English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)

The English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) was developed from the Old English Black and Tan Terrier, and is a close relative of the Manchester Terrier. The Italian Greyhound is also believed to have contributed with genetic material to the ETT B&T. The ETT B&T is considerably smaller than the Old English Black and Tan Terrier and the Manchester Terrier, and also more fine boned.

When the first all-breeds dog show took place in the United Kingdom, a lot of Black and Tan Terriers participated. They were divided into different groups based on weight, and this weight division eventually led to the recognition of a heavy breed – the Manchester Terrier – and a low-weight breed – the Black and Tan Terrier (Miniature) in the 1920s. In 1962, the name of the latter was changed to English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan).

Today, the English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) is a rare breed and the UK Kennel Club is concerned about its possible extinction. To promote the breed and prevent genetic problems due to severe inbreeding, they have opened their stud book to allow the North American Toy Manchester Terrier to be re-registered as English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) – provided that the dog is a certified toy and not a standard.


The English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) hails from dogs used both to control vermin and for participation in rat pit contests. Rat pit contests were a popular past time in Victorian England and involved placing rat-catching dogs, typically terriers, in a circle or pit with a number of rats. Before the contest started, spectators would bet on which dog would kill its quota of rats in the fastest time.

Some of these dogs were truly amazing rat-killers. In 1848, a black and tan terrier named Tiny killed 300 rats in less than an hour, despite weighing just 5.5 lbs.

Rat pit contests have been outlawed in the UK for a very long time, but the UK Kennel Club breed standard for the ETT B&T still calls for alertness and a dog that is never unduly nervous. The dog’s ancestors were brave and skilled in the rat pit, and this should be noticeable even in today’s English Toy Terriers.


  • English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) is used by the UK Kennel Club.
  • The name Toy Manchester Terrier is used in North America. In 1958, declining numbers of the Manchester Terrier and the smaller Black and Tan in North America prompted the American Kennel Club to re-define them as a single breed with two varieties: Standard and Toy.
  • Another common name for this breed is Miniature Black and Tan.

Short facts about the English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)

Breed group (UK Kennel Club) Toy
Size Small
Coat length Short
Shedding Yes
Grooming requirements Once a week
Exercise requirements In the lower range
Expected life span 12+ years

Excerpts from the UK Kennel Club Breed Standard

General appearance Well balanced




Cleanly built

Size & Weight Ideal weight is 2.7-3.6 kg

Ideal height is 25-30 cm at the shoulder

Body etc Compact body

Head and legs proportionate

Long and slightly arched neck

Well laid back shoulders

Narrow and deep chest

Very slightly curving back, from behind the should to the loin

Gently rounded buttocks

Head etc Long head

Flat skull

Wedge-shaped without emphasis of cheek muscles

Well filled up under the eyes

Jaws strong and held tightly together within compressed lips

Perfect scissor bite

Teeth level and strong

Black nose

Relatively small eyes, not prominent

Almond-shaped eyes

Obliquely set eyes

Sparkling eyes

Dark to black eyes

No light shading from iris

Candle-flame shaped ears with slightly pointed tips

Ears placed high upon the back of the skull, with the entire inside of the ear front-facing

An ear bent forward should not reach the eye

Ear carriage must be erect in dogs aged 9 month and above

Coat & Colour Thick, close and glossy coat

A density of short hair required

Black & Tan, with the black being ebony

Colours should not be running or blending into each other

White hair forming a patch is totally undesirable

Tail Thick at the root, tapering to point

Set low

Not reaching below the hock

Feet Dainty


Split up between toes

Well arched

Two middle toes on front feet longer than other toes

Hind feet similar to cat paws

Jet black nails

Hare feet are undesirable