Oz Wiki
"It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings. Toto was not gray; he was a little black dog, with long silky hair, and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. Toto played all day long, and Dorothy played with him, and loved him dearly..."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
"My little black dog, Toto, has traveled with me to Oz several times, and he's never said a single word but 'Bow-wow!'. I've never suspected Toto was fooling me all this time," said Dorothy. So Dorothy bent down before her dog and said, "Toto, haven't I always been good to you?" Toto looked up at her with his bright black eyes and wagged his tail. "Bow-wow!" he said and the little girl knew at once that meant yes. "But that's a dog answer," said Dorothy. "How would you like it, Toto, if I said nothing to you but 'Bow-wow?'" Toto's tail was wagging furiously now, but he still kept silent. "I've just learned from Princess Ozma that you can say actual words--if you want to, any animal who comes to the magical Land of Oz is given the ability to speak words, and you, Toto, are no different. Don't you want to, Toto?" "Woof!" said Toto and that meant no. "Not just one word, Toto, to prove you're as any other animal in Oz?" Dorothy pleaded. "Woof!" "Just one word, Toto--and then you can go and play all day." Toto looked up at his little mistress steadily and in a moment froze. "All right. Here I go!" he said, and darted away as swift as an arrow. Dorothy clasped her hands in delight. "

Tik-Tok of Oz (1914)

Title Toto
Gender Male
Species Dog (Cairn or Yorkshire Terrier)
Residence Kansas, Emerald City, Royal Palace of Oz
Occupation Dorothy's pet
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)

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 makes his debut appearance in Baum's first Oz book titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900, and is introduced in the first chapter of the novel titled The Cyclone. Toto is the beloved pet dog and loyal companion of Dorothy Gale, the book's main heroine and child protagonist. He lived with his owner Dorothy who was an adolescent orphan raised by her two guardians; Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, on a small and poverty stricken farm upon the sunbaked Kansas prairies in circa 1899-1900. Toto was Dorothy's only friend and sole source of happiness and he would play with Dorothy all day, everyday, and keep her company on the lonely, isolated farmland. Because of his friendly and energetic nature, Toto stopped his little mistress from sharing the same bleak fates as the adults in her life who are described as being joyless and "gray".

Dorothy and Toto from Legends of Oz.

  • In the days of the old west, early settlers on vast lonely praries often 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 often given for little boys.

Blame It On Toto!


"Toto jumped out of Dorothy's arms and hid under her bed, and the girl started to get him. Aunt Em, badly frightened, threw open the trap door in the floor and climbed down the ladder into the small, dark hole. 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 that she lost her footing and sat down suddenly upon the floor. A strange thing then 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)

Dorothy caught Toto by the ear.

  • In the book, when the cyclone picks up the farmhouse, Toto accidentally falls out of the house and into the heart of the storm but somehow doesn't fall. Since he was levitating in mid air, he was floating by the same type of power that was holding up the farmhouse. Both the establishment and the dog were subject to the same strong forces of gravitation that gave them identical motions. Dorothy herself, most likely floated around inside the house 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 her, realistically speaking, it is very possible that it did accure when the cyclone transports her, Toto, and the house to Oz if such a peculiar thing could happen.


"Once Toto got too near the open trap door and fell in; and at first the 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 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)

Baum's Description

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

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

Toto is described to be very small in size, with long silky black hair and big black eyes that twinkle merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. In most illustrations, Toto is usually drawn to be a Yorkshire or Cairn Terrier. He is a very well behaved dog, at least for one living on a farm and in the sequel Oz books, Baum says Toto chases all the chickens around the Kansas farm for fun. He is always portrayed as a genuine and fiendly pet—most of the time—and always stays loyal and true to his little mistress Dorothy, whom he loves dearly.

Toto in Legends of Oz

  • Interestingly, after moving to Oz permanently, it is revealed in Baum's eighth Oz book titled Tik-Tok of Oz, published in 1914, that Toto could talk. Since Oz is located in an enchanted realm filled with real magic, Toto had the ability to speak the entire time, even in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. When he came to Oz the first time while aloft in the Kansas cyclone with his mistress Dorothy, he was given the ability to say actual words. Yet Toto simply prefers to only bark as he is so used to using barking as his way of communicating instead of speaking human words or sentences like all the other animals in Oz. Toto also chose not to talk so that he didn't lead on. Thus throwing people off, and gaining valuable clues and information in chaotic or stressful situations from those who underestimated his intelligence and did not think he could repeat back to others what was or had been said.

Oz History: Toto The Dog From Kansas

Dorothy and Toto in Kansas by Charles Santore

One day in Kansas, a big storm came and brought a deadly cyclone with it. The cyclone struck the farmland and the winds of the storm swept up the farmhouse with Toto and Dorothy aloft. They were both taken across a vast Deadly Desert and all the way to the undiscovered and magical realm called the Land of Oz. When Dorothy began her journey on the Yellow Brick Road, to seek the great Wizard who could help her return home again, Toto accompanied his little mistress and loyally followed her to the Emerald City where the Wizard resided. Along the way, they met three unforgettable characters.

Toto and Emerald City (1900)

"They walked back to the road. Dorothy helped him over the fence, and they started along the path of yellow brick for the Emerald City. Toto did not like this addition to the party, at first. He smelled around the stuffed man as if he suspected there might be a nest of rats in the straw, and he often growled in an unfriendly way at the Scarecrow. "Don't mind Toto," said Dorothy, to her new friend. "He never bites." "Oh, I'm not afraid," replied the Scarecrow. "He can't hurt the straw.""

