One of the most feisty, mischievous, energetic and buoyant dog breeds in existence, Fox Terriers are a delightful breed of dogs. Wire Fox terriers or Foxies as they are popularly known as are handsome, happy and stylish with a high spunk that makes them highly inquisitive with a “whoever may care” attitude. Wire Fox Terriers are one of the happiest breeds in the entire canine world, and that happiness and joy of life is reflected in their eyes. Wire Fox Terriers derive their name from their coat and their beard. Though blessed with a good temperament, their feisty nature may not make them excellent pets for first time owners or families with small children. Some of the famous celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Rudyard Kipling, Cary Grant, William Holden, Bette Davis, Van Gogh have been the proud owners of Wire Fox Terriers. The high spunk of a Wire Fox terrier is not only restricted to them being pets but also makes them excellent show dogs. Fox Terriers are known to have won the title of Best in Show 13 times, the highest number for any dog breed. If you are a proud owner of this happy breed or if you are planning to get a Wire Fox terrier as a family pet, you are making an exciting decision. We bring to you all the aspects that you will have to keep in mind before getting a Wire Terrier so that you are able to provide an environment that develops a healthy dog and a long lasting companionship.History
Wire Fox terriers have a rich ancestry behind them. When fox hunting became a popular sport in England, the hunters wanted a breed that could enter fox dens and charge the fox out of their hiding places, and so the Wire Fox terriers were bred. While the breeders were not able to keep a record of the breeds, Wire Fox terriers are considered to be a blend of black & tan Terrier, Dachshund, English Hound, Beagle and a Foxhound. The first Fox Terrier to be recognised by the American Kennel Club was in 1885 but it was only in 1985 that the Smooth and Wire Fox terriers were recognised as two separate dog breeds. A Wire Fox terrier gained popularity when it starred as Asta in the William Powel, Myrna Loy starrer The Thin Man series. Since then, a number of movies have had Wire Fox Terriers as their canine actors. Another popular portrayal of a Wire Fox terrier has been TinTin’s snowy.Unique Aspects
One of the most unique aspects of a Wire Fox Terrier is it’s tail. Unlike other dogs, the tail of a Wire Fox terrier does not wag but quivers. The tail of a Wire Fox terrier is straight and strong enough to pull them out of trouble. Another unique aspect of a Wire Fox terrier is the wired coat. Since the coat is wired, it does not shed much and has to be plucked while grooming. For first time pet parents to a wired Fox terrier, the help of a groomer will be required. The third unique aspect of a wire fox terrier is it’s high energy levels and inquisitiveness. A wire fox terrier is extremely alert and will react to the smallest of the noise making them excellent guard dogs. The fourth unique aspect of a Wire fox terrier is the long rectangular muzzle with a wiry beard on the chin.
This bearded and feisty breed rose to fame with Asta, a Wire Fox Terrier that made a debut in the Hollywood around the 40s and the 50s. This breed starred in movies like the ‘The Thin Man’, ‘Awful Truth’ and ‘Bringing a Baby’. Since then they have been features in various movies and are a faithful companions to some celebrity.
This energetic breed has featured in an episode of Hercule Poirot; this little breed has been the faithful companion of Tintin and has been on many adventures, he was named Snowy. In addition it featured in the Snoppy movie Moonrise Kingdom. Doger the mutt in the Oliver & Company was also a Wire Fox Terrier.
Celebrity Wire Fox Terrier owners
This Show ring winner is a pet to many Dog Show enthusiasts and still has not caught the fancy of the celebrity world. One of the reasons that a resident of the White House in the reign of Calvin Coolidge has not found many takers in the celebrity world is because of their maintenance. The list at the moment features Ellen Terry. Though in the yesteryear it included Queen Victoria and King Edward VII
The coat of a wire fox terrier is of medium length dense, wiry and resembles the matting of a coconut.Since the fur is so dense, it becomes difficult to part it with fingers to see the skin. For a Fox terrier regular baths are not needed but their fur needs to be plucked to give them a neat and clean look. For first time pet parents, the help of a groomer will be needed. Dental grooming is also a must for the Fox terriers. Regular brushing will ensure that there is no tartar or plaque buildup and the mouth of the dog remains clean and there are no chances of the onset of any periodontal problems. To avoid any injury to the feet especially during running or playing, it will be advised that the nails of the dog are regularly trimmed and kept short. Cleaning of ears using a ear wipes will also help avoid any ear infections or wax buildup. While grooming, check for any rashes or redness in the skin, especially between the paws and the ears. A good grooming regime begins from an early age. Introducing your dog to dental, grooming and bathing regimes will ensure that the puppy gets accustomed to the routine and is comfortable with it.
Wire fox terriers are in general a very healthy breed. However there may be some litter that may be affected by inherited health issues. Before getting a new puppy it will be advised that all medical history of the parents of the pup is referred to rule out any genetic or hereditary disorder that might inflict the pup.
