Wire Fox Terrier vs German Coolie - Breed Comparison

Wire Fox Terrier vs German CoolieWire Fox Terrier is originated from United Kingdom but German Coolie is originated from Australia. Wire Fox Terrier may grow 21 cm / 8 inches shorter than German Coolie. Wire Fox Terrier may weigh 15 kg / 33 pounds lesser than German Coolie. Wire Fox Terrier may live 5 years less than German Coolie. Both Wire Fox Terrier and German Coolie has same litter size. Wire Fox Terrier requires Moderate maintenance. But German Coolie requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Working dog
Herding dogs
United Kingdom
Height Male:
35 - 39 cm
13 - 16 inches
40 - 60 cm
15 - 24 inches
Height Female:
35 - 39 cm
13 - 16 inches
38 - 58 cm
14 - 23 inches
Weight Male:
7 - 9 kg
15 - 20 pounds
15 - 24 kg
33 - 53 pounds
Weight Female:
7 - 9 kg
15 - 20 pounds
13 - 22 kg
28 - 49 pounds
Life Span:
10 - 13 Years
16 - 18 Years
Litter Size:
2 - 6
4 - 6
Medium dog
Medium dog
Other Names:
Australian Koolie - German Koolie - Coulie - German Collie
Colors Available:
black and tan, White
Black, Red, merle
Medium length, wiry
smooth and comes in short or medium lengths
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Stubborn, Territorial
Alert, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Playful, Social
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Kids Friendly:
New Owners Friendly:


wire fox terrierThe wire fox terrier was developed in England by fox hunting enthusiasts. They wanted a feisty dog that could chase foxes down their burrows.

It is thought that the dog descended from the rough-coated black and tan working terriers of Wales.

The dog wasn’t popular as a pet until the 1930s when its appearance in certain films gave it a popularity-boost.

german coolieThe German Coolie is misnamed as it is an Australian bred dog and often called the Australian Koolie or Coolie. This Australian breed is more often just called a Coolie. The breed is a typical herding breed and a working dog that needs a job all the time. They have been a favorite of Australians since the late 1800’s when local dogs were bred with British working dogs.

Although all Coolie’s are not the same. Within the breed there is a lot of variation. This is because the Coolie was bred individually for different regions in Australia. In a very different writing the Koolie Club of Australia does not define the Coolie breed on confirmation as all other purebred dogs are defined. Instead the Coolie is defined by ability to work. In light of this most Coolie breeders state that the Coolie is a breed and the variations you see among regions are types within the breed.

As a herding dog, the Coolie brought a lot of skill to the Australian farmers and sheep herders. The Coolie will round up the sheep and bring them back to their enclosure at the shepherd’s command. They are upright, silent, working dogs. Not only do they herd sheep they are important at sheering to “cut out” the sheep or assist in the close quarters of lambing.

In Queensland North and New South Wales, the Coolie is medium boned, tall and agile ready to herd cattle over a long stretch of miles. In the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales and the Hunter Valley Region, the Coolie is shorter and thicker in order to be able to get cattle that are lying low out from the gullies and dense bush. The Coolies found in Victoria are the smallest of all.

No matter where they live and work, the Coolie is bred to help the workers there, the farmers, the stockman, and the grazier. All Coolies are adaptable and very agile. They all have a strong willfulness to accomplish what they are asked to do. The ancestors of these various Coolie was the British Collie – a smooth coated, blue merle. This Collie was crossed with the Black and Tan Collie from the Scottish Highlands. It is believed that these are the same Collie breeds that came to Australia to create the Heeler.

The name may come from the German immigrants working in South Australia and unable to pronounce Collie incorrectly they called the dogs German Coolies. There is also a fraction of German breeders who believe that the German Tiger dog was brought to Australia in the 18th century and then when the Collies came they were bred together. Many Coolie breeders have records showing that the breed has been in Australia for at least 160 years. It is also believed that the Border Collie and Kelpie (Blue Heeler) were mixed into the breed at sometime as well.

No bench standard exists for the German Coolie even though there is the Koolie Club of Australia. The mission of the club is to protect, preserve and promote the breed. The Australian Sporting Register was recognizing the Coolies in 2004. They are eligible to participate in the Australian National Kennel Council sanctioned sporting trials. They participate in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria through the individual states sporting register. Here they participate in herding, jumping, obedience, agility and tracking.

Several other recognitions as a herding breed soon followed. The Australian Shepherd Club of America, the American Herding Breed Association, were followed by recognition from others as well. They are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).


wire fox terrier puppyThe Wire Fox Terrier is a sturdy, medium-sized dog that weighs between 7 and 9kg and stands between 35 and 39cm at the withers.

The dog’s double coat is essentially white with brown or tan markings and can be medium length and wiry, tending to be curly too.

