Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
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A good-natured hybrid, the Wire-Poo is also known as the Foxypoo and the Wire Doodle. A mix of the tenacious Wire Fox Terrier and the versatile Poodle, this cross-breed makes for an adaptable and fun family pet. These dogs enjoy being around people and are quick as a whip. Most are affectionate though their boundless energy can sometimes be hard to contain.

The first thing you are likely to notice about Wire-Poos is their wavy fur, which comes in a range of colours. Their round, brown eyes are almost ‘teddy-bear like’ and give them a kind and placid appearance. Small but wiry and well-muscled, this dog is usually a real athlete.

About & History

Wire-Poos are one of the many (many!) Poodle crosses that exist. As is true of a large number of other cross-breeds, we don’t know much about their history. We can assume they originated within the last few decades; their breeding likely a result of the increasing consumer demand for ‘designer dogs’.

The Poodle

Poodles are probably the most commonly used pedigree in the designer dog world. This is thought to be due to a combination of their hypoallergenic fur, trainable personalities and athleticism. Many wrongly assume they are French but this is, in fact, a German breed. They were traditionally used for duck hunting and were worked on both land and water.

Their dense and curly coats weren’t practical for the job and were often clipped short. These dogs come in three different sizes: Toy, Miniature and Standard. This fact is surely to have added to their popularity over the years, with owners appreciating the options available to them.

The Wire Fox Terrier

The Wire Fox Terrier is the closest relative of the Smooth Fox Terrier and was developed earlier. They are both the result of crossing a number of pedigrees, including the Bull Terrier and the Beagle. They would have hunted alongside Foxhounds.

They were especially used for locating foxes and barking loudly to allow the rest of the dogs in the pack to know where they were. The strong prey drive of the Wire Fox Terrier remains to this day and this can pose an issue to owners when this dog is off lead.


Wire-Poos are small dogs that rarely exceed 32cm in height. They weigh between 9kg and 18kg and have solid, well-muscled bodies. As with other cross-breeds, the Wire-Poo may take more after either parent when it comes to their appearance. On the whole, these dogs have long, rectangular muzzles covered in lovely, curly beards. They have round, brown eyes that are small but piercing.

Their skull is flat and their ears sit well-spaced apart on their head. The ears flop down and forwards, lending them a curious expression. Though the curly coat of the Wire-Poo ‘camouflages’ their frame to some degree, there is no denying that they have muscles of steel under all that fur. Sturdy and strong, these hybrids suit the phrase ‘small but mighty’.

Character & Temperament

A sociable livewire, the Wire-Poo is always full of beans and eager to be in on the action. They are happiest when around their people and can be especially affectionate in the evenings once most of their energy has been burned off. Some individuals can be clingy and this won’t suit every owner.

While Wire-Poos do well with other dogs thanks to their ‘pack dog’ history, care is advised around other animals, such as rabbits and cats. Their strong prey drive can prove difficult for them to ignore and they will regularly chase smaller animals. As with other breeds, socialising from a very young age is key when it comes to mixing with other family pets successfully.

Always on high alert, the Wire-Poo makes an excellent watch dog and will bark loudly long before you have heard a guest arriving. They can be territorial of their home and it can be a challenge to get them to not bark at passers-by and the mailman.


While not lacking in intelligence, training the Wire-Poo isn’t always a walk in the park as they can have a mind of their own. As long as we convince them that ‘playing ball’ with their training is worth it for them, they should be well able for even the most complex instructions and tasks.

We should work on recall training from a young age and consistently throughout their life. Using tasty treats as a reward generally goes down well. However, some may find the allure of a nearby squirrel simply too hard to resist.


Hardy dogs that typically enjoy good health, the Wire-Poo can suffer from a few health conditions. These include:

Orthopaedic Issues

Patella Luxation, Legg-Calvé Perthes Disease and Hip Dysplasia are all seen in the Wire-Poo. As many joint diseases can present in a similar manner (with signs such as limping, stiffness and muscle atrophy), we often need to x-ray a dog to get a definitive diagnosis.

Addison’s Disease

A hormonal disorder that can be tricky to diagnose, affected dogs typically have signs that come and go. Due to this, vets will refer to it as ‘the great pretender’. Lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea and a reduced appetite may all be seen. Blood tests can diagnose this condition and it is treated with ongoing medication.


Epilepsy tends to first develop between the ages of one and five. It is important to rule out other causes of fits (such as liver disease or a brain tumour). When epilepsy is confirmed, dogs will usually be managed with lifelong anti-seizure medicine.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Thanks to its hunting background, the Wire-Poo is not a dog to sit on its backside all day. It can take real effort to keep Wire-Poos entertained and to prevent boredom from setting in. Providing them with a variety of things to do is preferred as this clever pooch won’t appreciate being taken on the same one hour walk day in and day out.


A low maintenance coat that doesn’t shed, the Wire-Poo may be a good option for those owners with allergies. The curls should be brushed through weekly and facial fur does require frequent trimming. A professional grooming is generally needed every few months.

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