English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)

The English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan) is a small dog breeds of terrier in the toy dog group.

The English Toy Terrier (ETT) developed from the Old English Black and Tan Terrier and is closely related to the larger Manchester Terrier. Extremely fast and agile, the origins of this alert terrier are in the world of the rat pit, a sport popular in the cities of Victorian England where terriers 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. Small dogs were highly prized with the ideal being to produce the smallest dog still capable of killing its quota of rats in as short a time as possible. In 1848 a black and tan terrier weighing just 5½lb (2.5kg) named Tiny is recorded to have killed 300 rats in less than an hour.

The outlawing of this sport coincided with the formation of the Kennel Club. With its elegant appearance the Black and Tan Terrier moved effortlessly into the conformation show ring. At the first ever all breeds dog show there was a very respectable entry of Black and Tan Terriers divided by weight. This weight division continued with two varieties of Black and Tan Terrier until the 1920’s when they were split into two breeds, the larger Manchester Terrier and the smaller Black and Tan Terrier (Miniature). The name English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan) was adopted in 1962. In the USA and Canada, the Toy Manchester Terrier was bred down in size from the Manchester Terrier, and recognised as a separate breed in 1938. Declining numbers of the Toy Manchester Terrier caused the American Kennel Club to re-defined it as a size variety of the Manchester Terrier in 1958.

The English Toy Terrier is a refined and elegant little dog. Ideally it should be 25-30cm (10-12 inches) in height and 2.7-3.6 kg (6-8lb) in weight. The only permitted color is black with defined tan markings on the legs, chest and face. The movement is described as being like the extended trot of a horse. The Breed Standard may be seen on the Kennel Club Web Site.

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