Choosing a Breeder and Rescuing


Photo credit: Debbie Wong /

So if you’ve read through the articles on this site, and after long thought decided that a wire fox terrier is in your future – congratulations! They are excellent pets – no – friends, and family members. How exciting! I remember when we made this decision ourselves. Then, having decided that we wanted a puppy, we were on the hunt for the right breeder. This was a lot harder than I thought!

My first thought was to just google “wire fox terrier puppies” or “wire fox terrier breeders”. Unfortunately, while you can find some reputable breeders that way, you can also find some that are less-than reputable. What does that mean exactly, and how do you find a breeder that is indeed reputable? Do they need to be “show worthy” or have “papers”? That’s what we’re going to talk about.

Basically, when we talk about a “reputable breeder”, we are talking first and foremost about a breeder who puts the interest and well being of the dogs ahead of just making money. Their dogs are loved, well cared for, and they genuinely care about the future of the dogs they are raising and selling to others. They may or may not come from championship show lines, and may or may not have papers – or be registrable with an organization like the AKC. The latter points only really matter if they matter to you. Breeders can be reputable, even if they are not involved in showing dogs.

When we talk about a breeder that is not reputable, we’re talking about someone who is mostly interested in the money, doesn’t take good care of their dogs, and will just sell a dog to the first person that shows them some cash. Often times these are what we call puppy mills – which are a terrible thing. You don’t want to support that kind of breeding, so read on to see how to avoid buying from a puppy mill, with tips from the The Humane Society:

A Reputable Breeder…

  • Lets you visit the areas where their dogs live and raise their puppies, and those areas are safe and clean
  • Has dogs that appear to be in good health and are friendly
  • Does not have too many dogs, and keeps the dogs they do have in a clean environment, not confined to cages
  • Gives adequate space and room for the kinds of dogs they breed (large areas for big dogs, small dogs may live inside with the owners)
  • Breeds only one or two kinds of dogs, and knows specific details about their chosen breed
  • Doesn’t constantly have a supply of puppies (a sign of over-breeding or having too many breeding pairs)
  • Has a good relationship with a local vet that you can talk to yourself
  • Understands the typical health problems of the breed and has documented health histories of the puppy’s family tree
  • Offers tips and guidance on raising your puppy
  • Will give you references from previous owners of their puppies
  • Is affiliated with local and/or national clubs for their specific breed
  • Sells puppies only after meeting or talking in depth with the interested family, and does not sell to pet stores
  • Invites your whole family to come and visit the puppies repeatedly
  • Gives you a written guarantee of health (usually for a period of time after purchase)
  • Allows you to return the dog to them if you are unable to care for it (usually without a refund)

And a Reputable Breeder Will Also Ask You…

  • To explain why you are interested in one of their puppies
  • Who will be caring for the dog, how much time he will spend alone, what kind of environment he will live in, etc, to make sure you are a proper fit for the breed
  • To sign a contract that you will spay or neuter the dog unless agreed upon otherwise

These are all just guidelines of course – no two breeders will be exactly the same or have the same rules and regulations. But you should hopefully be able to see some of the basic signs of a good breeder so that you can also identify those that may seem suspect. A story from our history – before we knew about the points listed above, we were very close to buying from a breeder that we now believe to be a puppy mill. We even met someone who had purchased two of their dogs, and gave the breeder rave reviews. What eventually caught our attention was that they bred several varieties of terriers, and always seemed to have puppies coming for each breed. Doing the math – that was a LOT of dogs they had to have. A further search found that this breeder had violations from the county for unsafe conditions for the animals. I won’t name them here, but they are very easy to find online if you are looking for a terrier puppy. Please beware.

As sad as it sounds, and as much as you want to buy and “rescue” those puppies from those situations, the awful truth is that you are only furthering the problem by financially supporting the breeder.

We have also compiled a list of Wire Fox Terrier breeders on our site. While each of them have given us some basic information to suggest that they may be reputable, we encourage you to do your own due diligence, and research the ones you are interested in, using the points in this article. If there is a breeder we should contact to potentially be listed on this site, please contact us.

Rescuing a Wire Fox Terrier

For those who don’t have their heart set on a wire fox terrier puppy, and may be open to rescuing a dog, there are luckily great options out there. You can of course always go to your local animal shelter. But if you are specifically looking for a wire fox terrier to rescue, there are organizations that specialize in just that. Most are run as non-profits, operated by volunteers and donations from others. They are really doing wonderful work, so please look them up. Below is a list of fox terrier rescue organizations. If I am missing one, please contact us!

Wire Fox Terrier Rescue Midwest

American Fox Terrier Rescue

Fox Terrier Rescue Northeast

Abandoned Terrier Rescue Association

American Fox Terrier Rescue, Inc. – Texas

Oklahoma Fox Terrier Rescue

American Fox Terrier Club

Fox Terrier Rescue of Colorado

Rose City Fox Terrier Rescue

Best of luck in deciding where to get your wire fox terrier! If you have any other questions or comments, please let us know in the comment section below. If you currently have or have had wire fox terriers, let us know which breeders you recommend!

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