Probably the most famous Fox Terrier in literature was Jerome K Jerome's Montmorency, a leading character in his novel "Three Men In A Boat (to say nothing of the dog)".
Anybody who's ever shared a home with one of these lively, mischievous, brave little terriers will be all too familiar with the truth of Jerome's classic observation of the Fox Terrier nature - an observation, incidentally, made more than a hundred and twenty years ago.
The Wire's ancestry is not certain, but it probably originated from a cross of the working Black And Tan Terrier of Wales and a variety of other terriers. It was later crossed with a Smooth Fox Terrier to give it a lighter coat, making it easier to tell dog and fox apart during a hunt. The Smooth Fox Terrier likely traces its origin from a combination of the smooth-coated Black And Tan Terrier, the Bull Terrier, the Beagle and the Greyhound.
Today, the Wire Haired Fox Terrier looks very different from its ancestors in the 19th and early 20th centuries; unfortunately, photographs taken earlier than the 1920's are a bit hard to come by - so usethis linkto see a photograph of the All England Wire Eleven of 1897, and compare it with the International Champion shown on our Home Page. You'll need a good eye to see they are the same breed of dog, but they are.
So what should the Wire Fox Terrier look like?
Well, there is a breed standard.
The Wire is a small and a busy terrier. They have a short back and a narrow head; dogs should stand a maximum of 15.5 inches at the withers; bitches slightly smaller. The coat should be dense and wiry, with a shorter, softer undercoat. Maximum weight should be around 9 - 10 kilos for the dog, and 9 kilos for the bitch.
Eyes should be small, round, dark and deep set; ears should be vee-shaped and drop forward. The jaw should be strong and muscular with a scissor bite. Neck should be muscular and a good length, chest deep but not too broad, shoulders long and sloping. The top-line should be level, with a short and straight back.
The front legs should be straight when viewed from either angle, and the back legs should be strong and muscular. Tails used to be customarily docked by 30%, but this is now illegal in the United Kingdom. Colour is predominately white with black markings, and black and tan.
The Wire is an intelligent dog, but can be remarkably stubborn and wilful. Training should begin while the dog is a puppy, but good results can be unpredictable. In a house with other dogs, they like to be in charge - so socializing them as puppies is essential.
They are friendly, protective and affectionate dogs with lots of personality, a boisterous nature and a willingness to take part in anything going on around them. They love dens, and often find comfortable hiding places in the unlikeliest part of the house. Outside in the garden, they fall roughly into three types: diggers, squeezers and jumpers. Wires can be determined escapees, so if you want peace of mind a secure garden is a necessity.
New You Tube video of some of our puppies from the past HERE