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Wire Fox Terrier Temperament (Quick, Bold & Fearless): Can You Handle It?

The Wire Fox Terrier temperament is bold, fearless, and outgoing. They make ideal family companions and get along well with children thanks to their jovial and happy-go-lucky nature. They are intelligent and respond well to positive training methods.

Photo of Wire Fox Terriers with Young Girl | Dog Temperament

Wire Fox Terriers also do well with a moderately active family who will take them on daily walks or jogs. If you’re looking for a keen, friendly, and spirited breed that will not fail to put a smile on your face, the Wire Fox Terrier is perfect for you.

The Fox Terrier – including the Smooth and Wire Fox Terrier – breed has a rich history. They have been everything from

  • Companions to kings,
  • Entertainers in films and circuses
  • Winners at Westminster Kennel Club Best-In-Show… More than any other breed.

Wire Fox Terrier Temperament and Personality

The best way to know for sure whether the Wire Fox Terrier temperament is the right one for you is to examine the specific aspects that make up the Wire Fox Terrier’s personality.

Below is a list of some of the more prominent personality traits of this confident breed to help you decide whether this breed is right for you.

They are Outgoing and Self-Confident

The Wire Fox Terrier loves to live in the moment. They live life to the fullest and are highly inquisitive. Wire Fox Terriers are sharp and spirited. They can adapt to almost any lifestyle or routine, making them an ideal family dog.

However, as with any confident breed, this is a personality trait that can quickly get out of hand if you don’t help them rein it in. If this breed gets even the slightest whiff of you dropping your guard, they will walk all over you.

Remain firm, persistent, and consistent, and the Wire Fox Terrier will eventually know his place and learn to respect you as his leader.

They are Great with Children

Because the Wire Fox Terrier is a child at heart, they love to play with children.

Photo of Two Wire Fox Terriers | Dog Temperament

They can be too active for kids under seven; these kids tend to play too rough and their high-pitched tone can trigger the dog's prey drive. Wire Fox Terriers can also be food aggressive and toy protective, so a home with older children is the best for this breed.

They Get Along with Dogs They are Raised With

The Wire Fox Terrier can get along rather well with dogs or cats you raise them with since puppyhood, but they aren’t the best option for families for rabbits, hamsters or other small animals.

And while they are loyal to their family, they can be impulsive around other dogs – often picking fights with bigger ones. Simply put, don’t trust them alone with other pups. These dogs are the very definition of “scrappy.” They never say no to a challenge – even though they’re usually the ones presenting it!

They Make Great Watchdogs

Wire Fox Terriers make excellent watchdogs, thanks to their alertness and acute hearing and vision. So long as their barking isn’t a result of you’re leaving them alone for long periods of time, expect them to let you know when someone is near.

They are Fantastic Hunters

The reflexes on these dogs are just as quick as their running skills. Coupled together, these traits make the Wire Fox Terrier a supremely skilled hunting dog. Small animals should know to steer clear of this breed.  

They Love the Spotlight

Wire Fox Terriers love the spotlight and love to perform. Their happy-go-lucky and funny personalities make them perfect performance dogs, especially in film and TV shows.

Photo of Wire Fox Terrier With Ball | Dog Temperament

Wire Fox Terriers are Mischievous

Wire Fox Terriers are bold and fearless – meaning, they often get into mischief. Don’t be surprised if you find them propped up on the kitchen table or surfing the counters. They require a lot of stimulation and attention to keep them out of trouble.

On a related note, they also love to dig tunnels. However, so long as you train them while they’re young, you should be able to help them curb this unsavory habit before they tear up your flower garden!

Wire Fox Terrier Appearance

Size (Weight and Height)

Wire-Haired Fox Terriers are on the smaller side, with a weight between 15 to 19 pounds.

Their height is, on average, around 15.5 inches tall, and they live between 12 and 15 years.


As for Wire Fox Terrier colors, they come in white, or combinations of white with black or tan, as well as tricolor.

A Brief History of the Wire Fox Terrier

Fox hunters created the Wire Fox Terrier breed we know and love today.

