Wire Fox Terriers are quirky and lovable — and those who have the privilege of owning them (or, rather, being owned by them!) will likely recognize at least one of these breed traits. Having had four Wires in my life, I can certainly attest to these!

1. Wires have an air of elegance.

The Wire Fox Terrier, known as the “gentlemen’s terrier,” is one of the most elegant breeds, “with his white body, evening jacket coat of black or tan, smart tail gaily wagging his pride, head up, ears alert and dark eyes darting everywhere and seeing everything.”

wire fox terrier

Photo: State Farm via Flickr

2. They were bred to have a job.

The breed was developed in England for hunting and recognized in the 1500s. The “Wire” was small enough to go into a hole in the ground burrowed by a fox, badger, or ferret, snatch them in his teeth, and back out with the animal in tow. He was an asset to both hunters and farmers.

wire fix terrier with muddy paws

Photo: AHLN via Flickr

3. They have hearts of gold and bravery to match.

They are a tough little dog with a big dog mentality and heart. They have been known to take on much larger adversaries.

happy wire fox terrier

Photo: Beatrice Murch via Flickr

4. These pups are whip-smart.

Wires are a strong willed, intelligent breed. “It’s their world and you’re just living in it.” Participation in training classes with your puppy is highly recommended. These classes will help socialize your Wire and teach you how to effectively communicate with him/her. In the end, they do really enjoy pleasing you, most of the time!

wire fox terrier laying down

Photo: AHLN via Flickr

5. Their eyes are truly expressive.

Wire Fox Terriers often express an intense determination with their dark fiery eyes, commonly referred to as a “hard bitten” stare. But during play you will see fun and roguishness in those eyes. And if you’re having a sad moment, you’ll find a soft and gentle kindness there. They are so responsive!

wire fox terrier eyes gaze

Photo: AHLN via Flickr

6. They’re the opposite of lazy.

The Wire Fox Terrier is not a “couch potato.” According to the breed standard, they should be “alert, quick of movement, keen of expression, on the tip toe of expectation at the slightest provocation.” These traits can be very fun, and at times quite challenging!

happy wire fox terrier

Photo: AHLN via Flickr

7. They can be endearingly (and overly) curious.

Wires are intense dogs who often have unique obsessions (which I have always found fascinating). My first Wire, Scruffy, loved to watch our goldfish. At random times, he would remember them, run to my bedroom, and stand on his hind legs to watch them swim in their bowl.

Another of my Wires, Josh, took particular notice of the doorbell in my home. He was very perceptive about bells — even bells on TV. Every time he heard a bell, Josh would bark and defend against intruders. Watching game shows with Josh was impossible because of all the bells and buzzers!

Zoe, my third Wire, was fascinated with balls. Whenever she lost one in the yard, she would resume an intense search at the first opportunity the following day!

And Teddy, my current beloved Wire companion, is fascinated with things that fly: butterflies, birds and planes. He loves to chase butterflies, and will watch and follow the flight of a bird or plane across the sky. He is also the ambassador of our neighborhood. He makes it his business to greet all humans and other dogs on every walk!

curious wire haired fox terrier

Photo: AHLN via Flickr

8. If you’re happy, they’re happy.

Wires have a great sense of humor. When they do something that amuses you, it energizes them. And they take it to the next level — they have an infectious zest for life! They have never failed to elevate me, even on my lowest days.

wire fox terrier on a walk

Photo: AHLN via Flickr

9. They don’t mind being the class clown.

Wires enjoy games and love to participate in family fun. When they hear laughter, you can always count on them to join in the festivities!

wire fox terrier in bathtub

Photo: AHLN via Flickr

10. They require a lot — but give a lot in return.

In my experience, there are three basic requirements for those who share their lives with a Wire. Those who love Wires often have:

  1. The patience to allow the Wire to pursue his own interests at times;
  2. A sense of humor to enjoy the whimsical nature of the breed; and
  3. The energy to provide opportunities for play and exercise.

With the right upbringing, the Wire Fox Terrier can be a very loyal and loving dog. But a warning: once you have a Wire Fox Terrier in your family, you may never choose another breed again!

wire fox terrier thinking

Photo: Beatrice Murch via Flickr

Header image: AHLN via Flickr

Toni Goins-Crank, a retired orthodontist, has loved Wire Fox Terriers since discovering the breed during adolescence. She now resides in East Tennessee with her husband, Tom, and her fourth Wire, Teddy.