Wire-Haired Fox Terrier


The Wire-haired Fox Terrier (also affectionately known as foxies) is a terrier breed of dog originating from England. They were originally bred as hunters; to flush out foxes during a foxhunt. It’s considered a medium-sized breed of terriers, with an average height of 15 ½  inches. The average weight is 15-17 pounds for females and 18 pounds for males. The average life expectancy is 12-15 years.

Their colors are usually white mixed with brown or black; usually not brindle, red, liver, or slate blue. They usually have darker markings on the face and ears and usually a black saddle or large splotch of color. These puppers usually have a flatter skull, which narrows to the eyes. Their muzzle usually tapers to their nose. They are known for a scissor bite. Their ears will drop forward towards they’re cheeks. Their legs are characteristically straight, with the tail being high and possibly docked.

Foxies are considered hypoallergenic. They have a dense double-coat; with a coarse, wiry topcoat and a short soft undercoat. The dense coat twists around itself, often saying that it appears like the hairs on a coconut. The hairs are so thick that when they’re parted you still will not see their skin. Their loose hair is trapped in the undercoat, which means they will not be leaving it on floors and in upholstery. They are considered to be low shedding. They are a good option for allergy sufferers. 

Today, they are known as family companions and show dogs.

They’re considered a rare breed. You may have trouble tracking down a breeder, and if you do, you may be waiting for quite a while to get your hands on one. If you’re looking to buy, be prepared to spend $800-$2,500 for one of the puppies.

HeightWeightLife Expectancy
15 inches15-18 pounds12-15 years


These doggos are smart, quick, independent, lively, stubborn, energetic and loving. They have a ton of energy and want to stay active, with no room for boredom.

They are known to bark a lot, with a high-pitched tone. They were born to hunt, so their natural prey instinct is high. They will be on the hunt and willing to chase and fight anything that moves. They are often surrendered to shelters because they take off running or showing aggression towards other animals. With firm and consistent training, this can be kept at bay to an extent.

If kept busy, they make great companions. They are rambunctious and always up for a good time. They will require a lot of your attention. If you’ve got the attention and endurance to keep up, this may be the dog for you.


The wire-haired fox terrier do well for country living or apartment life; as long as they get their exercise needs met. If you live in an apartment, just make sure you’ve got somewhere open you can take them where they are able to run. And make sure to have them on a leash at all times. If you have a yard, make sure it’s fenced-in. An underground electric fence won’t work. And neither will a short one; as these dogs are known to be incredibly high jumpers. These doggos should be inside dogs. If left outside alone too long, they will do anything they can to escape; whether that’s jumping over the fence or digging underneath it. They will find a way to get out.

They are known to be aggressive towards other dogs and small animals. They have high hunting instincts, and will try and start fights. They are not recommended for dog parks just because of their aggressive nature. You will need to look at socialization training early. And they are not recommended if you have other house pets that are not dogs in the home.

They are not recommended for families with small children. They can be quite rough, and may end up hurting young kiddos. 

They are very loyal with their families, and do well with older children and adults. These puppers do well with families with active lifestyles. They have a high energy drive and will need plenty of exercise to keep them happy.


These dogs require about 1 ½  to 2 cups of high-quality dog food; preferably split into 2 meals instead of leaving the food out all day.

Be sure to monitor food and watch the amount of treats given. They like to eat, and could be susceptible to obesity. Remember that even a couple of extra pounds can significantly impact their health.

A good way to gauge whether they are putting on too much weight is simply through the eye test. You should be able to see their waist when looking straight down at them. You can place your hands on their back; with your thumbs going along the curve of the spine and your fingers spreading down to their body. You should be able to feel their ribs with your hands gently placed along the body. If you cannot, it is a good indication that they need more exercise and possibly less food.  If you start to see your dog gaining weight, it is recommended to consult with your veterinarian; who can help you put a meal plan and exercise regime together in order to help your puppy shed those extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight. 


These dogs have moderate exercise needs, requiring about 45 minutes of daily exercise. Long daily walks or out playing fetch are good options. Make sure to have them on a leash when out in the community. And if you have a yard, it should be fenced so they can roam freely. They have a high prey instinct, so they are highly prone to running off after something that catches their eye.

They will need plenty of exercise; with some having up to 2 hours of daily physical activity in order to remain fit and healthy. This helps to burn off their energy, and keep them out of trouble. They’re known to become destructive if not given enough exercise.

Also, when exercising, don’t forget about their mental health. They will need mental stimulation as well as physical activity. Puzzles and agility courses are great options.


These dogs are very smart, but also quite stubborn and independent; so it could be challenging to train them. It is utmost important to demonstrate patience and consistency. You must demonstrate that you are the pack leader or it will develop ‘small dog syndrome.’ This will make them exhibit aggressive and destructive behaviors in order for it to maintain its alpha dog standing if this isn’t nipped in the bud immediately.

