The Wire is thought to have come about from crosses of the Old English Terrier, smooth coated Black and Tan terriers of England, Bull Terriers, Greyhounds and Beagles. They were used by hunters with the foxhounds to locate foxes when they went to ground by barking and so pinpointing the position of the fox for the huntsman.. They can be traced back to the middle of the 19th century when both smooth and broken coated were from the same origins and classed as one breed.  Later, devotees of both coats bred like to like and developed the Wire and Smooth Fox Terrier as we know it today.. The breed Standard for this dog was drawn up in 1876 by Officers of The Fox Terrier Club and there are few differences with today’s Standard. Now the weight for dogs is more clearly stated and docking, though customary, is optional.



The Wire is a small active and lively terrier. They have a narrow head and a short back. Their top coats are dense with a wiry texture and undercoats have shorter, softer hair.

Size Small
Colour The Wire Fox Terrier can be white with black, black and tan or tan markings.  White should predominate.
Coat Length Short Medium
Weight/Height Range Dogs should measure no more than 39cms at the withers, bitches slightly less. Dogs weigh between 7.3-8.2kgs and bitches should ideally weigh between 6.8-7.7kgs.
 Ailments As a breed the Wire is a hardy dog that doesn’t suffer from many health problems and any problems they do have tend to be as individuals and non-breed specific.  The breed’s hardy constitution and known longevity has never led to the need for breed testing for clinical or hereditary defects.                                                  
 Breed Classification
 The Wire Fox Terrier is a member of the terrier group. They were originally used for locating the position of foxes in their tunnels, killing vermin and hunting rabbits. Today they are still used as hunters but more commonly as companions. 

Feeding & Ownership


The Wire is not demanding in its feeding requirements. They do eat a lot considering their size but they are active little dogs. Their food can cost up to $4.50 per week  

Food Cost $5 to $10
 Other Expenses
 As they require to be hand plucked 2/3 times a year a professional groomer will be required and will add to their annual costs. However, with a little advise and pratice you could learn how to do this yourself. 



In general the Wire is a friendly, devoted and affectionate dog with lots of personality. They can be protective if they feel a member of their family is in danger or being threatened. In the past they have had a reputation a being a bit snappy and wilful but if you select your puppy carefully this should not be a problem. Wires get on well with children and do make ideal family pets. They have to be socialised from an early age especially with cats and any other household pets. Keen gardeners may find that this dog digs up their plants rather quickly as digging is one of their favourite pastimes if not corrected, but as with many other breeds, with initial training this is not a problem. Whilst the breed is suitable for hot, sunny climates, they will also thrive in cool ones. They are equally content to live and sleep indoors or out.


Intelligence The Wire is an intelligent terrier but can be a bit stubborn like most terriers. Training is relatively easy but owners must be consistent and firm. They like to bark and dig so must be trained to stop these actions on command. They can be quite dominant over other dogs so should be properly socialised as puppies.
Energy High
Suitability for Children High
Tendency to Bark Medium
Overall Exercise Requirement This dog should have lots of exercise, they are full of energy and like nothing better than a long walk. They do well in agility and fly ball games. A Wire will happily join in with any outdoor games the children are playing, the rougher and dirtier the better.
Suitability as a Guard Dog Medium
Ease of Transportation High
Level of Aggression Medium
Other Animal Compatibility Medium



Grooming the Wire does require a bit of time and it can be expensive, as you will need to get a professional groomer to keep the dog’s coat looking its best.  Hand trimming will be necessary several times a year; this can be time consuming so it can be easier to get someone else to do it for you. The distinctive Wire Fox Terrier trimming should be first carried out when the puppy is around three months old. The Wire should be brushed and combed several times a week to keep the coat clean and tangle free. 

Grooming RequirementsMore than once a week
Amount of Hair ShedLittle

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