By Jags Goldie Last updated: 27th October 2022

English Toy Terrier


Jags Goldie
Last updated: 27th October 2022

The well-balanced, compact, and elegant English Toy Terrier is a small, cleanly built breed of small terriers closely resembling the Manchester Terrier and Miniature Pinscher. It comes with a long, narrow head, wedge-shaped muzzle, black nose, small, almond-shaped, dark eyes, slightly pointed, candle-flame-shaped ears, long, moderately arched neck, narrow and deep chest, straight forelegs, and a thick tail tapering to point.

English Toy Terrier Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesETT, English Toy Terrier – Black and Tan
CoatShort, close-lying, thick, glossy
ColorBlack with tan markings on the chest, face, and legs
Breed TypePurebred
GroupToy, Terrier
Lifespan12-13 years
Weight6-8 lbs
Height10-12 in
TemperamentAlert, intelligent, trainable, stubborn, companionable
Litter SizeVaries greatly, 1-7 puppies on average
Good with ChildrenYes
BarkingModerate, loud
Country Originated inEngland
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationFCI, KC (UK), ANKC, NZKC

Video: English Toy Terrier Puppies Playing

English Toy Terrier Mixes

  • English Toy Terrier X Beagle Mix
  • English Toy Terrier X Chihuahua Mix
  • English Toy Terrier X Lab Mix


Bred from the Old English Black and Tan Terrier, the fast and agile English Toy Terriers were commonly used in the sport of rat-baiting during the 1800s in Victorian England. This sport involved releasing captured rats in an enclosed area where small terriers were set loose to kill as many rats as possible in the shortest time. Bets were taken on how long it would take a dog to kill its quota.

The UK Kennel Club was established at the same time when rat-baiting was declared illegal. The Black and Tan Terriers were previously divided by weight, but after the 1920s, they were distinguished into two breeds – the smaller Black and Tan Terriers and the larger Manchester Terriers. In 1962, the smaller breed was named English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan). Today, the English Toy Terrier is one of the vulnerable native breeds in the Kennel Club’s list, and efforts are being made to develop a self-supporting population.

Temperament and Behavior

The ETT is a lovable and affectionate pet that likes spending time with its people. Since it needs company, it does not do well if left alone at home for a prolonged duration. It is a natural entertainer that loves to please its owner.

As a Terrier breed, it can be a little strong-willed or stubborn at times. Its alert and fearless disposition make it an excellent guard dog. It does not display undue nervous behavior and is reserved around strangers. Known for its innate prey drive, it may hunt small animals like cats, rabbits, squirrels, and hamsters whenever it gets the chance to chase.

It is gentle with kids but cannot handle rough behavior. Therefore, make sure to supervise their interactions and teach your children how to handle a dog gently.



Although it is an energetic breed, it does not require lots of regular activities, because of its small stature. Taking your ETT out for a half hour walk on a regular basis will take care of its need for exercise. You may as well allow your dog to run around and play in an enclosed yard.


Its coat does not need much maintenance and should be brushed only once each week. Bathing is rarely necessary while occasional nail clipping and regular tooth brushing may be practiced for promoting good dental hygiene.

Health Problems

Most English Toy Terriers are healthy, but some health issues known to occur in this breed include patellar luxation, Legg-Calves-Perthes disease, skin problems, cataract, canine deafness, and juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy.


Despite its occasional mischief and stubbornness, the ETT is easier to train than other Terrier breeds, mainly because of its cleverness and devotion to its owner.

Take it out for a walk by keeping your English Toy Terrier on a short leash and allow it to meet a wide variety of humans, including men, women, and children. Have some friends who will calmly approach your dog, give it treats, and pet it under the chin, chest, or on the back of the neck.

Lessening its chasing instinct
Playing interactive games like Frisbees, Kong toys, and balls will help use up its energy. Training it to perform tricks and playing hide-and-seek games will calm your dog.

If there are squirrels in your yard, take your ETT outside so that it can see a squirrel and start chasing the animal. Then, bring out a steak or a piece of chicken, and hide it in hand. Now, wave the scent of the meat in front of your dog so that it gets attracted to the treat. When its attention deviates from the squirrel, put its leash on and give the piece of meat. Wait until it relaxes before taking it into the house.


Give your English Toy Terrier a quality dry food that contains a high proportion of carbohydrates and fat to meet its energy needs.

Interesting Facts

  • In 1848, a 5.5 lb Black and Tan Terrier, named Tiny, set the record of killing 300 rats within an hour.

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