The Wire Fox Terrier's Origins and History Source: Country/Region of Origin: England Original purpose: hunting Name: Also simply called Fox Terriers. Historical notes: When fox hunting became popular in the late 1600's, hunters found out they needed terriers that could catch up with a pack of foxhounds. They then bred longer legged terriers with predominantly white color to avoid being mistaken for a fox. Smooth coats were the norm but the wire coat was never stamped out and was soon accepted. By the start of the 1900's, interbreeding between smooth-coated and wire-coated fox terriers ceased. The two breeds are identical except for the coats.