Manchester Terrier Dog Breed Information Guide


A descendant of the famous Black and Tan, the Manchester Terrier is a clean, lively and engaging little dog that people are quick to warm up to, despite his somewhat unsavory past.

Manchester Terrier History

The Manchester Terrier can be found in two different size varieties; these are the Toy Manchester Terrier and the Standard Manchester Terrier. The Standard weighs 12 to 22 pounds, while the Toy Manchester Terrier must be less than 12 pounds as an adult.

During the 1800s, a common sport amongst the poor was holding ratting contests, where small scruffy dogs were pitted against rats and timed to see which Terrier could kill the most rats within a given amount of time. A crossbred descendant of the English Black and Tan, the Manchester actually earned his name simply because they were particularly popular in this city, with many people participating in the sports of rabbit coursing and rat killing. One Manchester Terrier, a fine specimen by the name of Billy, is rumored to have killed 100 rats in just a little over 6 minutes. While this may have seemed a bloodthirsty sport, the Manchester Terrier’s amazing rat killing skills was essential to help keep the rat population under control – something desperately needed for public health.

However, as times changed and Britain humanely decided to put an end to blood’s sports such as rat killing and bull baiting, the Manchester Terrier’s existence became threatened. The rat population was being brought under control and Britain had also outlawed the practice of ear cropping, another practice which helped define the Manchester Terrier as a breed. It would be the dedication and hard work of a man named Handly that would help keep this magnificent breed going.

Manchester Terrier Appearance

The Manchester Terrier puppy possesses a very sleek and shiny coat; jet black with rich red markings, the English Black and Tan’s influence is unmistakable. The ears of the Manchester Terrier can either be natural or cropped in the Standard version, but cropping the ears of the Toy Manchester Terrier is considered a disqualification.

Often compared to the Doberman Pinscher or the popular Toy, the Minpin, the common ancestry of these dogs is obvious. However, a stockier build and more solid bone structure can often help to tell the difference between the toy varieties – While the Minpin is dainty and slender, even the Toy version of the Manchester Terrier should bear the resemblance to a good game ratting dog, muscular and athletic.

Manchester Terrier Temperament

It’s said that the Manchester Terrier is an excellent and loyal family dog, quickly bonding with his human family members and taking every available opportunity to cuddle and snuggle. While too small to be an effective guard dog, the Manchester Terrier is alert to his surroundings and quick to vocalize should he hear anything is amiss, making him a good watch dog. Most tend to have a very even and stable temperament, provided they are given something to help them keep busy. It should always be noted that this is a terrier breed, and many terriers can be notoriously independent and difficult to work with.

Also important to realize is that the terrier’s natural born hunting instinct can cause a potential risk to cats, gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, Guinea pigs (cavies) and other small pets – even dogs who have been socialized with these kinds of animals must still be supervised at all times when other animals are present.

Manchester Terrier Exercise Info

Your Manchester terrier puppy will not require you to run a daily marathon with him. While they do enjoy exercise and a chance to explore, the Manchester terrier only requires a reasonable amount of exercise to keep him healthy; the challenge however, is ensuring that your Manchester terrier puppy has plenty of mental exercise. A bored terrier puppy can quickly become a destructive terrier puppy. If you have to leave your Manchester terrier puppy unattended for a couple of hours, ensure that he is crated for his safety as well as your furniture’s.

Manchester Terrier Grooming Info

Grooming the Manchester Terrier is very simple and easy – brushing his coat once a week will help to remove any dead hair is or dander from his skin. This is also important because it provides hands on time with your dog; something that’s a very good, not only for your dog, but for your mental and physical health as well. Pay close attention to the Manchester’s ears, particularly if they are not cropped, ensuring they stay clean and healthy.

Manchester Terrier Training Info

Manchester terrier is a very intelligent and quick-witted dog that is generally very loyal to its owner. They often respond well to obedience training, with their desire to please, although some individuals do tend to be rather independent. Very alert and lively, they respond well to training methods such as clickers and positive reinforcement, but tend to react very negatively too loud voices and quick movements. For best results, be patient and consistent with what you want your Manchester terrier puppy to learn and chances are he will strive to make you happy.

Manchester Terrier Health Info

The Manchester Terrier is generally a very healthy dog, but there are a few health risks they can affect this breed. When deciding to choose a Manchester terrier puppy, it’s best to discuss various health concerns with your potential breeder. Some of the health problems that can affect the Manchester terrier include, but are not limited to the following:

Von Willebrand’s disease
Hydrocephalus (particularly in the Toy variety)
Birthing difficulties for females

Manchester Terrier Right Breed Info

The Manchester terrier is a very loving and royal family dog. However, one must realize that they are not only a terrier breed, but that their hunting instinct is very strong. Bred for many years, for the sake of hunting and killing rats, they can be a potential risk to small animals, cats, and can often be prone to same sex aggression with other dogs. Additionally, the Manchester Terrier’s intelligence demands a bit more attention than other breeds and they can occasionally become destructive when bored.

If you have an active family that desires an active dog that will take part in an active lifestyle, the Manchester terrier may be the perfect dog for you!

More Information about the Manchester Terrier Dog Breed

Manchester Terrier on Wikipedia