Deafness - According to research Fox terriers are prone to deafness. Living and training a In case your dog is deaf or has become deaf overtime, do not breed them.
Cataracts - cataracts are formed in the retina of the eye and make it to difficult to see things clearly. When a dog has cataract, the dog will have a cloudy appearance in their eyes. Cataracts can be surgically removed to improve the vision of the dog. Hip
Dysplasia - Hip Dysplasia is a genetic disorder where the hip bone has a defect in connecting with the hip joint as a result of which the dog may experience pain or lameness in either of the rear legs. As the dog grows, he / she may also develop arthritis. Before getting a puppy, check the medical documents of the parents to rule out hip dysplasia.
Legg Perthes Disease - The Legg Perthes disease is defined as the deformity of the ball of hip joint and should not be confused with hip dysplasia. In case a dog is inflicted with legg perthes diseases, there will be wearing and the onset of arthritis. The problem can be surgically repaired and will be followed by rehabilitation therapy.
Lens luxation - Lens luxation is the problem when the lens of the eye is displaced due to a tear or deterioration in the eye ligament.
Wire Fox Terriers are a feisty breed of dogs and their fiery disposition is evident in their excitement about everything and in their small dark eyes. Bold and energetic, a wire Fox terrier will not think twice before picking up a fight with dogs their size or even dogs bigger than them, so it will be a good idea to socialize them right from their puppyhood. Wire fox terriers are extremely loyal to their families and hence have a very strong protective instinct about them. In case you have a small kid / another pet in the house, please do ensure that they are socialised right from the start and as much as possible, do not leave them alone with a Fox terrier. Owners who will not be able to spend adequate amount of time with their Wire Fox terrier should not consider this breed as a pet. The lack of exercise can lead to destructive behaviour such as chewing on furniture or digging in the yard. Like all dog breeds, early socialisation with children, other human beings and pets will ensure a well developed and gentle temperament. Fox terriers are a proud, self confident and intelligent breed of dogs who love to explore. In case you live in a house with a backyard / garden, you will have to make sure that the fence is high and that they are in a leash.Environment
Even though a Fox Terrier may be a small breed and that they may be suitable for apartment living, they require a lot of area to exercise and expend their high energy levels. Exercising for 30 - 40 minutes and a lot of off leash play will ensure that the pent up energy levels will settle down. Fox terriers do better when socialised at an early age and if kept on a leash especially when going to a park or for a walk, as they have a tendency to pick up fights with other dogs. Fox terriers are also not very comfortable with small children around them. So as a family pet Fox terriers will fit in better with a family where there are older children.Training & Intelligence
Considered one of the intelligent breeds, Wire Fox Terriers do well with a strict yet consistent training regime. First time owners of a Wire Fox Terrier may want to seek professional help from Canine behaviorists or Dog Trainers to ensure that a comprehensive training regime is designed for Fox terriers that keeps them engaged and also meets the characteristics of a working dog breed. Fox terriers respond extremely well to positive reinforcements and activities that allow it to think independently. For years Wire terriers have been trained for agility, obedience and other trainings that suit a show dog breed. As parents to a Wire Fox Terriers, be ready to spend a lot of time training and playing with your pooch. All forms of training for your Wire Fox terrier puppy should start at an early age. It will be imperative for new pet parents to start house training as soon as the puppy arrives so that there are fewer incidents inside the house.
Wire Fox Terriers are a healthy and sturdy breed and become mature by the age of 18 months. If you are going to mate and breed your Wire Fox terrier, make sure that you understand thoroughly the medical histories of his / her mating partner and also the medical history of the Fox Terriers’s parents so make sure that they are not suffering from any serious genetic disorder that may be deterrent to the overall growth of the new puppies. If you are a first time pet parent, seek medical advice to ensure that the mating and breeding process is comfortable for both the dogs.Puppies
An average litter size of a Fox terrier varies between 4 - 6 puppies with an average life expectancy of 13- 14 years. When the puppies are born, it will be imperative to vaccinate them and to train them from early on as they are extremely active and if not monitored may destroy furniture and other things that might catch their attention.
A Wire Fox terrier is a medium size dog with a dense wiry texture. The skull of a Fox terrier is flat moderately narrow at the eyes with a long rectangular muzzle. the teeth meet in a scissors bite. The eyes of a Fox terrier are dark and small in nature. The ears are v shaped and drop close to the cheeks. A wire fox terrier has a very athletic body and muscular straight legs that give the breed the necessary speed and reflexes. Fox terriers are probably the only dog breeds who sport a wiry beard. The tail of a Wire Fox Terrier is also the most unique one in the canine world. The short, straight and strong tail does not wag but rather it quivers. In general,Wire Fox terriers are white in colour with tan / black marking around the head.