Are Wire Hair Fox Terriers Hypoallergenic?
Yes! The Wire Hair Fox Terrier is a small to medium hypoallergenic dog breed that hardly sheds or drools.
This extremely active and intelligent dog was first developed in England and is believed to originally descend from the extinct working Terriers of Wales, Derbyshire, and Durham. Their main purpose was to drive foxes and other animals out in the open for avid hunters. These dogs have been called a variety of nicknames, including Fox Terrier, Foxie/Foxy, Wirehaired Terrier, Wire Terrier, and Wire Fox Terrier. They make a wonderful pet for a very patient person who has the energy to keep up with them and does not have other pets or small kids. They are not very popular, although they can be hard to find, but they are very loveable and humorous due to their feisty nature. For a quick summary of the Wire Hair Fox Terrier skip to our Wire Hair Fox Terrier dog breed summary further down the page.
Wire Hair Fox Terrier Quick Facts
Hypoallergenic Dog: Yes!
|Shedding: Low shedding||Drooling: Low|
Size: Small to Medium
|Breed Group: Terrier Group||
Lifespan: 10-15 years
|Energy Level: High||Trainability: Moderate||
Family Dog: Only Older Kids
About the Breed
The Wire Hair Fox Terrier Physical Characteristics and Coat
(Skip this section) While today Fox Terriers are primarily family or show dogs, they were originally bred to bolt foxes out of their clever hiding spots. With a tapering, flat skull and a chiseled, wedge-shaped head, this breed is certainly unique in appearance! The eyes are dark and small and deep-set into the skull. They are sturdy dogs with a strong neck. The tail stands upwards and is traditionally docked to about ¾ in length. Their hair looks broken, wiry and wavy on their dense double-layered hypoallergenic coat. Wire Hair Fox Terriers shed very little, but their coat needs to be regularly stripped of old hair or trimmed. They may be small, but they sure are muscular. The Fox Terrier is very hypoallergenic if the coat is well maintained with proper grooming. Their coat is normally white with either black, tan, or slate-blue markings.
Breeds that look similar to the Wire Hair Fox Terrier
|Lakeland Terrier||Welsh Terrier||Cairn Terrier||Sealyham Terrier|
Wire Hair Fox Terrier Temperament
Fox Terriers are an intense, inquisitive and a rather impulsive breed in comparison to the rest of the terrier group. They basically choose to run everywhere because they are so highly energetic and super playful. However, any small pets or other creatures will not stand a chance against this tenacious hunting breed and their quick reflexes. They even love to challenge other dogs and won’t back down if provoked. Always keep these dogs on a leash if you don’t want them running off. They are mischievous with a stubborn streak and will not hesitate to formulate an escape plan from if you don’t properly secure your yard. These dogs are energetic diggers as well. While they are friendly with families that don’t have small children, they do not take well to other strangers, which makes them excellent watchdogs. Are you considering adopting a Wire Hair Fox Terrier?
- Frequent barkers and aggressive towards other animals.
- Doesn’t shed a whole lot, which keeps your furniture cleaner.
- Fantastic watchdog for their loving family, but not good with small kids or other pets.
- Needs a lot of exercise to keep from getting bored.
- Strong diggers with a strong prey drive to chase small animals.
- Clever escape artists
- Intelligent but challenging to train, due to their stubbornness.
Breeds that have a temperament similar to the Wire Hair Fox Terrier
|Scottish Terrier||West Highland White Terrier||Schnauzer||Border Terrier|
Exercise & Training
Encouraging Good Behavior In Your Wire Hair Fox Terrier
(Skip this section) This breed will need a lot of training to learn manners and patience with other animals or children. However, they are sensitive to being teased or chastised and may growl or snap if they feel threatened. They are territorial about their toys and food, which they eat quickly. As long as you are always consistent, they will learn how to behave better, but they do have a big stubborn streak and love to be the boss in any given situation. Training Tips for your new Wire Hair Fox Terrier
- Teach them to bark so you can teach them to be quiet.
