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English Toy Terrier breed Information

English Toy Terrier: A Complete Dog Breed Guide (2020)


Are you thinking of Buying or Adopting an English Toy Terrier? Maybe you already own one but do you know all the vital information about the breed? Worry no more because this is a complete guide with all the details that any English Toy Terrier parent should read.


Let’s begin:

  1. What Are The Characteristics Of English Toy Terrier Breed

This lively breed of dog is a real terrier. Raised in England, for the common man's sports: killing rats, he has the game and he likes to show it off. The English Toy Terrier is not a training dog but loves good hunting, which makes him a star of flyball and agility.


A very small dog with a solid bark, he has a personality to burn: loyal, generous and a formidable guard dog who loves spending time with his people. Among the burrows, the English toy is known to be one of the most benevolent and reactive breeds and today spends its time as a great companion.


They started in England as Toy Manchester Terriers, evolved to Toy Black and Tans, then to Miniature Black and Tans and, in 1962, took their current title of English Toy Terrier.

  • Adaptability

English Toy Terriers are good at adapting to their environments. They have an average of 3/5 stars adaptability level. 


This average adaptability rating is brought about by the fact that:

  • It is an easy-going dog breed since it has a low sensitivity level of 3 out of 5 stars.
  • It's poorly suited to be alone and possesses three out of five tolerance for being left alone.
  • It has 1/5 stars tolerance to cold weather. A jacket will be necessary for chilly walks because it has a short coat.
  • English Toy Terriers do not tolerate hot weather and are that vulnerable to overheating. Scoring 3 out of 5 stars.

All-Around Friendliness


English Toy Terriers are not 100% friendly. They have 3 out of 5 stars all around friendliness.


This judgment resulted from the following facts:

  • They're not aloof and are indifferent to every one. These dogs are affectionate with family hence hold 4 stars out of 5.
  • Possess 3 out of 5 stars for being kid-friendly and sturdy enough to handle other pets.
  • It is friendly with other dogs holding 3/5 stars rating regarding dog-friendliness.
  • It possesses 3 out of 5 stars for being less aggressive to strangers. 


Health And Grooming Needs

English Toy Terriers don't require much grooming. They're rated at 3 stars out 5 for being healthy dogs.


Below are the reasons for this:


  • It has a short, single, and smooth coat that is easy to maintain hence 3 out 5 stars shedding potential.
  • English Toy Terriers are not droop-prone dogs with a rating of 1 out of 5 stars.
  • It is easy to groom holding 5/5 stars.
  • Its general health is not excellent, possessing 2 out of 5 stars when it comes to its health.
  • It has a high potential to gain weight with only four stars out of five.
  • If size could be measured in stars, then English Toy Terriers stand at 2 stars out 5.



This dog breed is not easy to train and follows instructions to a tee without putting in much effort. It has an excellent training experience of 3 out of 5 stars.

Let's see how we arrived at that:

  • It is not easy to train with 2/5 stars ease of training experience. It is not gifted in comprehending what is required of it, and so much effort will be needed during training sessions.
  • It has an average intelligence level of 4 stars out of 5.
  • English Toy Terrier dog breeds have only 2/5 stars potential for mouthiness. 
  • These dogs have a 4-star inborn desire to hunt prey.
  • It tends to follow its nose and has a score of 4 stars out of 5 wanderlust potential.


Physical Needs

The English Toy Terrier has high physical needs of 4 stars out 5 and it comprises of the following:

  • English Toy Terriers have a high energy level rated at 4/5 stars.
  • They require more time for exercise hence rated at 4/5 stars exercise needs.
  • Dogs of the English Toy Terrier breed are highly playful with a playfulness potential of 4 stars out of 5.

At a glance, this breed is an excellent choice to raise.


Important Stats You Should Know About English Toy Terriers



Dog Breed Group/Purpose

Working Dogs,  Guardian, Hunting

Coat Length

Short smooth

Average Height

25–30 cm

Weight Range

2.7-3.5 Kilograms

Life Expectancy

12-13 Years

Exercise Requirements

20-30 minutes a day
















Other Fun Facts About English Toy Terriers

Although it may be tiny, this brave and intelligent breed is every inch a "real" dog. The similarity of its appearance with that of the Manchester Terrier is not a coincidence, since the two breeds were grouped into one in the United Kingdom until the 1920s, and are still today in the United States, with the Toy English Terrier known as the Toy Manchester Terrier. 

Its finer bone structure may be the result of some contributions from the Italian Italian Toy English Terrier, but it largely retained the energy, vigour and courage of its larger cousin. 


As is typical of a terrier, it can show a distant and distrustful manner towards strangers, but it is also an extremely kind and affectionate pet and makes an excellent family dog, even if it can be a little too small and easily injured to be suitable for children under five.

