All About the Curious and Tenacious Wire Fox Terrier
How They Score
0 - 5 Bones
|N/A Wire Fox Terriers are NOT low mtnc.
|Good w/Other Pets
|N/A Fox Terriers do shed
Watch Dogs-They make keen watch dogs! A Fox Terrier won't have a problem with alerting you to new sounds, new people, or new intruders on your property.
Size- Show dogs of this breed will stand about 16-17" high (at the shoulders) and weigh around 17 pounds, give or take, with females being only slightly smaller than males on average.
Friendly- While they are not unfriendly, per se, a wire fox terrier probably wouldn't be voted 'most popular' at obedience school. They generally do not like other dogs of the same sex and it's definitely unadvisable to have one in the same house with other small animals like cats, hamsters or guinea pigs, etc. A fox terrier would consider them prey.
Trainability- They are quick learners, but also possess a great deal of independence... meaning that unlike most dogs, a Wire Fox Terrier isn't necessarily living his life to please you. Only the most Positive Training Techniques will work with Fox Terriers.
Loyalty-A Wire Fox Terrier is independent, as we mentioned and will become moreso as they grow older. He will develop other interests, honestly. They won't go out looking for another family, but they are not an attached-at-the-hip-to-you kind of dog.
Excitability- More excitable than you might think, Fox Terrier were bred to hunt. There is a tendency to be tenacious and aggressive in certain situations. "Laid back" is not a phrase that would be used to describe most Terriers and a Wire Fox Terrier is not exception to this rule.
Side Note: Why not consider Adopting a Fox Terrier?
With the popularity of this breed increasing, so too has the number of substandard, oppurtunistic breeders (puppy mills) fixed on taking advantage of our desire for a pure bred dog. They over-produce inferior puppies for the sake of profit while their breeding dogs suffer.
Please learn more about how to avoid puppy mill dogs by reading our FAQ page... Then please spread the word to help put an end to them.
There could very well be Fox Terrier Rescue group near you... Your dog could be waiting!
Separation anxiety is common- Separation anxiety, to some degree, is a common trait with many breeds. With a Wire Fox Terrier, seperation anxiety could arise from simple boredom. An energetic dog left to his own devices could spell disaster for furniture, other pets, house plants, etc. Learn more about separation anxiety before adopting or purchasing any breed of dog.
High Maintenance- The coat of the Wire Fox Terrier is higher maintenance than that of it's smooth coated cousin. Special care needs to be taken to keep the coat from becoming soft and the color from dulling which clipping can do. To keep the coat of a Wire Fox Terrier in breed standard condition, it need to be hand stripped which a groomer will do. Hand Stripping means manually removing dead hair by pulling it out. Except for in tender spots, like bellies, it does not hurt the dog.
Chewing- This dog, especially in puppy phase, is known to be a destructive chewer. If you have a lot of nice possessions and if you're picky about not wearing chewed up shoes, you might only consider a puppy of this breed if you can be home with him most of the time. Crate training is an option at night, but never leave this breed caged for long hours every day. Serious psychological damage would surely be the outcome.
Housebreaking difficulties- Small breed dogs are among the hardest to housebreak. You'll need to be very patient and probably clean up several messes in the process of house training a Fox Terrier, puppy or adult. We recommend the positive and proven training techniques outlined on our dog training page.
Escape Artists- A fenced-in back yard is only a minor obstacle to a Fox Terrier. This breed has (what seems like) limitless energy and there is very little that can stop him from doing something when he sets his mind to it. He is a problem solver and will figure out a way to get what he wants. If it means digging his way out or learning to climb the fence, he'll get what he's after.
Very High Energy- This is a very high energy breed... You already know about the chewing and it's tendency to be an escape artist, but multiply that times 10 if you're the couch potatoe type who prefers a lethargic dog. A Wire Fox Terrier loves to play, so boredom can set in easily if he is not kept stimulated on a reguar basis. A bored Fox Terrier can quickly become a mischievious Fox Terrier.
Excitability and Behavioral Issues- If you do not have the time to spend with this dog, it may not be the best breed for you. This dog is going to require training to be good house pet and he is also going to require a great deal of daily stimulation. If you can't devote at least on hour of every day to a rousing game of fetch, swimming, running, jogging, etc, carefully weigh your decision to own this breed.
Training Difficulties Consistency in training is a must and the earlier you start, the better... but that won't necessarily ever lead to full submission on this dog's part. Somewhere deep in this breeds DNA is an inate instict to chase and hunt that you may never be able to train away...
Not a cat lover Fox Terriers are hunters and chasers and cats just cannot seem to appreciate that behavior. Taking (sometimes) rough playful habits, chasing instincts and high energy into consideration, smaller animals (of any sort) may not be safe around this breed. It would not be unheard of, with Fox Terriers, for you to return home one day to find the cat's been killed... even after several years of getting along before then.
Adopting an adult dog is GREAT way to ensure that you get all the breed characteristics you desire. Adult dogs come with several bonuses! Such bonuses Include: Already out of chewing phase, More likely to be housebroken and his temperament will already be established. Best of all, you will forever be his hero! Learn even more reasons why adopting an adult Smooth Fox Terrier is the smartest choice.
-Health Issues Related to Smooth Fox Terriers-
While not all Fox Terriers are unhealthy, environmental factors like irresponsible breeding, for one, can make them more likely to develop any one or more of (but not limited to) the conditions listed below.
Hypothyroidism- A condition of the thyroid gland which causes weight gain, hair loss and scaly skin.
Eye Problems- This breed has the potential to suffer from several eye conditions including: Distichia(PPM), which are basically eyelashed growing in unusual places inside the eyelid, upper or lower and can lead to pain, scraching of the lens, etc. Also watch for Lens Luxation which is an irregular position of the lens. Cataracts are also not uncommon with a Wire Fox Terrier.
Hip Dysplasia is a developmental subluxation of the hip joints which can eventually lead to arthritis and/or lameness. It's causes are genetic as well as environmental. A secondary concern of this affliction is osteoarthritis.
Luxating patellas- A joint condition in which kneecaps dislocate. This is very painful for your dog and expensive to correct. This is a common complication among many small breed dogs.
The use of pet steps has been shown to significantly reduce the wear and tear on joints and even the occurence of hip and knee conditions in dogs of all sizes.
Still unsure if a Fox Terrier is the right dog for you?
If you're looking to share your home with a dog and you've got a soft spot for an animal in need, check into volunteering at a rescue... or better yet, become a foster parent for a dog in need of a temporary home. There are countless animals in immediate need of someone like you who cares.
We hope you've found this page helpful in your search for your next best friend.
If you haven't done so yet, we urge you to read our FAQ page to learn how to find a reputable breeder... and why should NEVER buy a puppy from a pet store.