He is a light shedder. The face is long, without much shape and eyes appear to be fairly close together. The ears are fairly small and they fold forward toward the cheeks. The tail is docked and is held high.


This really is an intelligent dog and can’t tolerate being bored. It’s essentially a companion dog too and doesn't want to be separated from his owners for too long.

As a companion dog he is going to want a lot of attention. They’re independent and strong-willed and will benefit from training and socialization.

They are great around children but they do need to be supervised as they are inclined to nip, especially when highly excited. They also bark quite a bit and the owner might have to do something to stop this yapping, especially when the dog is bored.

german coolie puppyWith their strong ancestry among the family of collies and herders, the German Coolie shares the look of collies and shepherds. Even though they differ from region to region and there is no actual standard, they are medium sized dogs with blue or brown eyes or even one of each. The ears are folded over on top when relaxed but they are rigid and straight when he is more alert. The nose is either chocolate or red depending on the color of their coat.

They can have either a long, medium or short coat but most owners want the short coat that is smooth as well. The coat can be one color – red/chocolate or black; Bi – red/white or black/white; Tri – solid black or red with white and brown; Tri merle -merle with white and brown; Merle – red merles and blue merles. Regardless of color, the German Coolie has the look of a collie or German Shepherd.

Health Problems

wire fox terrier dogThese are healthy dogs, and if you get your dog from a responsible breeder, he will have been checked for health conditions such as cataracts, hip dysplasia, and luxating patellas.


Cataracts are a problem with the lens of the eye. The lens focuses light and it should be crystal clear. A cataract obscures vision. Sometimes the cataract can be very small but other times it can grow to the size of the lens and then it can cause blindness.

Most times, dogs with cataracts can still see, and even though a dog may experience some confusion with a cataract, they don’t hurt the dog. They don’t go away on their own and will need to be removed surgically. If you see your dog has a cataract, consult your vet to get their opinion on the matter.


Your dog may be licking and scratching a lot and it may just be that your dog has a frustrating and irritating skin problem. This itching isn’t a disease but rather a cause of some disease.

There could be so many things that are causing your pet to scratch and it could be a skin disease, parasites or allergies. It can be terrible seeing the frustration it causes your pet and he will certainly need to see the vet.

german coolie dogThis is a relatively healthy breed without many genetic disorders found in purebreds due to the 160 years they have spent fairly isolated and allowing natural selection to take its course.


In Merle dogs there can be deafness and/or blindness. If you breed a solid to a merle you can eliminate that.

Joint Issues

These are not inherited but rather acquired due to the immense amount of jumping and running.

  1. Allergies
  2. Minor skin allergies are possible in some.
  3. Seizures

Rare but it does occur and can be fatal if not treated

Caring The Pet


wire fox terrier puppiesThis dog will need to be brushed regularly. Some people hand-strip their dogs. Most people prefer just to take their pets to a professional groomer to have them professionally clipped. The groomers will simultaneously clip his nails, clean the inside of his ears and also clean his teeth.


The Wire Fox Terrier will expect you to supply him with high-quality dog food if you opt to use commercially manufactured dog food. These foods can be wonderfully convenient but you want the food to be packed with natural ingredients and be high in vitamins and minerals.

Any diet should also be appropriate to the dog’s age, his size, and his activity levels. Some homemade foods can also be a treat but this needs to be simple with no heavy spicing. Things such as boiled chicken, brown rice and vegetables can be an excellent choice.

Cool, fresh water should be available at all times.

Feeding the puppy

german coolie puppiesBreak meals into 3 a day feeding a high quality dry puppy food designed for dogs of his size. 11/2 to 2 cups per day.

Feeding the adult

Break meals into 2 a day feeding a high quality dry adult food designed for dogs of his size.

Points for Good Health

Traditionally good health. Great energy, intensity and devotion to work and owner.

Games and Exercises

This is an energetic dog that loves to work and needs to work. Regular routine exercise is needed daily. He needs to be stimulated mentally and physically. Find him a job. Make sure he knows what you want him to do. They work well with a human partner in games such as agility, tracking, flyball and herding. They need a large yard and a lot of play time. They are not couch potatoes and would be unhappy if they were stuck in a house or apartment


wire fox terrier dogsThe Wire Fox Terrier is such a canine friend, ready to be with you no matter what you’re doing. They are social dogs and love being involved with their human companions.

He is independent but still social and enthusiastic and you can describe him as the ideal family dog.

He is a bundle of energy, and when you bring him into your home, you’re going to get a family member who is playful, joyful, loving and loyal – your very best friend.

Children friendliness

german coolie dogsYes, they can be very friendly with children is they are socialized and supervised.

Special talents

They have enough stamina to work for 14 hours a day.


They are very adaptable. They can be calm and steady when working a mother and baby lamb and then be able to forcefully move steers, bull, rams or weathers.

Learning ability

The breed is highly intelligent, and their learning ability is excellent because they want to please you.

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