The Toggenburg originated in Switzerland where its breeding was strictly regulated for purity and type. It was widely exported and has a presence in many countries, including Australia, Great Britain and the United States of America. When imported into Britain the Pure Toggenburg was maintained by some breeders while others used selective outcrossing to develop a larger animal. Where the Pure Toggenburg had a short, dished face and well developed fringes of hair the British Toggenburg had shorter hair and a longer face. It also had more colour variation, ranging from light fawn to dark chocolate.
Between 1947 and 1953 Australia imported six bucks and fourteen does, some in kid. Six more bucks and three does were born from these does. Of these imports, four were Pure, while the remainder were British Toggenburgs. The major importer was the New South Wales Department of Agriculture's State farm at Condobolin. They bred considerable numbers and dispersed Toggenburgs throughout Australia.
The breed's robust nature makes it a hardy goat able to look after its best interests. It prefers temperate regions but is found in all climates, with its dark skin providing good protection against skin cancer.