Which Dogs Have Wiry Coats?

dog with wiry hair

I was reading an article on how to take care of a dog’s coat when I found about wiry hair. I started searching but couldn’t find a good complete list of dog breeds that have a wiry coat, so I thought it would be a good idea to put one together here.

This is our list of 14 popular dogs that have a wiry coat that I could find so far. Some of them are more known with another coat type.

  • Border Terrier
  • Dandie Dinmont Terrier
  • Fox Terrier
  • Irish Terrier
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Scottish Terrier
  • West Highland White Terrier
  • Affenpinscher
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Dachshund
  • German Wirehaired Pointer
  • Poodle
  • Otterhound
  • Schnauzer

Border Terrier

Border terrier standing in the grass
a typical border terrier standing in grass

The border terrier has the energy level of a typical terrier. They love to hunt and dig. It’s got a good personality yet is not a dog breed for everybody. They are well suited for active families.

The border terrier is a double-coated dog. These dogs have quite a dense undercoat with a wiry topcoat. The fur needs once or twice a week brushing and stripping once every 6 months for the coat to keep its rough texture.

You can clipper the coat, but it can lose its water resistance, get softer, and the color can get lighter.
The color of their coat can be red, blue and tan, grizzle and tan, or wheaten.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

a Dandie dinmont terrier on a leash
a Dandie dinmont terrier on a leash

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is a Scottish breed. Its long body, short legs it and knot of hair on top of his head give him a little bit of a funny look.
He is a robust dog, but very friendly and a good family dog for families with older children. They can be reserved with strangers, though.

Fun fact: He has the nickname “Gentlemen of the terrier family.”

The Dandie Dinmont has a double-coat. The undercoat is soft and waterproof. The topcoat can get about 2 inches long and has a crisp texture.

Their coat comes in two colors. Mustard or Pepper. They shed very little, but their fur needs lots of care. Regular grooming two or three times a week and plucking dead hear every 6 months.

Fox Terrier

Fox Terrier puppy
a fox terrier puppy

Where used initially during fox hunts to flush the foxes out of their hiding places. These days they are more common as family dogs, but also used as show dogs. In the northeast of the united states, they are still being used in their original role for hunting.

The Fox Terrier is available in two hair types, short and smooth or wiry (sometimes called wire hair). The wiry-haired are more common as family dogs. Where the smooth-haired is mostly known as a show dog.

The Fox Terrier with wiry hair has a dense coat. The coat can be wrinkled or waved, and the hair is often twisted, which makes it look a little broken. Their undercoat is short, soft, and elegant. 

The color of the coat can be Brindle, red, liver, or slate-blue. Slate-blue is a color that only exists with wiry coated fox terriers.

Irish Terrier

Irish terrier
Irish Terrier

The Irish Terrier is a dog of a medium-size described as the poor man’s dog or farmer’s friend. He’s got high trainability and is seen as a good companion and watchdog.

Fun fact: His nickname is “Daredevil,” as they often know no fear.

His coat is dense with wiry hair. It is hard to see the skin when you try to part the hairs with your fingers. That is how close together the hairs grow. The undercoat is softer and lighter colored. Their double-coat protects them from all kinds of weather, cold or rain when they are working outside.

The color of his coat is bright red, golden red, red wheaten, or wheaten, and he can have some white hairs on the chest.

Brush the coat twice a week to keep it clean and strip twice a year by hand to keep the coats texture and bright color.

Kerry Blue Terrier

Irish Kerry Blue terrier standing in the grass
Irish Kerry Blue Terrier in the grass

The Kerry Blue Terrier is a not very well know dog breed, yet very popular amongst its fanciers. The Kerry Blue is a working breed, bred for sheep herding and small hunting games. He origins from County Kerry in Ireland.

Puppy’s are mostly black when they are born. After a while, the color changes to blue with a tint of grey.

He is an excellent family dog that loves to participate in family activities. He loves playing with his family members, young and old.

The Kerry Blue Terrier does not shed, yet its coat needs much care. Their fur is dense, soft, and wavy. Daily brushing is advisable and regular trimming and bathing, about every 4 to 6 weeks.

Scottish Terrier

Scottish terrier on white background
Scottish terrier

The Scottish terrier is a small dog with short legs. He has a stubborn character and is sensitive to praises and blame. A faithful terrier and an excellent watchdog. He has got a big mouth to bicycles and squirrels when around but is an overall good walking companion.

They are bred to work apart from their owners for hunting and prey following, which can make them hard to train.

