Manchester Terrier

Breed Group: Toy

Temperament and Behavior

Manchester Terriers are keenly alert and very active both inside and out without being hyperactive. More loving with and devoted to family than other terriers, they thrive on attention. Athletic and agile, they do well with active families. Manchester Terriers love to play. They will play with you, with another dog, or by themselves. But they bore if left alone for long periods resorting to destructive chewing or excessive barking. With their playfulness and naturally high activity level, their exercise needs are not difficult to meet. A brisk walk twice a day and a romp outside in addition to their playtime suffices. Frequently one family member is favored over others with this person receiving special lap and bed warming services. This person is frequently an older, well-behaved child with whom the dog eagerly joins in any game the child wants to play. But great care must be taken as this tiny, fine-boned dog is easily injured. Stand-offish with strangers, they are quick to bark making them excellent watchdogs. But so easily injured, they do not have any significant protective abilities. First bred as a ratter, they will dispatch any small creature, furry or feathered. Although they prefer their own breed, they are not as argumentative with other dogs as the typical terrier. Most disagreements occur between dogs of the same sex. To avoid confrontations, avoid keeping adult dogs of the same sex together. When outside, he must be securely fenced or on-leash otherwise his curiosity and prey drive will have him miles away. Many are possessive of their food and toys and excessive barking is not unusual.

Physical Characteristics

The Toy Manchester Terrier is a tiny dog standing 8-13 inches at the withers and weighing 12 pounds or less. They have prick ears that can be folded over (called button ears) but cropping a toy’s ears disqualifies him from the show ring. The only acceptable coat color is a glossy jet black with rich mahogany markings over each eye and marking the muzzle, legs, and tail. Even though their sleek, short-haired coat needs virtually no grooming they shed only lightly. They do better than most breeds in the heat but do not like cold temperatures. Use a sweater in winter and make sure their ears do not freeze.

Trainer's Notes

Manchester Terrier puppies should be well socialized to prevent them from being sharp or timid. If they are to live with children, socializing them with many youngsters can prevent the dog from being overly protective. Manchester Terriers are intelligent, easy to housebreak, and quick to learn. They excel in events such as agility, rally, and obedience, where their eagerness to please comes to the fore. But an exceedingly sensitive breed, they respond poorly to physical correction. Motivation featuring praise, play, and food works much better. The Toy is more reactive and tends to bark more than the standard who has a calmer temperament. Toy Manchester Terriers are a fair choice for a first-time dog owner.

Photo © by sannse available under the GNUFDL
Manchester Terrier

Manchester Terrier


The Manchester Terrier is overall, a healthy dog. According to the breed club, the most common health issues, which affect between 1% and 5% of all dogs in their survey, are Cardiomyopathy, von Willebrand’s Disease, and Legg-Perthes Disease. Several other health issues occurred with some frequency including Epilepsy, Thyroid Conditions, and Cancer. Manchester Terriers have a life expectancy of about 15 years.


The Manchester Terrier ranks 104th on the American Kennel Club list of most popular dog breeds with about 500 dogs registered each year. This includes both the standard and toy varieties.

Breed History

By 1850, industrialization had swept through England and created a working class. Two sports enjoyed by the working class in the early and mid-1800’s were Whippet racing and rat killing with Black and Tan Terriers. John Hulme is credited with producing the Manchester Terrier by crossing the Black and Tan Terrier with the Whippet in an attempt to create a dog that could excel in both arenas. The result was a refined Black and Tan Terrier. With their popularity centered in Manchester, in 1860 they were given the name Manchester Terrier. But the new name was not well accepted. As a result, it was dropped in favor of the Black and Tan Terrier name until 1923. At this time, the name Manchester Terrier was reintroduced and became widely used.

Additional Information

Famous Manchester Terrier owners include Ian Flemming and Agatha Christie whose dog Bingo was the basis for the canine character Hannibal in her last book, ‘Postern of Fate’. Manchester Terriers enjoy soft bedding and are often found buried under the covers of their favorite person’s bed. Many describe them as having cat-like cleanliness and never having a doggy odor. People frequently mistake the Manchester Terrier for either a Miniature Pinscher or a small Doberman Pinscher. Always a breed with a large range of sizes, there are two types of Manchester Terriers recognized by the AKC, the Standard and the Toy. The Manchester Terrier Club of America is the breed club for both.

Is A Manchester Terrier THE BEST Dog For YOU?

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