Home Dogs Dogs with Wiry Hair/Coat

Dogs with Wiry Hair/Coat

Wired dogs have rough and coarse coats. Their coats, also referred to as broken, are thick and spiky as compared to other coat types.

Small wire-haired breeds include the west highland white terrier, Affenpinscher, Jack Russell, cairn, Brussel Griffon and the miniature schnauzer while the Border Terrier, Irish wolfhound, Airedale terrier and German wirehaired pointer are some of the medium to large breeds with wiry coats

Small Wiry Hair Dogs       

West highland white terrier

This dog breed originated from Scotland. It was originally used for hunting otters, badgers and fox. They were also used for ratting. As the name suggests, they are white in color.

West Highland White Terrier

West highland white terriers have a deep chest. The males weigh about 15 to 22 pounds and measure 11 inches tall while the females are about 10 inches tall and weigh 13-16 pounds.

They are spunky and intelligent and friendly.


Affenpinscher originated from Germany and was originally used for hunting rats in households and shops. It is also known as monkey dog

Black Affenpinscher

This dog breed is friendly and a great companion to humans. However, it is not kid friendly because it does not like being held on the lap without the freedom to play around and also they do not like rough plays. Affenpinschers are mostly liked by ladies to provide companionship.

They weigh about 7-9 pounds and measure about 9.5 to 11.5 inches. They are affectionate dogs and very loyal to their families. Affenpinschers are very protective of his family. Their coats are shaggy, rough and coarse in texture. They exist in different colors such as gray, black and silver among others.

Jack Russell terrier

Jack Russell terrier originated southern England and was bred by Parson John Russell. The dog took after his last name. It was used for fox hunting. The dog was also used in sportsmen who hunted while on horsebacks.

Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell

The Jack Russells are of different sizes depending on their purposes and also the terrain that they were used on. Their height ranges from 10 inches-15 inches and they weigh about 13-17 pounds. These dogs are friendly, spirited, affectionate, strong-willed and very lively.

Their coats can either be smooth or broken with a coarse texture. They also have a double coat. These dogs come in colors such as white, white with tan marking or black, or a mixture of the three colors (white, black and tan).

Cairn Terrier

Cairn terrier was first developed in Isle of Skye, Scotland. They were originally used by famers to hunt for vermin. Cairn terrier dog breed is intelligent, feisty, friendly and independent.

Cairn Terrier
Cairn Terrier

 The males weigh about 14 pounds and are about 10 inches tall. For the females, they are about 9.5 inches tall and weigh 13 pounds. Cairn terriers have double coats with a soft under coat and wiry outer coat. They come in several colors such as gray, sand, black, brindle and red.

Brussels Griffon

Brussels griffon originated from Belgium and was used for hunting and ratting. This breed was developed from other breeds such as Affenpinscher, English toy spaniel and Pug.

Brussels Griffon dog
Brussels Griffon

Griffons are small dogs that weigh7 to 12 pounds and stand 7 to 8 inches tall. They are affectionate, lively and intelligent dogs. They are mostly used as house dogs.

Brussels griffons with rough coats have dense and wiry hairs. Their coats come in four colors: black, red, black and tan, and belge.

Miniature schnauzer

Miniature schnauzer was originally developed in German. They were used as guard dogs and also to kill rats. They are small sized dogs weighing 11 to 20 pounds and stand 12 to 14 inches.

Miniature schnauzer
Miniature schnauzer

This dog breed is outgoing, intelligent and affectionate. They can be referred to as big dogs in small bodies because of their personality. They come in colors such as white, black, salt and pepper, and black silver. These dogs have double coats with wiry topcoats.

Medium to Large wirehaired Dog breeds

German wirehaired pointer

German wirehaired pointer originated from Germany as the name suggest. This dog breed was used for hunting. Their noses and stamina are well adapted to its hunting job.

German wirehaired pointer
German wirehaired pointer

Generally, these dogs weigh 60-70 pounds. The males measure 24-46 inches while females are smaller by an inch or two but not less than 22 inches. They are very energetic dogs. They are also loyal, friendly and affectionate to their families and to people they are familiar with. They might get aggressive with strangers.

German wirehaired pointers have double coats which help to keep them warm in cold climates. The wiry coat is coarse and is about 1-2 inches with straight harsh hairs. They come in different patterns of liver and white.

Airedale terrier

Airedale terrier originated from Yorkshire, England. It is also known as the king of terriers because to is the largest of all terrier breeds. It was used to hunt for otters and ratting too. This dog breed was also used as a sporting dog and working dog during World War 1.

Airedale terrier
Airedale terrier

 Male Airedale terriers are 23 inches tall and weigh 50 to 65 pounds. The female ones are slightly shorter than the males and are about 40 to 55 pounds. This type of dog is very hardworking, independent, energetic and independent. It has also has great stamina hence needs frequent exercises.

