English Toy Terrier

English Toy Terrier

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An English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan) is a small breed of terrier in the toy dog group. While the name is sometimes used synonymously with that of the Toy Manchester Terrier, these are actually separate breeds.

The English Toy Terrier (ETT) developed from the Manchester Terrier and other small breeds of sporting terrier including the now extinct English Black and Tan Terrier. Its origin is 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.

When this sport was made illegal in England the ETT survived as a companion dog and a show dog. It is considered a Toy Dog (not a Terrier) for show purposes but has never gained anything like the popularity of other toy breeds such as the Chihuahua.

The breed standards for the English Toy Terrier and the Toy Manchester Terrier (which was developed in the United States) are very similar, but there are subtle differences. One evident one is that the English Toy Terrier must exhibit “candle flame” ears. Further, the breed standard of the English Toy Terrier is often interpreted to describe a lighter, finer dog than the type acceptable under the Toy Manchester Terrier breed standard.

The ETT is on the UK Kennel Club’s list of vulnerable native breeds and great effort is being made to boost the popularity of the breed and develop a viable gene pool. The Kennel Club (UK) has opened its stud book to allow Toy Manchester Terriers from the USA which fit the breed standard of the English Toy Terrier to be transferred to English Toy Terrier breed clubs. Many owners in Great Britain are against this decision; others see it as the only way to preserve the breed.

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