- Handle them young and often, playing with their tail, paws, ears, and rubbing their belly.
- Always make them sit and wait for their food before giving the okay.
- Teach them the “stop” command.
- Socialize them early with small dogs, large dogs, and children between the ages of 5 and 8 who have proper dog manners.
- Crate train them.
- Take their food away when they’re puppies and give it back to show that it doesn’t not belong to them. Do the same with their toys.
- Set rules, and be consistent about enforcing them.
- Enforce rules with verbal scolding, and then ignoring them for a while. Never use the crate or the backyard as a punishment.
Fox Terriers need a lot of vigorous exercise in order to keep their weight gain at bay and prefer to run whenever they get the chance. They love to play ball and will plow through any obstacles they encounter. Their stamina is overflowing and any exercise is never enough. They always want to do more investigating, jumping, running and playing. Everything is an adventure to them and they need plenty of mental stimulation as well to keep them happy. If they do not get enough exercise and/or play time, they will take it out on you by digging holes, chewing things and sounding their frustration with their high-pitched bark. Wire Hair Fox Terriers are very challenging to keep well exercised, but they’re much more likely to listen to you and not show aggression or territorial behavior if they feel physically and mentally fulfilled. Here’s some tips on how to exercise your Fox Terrier well :
- Train them to run alongside of a bike on a leash. Wait until they’re full grown. Wear rash guards and pads. Attach your terrier to one end of the leash, and attach something heavy, and awkward to the other end. Hold the leash on the handle bar, but don’t attach it to the bike. You should be prepared to let go of the leash at any time in case your Fox Terrier bolts after a small animal. The heavy sinker you attached to the other end should help to slow them down.
- If you don’t have a fenced in yard or you can’t keep your terrier inside of it, install a dog run. It’s a clothesline-like apparatus that you can leash your dog to so they can still run around the yard.
- Train your Fox Terrier to use the treadmill.
- Train your Fox Terrier to play with an automatic fetching machine, like the iFetch.
Grooming and Care
Maintaining Your Wire Hair Fox Terrier’s Coat
(Skip this section) The Wire Hair Fox terrier needs clipping and trimming every few months to maintain their rough hypoallergenic coat. If they are going to be show dogs, hand-stripping is preferred, but many groomers will not do this because it is uncomfortable for the dog and takes up a lot of time. Clipping is perfectly fine for a pet. However, if you have particularly bad allergies then you should hand strip your terrier’s coat rather than clipping them. Their downy undercoat is not as hypoallergenic as their wiry top coat, and trimming them could lead to some shedding or some mild problems with allergies. Fox Terriers need a lot of grooming, but if properly cared for, shed very little. They’re not very drooly either, which is nice. These dogs do have a tendency to dig and get dirty, so keep a set of baby wipes by the door so you can wipe them off before they get in the house. It will not only keep your house clean, but also reduce the number of allergens that your dog brings in from your backyard.
Teeth, Ears and Nails
This breed needs their nails trimmed often to keep their feet in good condition. Because Fox Terriers don’t like to hold still, it’s better to do nail clipping sessions one foot at a time. Get a Kong Toy and fill it with Kong filler to keep them busy while you trim their nails. Alternatively, you can give them a special bone like a cow femur. Since these dogs love to jump on people and are very energetic, it’s recommended that you trim their nails a little more frequently than with most breeds, so they don’t hurt you or ruin your clothes. Their teeth need to be brushed twice a week to prevent tartar build up and dental problems from developing later on in their life.
