Canine Breed Spotlight: Wire Fox Terrier


The Wire Fox Terrier

Dog breed group: Terrier
Average lifespan: 12-14 years



The Wire Fox Terrier was developed for fox hunting in England. They are believed to be descended from a breed of working terriers from Wales, Derbyshire and Durham. Their purpose was to flush foxes from their dens so that hunters could hunt them over open country. Their short, docked tails worked as a handle and aided hunters in pulling them out of the dens. The modern day Wire Fox Terrier is not used for hunting anymore, but has become a very successful show dog.


This breed is active, alert, lively and very smart. They do well with an active owner or active kids that can keep them busy and engaged. They are also mischievous can easily outwit their owners. The Wire Fox Terrier will be very loyal to you and keep you entertained and laughing with their spunky, outgoing personality. They make great watch dogs, but on the other had can be considered a nuisance barker. They need to physically and mentally stimulated all the time, and will do best with an owner or family that can be interactive with them. They are not a breed that does well being left alone for long periods of time.

Is this breed right for you?

  • They can be aggressive towards other dogs and tend to pick fights and won’t back down if picked on. Unfortunately, they tend to lose most the fights they are in.

  • They are still holding on to their hunting instincts and will take chase after cats, rabbits, squirrels and other small animals if given the opportunity.

  • They are excessive barkers and it can be hard to train them not to bark.

  • They are great escape artists. Jumping over fences or digging under them are easy tasks for this breed. “Terrier-proofing” your yard and proper training is very important.


Health concerns

Both pure-bred and mixed-breed dogs have varying incidences of health problems that may be either influenced by genetics or environmental factors. Here are some health concerns that more commonly affect the Wire Fox Terrier.

They can be prone to developing skin issues caused by allergies. This can manifest itself as itchiness, recurring ear infections, moist dermatitis or other skin conditions.

Eye concerns such as cataracts can occur in the Wire Fox Terrier. This is when there is an opacity in the lens of a the dog’s eye, causing them to have blurry vision.

Terriers of all breeds can be prone to leg and knee problems. One being luxating patelllas (loose knee caps). Patellar luxation is a condition in which the kneecap (patella) slides out of its normal place. If this occurs in your pet, depending on the severity, surgical correction may be needed. Another is Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease. This occurs when there is spontaneous degeneration of the head on the femur bone, leading to the disintegration of the hip joint.