They should be trained with positive reinforcements such as praise, play, and treats. They will not respond to negative reinforcement and harsh criticisms, and will shut down. The training should also be kept fun and exciting. If it’s too repetitive they will become bored.

They are smart and athletic; so they do well with agility courses. And they were meant to perform in earthdog trials, with hunting being part of their nature. These methods are also good for helping to keep their minds active also.

Don’t forget to include socialization training. Get them experiencing new people, dogs, and places as early as possible. This will help them become comfortable being handled; and help prepare for future vet and grooming apartments.

They are known to be hard to house-train. Consistency and routine is key. And you may want to look into crate training for further success.


These dogs have moderate grooming needs, requiring regular grooming. They don’t shed very much, but the loose dead hair gets trapped in the undercoat and requires brushing to remove it so it doesn’t lead to tangles and matting. Depending on if they are a show dog or not will greatly affect their grooming requirements. Regular grooming will help to keep your wire-haired fox terrier happy and healthy! And will help to keep your home cleaner and allergen-free as possible!!

  • Combing: They will need to be brushed at least 3 times a week, if not daily,  in order to remove any matting or tangles from their coat. Pay special attention to brush out knots in their beard and the feathering along their legs. . If they are not show dogs, you can brush with a pin brush or firm bristle brush several times a week. Remember to brush in the direction of the hair growth. If using a bristle brush, opt for one with short, close bristles. You should attempt to remove any mats with your fingers first, using a detangling spray so as to be as gentle as possible. If there are severe mats that would not come undone, you can use a mat rake. After brushing and tangle removal, you can use a medium steel comb to comb through their hair, starting at the top of their head and working your way down. Don’t forget to comb their beard, which can also be done with the steel comb. If there are tangles within the beard, it would be wise to start with a slicker brush or mat rake in order to remove them. Once the mats are removed, be sure to comb through the hair again until you’re able to gently comb through completely without hindrance.
  • Bathing: They will need a bath only when necessary, about once a month, depending on how dirty they get.
  • Trimming: If they are a show dog, their topcoat will need to be stripped. Stripping is when the dead hair is pulled out by the root, either by hand or stripping knives. They will need to be stripped several times a year or more for show dogs in order to keep their coat looking healthy and show-ready. Stripping helps to preserve the color and texture of their coat. If they are not show dogs, many owners opt to clip the hair. Clipping is when using a mechanical clipper, or shaver, in order to achieve a short, closer to the skin cut. Clipping will dull the color of their coat and remove the topcoat, making the hair softer in texture. This is also true when using scissors or shears. It is a simple and cheaper option for most. If they are clipped, they will need to be clipped monthly. (this method will not be allowed for show dogs). Either option can be done by professional groomers or learned by yourself. Make sure you plan to dedicate the necessary time and diligence to learn this skill. And you will need quality tools in order to effectively cut the coat.
  • Ears: Don’t forget to check your doggo’s ears often to make sure they are clean. Sometimes plucking of hairs that start to grow in the ear canal  is necessary. If you notice redness, buildup, or a foul odor during your checks then be sure to make an appointment with your veterinarian. 
  • Nails: You should trim your doggo’s nails at least 1-2x a month. It’s a good indication to trim when you start to hear them clicking along floor surfaces. Be careful when trimming, as you can cause bleeding if you cut too far. You can always ask your vet, or groomer, for tips and tricks in this area.
  • Teeth: You should brush their teeth every day, but can start out gradually in order to build up to daily brushing. Ideally, you would start when they are a pupper, in order for them to get acclimated to the idea of teeth brushing from an early age. (dental problems do not stop at their teeth and gums, but can lead to other serious health issues such as heart and kidney diseases). And at least once a year, it is recommended to have them professionally cleaned with your veterinarian. If the idea of brushing their teeth seems a bit scary for you, you can always speak with your vet in order for tips and tricks and for the vet to show you how to properly brush their teeth.


These dogs are generally healthy, with an average life expectancy of 12-15 years. Some health conditions to watch for are:

  • Epilepsy: Having seizures. Symptoms before or after seizures include drooling, walking back and forth, and stiff limbs.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: (LCP) is a hip joint disorder, causing reduced blood supply to the head of the femur bone and causing it to shrink. Outward symptoms of limping to the affected leg will be seen. 
  • Patellar Luxation: This is caused by shallow knee joints and it is when the kneecap slips out of place. Noticeable symptoms include walking with a limp or keeping the injured leg in the air and not bearing weight. When purchasing, a reputable breeder should have certifications that show they are free of patellar luxation. 
  • Vision Problems:
    • Cataracts: This is cloudiness in the lens which can lead to blindness.
    • Distichiasis: This is where an eyelash grows inwards towards the eye causing irritation and pain.
  • Wobbler Disease: A genetic neurological condition which is narrowing of vertebrae in the neck and pinches the spinal cord. Symptoms include stumbling, wobbly gait and falling.

With any and all of these, it is recommended to discuss with your veterinarian on you and your doggo’s options and what will be best for their overall quality of life. 

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