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Wire Fox Terrier
Characteristics, History, and Health

Wire Fox Terrier

The Wire Fox Terrier is a small dog breed that is known for its wiry coat, athleticism, and friendly personality. These dogs are active and enjoy playing games, and they make good companions for people who lead active lifestyles. Wire Fox Terriers are also known for their intelligence and make great show dogs. As any terrier, they can have a high prey drive and a sense of independence. They make a charming housemate as they are long-lived and low-shedding, and quite the natural comedians.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Wire, Wire Hair
Life Expectancy
12-15 years
Average Male Height
15.5 inches
Average Female Height
15.5 inches
Average Male Weight
18 pounds
Average Female Weight
15-17 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Wiry, Double
Coat Colors
White, White & Black, White & Tan, White Black & Tan, White Tan & Black
Coat Pattern

Genetic Predispositions and Health

Wire Fox Terriers can be affected by atopic dermatitis, brachygnathism, cataracts, cerebellar abiotrophy, cerebellar hypoplasia, cervical vertebral instability, cholesterol ester storage disease, cystinuria, deafness, demodicosis, ectopic ureters, epilepsy, glaucoma, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism (congenital) with goiter, lens luxation, leproid granuloma, lissencephaly, megaesophagus, heart conditions such as mitral valve disease, oligodontia, patellar luxation, persistent pupillary membranes, prognathism, progressive retinal atrophy (central), pulmonic stenosis, sensory neuropathy, spinocerebellar ataxia (myokymia and neuromyotonia), Tetralogy of Fallot, Van den Ende-Gupta syndrome, and von Willebrand disease. Genetic testing is recommended, including for the following additional conditions: hyperuricosoria, degenerative myelopathy, and progressive rod-cone degeneration.

Personality and Behavior

Wire Fox Terriers are known for their energetic, intelligent, and bold personality. They are curious, lively, and always ready for adventure. They tend to be friendly with their families but can be reserved with strangers. Because of their history as hunting dogs, they have a high prey drive and may not get along well with smaller pets unless socialized from a young age. They are generally good with children and make excellent family pets, but like all dogs, they should be supervised around very young children.

Fun Facts

The Wire Fox Terrier has been popular in the show ring, with many Best in Show wins at Westminster, one of the most prestigious dog shows in the United States.

Asta, the dog from the classic "Thin Man" movies, was a Wire Fox Terrier and helped popularize the breed in the United States.

Despite their small size, Wire Fox Terriers are excellent diggers and were bred to dig into fox dens.