Wire Fox Terrier

Fox Terrier (Wire and Smooth)

To all intents and purposes, the two breeds are identical except for the coat type and ideal weight. They are also very similar in temperament, so which you choose depends on your personal preference and the time you can spend on grooming your dog.


At the end of the eighteenth century, foxhunting became the pastime of the gently, and a small, white, courageous dog able to go to earth and run with the hounds was a requirement. By selective breeding by huntsmen using available terriers and introducing the Beagle, Foxhound, Bull Terrier and other breeds, recognizable Smooth Fox Terriers began to emerge. Wire-haired puppies appeared in the same litters but were not popular. Fashions changed with the advent of dog shows, and as owners of Wire-haired dogs realized they could be trimmed attractively and win in competition, the Wire-haired overtook the Smooth in popularity.

Mischievous and jaunty, the Wire has a feisty nature and, like all terriers, is fiercely independent.


After socializing and basic training, both breeds are playful and mischievous, wanting to join in family activities. Intelligent and fairly easy to train, they have an independent streak. Although they are very good with children, they may play roughly. They will guard and warn of a stranger's approach.

must know

These dogs are free of any serious genetic anomalies, but there may be a little slipping patella in some lines.


The Smooth Fox Terrier is small, well balanced, muscular but symmetrical. It has a lean head with folded ears, straight legs and a level topline with a straight tail carried vertically. It has short, harsh hair, white predominating with tan. black and tan or black markings. The Wire has the same bodily characteristics but the coat is wiry and presented shortish on the body, with a beard and eyebrows: the legs should be furnished with hair. Doss should not exceed 39cm (15 1/2 in), bitches slightly less.

Strangers 3/5

A good, alert guard

Temperament 4/5

Playful, mischievous and fairly easy to train

Exercise 3/5

Plenty of play and free running

Grooming 4/5

Daily for Wire coat; once a week for Smooth coat

Other dogs 3/5

Happy with all breeds but will not tolerate threats


Fun dogs, a joy to own

General care

Plenty of exercise is essential as they are natural athletes and need things to do or they will find something that is undesirable to you. Chasing a ball in the garden is good, especially if they have to look for it. Grooming the Smooth is easy – brushing once a week followed by a rub with a hound glove. The Wire coat should be combed daily to prevent tangles and stripped three or four times a year.

The Smooth Fox Terrier requires considerably less grooming than its Wire-haired counterpart.

Gallery of Wire Fox Terrier