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"It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as dull and gray as her Kansas surroundings. Toto was not gray; he was a little black dog with long silky hair, and big black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny wee nose. Toto played all day, and Dorothy played with him, and loved him dearly."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 013
Gender Male Puppy
Species Canine Dog/Terrier (Cairn)
Residence Kansas, Emerald City, Royal Palace of Oz
Affiliation L. Frank Baum, Dorothy Gale, Uncle Henry, Aunt Em, Cyclone, Land of Oz, Good Witch of the North, Munchkins, Yellow Brick Road, Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, Cowardly Lion, Wizard, Glinda, Princess Ozma, Boq, Kalidahs, Poppies, Field Mice, Billina, Jellia Jamb Wicked Witch of the West, Winkies, Winged Monkeys, Fighting Trees, Hammer-Heads, China Country, Deadly Desert
First Appearance The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore..."
Dorothy Gale (1939)
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The very first Illustration of Toto! By W. W. Denslow. (1900)

And Toto Too!

Toto (properly pronounced Toe-Toe) is a fictional dog created by L. Frank Baum, author and creator of the Oz legacy. He serves strictly as an animal sidekick who appears in Baum's first Oz book titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900. Toto is introduced in the first chapter of the book titled The Cyclone. He is the beloved pet dog and loyal companion of the book's main character and child protagonists and heroine of the story named Dorothy Gale. Toto lives with Dorothy who is an orphan raised by her two guardians, Uncle Henry and Aunt Em on a small and bleak farm upon the sun-baked Kansas prairies in circa 1899-1900. Toto was Dorothy's only friend and sole source of happiness. He stopped his little mistress from turning boring and joyless, like the adults in her life had.

  • In the days of the old west, early settlers on vast lonely praries ofen relied on pets to keep them company. Toto was a popular name for dogs in the nineteenth century. In france, it is also a common nickname ofen given for little boys.

Toto of Oz

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Toto and Emerald City (1900)

One random day a storm hit the farmland and brought a monstrous cyclone with it. The winds picked up the farmhouse with Toto and Dorothy aloft, resulting in the two of them both being carried far, far away and unexpectedly taken to the undiscovered realm known as the magical Land of Oz. A land populated with fierce beast, strange creatures and little friendly people who lived under the rule of Witches and Sorcerers. Shortly after arriving to Oz, Toto accompanies Dorothy and embarks on a remarkable journey as she seeks the great and mysterious ruler of Oz known as the Wizard. He is the only one believed to be powerful enough to help the lost girl and her dog find a way home again.

Blame It On Toto!

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"Toto jumped out of Dorothy's arms and hid under her bed and the little girl started to get him. Aunt Em, also badly frightened by the oncoming cyclone, threw open the trap door in the floor and climbed down the ladder into the small dark hole that substituted for a cellar. Dorothy caught Toto at last and started to follow her Aunt. When she was halfway across the room there came a great shriek from the wind, and the house shook so hard and violently that she lost her footing and sat down suddenly upon the floor. Then a very strange thing happened. The house whirled around two or three times and rose slowly through the air. Dorothy felt as if she were going up in a balloon..."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Toto is to blame as to why he and Dorothy were swept away to the Land of Oz. If he hadn't scrambled under her bed to escape the horrid sound of the cyclone that hit the farm, then she would have been fast enough to reach the storm cellar in time and found safety. And life would have went on as it always did. If it we're not for him, she would have never known the huge gap that would have been left in her life. As she'd remain just another orphaned country girl.

"It was very dark and the wind howled horribly around her, but Dorothy found she was riding quite easily. After the first few whirls around, and one other time when the house tipped badly, she felt as if she were being rocked gently, like a baby in a cradle. Toto did not like it. He ran about the room, now here, now there, barking loudly; but Dorothy sat quite still on the floor and waited to see what would happen."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
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Dorothy caught Toto by the ear.