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

At first he was suspicious of these new beings whom Dorothy had met and befriended in Oz, the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Cowardly Lion; but Toto eventually came to get along with them very well despite their differences and they all became good comrades forevermore. After having many adventures including barely escaping the fierce, wild beast known as Kalidahs, falling into a deadly sleep by poison poppies and luckily saved by the Queen of the Field Mice, they made it to the green gates of Emerald City at last. However, before the Wizard agreed to help them, he ordered the group to prove themselves worthy of his assistance and conquer the Wicked Witch of the West. But before they could do as the Wizard requested, the Wicked Witch had her Winged Monkeys capture poor Dorothy and she made the girl her personal slave to work in her castle. With Dorothy imprisoned, it seemed like they would never get home.

  • In the book, Toto even shows how brave he can be.
"The girl had to work hard during the day, and often the Witch threatened to beat her with the same old umbrella she always carried in her hand. But, in truth, she did not dare to strike Dorothy, because of the mark upon her forehead. The child did not know this, and was full of fear for herself and Toto. Once the Witch struck Toto a blow with her umbrella and the brave little dog flew at her and bit her leg, in return. The Witch did not bleed where she was bitten, for she was so wicked that the blood in her had dried up many years before..."

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

  • It is said in the book that Toto didn't care rather he lived in Oz forever. But because Dorothy was so unhappy away from Aunt Em, this made Toto unhappy too.
"Dorothy's life became very sad as she grew to understand that it would be harder than ever to get back to Kansas and Aunt Em again. Sometimes she would cry bitterly for hours, with Toto sitting at her feet and looking into her face, whining dismally to show how sorry he was for his little mistress. Toto did not really care whether he was in Kansas or the Land of Oz so long as Dorothy was with him; but he knew the little girl was unhappy, and that made him unhappy too..."

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)

After the Wicked Witch tried to steal Dorothy's charmed Silver Shoes that she'd been wearing since her arrival in Oz; the girl killed the witch with a bucket of water; causing the old wicked creature to melt away like brown sugar. Once the group returned to Emerald City to see the Wizard, it was discovered that the great Oz was an old humbug named Oscar Diggs. Desperate to find a way home, Dorothy, Toto and their friends were forced to set out on yet another adventure to seek Glinda, the beautiful Good Witch of the South. On their way they encountered the Fighting Trees, passed carefully through the dainty enclave called China Country and dodged the unfriendly clan called Hammer-Heads. Once they arrived at Glinda's palace, there she kindly told them about the secret charm of the Silver Shoes. The shoes would allow Dorothy to return to Kansas. Dorothy knocked the heels of the shoes together exactly three times in a row. And with Toto in her arms, Dorothy was instantly teleported away to a joyful reunion with her family and Toto chased after the chickens on the newly built farm. The Silver Shoes however, were lost in the desert forever.

"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)

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

Sequel Oz Books

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

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

When Princess Ozma was kidnapped by Ugu the Shoemaker, Toto was left behind at the palace by Dorothy but found out from the green maid named 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 and knew it was an imposter. 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. (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 (Novel)

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. He lived with her as a puppy along with her real birthmother before they moved in with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry after her mother's death. Aunt Em somewhat mistreated her and especially Toto, much to her horror, and he eventually ran away because of it. He hid in the marshes near their Kansas farm, returning occasionally to see her 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, she chased him away. After that, he disappeared and didn't return.

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

Film Appearances

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.

Judy with Terry 1939

She took some time off during filming after 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

The Wiz 2015

In the 1975 Broadway musical, Toto was seen in the beginning only and later at the very end. In the 1978 film adaptation however, he stayed by Dorothy's side, for he runs out into the raging blizzard (that replaces the twister) causing Dorothy to chase after him.

In 2015 Toto portrayed the same role as he did in 1975

Return to Oz 1985

Toto is not a main character nor a sidekick in Walt Disney's cult classic Return to Oz. He does not return to Oz with Dorothy in this version, but he is seen in the very beginning and in the very end when he finds Dorothy after she returns home after her adventure.

Return to Oz

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

TV Appearances

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Anime TV Series (1986)

Dorothy and Toto, 1986 anime TV series

Dorothy receives Toto in the first episode as a surprise from Uncle Henry, Uncle Henry left before Dorothy woke up one morning to visit the neighbors, and came home with the dog, who Dorothy later names Toto. (In the Japanese version, Toto is already named with Uncle Henry gives him to Dorothy.) He reasoned that Dorothy needs a playmate being out in the country by herself where the neighbors are miles away. Toto is scared at first, but it doesn't take long at all for him to warm up to Dorothy. Uncle Henry secretly tries to feed Toto table scraps, but Toto accidentally bites his finger as he eats it, causing Aunt Em to tell him Toto already has his supper. Dorothy allows Toto to sleep with her, feeling that he must be lonely sleeping elsewhere in the house. When Toto falls down the cellar trap door during the tornado, Dorothy grabs him by the front leg, instead of the ear in the novel.

Compare: Dorothy rescues Toto, 1900 novel vs 1986 anime TV series.

Toto is a main character in the first season and story arc based on the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He appears in the first two episodes of the second season and story arc based on The Marvelous Land of Oz, but doesn't go back to Oz with Dorothy, so is absent for the rest of that story arc. He appears briefly in the first episode of the third season and story arc based on Ozma of Oz, as he is in bed with Dorothy before she is whisked off at night to the land of Ev, but is otherwise absent. Toto is absent from the fourth story arc based on The Emerald City of Oz, except that he can be heard barking excitedly in the last episode as Dorothy returns to her home in Kansas.

Once Upon a Time

Toto Once.png

Not shown to be present during Dorothy's first trip to Oz back in season two, he appears with Dorothy in the season five episode "Our Decay" in the television series Once Upon a Time.

Dorothy and Toto Once.jpg