All About the Breed English Toy Terrier

Have you recently fallen for the English Toy Terrier or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: breed history, personality traits, train-ability, benefits and disadvantages of the breed, and common health concerns.

Also known as the English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan), Black and Tan English Toy Terrier, Toy Manchester Terrier, and simply the Black and Tan, the English Toy Terrier is a spunky and loyal breed.

But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you?

This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the English Toy Terrier can be traced back to late 18th century England. Enthusiasts believe these dogs to have descended from such breeds as the Old English Black and Tan Terrier and the Manchester Terrier, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the English Toy Terrier has been most commonly used for killing small vermin such as rats, and as a companion and show dog, proving its superior abilities to provide entertainment and friendship.

The English Toy Terrier was very popular among the rat pits of 1800's England - a sport in which a dog is placed in a pit full of rats; the winner is determined by the amount of rats the dog kills. Upon the outlawing of this sport in the early 1900's, the numbers of this breed have slowly decreased, and continue to currently.

Today, while the English Toy Terrier has attained an underground popularity as a show and companion dog, the breed remains rather rare outside of Europe.

Personality Traits

Best known for its spunky and lively nature, the English Toy Terrier is full of character. These small dogs thrive on strong and dependable relationships with humans, and love to play the role of lap dog. This breed is very intelligent, yet stubborn and overly confident, creating difficulty in training. As a pet, the English Toy Terrier is loyal, loving, and affectionate. These dogs adapt well to indoor and apartment living, and view spending time outdoors as a special treat.


Due to its stubborn and confident attitude, the English Toy Terrier can prove challenging to train. This breed is known for being especially difficult to housebreak and growing for and even annoyed with repetitive exercises and tasks.

Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the English Toy Terrier. These dogs require an experienced, confident, and caring handler with a stern yet gentle approach.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning an English Toy Terrier, such as its no hassle, low maintenance coat. This active breed is always on the go, and often quite amusing and entertaining to watch while at play. When properly socialized from a young age, these dogs get along well with small children and other pets.

These dogs adapt well to new environments and situations, and require only moderate amounts of daily exercise. The English Toy Terrier is loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent family pet and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning an English Toy Terrier. Like many companion breeds, these dogs are known to suffer from separation anxiety. Individuals wishing to purchase this breed who travel frequently, have full time work, or are away from the home on a daily basis are advised to begin researching another breed.

During an attack of separation anxiety, the English Toy Terrier will act out of nervous destruction and may destroy property, chew, bark, whine, and ignore basic training such as housebreaking.

The English Toy Terrier has a strong instinct to hunt and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, these dogs are surprisingly quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. These dogs must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.

As previously mentioned, the English Toy Terrier remains rather rare outside of Europe and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the English Toy Terrier is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: patellar luxation - dislocation of the knee, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, cryptorchidism - failure of one or both of the testicles to fully descend, and various dental issues.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own an English Toy Terrier?

Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.