Manchester Terrier

Manchester Terrier Dog Breed

Other names:
Black And Tan Manchester
Black And Tan Terrier
English Toy Terrier
Manchester Toy Terrier
Toy Manchester Terrier

The Manchester Terrier is a toy- or small-sized breed that originated in England. These dogs have two recognized size variations; in England, the Toy dogs are considered a separate breed (the English Toy Terrier), while in North America the sizes are separated into Toy and Standard variations of the Manchester Terrier.

Dogs of this breed, in both variations, have the typical terrier temperament: feisty, loyal, and stubborn. Manchesters require moderate maintenance (little grooming, some training, and lots of exercise), and have fairly good health histories.

Overall, these dogs are best suited for active families who can provide their dogs with plenty of attention, and are willing to handle their spunky personalities.

Manchester Terrier Breed Details

The Manchester Terrier, like its name suggests, is a member of the Terrier group of breeds. These dogs originated in England in the early nineteenth century, and were used primarily as rat-hunters; the breed's classic terrier demeanor--intelligent, spirited, and independent--makes Manchesters best suited for active families who are capable of handling their scrappy personalities.

Some Manchester Terrier facts: these dogs are small-sized (height at the shoulders averages 15 inches, and weight 16 pounds), with short-haired, sleek coats that are always black (and often have tan markings). Here are some good (and not so good) qualities of these spunky little animals:


  • Very intelligent
  • Devoted and loyal to family
  • Adapts well to apartment life
  • Minimal grooming required
  • Excellent watchdog ability
  • Socializes well with children (particularly older ones)
  • Outgoing and social with both family and strangers
  • Excels in agility/obedience trials
  • Relatively long lifespan (14-16 years)
  • Sheds only moderately


  • Can be stubborn and strong-willed
  • High exercise requirements
  • High prey drive; will chase (and possibly injure) smaller pets
  • Might be difficult to train
  • Frequent barking tendency
  • Can bark and turn destructive if left alone for extended periods
  • Will need early/frequent socialization with kids and other pets
  • High tendency for obesity if under-exercised
14 - 16 yrs.
13 - 17 in.
10 - 22 lbs
OverallFamily FriendlyChild FriendlyPet FriendlyStranger Friendly
Easy to GroomEnergy LevelExercise NeedsHealthShedding Amount
Barks / HowlsEasy to TrainGuard DogPlayfulnessWatch Dog
Apartment DogCan be AloneGood for Busy OwnersGood for New OwnersIntelligence

Manchester Terrier Breed Description

Manchester Terrier info regarding appearance: dogs of this breed are, for all intents and purposes, miniature versions of Doberman Pinschers. They're small-sized, with streamlined, muscular bodies, and long legs that give them plenty of speed and agility. Manchesters are equally quick intellectually, too; they're smart, cunning, and possessive of plenty of that trademark terrier spunk.

Manchester Terrier dogs 101: breed members not only love their human family members, they will demand all the attention you're willing to give them! These dogs are at their happiest when they're outdoors with their people, chasing after balls or something similar--but close supervision is a must, as their high prey drives will make them instinctively chase critters, and odds are they can't be caught. Indoors, though, Manchesters are surprisingly chill; they tend to take cues from their owners, and make equally good playmates and couch potatoes.

Most owners contend that a tired Manchester Terrier is a peaceful one. These active little dogs will need a long exercise session each day--and odds are, with some daily physical activity they'll sleep well each night.

Manchester Terrier Breed History

Manchester Terrier breed history begins in England, where in the early 1800s rat-baiting was a popular sport among common folk. One of the past time's most popular enthusiasts was Manchester resident John Hulme, who in order to create a smaller, more dexterous rat-catching dog, began crossbreeding Whippets with Black and Tan Terriers (now extinct). Eventually a new, distinct terrier type emerged; since Manchester was the epicenter of the breed's development, by the mid-nineteenth century the breed was known as the Manchester Terrier.

