Characteristics & Care of the Manchester Terrier Dog Breed

manchester terrier on the beach

A tiny to toy breed of dog, the Manchester is named after the English city. It has an appearance similar to a miniature thanks to its short, jet black coat, chestnut markings, and almond eyes. The breed is available in two sizes: standard (less than 22 pounds) and toy (12 pounds and under). The athletic and sharp-witted Manchester terrier, regardless of size, is a beautiful, elegant dog that combines the quick reflexes and courage of a with the speed and agility of a racing hound.


HEIGHT: Toy: 10 to 12 inches; standard: 15 to 16 inches

WEIGHT: Toy: under 12 pounds; standard: 12 to 22 pounds

COAT: Short

COAT COLORS: Black and tan, mahogany markings

LIFE SPAN: 15 to 17 years

TEMPERAMENT: Active, alert, keen, devoted, discerning


ORIGIN: England

Characteristics of the Manchester Terrier

The Manchester terrier is a meticulously clean breed, which has led to many people referring to it as "cat-like." These dogs are independent and reticent among others yet sensitive and loving with their owners.

Affection Level High
Friendliness Medium
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs High
Playfulness High
Energy Level High
Trainability High
Intelligence High
Tendency to Bark High
Amount of Shedding Low

History of the Manchester Terrier

Manchester was the heart of England's textile industry prior to its association with soccer. Midway through the 1800s, rat killing, which entailed dropping a terrier into a rat pit and then wagering on the outcome, and rabbit hunting with tiny hounds were two of the local mill employees' favorite past activities. In order to produce a dog that would thrive in both "sports," breeders of the period crossed the black and tan terrier, a "ratter" dog, with whippets. The characteristic Manchester terrier was created at that time.

There are accounts of these dogs dating back to the 16th century, and they were among the most well-liked and successful terriers in England. The breed was renowned for being an expert rat killer. With the rise of industrialization, sports like rat-catching with black and tans and dog racing, with whippets leading the pack, were popular among the working class. A refined terrier breed with a slightly arched back was produced by combining the two kinds, and in 1860 the breed was given the official name Manchester terrier.

The standard Manchester terrier and toy Manchester terrier ended up developing into two distinct breeds throughout time, and they were both recognized as separate breeds until the end of the 1950s. It was a matter of happenstance at first, then subsequently, selective breeding that led to the emergence of the toy breed from the bigger standard type. Since then, the two breeds have combined to create the Manchester terrier, which is still regarded as two sorts of dogs (and the American Kennel Club has grouped them separately). The toy Manchester is regarded as a toy breed, while the regular Manchester belongs to the terrier family.

Manchester Terrier Care

Manchester terriers are fun and well-mannered pets who are dedicated to their family. They are also highly attentive and cooperative. Since they are not only apprehensive of strangers but also often not very sociable with other dogs, they should be thoroughly socialized and ideally exposed to other household pets as pups. Watch out for these innate hunters around other tiny pets or rodents in the house, like as rabbits.


The Manchester is a very athletic and moderately energetic breed that requires a large amount of daily activity in the form of fenced-in backyard fun and leashed walks. Plan to exercise your dog for at least an entire hour each day. Because the Manchester is a "busy" breed, potential owners should be aware that their pet will always be on the lookout for activities and amusement. It will also have a propensity for digging because it is a terrier.


When it comes to grooming, the Manchester terrier is regarded as a low-maintenance breed. To maintain its short, tight coat clean and glossy, this dog will only need the odd wash and probably a monthly wipe down with a moist towel or glove. Like all breeds, the Manchester terrier needs regular nail clipping, ear cleaning, and to be healthy and happy.


This breed is regarded as being quite bright, and it seems that they can think and plot their way out of many circumstances. They like a challenge, are people-pleasers, and are easily trained using positive reinforcement and reward-based methods.

Sharp reprimands will not be well received by the Manchester terrier, therefore training sessions should be positive and enjoyable. It should come as no surprise that this breed excels in a variety of dog sports, including agility, obedience, tracking, flyball, and scent work.

Common Health Problems

Although the Manchester terrier is typically a healthy dog, genetic disorders may affect any purebred animals. Following are some other health issues that the Manchester terrier may experience, in addition to one condition that is breed-specific (Juvenile Cardiomyopathy):

  • Juvenile Cardiomyopathy: The Manchester terrier is particularly prone to a disease that is potentially fatal. The dog will not show any signs of a heart problem but may then suddenly experience cardiac death as a puppy. It is believed to be a recessive mutation during the dog's heart development.
  • : This breed is prone to a condition that’s referred to as “loose knees.”
  • Anesthesia Sensitivity: Manchester owners should also be aware that these dogs can negatively react to anesthesia in the same way as their greyhound ancestors.

Diet and Nutrition

With a high-quality commercial or dog food (under vet supervision), the Manchester terrier should function well. Water that is both clean and fresh should always be accessible. Treats should be provided sparingly, as with other breeds, and the dog's food should be managed to prevent or problems associated with obesity.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Manchester Terrier

Since Manchester terriers are an uncommon breed, it could be challenging to find one to adopt or purchase from a breeder. Make sure to look for Manchester terriers in need of a permanent home at your neighborhood animal shelters and rescue organizations. You may get information from national rescue groups like the American Manchester Terrier Club to assist you discover your new best buddy. To discover whether any breeders offer pups for sale, you may also search the AKC Marketplace. If you decide to buy a puppy from a breeder, budget between $1,200 and $1,500.

Manchester Terrier Overview

  • Requires minimal grooming

  • Great with families

  • People-pleaser and easy to train

  • Can be reserved with strangers

  • High-energy and needs ample exercise

  • Rare breed

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

Be sure to do your homework when choosing a dog breed. Talk to other Manchester terrier owners, reputable breeders, and rescue groups to learn more about this particular breed and its care.

If you’re interested in learning more about similar dogs, consider these other breeds:

There's a variety of , and with a little research, you can be sure you'll find the right dog to bring home.

  • What are the differences between the toy and standard Manchester terrier?

    Regardless of size, Manchesters are all known for their identical personalities, sleek, robust bodies, outstanding athleticism, and trademark tight coats in mahogany brown and jet black. The form of the ear is the only distinction between the two breed variants. Many breeders finally stopped breeding these dogs completely due to issues with the Manchester's difficult-to-shape ears, but there were a few breeders who were committed to preserving the breed.

  • Is the Manchester terrier a good choice for a first-time dog owner?

    If you can find a Manchester terrier and are prepared to give it adequate exercise, it may make a wonderful first dog. This is because, in addition to all of its other qualities that make it a very easy-going breed to own, this well-mannered breed is not renowned for being aggressive.

  • Why are there physical similarities between the Manchester terrier and a Doberman pinscher?

    There are more dog breeds than Manchesters that resemble Doberman pinschers. The Manchester terrier, on the other hand, is said to have been the parent breed of the Doberman. In reality, a Manchester terrier and a tiny pinscher are frequently confused by humans.


"Manchester Terrier Dog Breed Information. American Kennel Club.", "American Manchester Terrier Club Newsletter. American Manchester Terrier Club. 2021. ", "Manchester Terrier Dog Breed Information. American Kennel Club." ;