  • In the book, Toto falls out of the house and into the heart of the cyclone but somehow doesn't fall. Since Toto was levitating in mid air, he was floating by the same type of power that was holding up the farmhouse. Both Toto and the house were subject to the same forces of gravitation that gave them identical motions. Dorothy herself, most likely floated around inside the farmhouse as if she was an Astronaut in outer-space floating with no gravity, becoming weightless. Although Baum does not specifically say that this happened to Dorothy, realistically speaking, it is very possible it did accure when the cyclone transports her, Toto and the house to Oz if such a peculiar thing could happen.
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"Once Toto got too near the open trap door and fell in; and at first the little girl thought she had lost him. But soon she saw one of his ears sticking up through the hole, for the strong pressure of the air was keeping him up in the air so that he could not fall. She crept to the hole, caught Toto by the ear, and dragged him into the room again, afterward closing the trap door so that no more accidents could happen."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Baums' Description

Glinda: "Oh, well is that the Witch?" Dorothy Gale: "Who, Toto? Toto's my dog..." -The Wizard of Oz (1939)

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Dorothy and Toto in Kansas by Charles Santore

Toto is described to be very small in size, very dark or completely all black with gray or brown highlights. In most illustrations he is seen as a Yorkshire Terrier or a Cairn Terrier. He has long silky hair and big black eyes that twinkle merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. He is a very well behaved dog who's specifically trained for being a outside farm pet that is rather brave, and hiyper despite his small size. Toto is indeed a little "spark-plug", full of innocent mischief and play. Yet he is always portrayed as a genuine, friendly, and a attractive animal, one whom wouldn't deliberately hurt even the smallest creature or insect. He loves his little mistress Dorothy very much and stays loyal to her no matter what. Toto is a sweet and smart dog but will growl at or even bite anyone who tries to harm her as he seems at times rather protective over Dorothy when he feels threatened.

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Toto in Legends of Oz.

  • Animals from the outside world can talk once they reach the magical Land of Oz; but Toto on the other hand remained silent for a very long time. In Baum's later Oz books, Toto can speak real words to humans and other beings but choses to bark instead. And if he does speaks it is only sparingly, if ever. Toto does not talk so he doesn't let on, he finds this helpful in chaotic situations. (Tik-Tok of Oz)

Oz History: Toto The Dog From Kansas


Terry as Toto with Judy Garland as Dorothy on the Kansas farm 1939

One random day, a big storm came to Kansas and brought a big cyclone with it. The cyclone struck the farmland which swept up the house due to the blowing winds. Toto was taken along with Dorothy in the house all the way to the Land of Oz. When Dorothy began her journey on the Yellow Brick Road, Toto accompanied his little mistress and gladly followed her the whole way. At first he was suspicious of her new friends whom she met in Oz, the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Cowardly Lion but came to get along with them. In the end, Dorothy learns about the magic of the Silver Shoes (Ruby Slippers in the 1939 movie) she had been wearing since her arrival in Oz to finally return home in Kansas. She carries Toto in the arms as the shoes magically fly them both over the Deadly Desert and out of the enchanted realm that Oz is in. However, it is said in the book that Toto didn't care rather he lived in Oz forever, but he disliked seeing Dorothy cry and felt sorry for her because she was so unhappy there and wanted to go back home. Therefore making him unhappy too. (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz).

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Aunt Em, Dorothy and Toto in Kansas by Charles Santore.

"Aunt Em had just come out of the house to water the cabbages when she looked up and saw Dorothy running toward her. My darling child!" she cried, folding the little girl in her arms and covering her face with kisses. "Where in the world did you come from?" "From the Land of Oz," said Dorothy gravely. "And here is Toto, too. And oh, Aunt Em! I'm so glad to be at home again! "
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

Sequel Oz Books...

When Dorothy permanently moved to the Land of Oz, along with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, Toto joined them, living with them in the Emerald City. (The Emerald City of Oz).

He gained the ability to talk when he was in the Land of Oz, but preferred not to, instead communicating nonverbally with Dorothy. When this came to her attention, she cornered him and got him to say something. (Tik-Tok of Oz)

When Ozma was kidnapped by Ugu the Shoemaker, Toto was left behind at the palace by Dorothy but found out from Jellia Jamb what was going on. He was able to catch the party before they left, hiding in the wagon so Dorothy wouldn't know he was with them until it was too late. The Cowardly Lion knew, but he stayed out of the matter. When Dorothy found out, she allowed him to stay with them.