Black is the most common coat color and is how many people know him, but the coat can also come in the colors of wheat, grey, or Brindle.
It has a double-coat like many of the terriers. The overcoat is hard and wiry, and the bottom coat is soft and dense. The Scottish Terrier doesn’t shed a lot as his hair just keeps growing. If you own or want to own a Scotty as a family dog, the grooming once a week is fine. But as a show dog, it needs daily grooming. And clipping every two months.

West Highland White Terrier

West Highland white terrier on a black background
West Highland White Terrier

The West Highland White Terrier is a happy dog with high self-esteem. He just knows he is the best around. Always looking for good quality time. His snow-white color and funny face makes him adorable to look at and can make you laugh from time to time.

Fun fact: He is often called “a big dog in a little body.”

His high self-esteem and strong will can give some difficulties training him, but overall it should be effortless to teach him. As long as you keep consistency in it.
Westies like most dogs like to swim, but they need supervision when in the water. They don’t have the swimming skill that many other dogs have.
The Westy has a doable-coat, like many in the terrier family. The undercoat has small and fine hairs. The overcoat can have hairs of about 2 inches long. His fur protects him in all weather conditions.

The color of his wiry coat is wee white. Mixed with any other color is not considered an original West Highland White Terrier.
His coat stays relatively clean by itself and doesn’t need a lot of bathing. It does require some regular grooming. Brush his coat every day and stripping maybe once or twice a year.



The Affenpinscher is a breed that is bred down in size and has become a ladies’ dog. Initially, they are bred to catch rats in homes, shops, and stables. He is a small wiry-haired dog with lots of energy and a mustache.

Fun fact: his nickname is “Monkey dog.” Affen is German for Monkey.

Shaggy but need is probably the best description for his thick and wiry coat. His hairs are about one inch long. A little longer on the head than on his rump and tail. Weekly brushing should be enough to keep his coat need and shaggy.

The Affen comes in the colors red, black, grey, silver, or black and tan. Some black Affen can have a few white or silver hairs in the mix.

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon standing in grass
Brussels Griffon standing in grass

From Belgium, as you might have figured already from its name, the Brussels Griffon is. A small dog, but affectionate and intelligent. He is an excellent family dog when in the right family. He can be sensitive but also demanding the attention of his owner. Originally bred to hunt and kill rats.

Fun fact: his nickname is “Monkeyface.” And when you look at his head, you will understand why he was given this nickname.

The Brussels Griffon has got a thick, rough, wiry coat, and there are no silky-smooth hairs on his body to find. It’s a rough coat, but it appears always to look perfect. Their coat needs brushing every week to keep the need look, and also remove dead hairs. Twice a year, it needs grooming and trimming from a specialist.

The Brussels Griffon comes with a coat in the colors black, black with tan, red, or beige. An aged Brussels Griffon can have some grey hairs, but that’s it. On the younger model, you shouldn’t find any light colors in his hair.


Wiry coated Dachshund standing in grass
Wiry coated Dachshund standing in grass

The Dachshund is a scent hound. A dog trained to hunt with his nose. They are bred to hunt for badgers, foxes, and rabbits. These days they are only common as family dogs, which is a task they fulfill excellently. They are not that easy to train and have a tendency to bark or howl a lot. So be prepared for it.

The Dachshund can have 3 types of coats. Smooth-haired, long-haired, or wiry-haired. The wiry-haired version has a double layer of hair. The undercoat has short and soft hairs, and top topcoat has rough, wiry, and hard hairs.

The most common color for the wired-hair Dachshund is wild boar, but it can also come in the colors red, cream, black, chocolate, grey or fawn.
The coat needs low maintenance. It sheds, but not a lot. They are free of dog odor and shouldn’t need any bathing or showering unless he has been rolling in the filth.
It does need regular brushing and stripping about 2 times a year.

German Wirehaired Pointer

German Wirehaired Pointer standing in grass looking at the water
German Wirehaired Pointer standing in grass looking at the water

The German Wirehaired Pointer is an excellent family dog for families who love activities because this one has a very high energy level. Being bred as an all-round hunting dog, he still performs this job well these days. This breed is much appreciated by many hunters worldwide. The reason being he can hunt in any condition, any terrain, and any prey.

He has a double coat with the function to protect him in all weather conditions. The hairs of the wiry topcoat are about 2 inches long and lie flat on his body. The undercoat changes from summer to winter. In winter, the undercoat is thick and dense to provide high isolation in harsh winter conditions.

