Do English Toy Terriers make good guard dogs?

No, the diminutive English Toy Terrier would not make an effective guard dog.

Are English Toy Terriers the right size to be guard dogs?

The English Toy Terrier stands at a tiny 8 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder. Their small stature prevents confronting or physically deterring intruders.

Does a English Toy Terrier have the right temperament to be a guard dog?

Spirited, alert and loyal to its family, the affectionate ETT can make an excellent watchdog – vocally sounding alarms to disturbances. However, they lack defensive or territorial instincts.

Can you train a English Toy Terrier to be a guard dog?

Responsive and attentive to their owner, the intelligent English Toy Terrier can readily master tricks and basic obedience. However, their tiny size prevents realistic protection dog training.

Have English Toy Terriers ever been used as guard dogs?

Bred as a British ratters and companion pet since the 19th century, the English Toy Terrier remains a lively housedog today. Any defensive role would endanger them.

What are the Pros and Cons of using a English Toy Terrier as a guard dog?


  • Alert and vocal watchdog
  • Lively and friendly


  • Far too small to deter intruders
  • Not aggressive toward people
  • Very fragile – easily injured

While the pint-sized English Toy Terrier can loudly announce visitors and trouble, attempting to employ them to confront, intimidate or physically guard would be irresponsible and dangerous, needlessly putting them in harm’s way.

Final Thoughts

The eager-to-please English Toy Terrier needs regular indoor play sessions and learning games as an outlet for their terrier energy and intelligence.

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