Fox Terrier (Wire) - Information and NZ Breed Standards

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Fox Terrier (Wire)

General Information - Fox Terrier (Wire)



10-13 years




Watchdog Ability:
Very high

Protection Ability:
Very low

Area of Origin:

Date of Origin:

Other Names:

Original Function:
Vermin hunting, fox bolting


In developing the terriers we know today breeders crossed ancient Dachshunds, the English Hound, and later the Fox Hound and Beagle. One of the oldest terriers, the Fox Terrier was used in the 18th century to hunt foxes in England. Its job was to harass the fox out of its hole. The dog would snap and growl and lunge at the hiding fox until it bolted. They were also very useful ratters. Predominantly white dogs were preferred because they could be more easily distinguished from the quarry in dim lighting. The Wire was bred for use in rough country, its coat being less vulnerable to damage than that of the Smooth Fox Terrier. Today the Fox Terrier is primarily a companion dog. The Wirehaired and Smooth Fox Terriers are sometimes regarded as the same breed, although the breed has been separated. Some of the Fox Terrier's talents include: hunting, tracking, watchdogging, agility and performing tricks.


This energetic fun loving dog is affectionate and playful. Wire Fox Terriers are courageous and devoted and make excellent watchdogs, though some have been known to bark excessively. The Wire Fox Terrier will instinctively alert its owner of someone approaching. They are easily trained and do well in obedience. Wire Fox Terriers are alert and quick of movement. The Wire Fox Terrier character is imparted by the expression of the eyes and by the carriage of ears and tail. Wire Fox Terriers like to explore so should be kept in a safe enclosed area.


The Fox Terrier must have daily exercise. It will do much to exercise itself given the room, but it profits from a good walk on leash, a vigorous play session or an off-lead outing in a safe area. This breed can live outdoors in a temperate to warm climate, but it does better as an indoor dog with access to a secure yard. The Wire's coat needs combing two or three times weekly, plus shaping every three months. Shaping for pets is by clipping, and for show dogs, by stripping. Some training of the ears may be necessary as puppies for proper adult shape to develop. Wires shed little to no hair and are good for allergy sufferers.

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