The Wire-Haired Fox Terrier is identical with his smooth-coated brother, with the single exception of the character of his coat, which should be harder, more wiry, and broken. This coat should not be so long as to make his owner look shaggy, while a coat that is soft and woolly or one that has a suggestion of silky hair about the head or elsewhere cannot be tolerated. The wiry, crisp, and heavy coat is the only distinguishing trait of the breed, so too much importance cannot be attached to its character. It is not unusual to get both smooth and wire-coated specimens out of one litter. For a number of years the Smooth Coats had all the call, but of late the Wires have been coming to the fore rapidly, although their preparation for the ring-that is, the trimming of their coats-is an annoying proposition to many breeders. Practically all Wire-Haired Fox Terriers require trimming, and the line between legitimate trimming and faking-and consequent disqualification-is very faint. Under the Kennel Club Rules the free use of the brush and comb are admissible. It is also legitimate to remove dead coat or soft, superfluous hair or long, odd hair from the head, ears, limbs, and body. This is done with the thumb and forefinger and a special comb made for that purpose. The use of clippers, however, to even up a coat or the application of rosin, alum, or similar agents to stiffen and harden the coat will, if detected, lead to disbarment. It is a common practice, when a dog is not to be exhibited for some time, to clip him all over, as this has a tendency to strengthen and improve the coat. No objection can be raised to this practice.
This variety of the breed should resemble the smooth sort in every respect except the coat, which should be broken. The harder and more wiry of texture the coat is the better. On no account should the dog look or feel woolly, and there should be no silky hair about the poll or elsewhere. The coat should not be too long, so as to give the dog a shaggy appearance, but at the same time it should show a marked and distinct difference all over from the smooth species.