During the adventure, Toto spent a lot of time talking with the other animals in the party: the Cowardly Lion, Sawhorse, and Woozy. He also came to believe he had lost his growl, and that it had been stolen by the same thief who stole Ozma, Glinda's Great Book of Records, and Cayke's Magic Dishpan. After Dorothy and The Frogman defeated Ugu, Toto noticed his growl had come back. (The Lost Princess of Oz)

When Dorothy was replaced by a Mimic, Toto was the only one who immediately saw through the deception. While she was at a dinner with the rest of the Oz celebrities, he declared that the girl sitting there was not her. This blew their cover and ran. (The Magical Mimics in Oz)

Book Appearances



Toto did not speak until the final chapter of the eighth Oz book, Tik-Tok of Oz, and continued to say very little in Baum's books. Some later Oz writers make him more talkative.


Terry as Toto 1939

Modern Oz writers have used Toto as a protagonist in several works, including Roger S. Baum's Toto of Oz and the Surprise Party and Toto in Candy Land of Oz, Chris Dulabone's Toto in Oz, Ian Fink's "Toto's Tale," Atticus Gannaway's "Toto and the Truth," and Gina Wickwar's Toto of Oz.

In Magic Land Toto is usually called by the diminutive form of his name "Totoshka". He begins speaking from his first trip and continues to speak much more frequently than in Baum's books. In the later books he is too old for adventuring, and is replaced by his grandson, Arto.

In The Great Wishy Woz he is Nono.

In Todd MacFarlane's 2007 pitch for an Oz movie, a reimagined Toto - or race of Totos - played a big role, as MacFarlane revealed in an interview with MTV: "There's still a thing called Toto, except it's the biggest thing in the movie and not the smallest thing. The beast called Toto basically ate the first dog, and it's this big thing that the inhabitants of Oz ride. They've given this generic word... so instead of horses, people ride Totos." [1]

Alternate Histories

There are many reimaginings and alternate versions of Oz which present alternate histories of many of the Oz characters. Here are some different versions of Toto.

Dorothy (Comic Book Series)

Toto is a mechanical (but living) dog who is native to Oz. However, when he meets Dorothy he quickly becomes her loyal companion. (Dorothy)


Was is a book written by Geoff Ryman, the same author of the novel Air. It is a very sad and tragic tale intended for adult readers. The story is about the realistic and dark life of a fictional Dorothy. Toto plays a small but heartbreaking role in this story. Toto lived with Dorothy as a puppy along with Dorothy's real birth mother before they moved in with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry after her mother's death. Aunt Em somewhat mistreated Dorothy and especially Toto, much to Dorothy's horror, and he eventually ran away because of it. He hid in the marshes near their Kansas farm, returning occasionally to see Dorothy and get some food or fresh water from her. He finally got his revenge on Aunt Em by digging up the bones of a dog she'd had as a child. Infuriated, Aunt Em chased him away. After that, he disappeared and didn't return.

  • It is implied that Aunt Em or Uncle Henry may have killed him.

The Wizard of Oz 1939

In the 1939 film Toto was played by a female cairn terrier named Terry. She was paid $125 a week in the film while the Singer Midgets who played the Munchkins reportedly received $50 to $100 a week). Afterward, her name was changed to Toto.

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Judy with Terry 1939

She took some time off during filming because one of the Winkie Guards stepped on her paw during one of the castle sequences with the Witch and broke it. She died at age 10 or 11. Willard Carroll wrote her "autobiography," I, Toto (2001).

Journey Back to Oz 1974

In the all star cast animated sequel to the 1939 film, Toto is swept away to Oz once again with Dorothy who is voiced by Liza Minnelli.

The Wiz 1978

In the African-American version of The Wizard Of Oz Toto plays as Dorothy's animal counterpart like in the original story. Except in here, he is from New York instead of Kansas.

Return to Oz 1985

Toto is not a main character in Walt Disney's Cult Classic Return to Oz, but he is in the film towards the beginning and in the very end of the story.

The Muppets' Wizard of Oz 2005

Toto is played by Pepe the prawn in the 2005 made for TV movie starring pop and R&B singer Ashanti as Dorothy.

Legends of Oz, Dorothy's Return 2014

Toto is a main character in the CGI animated film Legends of Oz, Dorothy's Return.


Toto in 'Legends of Oz' Dorothy's Return


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