He might be small, but the short-backed, muscular Wire Fox Terrier exudes strength. The thick, wiry coat is predominantly white with black, tan, or black and tan markings. Adult male dogs are 39cm tall or under and weigh about 8kg, and females are slightly smaller.
Developed from a regional wire-coated black and tan working terrier from Wales, Derbyshire and Durham, the Wire Fox Terrier dog breed has been used since the 19th century to hunt flush out fox if they went to ground, in order that the hunt could continue. Originally the breed was classed as the Fox Terrier with two varieties within it – the Wire and Smooth coats – and interbreeding between the varieties was common in the early years, but they are now considered quite separate, with their own breed standards.
An alert, ever-ready terrier, the Wire Fox Terrier is an active dog that needs to be kept busy. If he's bored, he will find his own amusement – in digging, barking or finding other 'entertainment'. A bold, outgoing terrier, he should be friendly with people, though his keen hunting instinct may never be far from the surface.
The Wire Fox Terrier is generally a very healthy breed. However, in common with many small/toy breeds they can suffer from kneecaps that are prone to slipping temporarily out of place (luxating patellas) and some inherited eye problems.
The Wire Fox Terrier needs at least an hour's daily exercise. Although he can be socialised from young to live happily with the family cat, he is likely to chase any others he encounters when out and about, as well as any other small, fast-moving creatures, so ensure he is on a lead in urban/traffic areas.
Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
The thick, wiry coat is 2-4cm in length and the undercoat is short and soft. The facial hair gives the breed a most distinguished look. A brush and comb through every other day will keep the coat knot-free, but it will also need to be handstripped (where the dead hair is plucked out) three to four times a year.