Small Wirehaired Dog Breeds

There's nothing like waking up to a wiry face in the morning.
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Wirehaired dogs have harsh, dense coats that feel -- you guessed it -- wiry to the touch. There aren't many small, wirehaired breeds, but several fit the bill. Some mixed breed dogs may also have wiry hair, and are often found in rescue centers, looking for new homes.


The name affenpinscher translates from German as "monkey terrier." Whether it's due to their primate-like faces or their cheeky temperaments is anyone's guess. American Kennel Club breed standards state their coats should have a wiry texture. Measuring between 9 and 11 1/2 inches at the shoulder, they certainly fit the small criteria. Despite their diminutive size, they're energetic dogs who need plenty of exercise, including both indoor and outdoor play.

Scottish Terriers

Also known as Scottie dogs or Aberdeen terriers, Scottish terriers have a wiry coat with a soft undercoat. They can either be black, brindle or wheaten in color, and may have some white on their chests. At just 10 to 11 inches in height and weighing 19 to 23 pounds, they're a compact breed who can adjust well to apartment life. Although they're happy to use up some of their energy playing indoors, they also need daily walks to keep them happy and healthy.

Wire Fox Terrier

Wire fox terriers originate from the UK, where the breed was developed during the 17th century. Although once considered a variation of the smooth fox terrier, they've been recognized by the AKC as a separate breed since 1984. They're characterized by their wirehaired coats, which shed only minimally. They measure no more than 15 1/2 inches at the shoulder and their weight shouldn't exceed 18 pounds. Although they're mostly kept as family pets, they still maintain the energy and prey drive of a working dog.


Dachshunds come in long-haired, short-haired and wirehaired varieties, so don't get confused if you're set on getting a wiry-coated dog. They also come in standard and miniature sizes, although both are relatively small. Standard dachshunds measure up to 11 inches tall and weigh a little over 11 pounds, on average. Miniature dachshunds measure up to 7 inches at the shoulder and weigh less than 11 pounds. Some kennel clubs also recognize toy dachshunds as a separate breed, but the AKC doesn't accept this variation.

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