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Wire Fox Terrier

Wire Fox Terrier

Wire Fox Terriers are intelligent and active little guys. They come from England, where they helped hunters flush foxes out of their dens. Today they mainly serve as lovable companions that thrive in a family setting.

Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club

About this Breed

The Wire Fox Terrier is an English breed developed by fox hunters in the 1800s. As is the case with most Terrier breeds, Wire Fox Terriers were developed to be vivacious and intelligent hunting dogs. While they look like they could be the wired haired version of the Fox Terrier, they actually were developed separately and are not the same breed. They peaked in popularity as hunting dogs in the 1800s and became popular family pets in the 1930s. The Wire Fox Terrier has won more Best in Show titles at the Westminster Dog Show than any other breed.

Wire Fox Terriers are very popular in the United Kingdom and are known, but perhaps less popular, in the United States. However, this is no reflection on their ability to make great pets. They are intelligent, alert, enthusiastic, and energetic dogs that would make excellent companions for active families.

Wire Fox Terriers have extensive exercise needs. If they are not given enough time to exhaust their excess energy, they can become destructive. Their size makes them well suited to apartment living; however, in order to live happily in a big city or in a small space, they will need to have a great deal of intense exercise every day. They are also excellent candidates for dog sports such as agility or hunting trials, and they will perhaps be happiest in a rural or suburban home where they have space to run. A securely fenced in yard is a requirement for Wire Fox Terriers as they are extremely smart and can escape if there is any weakness in the fence.

Wire Fox Terriers are fearless, and they possess an extraordinary prey drive which makes them unsuitable for families with cats or smaller mammals. Even if introduced to them as puppies, the quick movements and size of cat or hamsters may prove too tempting for Wire Fox Terriers— they might feel compelled to chase their little house mates. They do, however, get along very well with other dogs and will make an excellent addition to a multi-dog household, provided they are socialized from puppyhood.

Wire Fox Terriers can do well with children; however, they possess that fiery spirit that is typical of many Terriers which may lead them to become impatient with very young children. With proper socialization and training, they can make very good companions to older children, though. But for those that understand their vivacious personalities and extensive exercise needs, the Wire Fox Terrier can make a lovely addition to the family.

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