The coat comes in the colors: liver and white spotted, reddish-brown with white, white-spotted on black, or deep reddish-brown.
The German Wirehaired Pointer sheds the whole year, but very minimal. It requires regular grooming to keep his coat clean and beautiful, then bathing shouldn’t be necessary.
If you do bath him, his coat dries fast because of its design.


Poodle standing in grass
Poodle standing in grass

The Poodle is probably the most well-known show dog on the planet. Proud, elegant, and smart and impressive dog to see.
A loyal and loving family dog and maybe the best trainable dog if entertained well. A bored Poodle can get destructive in the house, so beware of it. Other than that, they are well suited to perform any task you give them.

I didn’t expect, but as I read more about the breed, I found out these dogs are initially bred for hunting waterfowls. You wouldn’t expect this when you think of a pimped-up show poodle. The Poodle is an often chosen breed in families where one of the members has allergies. Poodles shed very little, and it makes them the right choice. Often they don’t cause allergic reactions.

He comes in the colors blue, white, grey, brown, cream, or apricot. Its wiry coat can be trimmed and manipulated in any style. This makes him such a fantastic show dog. And they even like it. The coat is a high maintenance one. It requires regular grooming once every 2 or 3 weeks. Sometimes, even more, to keep it in a perfect style.

Don’t be scared though, many styles require less grooming if you’re not interested in entering shows.


Otterhound running
Otterhound running

The Otterhound is a very rare dog. Around 10 litters a year are born in the USA and Canada together. Yet the Otterhound is a very family-friendly dog. A bit of a clown and always in for some fun and playtime. Originally bred to hunt otters. Of which he got his name.

He has got a little bit of a messy, wiry coat that has an under- and overcoat. The outer hairs are thick, hard, and rough, and can grow between 2 and 6 inches long. The undercoat is soft and feels a little vet or oily. The combi makes his coat almost water-resistant.

His coat needs brushing at least once a week because, for a wiry coat, it shed relatively much. I don’t recommend clipping, I have read that it can take up to 2 years before it’s coat is back to its original length.

The most common colors of the Otterhound are Black or Tan Grizzly.


Black Schnauzer
Black Schnauzer

The Schnauzer is bred initially as a versatile dog. They were used as guard dogs, but also to hunt rats, and all-purpose dog on farms. An excellent pal for a farmer’s family. They are friendly, but also have a lot of energy.

He has a wiry outer coat with dense hairs standing up. The undercoat is soft. His fur can have on his back a length of up to 2 inches.
You need to brush a Schnauzers coat about every day to prevent twists and ravel. And probably also cleaning his beard after every meal. Food gets stuck in there.
Besides that, they need regular grooming, about every 6 months.

They standard Schnauzers coat comes in the colors salt & Pepper, or black. The salt and Pepper are a mixture of white and black hair.

Do Wiry coated dogs shed?

Most dogs with a wiry coat don’t shed or shed very little. This doesn’t make every wiry coated dog a hypoallergenic dog. Hypoallergenic dogs don’t shed or very little, like the Poodle.

It is the shedding that makes most animals give an allergic reaction to some people. Overall wiry coated dogs shed a lot less than straight or long-haired dogs. Investigate more on the breed of choice, before you get one and find out you or your family member get allergic reactions from it.

Cautions and Considerations for Wiry Coated Dogs

Besides the fact that they don’t shed, or at least very little, Wiry coated dogs have a coat with a unique capability, it makes them weatherproof. The fur is designed to be waterproof and gives protection in all weather conditions. Their coats do require a little bit of special care that you need to be aware of.

It requires brushing once or twice a week, which you can do your self. Regular stripping and trimming, which you can find a professional to do for you. This can be a tedious task, and a professional can give you advice on what is best for your dog’s coat.

Wirehaired dogs can get dirt and mud stuck in their fur and between their paws, which can cause discomfort when it dry’s up.

Do consider these points before getting a dog with a wiry fur, because they need more maintenance than other breeds.

Is It Wire Coat or Wiry Coat?

Some websites talk about wiry hair, and others speak about wire hair, and some even mix it like this post. What is the difference?

Well, there is no difference. It is the same hair type. I have been reading many pieces of research on the topic and couldn’t find any difference in explanation.


This is my list of dog breeds with wiry hair. If you think I have mist a breed let me know in the comments below, and I will add it as quickly as possible

Erwin Borgers

Hi, I’m Erwin. I grew up with two cats, but I always wanted to have a dog. Since my wife and I lived together, we have Mayla. She is a very sweet King Charles Spaniel. Together we spend countless of hours in the forest near our home. We love to walk together and now I want to share what I learned about walking dogs and what I learned about dog gear with you.

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