Small Wirehaired Dog Breeds

By Jane Meggitt

If you're in the market for a small, wire-haired dog, you have quite a few breeds from which to choose. The majority of these choices are either members of the American Kennel Club's terrier group or were developed as hunting dogs. That means your little wire-haired friend is likely to be quite game.

The Border Terrier

The AKC describes the border terrier as "affectionate, happy and plucky." Although the breed standard doesn't specify a height requirement, adult male border terriers weigh between 13 to 15.5 pounds, with females slightly smaller at 11.5 to 14 pounds. He's an active dog, a true small working terrier. Acceptable colors include:

  • Red.
  • Wheaten.
  • Blue and tan.
  • Grizzle and tan.

Grizzle and tan consists consists of dark coloring on the body, head and leg tops, with lighter coloring on the abdomen, lower legs and eye area.

The Miniature Schnauzer

At maturity, the miniature schnauzer stands between 12 and 14 inches tall at the shoulder. He's a smart, alert, sturdy dog. Bring a miniature schnauzer into your life and you'll have a small canine shadow following you around the house. Permissible colors include:

  • Black.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Black and silver.

If you show your miniature schnauzer, his hair must be plucked. It's a time-consuming process best left to a professional.

Wirehaired and Miniature Dachshunds

If your prefer your small dogs long and low, consider either a standard or miniature wirehaired dachshund. The standard dachshund weighs between 16 and 32 pound when full grown, while the adult miniature dachshund weighs between 8 and 11 pounds. Wiener dogs, as they're affectionately known, are fine companions but also fierce hunters. The breed standard reads that: "Scars from honorable wounds shall not be considered a fault." Common wirehaired dachshund colors include:

  • Red.
  • Black and tan.
  • Wild boar, a grizzled effect.

Norfolk and Norwich Terriers

The Norfolk and Norwich terriers are basically the same breed, with the difference in the way the ears are set -- dropped for the former, pricked for the latter. They are little guys, not taller than 10 inches at the shoulder when full grown. Their weight shouldn't top 12 pounds, with the Norwich slightly smaller than his cousin. Their wire-haired coats are described as "almost weatherproof." Colors include:

  • Red.
  • Wheaten.
  • Grizzle.
  • Black and tan.