The Wire Fox Terrier dog breed is a typical member of the Terrier Group of dogs that were used for hunting fox and other mammals underground. They are as sprightly and full of energy as other terrier breeds, and love exploring the surroundings and chasing after scents. Independent, and full of energy, they need constant activity to be happy. These dogs are excellent companions for active people who love the outdoors.
The Wire coated a Fox Terrier dog breed originated in England sometime during the 19th century as a hunter of small prey and fox bolting, even though these feisty little dogs were known to take on prey larger in size. Whether this breed is directly related to the Smooth Coated Fox Terrier breed or not, is still disputed. They may have originated from the same the stock, but at different times.
For instance, the entry of the Smooth Fox Terrier into the show circles is well documented, and it precedes the appearance of Wire Fox Terrier by around twenty years. This means the Smooth Fox Terrier did not evolve from the Wire Fox Terrier, even though these two breeds were crossbred for some time for making the wiry coat more water resistant.
The popularity of the Wire Fox Terrier had ups and downs, but the post-World War II period found this breed in high demand. But the official recognition of the breed occurred only in 1985. They remain popular to a great extent even today, and feature regularly in dog shows as well as in earthdog trials that test the retention of original breed characteristics in terrier breeds.
The Wire Fox Terriers have an easily recognizable, distinctive appearance. The wiry, broken coat has thickly packed twisted hair. The coat is mostly white with both brown and black patches on the head and elsewhere on the body. The ears lie half folded, and the tail is held up like a handle that has been found useful in pulling the dog out of its subterranean haunts. The breed is medium-sized with males measuring 15 inches at the withers and weighing 15 to 20 pounds.
Wire Fox Terriers are adventurous, always ready for a bit of action, even if it means baiting bigger dogs. They love playing with children, but may prove to be a too rough a playmate for younger children. They are playful and love learning new tricks. However, they are not patient enough for repetitions as they get bored easily, and may even choose to disobey commands. Thorough training is important in turning your Wire Fox Terrier into an obedient dog.
Highly people-oriented, they prefer to be in human company at all times. While this makes them ideal as a companion dogs, they are not to be left alone in the house for extended periods as they are known to suffer separation anxiety and wreck havoc in the house. Nevertheless, they make excellent family dogs as they are very affectionate. Their endearingly mischievous behavior is quite entertaining too. But their high-strung nature may make them unsuitable for small living spaces such as city apartments, unless they have access to safe outdoor areas for exercise and activity.
Grooming and exercise
The wiry coat of this dog obviously requires quite a bit of grooming. The ideal way to groom this dog is by hand stripping. It keeps the coat shiny and less curly, but it may be difficult for owners who do not know how to do it correctly. Professional help may be necessary, and expensive; hence most owners prefer a monthly trimming of the coat instead.
The high energy levels of this breed should have plenty of avenues for expression. Besides regular brisk walks with the dog on a leash, other mentally and physically stimulating activities should be devised to keep the dog happy and contented. Plenty of exercise during the day often help this dog to behave well while indoors.
Wire Fox Terrier dog breed is capable of outdoor living in almost all weather conditions except extremes of temperature. However, when kept as a family dog, it is ideal to have it stay indoors with the family with free access to a protected yard during the day.
Common health issues of Wire Fox Terrier dog breed
The Wire Fox Terrier dog breed generally keeps healthy, but it is prone to Legg-Perthes, a degenerative condition affecting the femoral heads during the growth phase. Deafness is also encountered in this breed. Wire Fox Terriers may have eye problems such as distichiasis, cataracts and lens luxation. Regular testing of the eye may help detect and treat these problems. Patellar luxation may occur too, but it’s relatively rare. 10 to 13 years is the average life expectancy of these dogs.