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Wire Fox Terrier

A Wire Fox Terrier (Ginger)
Other names Wire Hair Fox Terrier
Wirehaired Terrier
Fox Terrier
Nicknames Foxie
Country of origin England
Traits

The Wire Fox Terrier is a breed of dog, one of many terrier breeds. It is an instantly recognizable fox terrier breed. Although it bears a resemblance to the Smooth Fox Terrier, they are believed to have been developed separately.

Contents

Appearance

A hand stripped British wire haired fox terrier

The wire fox terrier is a sturdy, balanced dog weighing between 7 and 9.5 kg (15 and 21 lb). Its rough, broken coat is distinctive. Coat color consists of a predominant white base with brown markings of the face and ears, and usually a black saddle or large splotch of color; there may be other black or brown markings on the body. The wire in the photo at left sports the traditional white, black and buff tri-color coat. The wire in the upper right hand photo appears to be a ginger, a wire without black markings.

Temperament

Two of the Wire Fox Terriers' most distinctive traits are their enormous amount of energy and intelligence. They have a low threshold for boredom and require stimulation, exercise and attention. The Wire Fox Terrier should be alert, quick, and ready to respond accordingly while being keen of expression and friendly and forthcoming. They can be very loving and exceedingly playful if they receive the proper care. They are bred to be independent thinkers, capable of tactical maneuvering for vermin and other sport. Their high level of intelligence makes them a dog that is not suited for everyone. Wire Hair Fox Terriers are hand stripped; if the hair becomes too long, their hair should be taken out by hand.

History

The wire fox terrier was developed in England by fox hunting enthusiasts and is believed descended from a now-extinct rough-coated, black-and-tan working terrier of Wales, Derbyshire, and Durham. The breed was also believed to have been bred to chase foxes into their burrows underground, and their short, strong, usually docked, tails were used as handles by the hunter to pull them back out.

Wire-hair Fox Terrier circa 1915

Although it is said Queen Victoria owned one, and her son and heir, King Edward VII of Great Britain did own the wire fox terrier, Caesar, the wire fox terrier was not popular as a family pet until the 1930s, when The Thin Man series of feature films was created. Asta, the canine member of the Charles family, was a Wire-Haired Fox Terrier, and the popularity of the breed soared. Milou (Snowy) from The Adventures of Tintin comic strip is also a Wire Fox Terrier.

In the late 20th century, the popularity of the breed declined again, most likely due to changing living conditions in the Western world and the difficulty of keeping hunting terriers in cities due to their strong prey instincts.

The wire fox terrier has the distinction of having received more Best in Show titles at major conformation shows than any other breed.[citation needed] Wire fox terriers kept as pets show the loyalty, intelligence, independence, playfulness and breeding befitting such a storied breed.

Ch. Matford Vic, a Wire Fox Terrier, is one of only five dogs to have won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on more than one occasion. He won the competition twice, in 1915 and 1916. The only dog to win it on more occasions was Ch. Warren Remedy, a Smooth Fox Terrier, who won it on three occasions between 1907 and 1909.[1]

Noteworthy Wire Fox Terriers

  • Archie, owned by Gill Raddings Stunt Dogs starred in ITV's Catwalk Dogs.
  • Asta, from The Thin Man films adaptation (the novel's breed was a Schnauzer)
  • Bob, from the Hercule Poirot episode Dumb Witness
  • Bunny, from Hudson Hawk
  • Caesar, the companion of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom
  • Charles, brought to Ceylon by Leonard Woolf in 1905
  • Chester, in the film Jack Frost
  • Dášeňka, the dog of Czechoslovak writer and journalist Karel Čapek - also featured as main hero of "Dášeňka čili život štěněte" book.
  • George, from Bringing Up Baby
  • Ike Larue, from the Ike Larue series, written and illustrated by Mark Teague
  • Moll, from the book "Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man"
  • Mr. Smith, from The Awful Truth
  • Nellie, inspiration for Nellie the Lighthouse Dog (Nellie was formerly known as Hockney) by Jane Scarpino; Nellie's owner, Robert Ensor, illustrated
  • Pan, the companion of A.L. Westgard, AAA pathfinder. Pan was the mascot of the dedication tour for the National Park to Park Highway in 1920.
  • Polly, a white rough terrier companion to Charles Darwin
  • Scruffy, the Muirs' Wire Fox Terrier on The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
  • Skippy, from Topper Takes a Trip
  • Snowy (French: Milou), companion of Tintin
  • "The dog," from the Selchow and Righter board game "Mr. Doodle's Dog"
  • Wessex, the wire of British novelist ("Tess of the d'Ubervilles")Thomas Hardy
  • Willy, from Ask the Dust
  • Wuffles, the Patrician's dog in the Discworld Series

Asta, George, Mr. Smith and Skippy were all played by the canine actor, Skippy.

See also

  • Fox Terrier, for additional details on history, genetics, coat color, and so on.

External links

References

  1. ^ "Best in Show Winners". The Westminster Kennel Club. http://www.westminsterkennelclub.org/history/biswinners.html. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
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