The wire hair fox terrier was developed in England by fox hunting enthusiasts and is believed to be descended from a now-extinct rough-coated, black-and-tan working terrier of Wales, Derbyshire, and Durham. The breed was also thought to have been bred to chase foxes into their underground burrows; the fox terrier puppies short, strong, usually docked tails were used as handles by the hunter to pull them back out.
Although it is said Queen Victoria owned one, and her son and heir, King Edward VII, did own a wire hair fox terrier named Caesar, the breed was not popular as a family pet until the 1930s, when The Thin Man series of feature films was created. Asta, the canine member of the Charles family, was a fox terrier puppies, and the popularity of the breed soared. Milou (Snowy) from The Adventures of Tintin comic strip is also a wire hair fox terrier.