Wire Fox Terrier Health Issues and Care
(Skip this section) The Fox Terrier is most generally a sturdy breed and doesn’t usually have any health issues, but there are some things to be aware of. Even though not all of the dogs in this breed are susceptible to diseases, it is important to know what to look for. You will also need to get clearance from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) that their eyes are healthy. Many of these health issues don’t appear until the dog is 2-3 years old. So make sure whoever you are buying from doesn’t breed their dogs until after they get health clearances, as the Fox Terrier does not get health clearances until they are older than 2. Even though they can live anywhere from 10-15 years, they may be prone to cataracts or hip problems. To avoid problems like hip dysplasia, make sure not to overfeed your Fox Terrier and keep them at a healthy weight. Older dogs of this breed can become overweight, and the extra weight puts an additional strain on their body which can cause hormonal problems, arthritis, and aggravate early symptoms of hip dysplasia. Here are the tests Wire Hair Fox Terrier breeders should perform :
- Hip evaluation
- Patella evaluation
- Ophthalmologist evaluation
Wire Hair Fox Terrier Health Problems
|Patellar Luxation||Intermittent lameness Loss of range of motion in one or both hind legs Abnormal function of one or both hind legs Temporary paralysis of the knee joint Pain when moving Difficulty rising Reluctance to run or jump Swelling at or around the knee joint Weakness||Surgery Leg brace/bandage Cage rest Medication||Patellar Luxation is caused by trauma to the kneecap. Small and toy dog breeds are often genetically predisposed. Purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder.|
|Congenital Deafness||Aggressiveness when playing with other puppies Ignoring noisy toys No response to loud noises Abnormal amount of sleeping Jumping or snapping when woken or touched when not looking Lack of activity Ignoring commands Unusual vocalizing Confusion and disorientation *Symptoms may not always be easy to recognize||None Affected dogs can be trained with a vibrating collar or hand signals if deafness is severe||Genetic Disorder: Select your puppy from a reputable breeder with health records for their dogs. BAER testing is a definitive way to determine if a dog has (and may pass on) congenital deafness. Additionally, medications, toxins, or other environmental factors exposed to the mother during pregnancy can lead to deafness.|
|Legg-Perthes Disease||In the hind leg dogs may experience : inflammation stiffness pain inability to move or walk Muscle atrophy||Medication Surgery Physical Therapy||Affected dogs should not be bred. Choose your dog from a reputable breeder.|
|Primary Lens Luxation||Acute or chronically painful reddened eye with diffuse corneal swelling Lens trembling (phacodonesis) Abnormally shallow or deep anterior (front) chamber Abnormally positioned clear part of the lens Aphakic crescent — an area of pupil devoid of the lens||Sometimes Treatable with Medication, surgery or removal of eye/s||Inherited|
|Hip Dysplasia||Decreased activity Decreased range of motion Lameness in the hind end Looseness in the joint Narrow stance||Weight Loss Lifestyle Modification Joint Injections Specialized Physical Therapy||Exercise Maintaining a proper weight|
|Cataracts||A bluish, gray, or white layer in the eye.A sudden reluctance to climb stairs or jump on furniture. Clumsiness. Eye irritation/redness, discharge or blinking. Rubbing or scratching of the eyes.||Surgery (often not necessary)||Diabetes is the main cause of cataracts in dogs, so maintain a healthy weight and well-exercised lifestyle for your dog|
(Skip this section) The high-strung, mischievous Wire Hair Fox Terriers are extremely energetic and need to be vigorously exercised at least 30-45 minutes per day or else they will be prone to frequent barking or destruction. Since this breed is very rare, it can be difficult to track down a reputable breeder, especially one with a litter ready to go. Wire Hair Fox Terriers will chase any small animals that move as they are avid hunters by instinct. They will even pick fights from time to time. Training can be difficult because of their cleverness. Even so, their rough, wiry coat hardly sheds which can be very convenient. If you suffer from dog allergies, they’re likely to be a good choice for you because they are very hypoallergenic if they are kept clean, healthy, and their coat is well maintained. However, if you have a sense of humor, patience and no other pets or small children, they will likely thoroughly amuse you and will guard you and your home with a fierce tenacity!
Wire Hair Fox Terrier FAQ
Do Wire Hair Fox Terriers Shed?