Even after the sport of rat-baiting became illegal, England still had large rat infestations in many of its inns, restaurants, and other public places, so Manchester Terriers became highly-prized dogs, as they would be set loose after the establishments closed to hunt vermin. Some English people, desiring an even smaller version of the breed, began crossing Manchesters with Chihuahuas and other toy breeds, establishing two variations of the Manchester Terrier (which eventually split into two separate breeds: the standard-sized Manchester Terrier, and the smaller English Toy Terrier).

In the U.S., meanwhile, the breed gained popularity in the early twentieth century. In 1923, the Manchester Terrier Club of America was established; that organization's breed standard, however, recognizes both sizes of the breed as variations of one breed--the Toy and the Standard.

Today, the Manchester Terrier is fairly common worldwide, with its popularity centered in Europe and North America. The Manchester Terrier (which includes both the Toy and the Standard variations) ranks 133rd out of 202 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Manchester Terrier Variations

The Manchester Terrier breed has two different size variations: toy-sized and small-sized. The smaller variant was developed in the late 1800s, when British citizens began crossing Manchesters with Chihuahuas and other toy breeds, apparently in an attempt to create a smaller vermin-hunting dog.

The classification of these two sizes varies in different parts of the world. In England, the larger variety is the Manchester Terrier, while the smaller one is considered an entirely separate breed: the English Toy Terrier. In North America, the two variants are sub-types of one breed: the Standard Manchester Terrier, and the Toy Manchester Terrier.

The toy-sized dogs are 10-13 pounds in weight, and 13-15 inches at the shoulders in height; these dogs have erect ears that are not cropped. The larger variation weighs 12-22 pounds, and is 15-17 inches in height; they can have cropped, button, or naturally erect ears. Otherwise, the variants are identical, with lean, muscular bodies, long legs, and short-haired, sleek coats in black or black and tan.

Manchester Terrier Temperament

Spirited, intelligent, social, determined, and often stubborn and strong-willed, the typical Manchester Terrier temperament is one of confidence and liveliness. These dogs are loyal and affectionate to their people--and much more so if they have their way. They socialize fairly well with strangers and children (particularly older kids who will show them proper respect); they're well-suited to households with other dogs, but their high prey drives might make them aggressive towards smaller pets--especially rodents. (They were created to hunt and kill vermin, after all!) With a classic terrier personality, a Manchester Terrier will need socialization with humans and other animals early and often, so it can learn proper behavior.

In regards to training, Manchester Terrier traits are also typical for a terrier: training may prove difficult, in other words. The trainer must establish him- or herself as the leader, and learning sessions are most effective when they're consistent, firm, and relatively short in duration.

The breed's spirited, confident demeanor makes Manchesters great watchdogs, though; these dogs won't hesitate one bit to sound a vocal alarm (and plenty of it!) when faced with a potential threat.

Living Requirements

Manchester Terriers are loving, enthusiastic little dogs--but they will definitely try to rule the roost if given the chance. Breed members will need early (and frequent) socialization to help them learn respect; they also need a good bit of attention, as they will bark loudly and often--and possibly turn destructive--if ignored frequently.

These dogs much prefer living inside. They're fine in apartments; if left alone in the yard, they will first bark non-stop, then find a way to escape--which they'll likely be able to do regardless of fences or other enclosures. You and your Manchester will both be happier if the dog is an "inside" pet.

Unfortunately, though, Manchester Terriers are not hypoallergenic. Though they shed only moderately, they're not good for allergy sufferers, so those allergic to dog hair might want to consider another breed.

Manchester Terrier Health

Manchester Terriers are pretty healthy overall, but like any breed, they're susceptible to a few inherited health problems. These include von Willebrand's Disease, hypothyroidism, patellar luxation, Legg-Perthes Disease, and eye issues like cataracts and glaucoma.

Life expectancy for these dogs is 14-16 years.

Manchester Terrier Health Concerns

Below are potential health concerns associated with Manchester Terriers.

Von willebrand's disease
Patellar luxation
Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

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About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:September 1, 2017