Toggenburgs originated in Switzerland, in the Swiss Canton of St. Gall. It is the oldest known breed of dairy goat, and the purest breed of goats in Switzerland. Toggs, as they are nicknamed, are highly adaptable, thriving in cooler conditions. They are noted for their excellent udder development and high milk production, and have an average fat test of 3.7 percent. They tend to be more spirited and less docile than other breeds, so while they are great milk producers, you probably wouldn't want one for a household pet :)
This breed of dairy goat was first introduced to England in 1884 and later, in 1893, William A. Shafer of Ohio imported 4 purebreds into the United States. By 1921, there had been enough importation of Toggenburgs to establish a foundation stock in the US. They were the first breed of goats registered in the United States.
A hardy, alert and consistent breed, the breed can maintain a long lactation. Mammaries are usually well attached and globular. They rank in the middle of breeds for average milk production, except for one exception, which holds the all time records! [ADGA averages for 2010 lactations: 2047 lbs milk, 3.0% fat, 2.7% protein].
Though they are one of the smaller Swiss breeds, in recent years breeders have tended to breed for larger animals. Typically they are very deer-like in appearance, sturdy and alert.
Breed standards indicate they can range in color from light fawn to dark chocolate. They have white ears with a dark central spot, two white stripes down the face, and white on the side of the tail. The hind legs should be white from hocks to hooves; forelegs white from knees downward with a dark lien (band) below knee acceptable; a white triangle on either side of the tail; white spot may be present at root of wattles or in that area if no wattles are present. Facial lines may be dished or straight, never Roman, and the ears are erect, pointing forwards. Their coat is shaggier than other dairy goat breeds, but is soft and fine, lying flat.
They have the smallest height requirement of 26 inches and weight around 120 pounds, but most are moderate in size.