The typical coloring for the Wire Fox Terrier is white with black or brown markings.
The Wire Fox Terrier can live in either a house or an apartment style environment. They are quite active indoor animals and therefore will do fine without a yard. However, if they do live in an environment without a yard, it is important for them to be outside and obtain sufficient exercise. This could be just a long walk a day or a romp through the park. If they are living in an environment with a yard, letting them outside to run around in the yard daily is plenty of exercise. However, the Wire Fox Terrier should not be left outside alone because they are likely to bark and try to dig their way out.
The Wire Fox Terrier is an elegant and well built dog. It has a lot of strength compacted into a small structure. They are hunting and tracking dogs by nature and therefore are built with agility and many other hunting qualities. They have strong well developed jaws and teeth, eagerness, and physical strength. Above all else though, they pack a lot of courage. These are considered its weapons of attack. The eyes are dark, small, and deep set. Their neck is thick and extremely muscular. The skull is flat, tapering, and narrow skull. The ears are v-shaped and fold forward. The hair on the upper and lower jaws should only be long enough to give the impression of strength. The length of the coat depends on the climate, owner's preference, seasons, and individual animal but is typically 3/4-1 inch on the shoulders and neck. The coat is a longer 1.5 inches on the back, quarters, withers, and ribs.
The chest should be deep but not too broad or too narrow. The brisket should be deep, the front ribs arched moderately, and the back ribs should be deep and well sprung. The shoulders should slope steeply down towards the points, which should be fine. A shoulder that is well laid back combined with a short back is considered very desirable in the Wire Fox Terrier. Hindquarters should be strong and muscular with long and powerful thighs. The feet should be round and compact with pads that are tough and well-cushioned.
The gait of the Wire Fox Terrier is crucial. They should be carried straight forward while traveling with forelegs that hang perpendicular and swinging parallel to the sides. This gives the look of a pendulum clock. The power and propulsion of the Wire Fox Terrier is derived from its powerful and long thighs.
The best coat for the Wire Fox Terrier is one that appears to be broken, with hairs that have a tendency to twist. The texture should be dense and wiry resembling coconut matting. It should be so dense that when the hair is parted the skin cannot be seen. The undercoat is found at the base of the thick hairs that is softer and finer.
The Wire Fox Terrier originated in England in the 1800's. Before the introduction of the Wire Fox Terrier fox hunting would end as soon as the fox reached the hole. The Wire Fox Terrier was bred to assist in fox hunting. The Wire Fox Terrier was bred from the Smooth Fox Terrier and the Rough-Coated Tan and Black Terrier. If the fox reached the hole and went into the ground, the Terrier would be sent in after it. Terriers needed to have stamina to run with the foxhounds and they also needed to be small enough to follow the fox down into its lair. Lastly, the Terrier needed to be tough. The fox would view the Wire Fox Terrier as an intruder and would fight back. The Terrier needed to be stronger than the fox and conquer the animal. The fox would eventually flee from its lair and the hunters would then be able to hunt the fox. The Wire Fox Terrier would achieve this by snapping, growling, and lunging at the fox. They are sometimes regarded as the same breed as the Smooth Fox Terrier although in the United States the two breeds have been differentiated since 1986.
The Wire Fox Terrier is a happy, eager to please, excitable dog. They are always eager to play and make excellent pets for the active person. They do have a streak of dominance in them and therefore they can become frustrating if they are able to obtain the upper hand in the household. They were originally bred for hunting and tracking and love to dig under fences, in the garden, and even through sofas if the mood strikes them. If they get out of the yard they are gone. The owners need to be patient and have a good sense of humor. It is said that only a very specific type of person can put up with the antics of the Wire Fox Terrier.
Because of their nature as hunting dogs, they are driven to chase smaller animals such as squirrels, rabbits, or cats. For this reason, the Wire Fox Terrier cannot be trusted off leash. They need to be leashed at all times because they will run away and chase small animals or start altercations with larger dogs. They can be quite aggressive with a great deal of courage. They will not back down even to dogs that are several times their size. Despite all of this, they are very cheerful and excitable dogs and can brighten even the darkest of days.