Experts believe the Wire Fox Terrier’s original ancestor is now extinct but was once a Rough-coated Black and Tan working Terrier native to the Wales, Durham, and Derbyshire areas.

This may sound cruel, but hunters used Wire Fox Terriers to chase foxes back into their underground homes and, once there, the hunters would pull the Terriers back out by their tails.

For this reason, Wire Fox Terrier owners would dock the breed’s already small but strong tail.

The Wire Fox Terrier has a royal history as well, with records showing that Queen Victoria and her son both owned Wire Fox Terriers.

However, the breed did not become a popular family dog until the 1930s, after the breed appeared in the Thin Man films.

How Do You Train a Wire Fox Terrier?

The Wire Fox Terrier is intelligent but also independent. They require patience, consistency and a sense of humor.

Positive reinforcement training works best with Wire Fox Terriers. In fact, they will shut down completely if you treat them harshly. And they get bored quite easily, so make sure training sessions are short and fun.

You can also train Wire Fox Terriers for dog sports and activities such as agility, obedience, search and rescue, drug detection and more.

They also make amazing therapy dogs thanks to their cheerful personalities. These dogs bring smiles and laughter wherever they go.

Helpful Dog Training Resource:

For help with training your dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.

How Do You Groom a Wire Fox Terrier?

Wire Fox Terrier grooming is minimal. If you’re wondering, “do Wire Fox Terriers shed?” The answer is, shedding is on the low end due to their dense, wiry coat. But you do need to brush them regularly to avoid odor and keep their coat clean.

Portrait of Wire Fox Terrier | Dog Temperament

It’s recommended to bring a Wire Fox Terrier to a groomer to “strip” their coat, meaning it’s plucked out rather than cut with clippers or scissors.

In fact, you can tell when a Wire Fox Terrier has proper grooming, as his coat appears “broken.” His hairs naturally twist, and the texture of his groomed coat is so dense that when you part his hair, you still should not be able to see his skin.

The good news is that, unlike his cousin, the Smooth Fox Terrier, the Wire Fox Terrier is actually hypoallergenic. So, if dogs make your nose run and your eyes water, you should be able to have a Wire Fox Terrier without any trouble.

Staying Healthy: Wire Fox Terrier Health Issues

While the Wire Fox Terrier is a healthy breed by nature, it’s important to know the conditions and diseases the breed is prone to so that you can spot the first signs of a problem. In particular, the Wire Fox Terrier may develop:

Helpful Dog Health Resource:

Note: Don't let the many issues above scare you. The best way to approach health problems is to prevent them in the first place. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is a great place to start. Get a copy to keep at home. It will help you prevent the painful health issues that can plague your lovely Wire Fox Terrier and rob him of expressing his winning personality and maximizing his life expectancy.


Wire-Haired Fox Terriers are moderately active. They need long walks, games of fetch in the backyard, or jogs in the park to keep them physically and mentally fit.

This breed’s absolute favorite thing in the world to do is chase balls. So, if you want to bring a Wire Fox Terrier into your home, make sure you purchase a hearty supply of balls to keep him occupied!

This is a breed with a strong prey drive, so you shouldn’t leave them off-leash. They also need a securely fenced-in yard, as they may feel tempted to chase after any small animal they deem to be prey.

Finding the Perfect Wire Fox Terrier

If you’re ready to add this outgoing and confident breed to your family, it’s time to do your research. Do you want to add a Wire Fox Terrier puppy to your family? Or perhaps you would rather adopt an adult?

Wire Fox Terrier puppies are adorable, but they are a lot of work. They require training, socialization, and lots of patience.

Adults, on the other hand, typically don’t need as much training as puppies. And, they are often less hyper and more socialized. Adults are great for busy families who don’t have time to raise a puppy.

How Much are Wire Fox Terrier Puppies for Sale?

Photo of Wire Fox Terrier Outdoor on Lawn | Dog Temperament

Purebred Wire Fox Terrier puppies for sale will cost between $800-$1000. The cost depends on where you live, their bloodline, and litter availability.

The Wire Fox Terrier price for adoption depends on the rescue organization and location but will cost between $200-$500.