The Kennel Club lists the English Toy Terrier as a vulnerable native breed, which means that fewer than 300 puppies are registered with the organization each year, and efforts are therefore being made to increase demand and breeding for this attractive little dog. 


To this end, the Toy Manchester Terriers of the United States may be re-registered as an English Toy Terrier to increase the breeding population. 


Such inbreeding, although resisted by some purists, will improve genetic diversity among the British population and should, hopefully, help reduce the incidence of several recognized health problems within the breed. 

However, most English Toy Terriers are very healthy and have a lifespan of 12 to 13 years.

English Toy Terriers do not do well if left alone for long periods. They can get bored and nervous in these situations, which could lead to destructive behaviour, such as digging holes. 

A vocal race to start with, they can also bark excessively if left for fun.

Like many terriers, English Toy Terriers have a lot of energy. They want to please and learn quickly. They are sensitive dogs and can become snappy when they want to be left alone. 


This trait makes them unsuitable for families with young children unless the adults are willing to socialize and train their English Terrier consistently.

Due to their short coat, they should not be left outside. When it's hot outside, their black coats can make them overheat and when it's cold outside, they can get very cold. They do best when they are allowed to stay indoors with their families.

  • What Is The History/Origin Of English Toy Terriers

The increase in urban populations in England in the 17th century, combined with poor hygiene, led to a massive increase in the number of rodents, which in turn led to public health problems. 


The townspeople, therefore, found that they needed small terriers with a penchant for killing rodents to keep their quarters and their houses livable, and it was from this necessity that the English Toy Terrier was born. 


The English Black and Tan Terrier, which is now extinct, belonging to the Fell Terrier class, is the most closely related and was known as a capable pest hunter. He was probably crossed with the Whippet by the first Mancunian breeders to give him more speed, which gave a fast dog, thirsty for blood and small enough to comfortably share the cramped accommodation of its owners.

In addition to being a public health necessity, rat baiting has become a popular sport for the common man, with proud owners allowing their dogs to be placed in a ring with up to several hundred rats, then bet on how long it would take the dog to ship a given number of rodents. 

Seen through a 21st-century lens, it was a cruel practice for all of the animals involved, as the dogs themselves often suffered horrific injuries from desperate rats. The sport was banned at the time of the Kennel Club's inauguration in the 19th century, but the breed continued to enjoy popularity as a show dog due to its sculpted and elegant appearance. 

In the 1920s, a growing separation between the smallest and the largest specimens was recognized by the division of the then black and fiery Terrier into the English Toy Terrier and the largest Manchester Terrier.

Over the years, the explosion in import and popularity of foreign breeds has gradually led to a decline in the number of English Toy Terriers, a trend also observed for the Manchester Terrier, and both are now considered vulnerable breeds. 

While the demand for their rat killing services may no longer exist on a large scale, both are charming and perennial breeds that are perfectly suited as pets and which hopefully can be promoted and rekindled with success over the next few decades.

What Is The Average Size Of A English Toy Terriers

The English Toy Terrier weighs between 2.7-3.5 kg. Their smooth, muscular, and compact bodies express great power and agility, which these little dogs needed for their initial work to kill vermin and hunt small game.

What Is The Personality Of English Toy Terriers


An English Toy Terrier worships his people and enjoys being with them. A social creature, he is not well suited to be alone all day - he just wants to spend time with you.

Although not particularly aggressive, the English Toy Terrier is a high terrier for killing small animals, which means that it is not a good idea for him to live in the same house with rats and rabbits. Although they are more capable of training than some, the English Toy Terriers still have the terrier conviction that they rule the world, and if you do not change this perception, you may end up with a little Napoleon four paws.


He can be stubborn, protective and lively if not raised properly, so these dogs must be completely socialized when young to avoid potential problems. The English Toy Terrier needs a thorough and firm training to protect him from the inconveniences of his nature.


However, the same "I got the game" attitude that allows them to cleverly thread small rodents can work against them in training. You must prove - without fail - that you are the leader. Consistency is essential because the English Toy Terriers are stubborn and determined. They are also intelligent, very attentive and perceptive, so you have to look around your p and q. Otherwise, they will take advantage of any inconsistency.

As a group, burrows are barking, lively, bossy, fiery, intelligent, and willful. The English Toy Terrier is no exception. He should have regular opportunities to exercise and think because you don't want to know what kind of problems he can have when he is bored (think of the combination of the intelligent and the stubborn and leave free rein to your imagination).


He should take obedience classes from an early age, both for socialization and training, and he should continue to take the courses or competitions he enjoys most to stay intellectually stimulated and spent physically.

