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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Wire Fox Terrier

Wire Fox Terrier

Origin: England

AKC Group: Terrier

Height: No more than 15.5 inches (39.5 cm) (Male)

Weight: 16 pounds (Male)

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Origin: 
England
Male height: 
No more than 15.5 inches (39.5 cm)
Male weight: 
16 pounds
Coat: 
Double coat with a stiff, wiry outercoat and soft, downy undercoat.
Colors: 
White with colored markings.
History: 

Tenacious and tough, the Wire Fox Terrier is believed to descend from Bull Terrier and Manchester Terrier stock, with the additional crossing of Dachshunds, the English Hounds, Foxhounds, and possibly Beagles. The Fox Terrier's job was to ride along with foxhunters in a small carrier. When the fox went to ground, he was released to work the fox out of its den, snarling and snapping at it until it bolted. He was also a proficient ratting dog.

The Wire Fox Terrier and Smooth Fox Terrier were considered variations of the same breed until they began to be registered as separate breeds by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1984. Although they are considered separate breeds today, the Smooth and Wire Fox Terriers are judged by the same standard, with the exception of coat.

Personality: 
Scrappy, plucky and energetic, the Wire Fox Terrier is a wonderful, sturdy pet for an active family. He is friendly and alert and enjoys spending time with his people. Gregarious, intelligent and daring, the Wire Fox Terrier brings joy and vitality to his home.
At home: 
The Wire Fox Terrier can do well in apartments as long as he is given the proper amount of exercise and the chance to get outside every day. He is virtually nonshedding, which makes him an excellent choice for a smaller living arrangement and for some allergy sufferers. Loyal and attached to his family, he is not suited to being left alone for long periods. He tends to be vocal and may bark a lot. He needs a fenced-in yard to keep him from bolting after anything he perceives as prey.
Exercise: 
Daily exercise is a necessity for this breed. Plus, getting out with your Wire Fox Terrier is good for both of you. It will give him a chance to explore and make sure that all is well in the neighborhood, and it will give you a chance to admire his pluck as he intently works the sights and smells on his rounds.
Feeding: 
The Wire Fox Terrier is a good eater who should be fed a high-quality food twice a day. Be careful not to overfeed or succumb to his imploring eyes when it's your turn to eat - a begging habit is hard to break. Don't feed him junk, and don't let your Wire get fat.
Training: 
The feisty Wire can be a handful to train, but he will keep you amused as you work with him. Use positive, reward - based methods to focus his attention on you. He is a smart dog, but he's easily distracted. If he comes to think of working with you as fun, though, he will do all kinds of things for you. Socialization from puppyhood is a critical part of his training.
Compatibility: 
Like many terriers, the feisty Wire probably does best in a household with older children who understand how to correctly play with a dog. With proper socialization he will likely get along well with other dogs, but he should not be unsupervised around smaller pets that he might view as prey, such as birds, hamsters or rabbits.
Health: 
The average life span of the Wire Fox Terrier is 12 to 15 years. Health problems of the breed may include cataracts; deafness; epilepsy; Legg-Calve-Perthes disease; lens luxation; post-nasal drip; and skin problems.
Fun fact: 

A Wire Fox Terrier named "Asta" was one of the stars of the "Thin Man" movies of the 1940s and 50s.

Grooming blurb: 
The rough, wiry coat of this terrier needs professional grooming by someone who understands what he should look like. If he's hand-stripped (meaning the dead hair is plucked from the coat) and tidied up by a professional several times a year, all you'll need to do is brush him occasionally with a hound glove. Some pet owners decide to have the coat clipped instead of stripped, but this affects the color and texture of the coat.
Disclaimer: 
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.