Wire Fox Terrier Rescue and Adoption

Have you decided that Wire Fox Terrier rescue is best for your family? The American Fox Terrier Rescue is a great resource. Not only do they have dogs available for adoption, but they also have information on how to adopt as well as information on the breed.

Wire Fox Terrier adoption is also a great option for those not looking for a purebred. Contact your local rescue organization or shelter to see if they have any Wire Fox Terrier mixes available for adoption.

Wire Fox Terrier Breeders

If you would rather purchase a Wire Fox Terrier for sale from a breeder, your first stop should be the AKC Marketplace. The AKC Marketplace allows you to find Wire Fox Terrier breeders in your area as well as the ability to search by gender, champion bloodline, and litter availability.

Before choosing a breeder, do your research. There are a lot of non-reputable breeders out there so it’s important to take your time.

Photo of Wire Fox Terriers | Dog Temperament

Prepare your list of questions and go visit different breeders in your area and. Some questions to ask are:

  • “Have the parents had health tests?”
  • “What is your experience with the breed? How long have you been breeding?”
  • “Do you provide a contract and health guarantee?”
  • “How do you socialize your puppies?”

Toy Wire Fox Terrier

The Toy Wire Fox Terrier, or Wire Toy Fox Terrier, is actually a mixed breed dog created by breeding a Toy Fox Terrier with a Wire Fox Terrier.

Toy Wire Fox Terriers have essentially the same temperament as the Wire Fox Terrier, but in a smaller package. Toy Wire Fox Terriers love to hunt and are good at it. They’re active dogs who love to dig, run, and play games – especially ball! They are great family pets, if stubborn, but if you properly socialize them, they’re even great with young children.

Plus, while it may seem humorous, Toy Wire Fox Terriers are actually fantastic guard dogs. This is because they are a brave, loyal breed who are equally alert and protective.

Wire Fox Terrier Mixes

If you’re a fan of mixed-breed dogs, then boy, are you in luck! There are numerous mixed breeds out there that include the Wire Fox Terrier.

Just make sure when you opt for a mixed breed dog that you opt for a First-Generation mixed breed. What this means is that the dog is an original mix of breeds, not the result of two mixed breeds bred together. That’s when all kinds of problems result.

In any event, if you’d like to look into a Wire Fox Terrier mixed breed dog, then here are some possible options for you:

Wire Fox Terrier FAQ

You may still have questions about the Wire Fox Terrier after reading through this piece. In this section, I hope to answer more of your questions by addressing some of the more commonly asked questions about the Wire Fox Terrier:

Q: Are Wire Fox Terriers barkers?

A: The Wire Fox Terrier is not an excessive barker by nature. However, he does have a lot of energy, and if you don’t help him harness and express that energy properly by giving him the right amount of exercise each day, he will find other, less desirable ways of doing so. One such way may be barking, while another may be digging. All these behaviors are preventable, so long as you put in the time and energy necessary to train him properly.

Q: Are Wire Fox Terriers aggressive?

A: By nature with humans, no, Wire Fox Terriers are not aggressive. However, just like any other dog, they may fight back when provoked. As I mentioned earlier, this breed tends to be possessive of their toys and food. So, if a child tries to reach into the dog’s dish while he’s eating, or if the child tries to take the dog’s toy, the dog may lash out in defense of his property.

On the other hand, Wire Fox Terriers can certainly be aggressive with other dogs, which is why I strongly recommend you socialize, socialize, socialize your dog – as early and often as possible. However, this is a well-known trait of the Wire Fox Terrier temperament so, in some dogs, you may simply not be able to train him out of it.

Q: Are Wire Fox Terriers smart?

A: Yes, the Wire Fox Terrier is incredibly smart. That’s why he’s such a good hunter and so easy to train.

Conclusion: Why the Wire Fox Terrier?

Bred in England to bolt foxes out of their dens during the late 18th century, the Wire Fox Terrier temperament is keen, alert, and friendly. 

They also make for great watchdogs, so long as you train them to use their bark for good.

This is a breed that possesses many of the good qualities you would look for in a dog. But remember they can be mischievous and they love being in the spotlight.