As with any race, temperament is affected by several factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with pleasant temperaments are curious and playful, eager to approach people and to be held by them.

Choose the puppy in the middle of the road, not the one who beats his comrades or the one who hides in the corner.

Always meet at least one of the parents - usually, the mother is the available one - to make sure they have a pleasant temperament with which you are comfortable. 


Meeting siblings or other parents with parents is also helpful in assessing what a puppy will look like when it grows. Of course, unless you have most of the litter to choose from, you may not be able to select a medium temperament.

What Are The Major Health Concerns Of English Toy Terriers


As with other rare breeds, it is difficult to be sure of the incidence of disease in the English Toy Terrier. The most recent large-scale pedigree health survey included only 39 members of the breed, far too few to allow meaningful interpretation of the results. 

Although most are healthy dogs, several problems are known to be associated with the breed.

  • Cataract

Early development of cataracts can be seen in some adults, which can affect their vision.

  • Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy

It is thought to be more common in English Toy Terriers with Manchester Terrier blood in their recent ancestry, it is a serious and progressive heart problem that occurs before the age of 12 months in affected puppies. 


Because they are excitable young animals, owners often do not suspect a problem, and most cases are recorded as sudden death.

  • Legg-Calves-Perthes Disease

A cause of severe pain and lameness in the hind limbs seen in young, fast-growing small dogs. 


The loss of blood supply to the head of the femur causes weakening and fracture of the bone, manifested by severe hip pain. Treatable, but requires significant surgery.

  • Patellar Luxation

Due to their thin bones, many English Toy Terriers do not have well-developed bone ridges to guide the patella along its usual vertical plane of movement. 


The resulting slippage of the patella causes lameness, generally seen intermittently as a hopping gait, the affected limb being held towards the side of the abdomen.

  • Xanthinuria

A genetic abnormality in protein metabolism creating very high xanthine levels in the urine. These xanthine molecules can crystallize and ultimately produce stones that can cause urinary blockage. 


A genetic test is available to identify carriers, which should ideally not be used for reproduction.

  • Glaucoma

It is a painful condition in which the pressure in the eye becomes abnormally high. 


The eyes constantly produce and drain a liquid called aqueous humour - if the liquid does not flow properly, the pressure inside the eye increases, causing damage to the optic nerve and causing loss of vision and blindness.


There are two types. Primary glaucoma, which is hereditary, and secondary glaucoma, which is the result of inflammation, a tumour, or an injury. Glaucoma usually affects one eye first, which will be red, watery, scaly, and look painful. 


A dilated pupil will not react to light and the front of the eye will have a whitish, almost blue cloudiness. This will result in loss of vision and possibly blindness, sometimes even with treatment (surgery or medication, as the case may be).

  • Von Willebrand disease

Present in dogs and humans, it is a blood disorder that affects the clotting process. 


An affected dog will experience symptoms such as nosebleeds, bleeding gums, prolonged bleeding from a surgery, prolonged bleeding during heat cycles or after parturition, and sometimes blood in the stool. 


This disorder is usually diagnosed between three and five years of age and cannot be cured. However, it can be managed with treatments that include cauterization or suturing of wounds, transfusions before surgery, and avoidance of specific medications.


  • Heatstroke

These strokes can appear along the back of your English Toy Terrier stays in the sun for too long.


How To Take Care Of English Toy Terriers

Your English Toy Terrier needs daily exercise and mental stimulation, at least half an hour a day, including walks, races, record games, obedience or agility. 

Spending time alone in the backyard is not an exercise; even if that is what you wanted, your English Toy Terrier will spend the time waiting at the door asking to be reintroduced.

English Toy Terriers have a great need for human contact, so they are always happier when you go out with them. When you're not playing with your mate, puzzle toys such as the Buster cubes are a great way to keep that active mind busy.


Puppies don't need as much physical exercise as adults, and in fact, you shouldn't let them run on hard surfaces like concrete or let them do a lot of jumping until 

They are at least one year old. This could stress their still developing skeletal system and cause future joint problems.

English Toy Terriers are clean, practically odourless and wonderfully adaptable, making them ideal for living in apartments or houses, but less so for living outdoors. 


The English Toy Terriers are not annoying inside; most correspond more to their activity level with their owners, which means that if you are a couch potato, your English Toy Terrier will probably look that way too (of course, he would prefer to go running with you).


If you have a small pack of English Terriers toys, they will have fun and be a little more active inside than if there was only one. In a single-family home, the English Toy Terriers should have a fenced yard.


What Is The Ideal Diet For English Toy Terrier Dogs

Recommended daily amount: 1/4 to 1 cup of high-quality dry food per day, divided into two meals.