There are some cautions to be aware of in the Wire Fox Terrier. Although they are said to make excellent family pets and they do love to play, especially with children, they are known to bite. The Wire Fox Terrier should always be supervised around children for this reason. They will react if they are being bothered or pestered. In addition to this, they excessively bark. They are quick to bark at any new sight or sound, so the owner must be equally as fast to stop them. For this reason, the Wire Fox Terrier should not be left outside alone because their barks can be very high pitched and cause annoyance for neighbors and owners. Furthermore, the Wire Fox Terrier has strong defense reactions. For instance, if the Terrier feelings like they were reprimanded beyond what was necessary they are more likely to growl and snap than other breeds. The root of this could be found that they were taught to always be more aggressive than their prey.
Maintenance for the Wire Fox Terrier is quite low unless you are planning on having it as a show dog. For pet owners who do not intend to show the dog, regular brushing and bathing when necessary is all that is needed. The dog can be brushed with a firm bristle brush about twice a week. To keep the coat looking its best and to keep it healthy it is important for the hair to be stripped several times a year. This can be done by a professional groomer if the owner is unsure or does not want to tackle that element of care.
Grooming for show is a much more complex procedure. When bathing the dog, it should always be washed and rinsed twice. The first wash is to get rid of the dirt and the second is to bring brightness and color to the coat. A high quality specialty shampoo should be used for the Wire Fox Terrier because they are prone to skin irritation. If the dog does have some skin irritation there are medicated shampoos that can be used. Blow drying is the best method for drying the coat of the Wire Fox Terrier because it allows some straightening of the coat.
Before clipping a dog for the show, it should always be combed out first. If the comb is not easily going through then there are mats that need to be removed. There are special sprays that can help break down the mats and make the combing process a little easier. However, if the dog is brushed regularly, this should not be necessary. It is essential for the ears to be cleaned and for the hair in the ears to be removed. There is ear powder that can be used and then your fingers to pull the ear hair out.
The hair on the neck should be clipped first all the way around. Then continue down the back, down the rib cage, but leaving the chest hair. Then the shoulders should be clipped down to the elbow. The front of the chest can then be clipped even with the elbow. Then the tail can be entirely trimmed. For clipping the head, clip from the corner of the eye to the edge of the mouth. Then shave the top of the head but do not shave the eyebrows. Then the belly, inside of the legs, and groin area can be trimmed. It is important not to go past the start of the rib cage. In males the penis needs to be shaven. With females be very careful not to clipper off their nipples. If this is an intimidating process, there are many professionals that can groom the Wire Fox Terrier to show standards for you.
The Wire Fox Terrier is a very active and lively breed. It was originally bred for hunting and tracking and therefore enjoys being outdoors. They are known to be very active indoors as well as outdoors. Having a fenced yard does help as they can run and play outside, but they should not be left alone due to their excessive barking and digging. They are quite happy going for long walks but must always be kept on a leash. Their hunting instincts will kick in and they will take off without notice to chase any small animals. The Wire Fox Terrier needs consistent training and so an excellent way to get in exercise and training is to have the dog enrolled in an obedience training class. There are also clubs available for Terriers so that they can indulge in their love of chasing small vermin without actually harming any smaller animals.
Training for the Wire Fox Terrier can be a difficult process if you are training them from the time they are a puppy. Puppies have very sharp teeth that can cause a lot of damage and they are also very difficult to house train. It is important that the owner of the Wire Fox Terrier consider staying at home with the dog most of the time at the beginning. The Wire Fox Terrier is known to snap at children as well as other people who reprimand the dog so it is important to socialize the dog from an early age as well as have very consistent and constant training.
The training of the Wire Fox Terrier should include obedience tasks because they are highly intelligent and energetic. It is important that the owner or handler of the dog learn to properly raise the dog because the Wire Fox Terrier has a very stubborn and independent nature. They will force you to prove that you can teach them how to do something. It is also important to learn how to properly reprimand the dog to prevent or reduce the likelihood of them snapping or growling at you. Due to the difficult training nature of this breed of dog and the aggression that it can show, it is suggested that this dog is not for the first time owner. It should be in the household of a very patient and experienced handler.