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Fox Terrier (wirehaired)

Country/Date of Origin: England/1700s

There are two varieties of Fox Terrier: smooth and the wire haired. Until recently the two coats were shown as varieties of a single breed. The Smooth Fox Terrier predates the Wire Haired variety by about 20 years. The old Black and Tan Wire Haired Terrier was liberally crossed with Smooth Fox Terriers. This was done to get the predominately white color that hunters wanted to protect their dogs from savaging by hounds, which often got dark colored terriers confused with fox or other vermin. The Fox Terrier became one of the most recognized dogs in the world because the British took it with them wherever they went. Smooths were shown at the very first organized dogs shows. In fact, some of those early shows were for Fox Terriers only. The breed in both varieties were founding stock when the American Kennel Club was formed.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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AKC Group: Terrier

Breed Club: American Fox Terrier Club

Rescue Club: Fox Terrier Rescue

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Body Type:

  • A sturdy terrier that is a dog of sharp angles. Brims with vigor and vitality as evidenced in its quick and constant movement
  • Height: up to 15 1/2 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 16-18 pounds
  • Button ears are not altered
  • Erect tail is docked


  • The arch typical terrier. Always on the go. Extremely energetic
  • The quarrelsome nature of the Fox Terrier does not make it suitable for families with other pets
  • Intelligent but often difficult to train because it has self-appointed jobs to do that may conflict with your agenda. His own schedule will invariably take precedence


  • Coat is smooth and lies close to the body. It should be dense and abundant
  • There must be no visible bare spots anywhere on the body
  • White must be the predominate color so the terrier can be seen and distinguished during the hunt from a fox or badger. Markings are black, tan, or ginger. Color patterns on the Wire Haired Fox Terrier are often different from those occurring on the Smooth Fox Terrier

Health Concerns:

  • Usually healthy
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Glaucoma and lens luxation of the eye
  • Deafness
  • The shoulder joint is subject to dislocation
  • Can develop skin allergies
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • A veritable barking machine
  • Very fond of children and will not be left out of their play
  • Fox Terriers have won Best In Show at the Westminster Dog Show more times than any other breed

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