What kind of dog was Toto in The Wizard of Oz?

This post will talk about the Toto breed. Toto is a dog in Wizard of Oz, a 1939 American musical fantasy movie. In this post, we will present a brief description of the character Toto, we will discover the breed of this famous dog and finally the physical and behavioral characteristics of his breed.

What kind of dog is Toto in The Wizard of Oz?

Toto, Dorothy’s dog in The Wizard of Oz stories, is a Cairn Terrier dog.

What is the wizard of oz?

The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy movie. An adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. 

The Movie tells the story of Dorothy and her dog Toto who are taken to the wizard world of Oz after a tornado hits Dorothy’s town. In Oz Dorothy and Toto meet a Scarecrow who wants a brain, a Tin Woodman who wants a heart and a Cowardly Lion who wants courage.

In search of a way back home, Dorothy and Toto face many obstacles, but with the help of their companions, they find their way.

About the Cairn Terrier breed

The Cairn Terrier breed is originally from Scotland. Since the Middle Ages, the animal has been used to hunt hares, otters and foxes. Below we will talk a little about the physical and behavioral characteristics of this breed.

Physical characterizes

It is a small dog. Agile and alert, well defined head, with small and erect ears. Well erect on front legs, strong hind legs. Deep ribs, very free movement.

The coat is usually dense, tough, and can come in different colors, including black, red, brindle, and silver.


The Cairn Terrier is a dog ready for work, always agile, alert, brave and cheerful. This breed is not an aggressive breed. This breed is also very close and careful to his tutors.

It is a dog with a lot of energy, requiring walks and physical activity. Excess energy causes the animal to have a strong tendency towards excessive barking, as well as for digging. Certainly, a dog suitable for those who have more active routines.

Health care

Cairn Terriers are dogs that can present some pathologies such as heart and eye diseases. In addition, the pathology that most affects this breed is renal agenesis and renal dysplasia.

Cairn Terrier dogs must undergo periodic consultations with a veterinarian due to the predisposition of this breed to present cardiac and ophthalmological diseases. Early diagnosis and treatment of these diseases can improve the quality of life for the dog.

Renal agenesis is a congenital disease characterized as the absence of a kidney. Most of the time, dogs may not show symptoms, and the presence of the pathology by the tutors is often not unknown. Renal agenesis is a problem when the only functioning kidney begins to show problems.

Renal dysplasia is also a congenital disease that causes chronic nephropathy in puppies. Clinical signs include reduced food consumption, vomiting, lethargy, increased urination and weight loss.

As for reproduction, few reproductive problems are reported. Females tend to be very affectionate with their puppies. Some bitches may have dystocia, but this is rare for this breed.

Before having a dog, it is essential to talk to a veterinarian to choose the ideal breed for your family. And once you’re with the animal, it’s important to regularly monitor the animal’s health with exams, vaccinations, and appointments.

Breed care

Below we will talk about some Cairn Terrier general care such as:

  • Health care;
  • Skin care;
  • Nail care;
  • Teeth care.

Health care

Cairn Terriers need to keep their vaccinations and deworming up to date. So, it is advisable to visit the vet at least once a year. They tend to be very healthy, active and playful dogs.

Skin care

Baths in the Cairn Terrier breed are indicated with specific dog shampoos every three months. The bath must be done very carefully, mainly to avoid the entry of water in the ear, thus avoiding otitis.

This breed has erect ears which can predispose to ear infections. Ear cleaning should be done with specific products for dogs every week. This way it is possible to avoid serious problems such as otitis.

The animal must always be very dry after bathing, to avoid the growth of microorganisms that can lead to dermatitis. Brushing the hair should be done weekly.

Nail care

As for nail clipping, it is recommended to cut the dog’s nail once or twice a month. Clipping the nails prevents the animal from getting hurt or even hurting the tutor.

Teeth care

Dogs of this breed should brush their teeth every 48 hours with a dog-specific toothpaste. Constant brushing of your dog’s teeth helps prevent tartar buildup and the resulting problems.


In this blog post we were able to find out more about the Cairn Terriers breed. Themes such as the physical characteristics of Cairn Terrier, in addition to its Energetic, courageous, and Careful behaviors which makes it an excellent company dog.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):  What kind of dog was Toto in the wizard of oz?

Is the Cairn Terrier aggressive? 

No, they are sweet and friendly dogs. It is a very affectionate breed with its tutors.

How big is the Cairn Terrier breed?

The size of the dogs is measured by the height of the withers, for Cairn Terrier Approximately 28 to 31 cm at the withers, with the ideal weight being 6 to 7.5 kg.

Is the Cairn Terrier a good family pet?

Yes, they can be excellent family dogs. Their courage and energy make them very playful, making them perfect for those with more active routines.


CBKC – Brazilian Canine Cynophilic Confederation, 2015 Official Breed Standard: Cairn Terrier. Available in: https://cbkc.org/application/views/docs/padroes/padrao-raca_76.pdf. Accessed 15th Jan 2022.

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