Note: The amount of food your adult dog eats depends on its size, age, height, metabolism and activity level. 


Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they do not all need the same amount of food. A very active dog will need more than a sofa dog. The quality of the dog food you buy also makes a difference: the better the dog food, the more it will go to your dog's food and the less you will need to put it in your dog's bowl.


The English Toy Terriers are not picky and it has been said that they will eat anything that does not eat it first. Not surprisingly, it is prone to obesity. Keep your English Toy Terrier in good shape by measuring its food and feeding it twice a day rather than leaving food all the time. 


If you are unsure whether he is overweight, take the eye test and the practice test.

Watch it first. You should be able to see the size. 


Then place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, fingers apart. You should be able to feel but not see its ribs without having to press hard. If you can't, he needs less food and more exercise.

English Toy Terriers Food Stat

A proper diet is vital for English Toy Terriers. The amount of food that English Toy Terriers should eat varies with age and gender. It is, therefore, crucial that you liaise with a vet for dieting.


In general, English Toy Terriers should be fed as follows:





3-6 Months

1/4 Cups

1/4 Cups 

English Toy Terrier puppies should be given

3 meals a day until they’re 4-5 months old.


When 6+ months, give them

2 meals each day and never at any time

one meal per day.

8 Months -1Yr

1/4 Cups

1/4 Cups 


1/4-1 Cups

1/4-1 Cups


1/4-1 Cups

1/4-1 Cups












Best Dog Food For English Toy Terrier


Consider feeding your English Toy Terrier with the following dog food.

Coat Color And Grooming Needs For English Toy Terrier

Thanks to its short black and beige coat (the only colours seen in this breed), the English Toy Terrier is fairly low maintenance. Brush the coat once a week with a rubber or bristle brush to get rid of dead hair and avoid mats.


They lose, but not excessively, and regular brushing will keep this under control. 


They blow their coats twice a year, losing a lot in the spring and fall.

If you keep it brushed, your English Toy Terrier should only need a bath when it is dirty. Use a shampoo designed for dogs to avoid drying out their skin and coat.


Brush the teeth of your English Toy Terrier at least two or three times a week to remove the build-up of tartar and the bacteria hidden therein.


Cut the nails once or twice a month if your dog does not wear them naturally to avoid painful tears and other problems. If you can hear them clicking on the ground, they are too long. 


Dogs' nails contain blood vessels, and if you cut too much, you can cause bleeding - and your dog may not cooperate the next time he sees the nail clippers come out. So if you are not used to trimming dog nails, ask a veterinarian or a groomer for advice.


Her ears should be checked weekly for redness or a bad smell, which may indicate an infection. When checking your dog's ears, wipe them with a cotton ball soaked in a mild pH-balanced ear cleaner to help prevent infections. Do not insert anything into the ear canal; just clean the outer ear.

Start getting your English Toy Terrier used to be brushed and examined when he is a puppy. Handle its paws frequently - dogs are sensitive to their feet - and look inside its mouth. 


Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you will set the stage for easy veterinary exams and other manipulations as an adult.


While grooming, look for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, nose, mouth, eyes, and feet. The eyes should be clear, without redness or discharge. Your weekly check-up will help you spot potential health problems early.


How Do English Toy Terriers Relate With Children And Other Pets

Typically, an English Toy Terrier is devoted to his family and loves children, but his small size makes him vulnerable to young people who are not old enough to know that it hurts when you pull his ears. 


Some breeders prefer houses without very young children. This helps to expose him to many children, small and not so small when he is young.

Show your children how to approach and touch dogs, and supervise all interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any bite or ear or tail from pulling on either side. 


Teach your child to never approach a dog while he is eating or to try to remove food from the dog.

English Toy Terriers and other pets depend on ... other pets. They are less rickety than many burrows but do not lose sight of why they were bred: to kill the vermin. They have strong prey. 


So, although they generally do well with other dogs, cats can be quite nervous around them, and little critters like rats, hamsters and guinea pigs would be in permanent danger around this terrier.


Australian Based Breed Organizations For English Toy Terrier

If you’re in Australia and would want to adopt an English Toy Terrier dog breed, get in touch with any of the following breed organizations.


Rescue Groups For English Toy Terrier In Australia

Want to share your experience with other English Toy Terrier parents or need one to be rescued? Below are some of the rescue groups around Australia that you can contact.


Summing Up On The English Toy Terrier Breed

English Toy Terrier dog breeds are obedient dogs that can transform your homestead. For extremely insecure places, they can be a great asset to provide protection and if you’re into hunting, they make a good hunting dog because of their energy.


Have any questions about this dog breed? Shoot us a comment, and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

English Toy Terrier Photo Gallery

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