toy terrier breed information

Toy Terrier

The origin of the English Toy Terrier is rooted in the black and tan ratting terriers of 19th century England. During the Industrial Revolution, these dogs became highly prized for their capabilities in hunting vermin, which were abundant in the rapidly growing towns. He also became the centerpiece of a Victorian sport, in which small dogs were placed in a circle or pit with a number of rats and bets were taken as to which dog would kill its quota of rats in the fastest time. One, a terrier named Billy, was said to have killed 100 rats in just 5 ½ minutes.

When the sport was outlawed in the early 1900s, English Toy Terriers became popular as a show dog with the newly formed Kennel Club. When they were first shown, there were two varieties of “Black and Tan Terrier”, based on weight. These were split into two breeds in the 1920s in the UK: the larger Manchester Terrier and the smaller Black and Tan Terrier (Miniature), which was renamed the English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan) in 1962. In North America, the two sizes were also split into two breeds until 1958, when declining numbers prompted the American Kennel Club to redefine them as a single English Terrier breed with two varieties; Standard and Toy.

Today, the English Toy Terrier is 6-8 lbs. of sleek, compact elegance. His shiny, short coat may only be black and tan, and requires little care to keep it looking neat. He does equally well in the city or country, though the yard should be well-fenced to keep this curious, confident dog at home where he belongs.

An alert and affectionate companion, the English Toy Terrier loves to be with his family, though he may play favorites with one person in particular! Despite his small size, he makes a fine watchdog — he is courageous and quick to alert his family when he notices strangers approaching. Like many Toy breeds, he is best suited to families with older, considerate children who will understand how to handle his tiny frame. He can get along well with other dogs if accustomed to them from an early age, but cats and other furry pets may appeal to his natural ratting instinct.

Despite his hunting heritage, the English Toy Terrier is still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect his health, and your family’s budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses English Toy Terriers are prone to include eye conditions such as glaucoma and lens luxation; coat conditions such as follicular dysplasia; blood diseases such as von Willebrand Disease; and knee problems such as luxating patellas.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your English Toy Terrier inherits his mother’s bad eyes or his father’s trick knee, you’re protected.

Common health issues

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

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