Airedale terrier has a good looking coat with two layers. The undercoat is soft and short while the topcoat is dense and wiry. The most common color of their coats is tan. The back is mostly black or grizzled.

Irish wolfhound

Irish wolfhound originated from Ireland. It was used to hunt large game animals and also used in war to pull men down from their horses.

Irish wolfhound
Irish wolfhound

The medium males weigh 120 pounds and 32 inches tall while medium females weigh 105 pounds and are 20 inches tall. For the large Irish wolfhounds, the males are 34-35 inches tall and weigh about140-180 pounds. The females stand 32-34 inches tall and 115 to 150 pounds.

They are gentle, playful and friendly. They offer good companionship to the family. Their coats are hard and rough. They come in colors such as gray, black, brindle, fawn, red or white.

Kerry blue terrier

This dog breed originated from country Kerry, Ireland. They are working dogs that were used for hunting small game, ratting and herding.

Kerry blue terrier
Kerry blue terrier

Kerry blue terriers are medium sized dogs weighing 33-40 pounds. The males are 18 to 19.5 inches tall while the females are 17.5 to 19 inches tall. They are affectionate, strong willed, spirited and loyal. They are very brave and energetic dogs with great stamina.

The coat of this dog breed is dense, soft and wavy.

Wirehaired pointing griffon

Wirehaired pointing griffon was developed in France by E.K Korthals. It was majorly used as a gun dog.

Wirehaired pointing griffon
Pointing Griffon

This dog breed is medium sized weighing 50 to 60 pounds. The males measure 22to 24 inches tall while the females are about 2o to 22 inches. It is a very energetic and intelligent dog thus is it referred to as the supreme gun dog. It is also affectionate, devoted and loving to its family.

Wirehaired pointing griffon has a dense double coat. The topcoat is coarse in texture and has straight wiry hair. The undercoat thick and enables the dog to withstand cold climates. They come in colors such as orange, white, brown, and steel gray.

Border terrier

This dog breed originated from northeast England. It was used for hunting foxes. Their body is long, narrow and flexible to enable them get into fox holes and scare them away. They also have great stamina.

Border Terrier
Border terrier

Border terrier is affectionate, intelligent, good-tempered and easy to train.   Border terriers are double coated with a dense undercoat and a wiry topcoat. They come in colors such as red, grizzle and tan, blue and tan, and wheaten.

They are medium sized and are about 10-11 inches. The males weigh 15.5 pounds and the females 11.5 to 14 pounds.

Advantages of wirehaired dogs

  • Wiry coated dogs are hypo allergic and they are therefore convenient for people with dog allergies.
  • They shed less fur as compared to other coat types.
  • They are not prone to injury because their wiry coats protect them from rough plants and harmful objects.

How to make wiry dog hair soft

Wiry dogs require a unique method of grooming due to the fact that they shed less hair. Hand stripping is the best preferable method of grooming a wiry dog. This method involves pulling out older hairs using hands or by use of a grooming knife.

There are several benefits of using the handstripping method. Here are some of them:

Benefits of handstripping

  • Handstripping gets rid of old dull hairs and enables the growth of fresh strong hairs.
  • This technique also improves the thickness of dogs’ coats and also gives it a shiny outlook.

Before the handstripping is done, ensure that your dog’s coat is dry to avoid causing discomfort when pulling out the hairs. Brushing of the coat is also required to remove dirt clamps that might be stuck on the coat. Dust the coat with chalk to enhance the grip on the hairs during the stripping.

How to handstrip

This process will require the use of a stripping knife or a grooming stone. You can also use your hand but you will have to put on a finger condom to be able to grip the hairs well.

Start by stripping the hairs on the back and sides of your dog using a stripping knife. Then move to the areas that are hard to reach like under the neck and on the belly area. Use the grooming stone to remove the hairs on these sections.

When you are done stripping of the old dull hairs, brush down the coat to get rid of the loose hairs.

Other Wiry Dog Grooming Tips

Apart from handstripping, you can also use other tools such as slicker brush, wiry breed shampoo and a detangling comb to groom your dog.

Slicker brush

Wirehaired dogs may not need frequent brushing like other dogs types. Their coats need to be brushed once in a while and a slicker brush with fine bristles is the best to use. It removes debris and also helps in dematting the coat.

Detangling comb

Wiry hairs are prone to tangling and therefore having a detangling comb is very important. He detangling comb also unmatts the coat. The process of dematting can be painful to a dog thus it should be done gently.

The best way to unmatt a dog’s coat is by first combing the end of the hairs as you move toward the skin.


Wiry coats tend to dry out when bathed too often. Wirehaired dogs have a unique type of coat so you should use a shampoo that is exclusively for wiry coats.

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