Wire Fox Terrier
Height: 14 - 15.5 inches.
Weight: 15 - 19 lbs.
Life Span: 12 - 14 years. This breed is relatively long-lived.
Litter Size: 3 - 6 puppies.
Country of Origin: England
Activity: Indoors - Very High. Outdoors - Very High.
Watch-dog: Very High. This breed is extremely alert and very active. They may bark if something unusual is suspected.
Description: The Wire Fox Terrier is a gay, lively, active dog. The Wire Fox Terriers are an energetic, inquisitive, playful breed who love to run, chase and explore. Identical to the Smooth Fox Terrier except for its coat, it is affectionate and trainable making the ideal child's companion. Never refusing to play, they do everything with full force such as scrambling over furniture to reach a ball. They are very friendly and get along well with children. However, a Wire Fox Terrier may try to dominate other dogs and will treat other small pets in the same fashion it would a fox! This breed, being a terrier, loves to dig and bark when they need to. They are alert and determined, ready to be a great watchdog. The Wire Fox Terrier is affectionate, trustworthy and eager. They remain an enthusiastic little dog with longer legs than the average terrier. They have mostly white bodies of short and leanly muscular build. They often have spots of brown and black, especially on the face. Their drop button ears and terrier build attract onlookers even outside the show ring. This breed has a long face that is more slender than the Jack Russell Terrier, which it resembles. The Wire Fox Terrier is one of the oldest of the terrier breeds who were bred to dig down into burrow to flush out foxes or catch small animals. Easy dogs to live with, they enjoy being a part of the family. Wire Fox Terriers are eager to please and clean in their household habits. They make delightful companions for active people.
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Colors: White with tan or black markings, all white, brindle, red or liver. White should be predominant, and red, brindle and liver are all highly undesirable.
Coat: Dense, hard and very wiry. The coat is medium length.
Temperament: Alert, determined, eager, trustworthy, and affectionate. They are trainable, get along with children, and are very friendly. Bold and active, this terrier likes to dig. Smaller animals are not an option for this breed, as they will often hunt them. The Wire Fox Terrier is enthusiastic, energetic, and loves to play.
With Children: Yes, gets along well with children and is always ready to play.
With Pets: Not usually, small pets such as cats may be fair game and they may try to dominate other dogs.
Special Skills: Vermin hunter and family pet.
Care and Training: Wire Fox Terriers need regular brushing with a natural bristle brush or glove and comb. They also require stripping to remove their old dead coat twice yearly. Teeth and nails need regular attention. Bathe them only when necessary. Exercise of the Wire Fox Terrier should consist of on-leash walks and off-leash play in a yard or a romp in the park. The Wire Fox Terrier responds well to a firm hand with love and plenty of exercise. Learning very quickly, the Wire Fox Terrier (like any terrier) can be stubborn. Be consistent positive when training your Fox Terrier.
Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving - Very High. This breed is very intelligent.
Special Needs: Exercise, a fenced yard, leash, socialization, supervision with other animals, and training.
Living Environment: An apartment is adequate if given sufficient exercise but the ideal environment is a home with a fenced backyard, as they are an active terrier. Do not leave this breed alone in the yard as they may bark and try to dig their way out. To own a Wire Fox Terrier you need to be a confident leader who prefers an active, feisty breed, not a couch potato. The best owner for this breed would be an active, responsible owner living in a rural or suburban home.
Health Issues: Lens luxation, cataracts, Cushing's disease, deafness, hip dysplasia, Legg-Perthes disease, and skin allergies.
History: The Wire Fox Terrier first became noticed as a breed in the 1860s. They were originally bred to hunt vermin and foxes, as the name suggests. Their descendants are other terriers from the English counties of Cheshire and Shropshire with possibly some Beagle blood. Other breeds possibly included in the mix were black-and-tan terrier, bull terrier, and the greyhound. The Fox Terrier has been documented since 1790, where a recording of the breed was made in print and on canvas. The breed of 1790 is still remarkably similar to the breed we have today. The original Wire-haired type came from the regions of Durham and Derbyshire in England and Wales. It is not entirely known where the Smooth came from, but the Smooth did come first. Wires resulted from the breeding of a male Smooth Fox Terrier named Jock and a female of unknown breed with Wire-hair named Trap. The breed was accepted by the British Kennel Club in 1876, three years after the BKC opened. Both the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Wire Fox Terrier share the same conformation and were recognized as the same breed until 1984 when the AKC approved separate standards. Reverend Jack Russell, who perpetuated and developed the Jack Russell Terrier of today, also aided in the perpetuation of the Fox Terrier. Russell kept the Wire Fox Terrier of pure strain until 1870, and only crossed with a Smooth Terrier once for improvement during that time. Today, the Wire Fox Terrier is much more popular than the Smooth, but the Smooth still reigns in Sweden.
First Registered by the AKC: 1885
AKC Group: Terrier Group
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 3), KC (GB), UKC