or three times weekly, plus shaping every three months. Shaping for pets is by clipping or stripping.

Wire Fox Terrier Dog Health

Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: lens luxation, distichiasis, cataract, Legg-Perthes, shoulder dislocation
Occasionally seen: deafness, patellar luxation
Suggested tests: eye
Life span: 10-13 years

Interested in the history of the Wire Fox Terrier dog breed?

The ultimate show dog, the wire fox terrier has his roots as an effective hunting dog. His forebears were adept at bolting and perhaps dispatching game, especially fox that had gone to ground. Some speculation exists that the smooth and wire fox terriers arose from distinct backgrounds, with the wire descending from the rough-coated black and tan terrier of Wales. The wire entered the show ring about 15 to 20 years after the smooth made his debut. The two varieties were interbred extensively at one time, mainly with the objective of improving the wire variety by decreasing his size, increasing the amount of white on his coat and imparting a sleeker outline. This objective was met quite early. Wire fox terriers became extremely popular in the years following World War II. In 1985, 100 years after the establishment of the American Fox Terrier Club, the AKC divided the fox terrier into two separate breeds. That century had seen many triumphs for the breed both as a show dog and a pet; the split into two varieties seemed a logical step because they were no longer interbred.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Wire Fox Terrier Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Wire Fox Terriers ready for adoption:

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