The Wire Fox Terrier is a sturdy, balanced dog weighing 7.7 to 8.6 kg (17 to 19 lb) for males and 6.8 to 7.7 kg (15 to 17 lb) for females. It should not be more than 39 cm (15 1⁄2 in) at the withers. 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 dog should be alert, quick and ready to respond swiftly with enthusiasm. However, they should also be friendly, communicative, and playful if they receive the proper care and exercise. Bred to be independent thinkers, they are capable of tactical maneuvering for vermin and other sport.
Often, wire fox terriers are abandoned or surrendered for reasons that may include: running away instead of coming on a command; chasing cars, bicycles, other dogs, etc.; or taunting and then attacking other animals, including a household's cats and other dogs –and they are able to do serious damage. But these are actually normal behaviors for a breed designed to hunt not only foxes, but also badgers and boars, with no more fear of cows or buses than they have of small prey. Keeping one as a pet requires firm control to redirect these prey instincts and provide the dog with enough exercise and diversion. With diligent supervision, wire fox terriers can be amusing, exciting, long-lived companion animals.