Wirehaired dogs might look a bit shaggy, but their coarse texture serves a purpose. The fur is designed to protect the dog while he runs wildly after prey through thick brush and bramble. Most of these wiry, active dogs are terriers or hounds originally bred to spend time outside chasing away small rodents and keeping the barn rat-free.
If the uncombed, tousled look of a wirehaired dog isn't cute enough, check out the small ones. Small wirehaired dogs, such as miniature schnauzers, Jack Russells, wire fox terriers, and wirehaired dachshunds, are all charm in a compact package. Even better, shedding is minimal, and wirehaired dogs are easy to bathe.
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Schnauzer wirehaired dog
Schnauzers are popular and recognizable dogs thanks to their characteristic arched eyebrows, moustaches, and beards, giving them an "old man" look. How their muzzle is groomed significantly impacts their look. Because their wiry hair doesn't shed much, regular professional grooming is required, especially if you want to maintain the unmistakable schnauzer appearance. The schnauzer fur is often softer than other wirehaired breeds.
Granted, there are three sizes of schnauzers, each considered a separate breed, and only the miniature and standard are small enough to fall into the category of small wirehaired dogs. While the giant schnauzer is stately and imposing, it's the standard schnauzer who was actually bred to be a tenacious little terrier chasing rodents on farms. However, the miniature schnauzer makes for a feisty lap dog.
Jack Russell terrier with wiry hair
Speaking of feisty, the Jack Russell might be the smallest dog with a big dog personality. Like other terriers, Jack Russells can have either a smooth or wiry coat. It's the wirehaired Jack that's extra cute, particularly considering how perfectly her disheveled appearance matches her on-the-move personality.
Jack Russells, called a Russell terrier by breeders, are packed full of energy and are also occasionally rodent chasers or fox hunting companions. Standing no more than a foot tall, the wirehaired Jack Russell seems like she would make a compact apartment pet, but the incredible exercise requirements actually invite a home with more outdoor space.
Small wire fox terrier
Considering the name, it's not a surprise that the wire fox terrier is a small wirehaired dog. This compact, athletic breed was once the favorite canine to take along on British fox hunts. Their tight, close-to-the-skin curly coat makes this breed a low shedder who requires a moderate amount of grooming; once-a-week brushing should suffice.
Similar to the smooth fox terrier, wire fox terriers are playful and high energy and make good pets for active kids. Fox terriers get bored easily if they are not engaged and continually learning. Like most terriers, they have a high prey instinct, so they aren't good with cats or pet rodents. These small, wirehaired dogs are protective by nature and can be barkers.
Wirehaired dachshund dog
Everyone is familiar with the classic smooth-coated dachshund, affectionately called a wiener dog or doxy, but not everyone knows this easily identifiable small pup also comes in a wirehaired dog variety. The wirehaired dachshund has all the spunk of his smooth counterpart but has a thick, rough double coat that needs regular combing to stay shiny and healthy.
Cute and compact, both types of these small dogs were originally bred to hunt vermin and even badgers. Thanks to their short legs, chasing small animals into burrows is their specialty, and even today, their instinct to kill tiny creatures is strong. The dachshund is considered one dog breed by the American Kennel Club but comes in three coat types — smooth, long, and wirehaired — with wirehaired being the least common.