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Manchester Terrier

The Manchester Terrier, in a single word, can be described as elegance personified. Its dignified, sober demeanor earned it the name the Gentleman’s Terrier during Victorian times. Though mentions of Manchester Terrier-like dogs prevailed as early as the 16th century, this breed was developed not before the 19th century. The Whippet and Black and Tan Terrier were the two main breeds instrumental in making the Manchester Terrier. However, the Dachshund and Italian Greyhound were also included in its bloodline later.

Like most other terries, this one was bred to control rats and emerged as efficient rat-baiters like its black and tan terrier parent. Temperament-wise, they would always remain eager to please their master and bond fabulously with each family member.

Yet, always supervise their interaction with kids, particularly younger ones, since these dogs could get snappy if handled roughly. You would also need to think twice about bringing them home if you already have smaller pets like rabbits and cats.

Besides emerging an amicable family pet, they would even rise to the stature of an efficient guard dog, expressing immense wariness at the arrival of a stranger.

The Manchester Terrier comprises the toy and standard varieties that the AKC initially registered separately but now is under a single breed, though in two different groups. The standard terrier is in the terrier group, and the toy variety in the toy category. Besides the size, the two vary from each other in ear-shape, erect, cropped, or button in the Manchester Terrier, and only erect in the Toy Manchester Terrier.

Their numbers dwindled rapidly after the Second World War. The efforts of the Manchester Terrier Club saved them from extinction. 

Breed Characteristics

  • Other Names:Not recorded
  • Colors:Black, black and tan
  • Life Expectancy:14 – 16 years
  • Height:15 – 16 inches
  • Weight:12 – 22 pounds
  • Temperament:Spirited, alert, loyal, keen
  • Good with Kids:Yes; but with older children
  • Exercise requirements:High
  • Hypoallergenic:No
  • Litter Size:2 – 4 puppies
  • Barking Capacity:Moderate
  • Health Problems:Patellar luxation, secondary glaucoma, hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy, von Willebrand’s disease
  • Trainability:Moderate
  • Origin:Manchester (UK)
Manchester Terrier Dog
Manchester Terrier Puppy

Manchester Terrier’s History: Timeline


    Dogs similar to Manchester terrier was described in John Caius’s writing.


    Breeding of the Manchester Terrier began in full swing in Manchester


    The standard Manchester terrier was described as the American Kennel Club’s 35th breed


    Formation of the Manchester Terrier Club


    The American Kennel Club recognized the Toy Manchester Terrier


    Their numbers decreased rapidly


    The Standard and Toy Manchester Terrier was combined to a single breed under the Manchester Terrier

Manchester Terrier Full Grown
Manchester Terrier Pics


Because of their high energy levels, you need to exercise them for about an hour each day. One to two 30-minute walks along with sufficient playtime outdoors would help them remain energized. If you cannot take it out, especially in the cold months, arrange for exciting games like ‘catch the ball’ or ‘find the treat’ indoors. 

Their athleticism makes them apt for several dog sports like rally, lure, obedience, barn hunt, flyball, agility, earthdog, scent work, and flyball.

Since they have a short, tight, and glossy coat, you need not work too hard to groom them. Brush its coat once a week, and at the same time wipe with a hound glove or damp towel. Besides, trim these dogs’ nails once in four or five weeks and clean their ears and eyes.

Your energetic Manchester Terrier must be given a nutritious diet comprising an adequate amount of protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, and minerals. When giving them homemade food, include protein sources like lamb, chicken, turkey, or beef. However, if going for the store-bought ones, high-quality dry-dog food like Merrick Grain Free, and Blue Buffalo would be the preferred choices.

Their intelligence and loyalty stand as a boon for training. On the other hand, the terrier-like stubbornness seen in them could make things a little tricky, and a firm trainer is needed for the purpose.

Training them to follow commands from the beginning, particularly the basic ones like ‘stop,’ ‘stay,’ ‘come,’ and so on, would help them develop into obedient dogs as they grow. They tend to chase smaller pets, for which the command training would come of id.

Socialization is also essential to help them differentiate the good from the bad. In this way, they would develop the ability to judge and not unnecessarily bark or express agony at every stranger coming to their home. Also, take them out to dog parks, where they would see other dogs like them of different sizes and shapes and learn to coexist.

Housetraining them could be a little difficult because of their sense of independence and must be done since their puppy days.

Toy Manchester Terrier
Toy Manchester Terrier Puppy

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