Initially bred for hunting, the Wire Fox Terrier now serves as an amusing family companion and show dog. He is full of character, brimming with energy, and blessed with smarts. Though he can be strong-willed, which can make training a bit demanding, his people-pleasing side shines, and will be more than willing to impress his beloved humans, making him an adorable addition to any home.
Origins of the Wire Fox Terrier
Fox Terriers trace their roots in the 17th century during the pinnacle of British fox hunting in the 1700s. As these dogs were quick and alert, they served as foxhound master’s effective companions, helping bolt out foxes out of their underground dens.
For their safety during hunting, no red was allowed on these terriers’ coats. They were mostly white, preventing the likelihood of them being mistaken for foxes.
The Wire Fox Terrier has been a staple in dog shows, winning many achievements in the dog show history. Matford Vic, a Wire bought for only $10 from a farmer, won the 1915 and 1916 Westminster, making her one of the few dogs that won the competition on more than one occasion.
Another notable Wire Terrier is Skippy, who played the role of “Asta” in the “Thin Man” comedy-mystery movie series. Since then, the Wire Terrier has been a common sight in different movies and television shows.
While England recognized the Wire as a separate breed from the Smooth Fox Terrier since the late 19th century, it was only in 1985 when the American Kennel Club split the Fox Terriers into two distinct breeds.
Characteristics of the Wire Fox Terrier
Height: 15½ inches
Weight: 15-18 pounds
Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
The Wire Fox Terrier is a square-proportioned, short-backed hunter, with courage and smarts gleaming in its dark, round eyes. His snout is long and broad, while the V-shaped ears are neatly-folded forward. He has a short body but has a deep chest, giving him a durable and robust look.
His conspicuous coat is dense and wiry, seemingly like coconut matting and serving as a tough protective layer. Underlies the textured hair is a soft, fine undercoat. The Wire Fox Terrier comes mainly white, with any color patches, except for slate blue, liver, brindle, and red.
Inside the home, the Wire is a lively, pleasant companion brimming with a huge personality. He is a people-pleaser that would strive to impress their owner. He is also smart and may try to outwit his family. Thus, getting him into little mischiefs, entertaining and making his beloved humans with his antics.
Aside from being charming, the Wire is an alert dog that will let its owner know of any stranger approaching. With such, he can often be a nuisance barker. Moreover, he possesses the inherent prey drive and independence of the feisty Terrier clan. Though training can be a challenge due to his willfulness, it is not impossible to teach him and curb these instincts.
Nevertheless, the Wire is a delightful pet to have in a home. He is an excellent athlete with boundless energy that would love to be with his family in lots of active play. As an outgoing breed, having well-mannered children is also a non-issue. With proper socialization, he can be the kids’ adorable playmate.
Caring for the Wire Fox Terrier
The Wire For Terrier coat requires regular brushing using a bristle brush to keep it healthy. But, keeping its signature texture entails hand stripping, which can be difficult for some. You can always seek help from a professional, though you may be able to learn it yourself through practice. Meanwhile, clipping is rarely necessary as it softens the coat texture and makes the color paler.
Another part of his grooming routine is nail trimming. If you hear his nails clicking on the floor, it’s a sign that he already needs the clippers. For his dental health, brush his teeth using only vet-approved toothpaste to avoid gum disease. Then, check his ears occasionally and clean any dirt or wax buildup to prevent any infection.
In terms of exercise needs, the Wire Terrier needs to have at least 30 to 45 minutes of physical activity daily, alongside off-leash play sessions in a well-fenced yard.
While he can thrive in apartment living, given that he is sufficiently exercised, the Wire will flourish when he has enough space to run off his energy throughout the day.
However, if you need to bring him outdoors, make sure to keep him on a leash. His hunting heritage may awaken, leading him to chase rabbits, cats, and even cars.
In general, the Wire Fox Terrier is a hardy breed, with more responsible breeders screening their Wire pups from health issues, such as elbow and hip dysplasia, eye disorders, and wobblers syndrome, which is a condition brought by a spinal cord compression in the neck, affecting their gait. Regular consultations with a veterinarian can help prevent or detect any conditions and ensure that your Wire lives a long, healthy life.