Rarely. A properly maintained Wire Fox Terrier’s coat sheds very little. You can maintain their coat with regular brushing, and hand stripping their coat every 6 to 12 weeks. Hand stripping is preferable to using clippers to groom a terrier’s coat.
Are Wire Hair Fox Terriers aggressive?
Yes. Only to other pets, including dogs, unless they have been extensively trained to get along with them. Can be aggressive towards strangers, unless they are used to them.
Are Wire Hair Fox Terriers friendly?
Yes. Friendly towards family and friends, but not recommended for kids under 6-7 years because of their excitability and intolerance for clumsiness.
Does the Wire Hair Fox Terrier like to dig?
Yes. They love to dig and are known to dig under fences.
Are Wire Hair Fox Terriers good with cats?
No. They do not like other pets but can be extensively trained to get along with them.
Where do Wire Hair Fox Terriers come from?
They were originally developed in England but are believed to descend from the extinct, working Terriers of Wales, Derbyshire, and Durham.
Are Wire Hair Fox Terriers hyper?
Yes. They have high energy, love to play, enjoy investigating and love to chase squirrels and other small animals, including other family pets.
Are Wire Hair Fox Terriers good with babies?
No. They love their family but are too excitable for children under 6-7 years.
Are Wire Hair Fox Terriers good with kids?
Yes. As long as they are older than 6-7 years.
Do Wire Hair Fox Terriers like water?
It depends. Some love to swim, but it varies from dog to dog.
Can Wire Hair Fox Terriers be left alone?
No. They can get into a lot of mischief if left alone as they are so hyper and high-strung. It’s a good idea to crate train them from an early age so you’ll be able to trust them alone in the house.
Do Wire Hair Fox Terriers bark a lot?
Yes. They bark at anything that moves.
Wire Hair Fox Terrier Facts Summary
More Similar Breeds
|Breed||Wire Hair Fox Terrier|
|Other Names?||Fox Terrier, Foxie/Foxy, Wirehaired Terrier, Wire Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier|
|Height (inches and cm)||15½ inches (39.37 cm)|
|Weight (pounds and kg)||15-18 lbs (6.8 kg – 8.2kg)|
|Temperament||Affectionate, Intelligent, Active, Playful, Outgoing, Inquisitive|
|Colors||White with Black Markings White with Tan Markings White with Black & Tan Markings White with Slate Blue Markings|
|Coat – describe the coat||Dense and wiry coat like the matting of a coconut with either crinkly or wavy hair; the under coat is stiff, soft, short and fine.|
|How much grooming?||Regular brushing, needs to be hand stripped or trimmed.|
|How much shedding||Very little as long as they’re groomed often|
|Dander levels||Little if properly groomed|
|Saliva – Do they Drool or Lick much?||No. They don’t have a tendency or drooling or licking much|
|Energy levels||High. Always ready for action or playtime.|
|How much exercise do they need?||A lot of vigorous daily exercise. Approximately 30-45 minutes daily at least.|
|Health problems||Congenital Deafness, Cataracts, Legg-Perthes Disease, Lens Luxation, Canine Hip Dysplasia|
|Good for apartment?||Yes. As long as they are exercised regularly. Can be hard to house-train however.|
|Suitable for kids?||Suitable for children older than 6 or 7 due to their energy levels|
|How much do they bark?||A lot. Especially if they’re bored or haven’t had enough playtime/exercise|
|Can they be left alone?||Yes, but not for long as they can get into mischief if bored|
|Intelligent?||Highly intelligent and Inquisitive|
|Trainable?||Yes, but very hard to train because they’re so smart. A lot of patience and persistence will be needed.|
|How popular as a pet?||Not very. Rated 100th in breed popularity by the AKC.|
|Any other important facts?||A sense of humor is needed as this breed can get into a lot of trouble if left to their own devices.|
More Similar Breeds
|Brussels Griffon||Airedale Terrier||Norwich Terrier||Norfolk Terrier|