English Toy Terrier

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
fast facts

About English Toy Terrier

6-8 lb
12-13 years
not applicable
Best Suited For
small apartment or house, families, active singles and seniors
Alert, affectionate, friendly, confident
Comparable Breeds
Miniature Pinscher, Manchester Terrier
10-12 inches
English Toy Terrier Basics

When you see the English Toy Terrier, your first instinct might be to think that it is a Miniature Pinscher. After all, the breed does look similar in terms of its size and appearance. Additionally, the English Toy Terrier is a rare and vulnerable breed, so it is unlikely that you have ever seen one. Although it may be difficult to find, the English Toy Terrier is a great breed – it is smart and energetic while being loyal and affectionate with its owners.

The English Toy Terrier is a rare dog breed that’s perfect for condos – if you can find one.


The English Toy Terrier was developed in England from a breed known as the Old English Black and Tan Terrier. This breed was developed for its speed and agility because it was used for rat pitting – this is a sport that involved placing a dog in a pit with rats and betting on how quickly the dog would kill them. When this sport was outlawed the English Toy Terrier came to be popular in the conformation show ring instead. Having an elegant appearance, this terrier breed was immediately successful. The Kennel Club recognized two varieties of the Black and Tan Terrier (as it was known at the time) until the 1920s when it split the breed by size into the Manchester Terrier and the Miniature Black and Tan Terrier. The name English Toy Terrier wasn’t adopted until the 1960s. In the United States, the breed is known as a toy version of the Standard Manchester Terrier.


The English Toy Terrier was developed from the Old English Black and Tan Terrier and it is also closely related to the Manchester Terrier which was developed in England during the 19th century.


The English Toy Terrier is a small-breed dog so it should be fed a dog food diet formulated for dogs of its size. Small-breed dogs have high energy needs and fast metabolisms so their diet should container higher levels of fat (a highly concentrated source of energy) than a diet for large-breed dogs. Make sure to choose a diet made from high-quality ingredients including animal proteins.

The English Toy Terrier is an intelligent and trainable breed, though it does tend to be a little stubborn or independent at times.


The English Toy Terrier is an intelligent and trainable breed, though it does tend to be a little stubborn or independent at times. As is true for many small-breed dogs, housetraining can sometimes be a challenge and the breed sometimes gets lazy about going outside in cold or wet weather. To prevent this breed from developing Small Dog Syndrome you should begin training and socialization from an early age and maintain a firm and consistent hand in training. This breed tends to be a little aloof around strangers and it may have a tendency to chase small animals.


As the name suggests, the English Toy Terrier is a toy breed which means that it is small. There is little difference in size and weight between males and females of the breed – most weigh between 6 and 8 lbs. and stand somewhere between 10 and 12 inches tall.


The English Toy Terrier is an alert and affectionate breed that loves to spend time with family. It is, however, a bit aloof around strangers so it needs plenty of socialization from an early age. This breed is adaptable to different living situations and, due to its small size, it generally does well in apartment or condo life. This breed is not highly active like some small terriers but it generally doesn’t do well when left alone for long periods of time. This breed does have a tendency to become a little stubborn or strong-willed if not properly trained. The English Toy Terrier doesn’t tend to bark as much as other small breeds so it doesn’t make a very good guard dog.

Common Health Problems

For the most part, the English Toy Terrier is a healthy and hardy breed. Like any dog breed, however, it is prone to developing some health problems. The health problems to which this breed is prone include patellar luxation, canine deafness, and skin problems. Because patellar luxation is a genetically inherited condition, responsible breeding practices are particularly important for this breed.

Life Expectancy

The average lifespan of the English Toy Terrier is between 12 and 13 years which is about average for a dog of its size.

Exercise Requirements

The English Toy Terrier is not quite as active as other terriers so it only requires a moderate amount of exercise. A daily walk will be enough to meet this breed’s need for exercise, though active playtime is also encouraged.

The English Toy Terrier is an alert and affectionate breed that loves to spend time with family.


The AKC has not yet recognized the English Toy Terrier but this breed is part of the Toy Group for the UK Kennel Club. The English Toy Terrier is also on the UK Kennel Club’s vulnerable breeds list.


The English Toy Terrier has a short, close-lying coat that sheds minimally. This breed is known for its black-and-tan coloration and, in fact, this is the only coloration the breed exhibits. Because the breed has a short coat, it requires little maintenance aside from regular brushing.


The average litter size for the English Toy Terrier is between 1 and 7 puppies, though litters usually top out around 4 puppies. Because the adult size for the English Toy Terrier is so small, puppies reach maturity fairly quickly. This breed requires early socialization and training to prevent the development of problem behaviors.

Photo credit: Dzhulbee/Shutterstock; GPPets/Shutterstock

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

More by Kate Barrington