The Manchester Terrier is named after the English city where it was first bred. Sleek, racy dogs who possess a terrier’s ratting instinct and the graceful contours of coursing hounds, Manchesters are spirited, bright, and athletic. They combine the streamlined grace of a coursing hound and the instincts of a fearless rat terrier. These racy dogs come in two size varieties: Standard (not exceeding 22 pounds) and Toy (not exceeding 12 pounds). All Manchesters are similar in temperament, body type and athletic ability despite differences in size. They’re easily recognized by a tight coat of rich mahogany tan and jet black. The head is long and wedge-shaped; tan spots above each eye point up a watchful expression. Manchesters can motor, running with good reach in front and propulsive rear drive powered by a muscular caboose.
Long before Manchester was famous for a soccer team, it was a center of England’s booming textile trade. Local mill workers of the mid-1800s had two favorite sports: hunting rabbits with small hounds, and the revolting pastime of rat killing (turning a terrier loose in a rat pit and betting on the results). Breeders worked toward a two-in-one dog to excel at both. They crossed a popular ratter called the Black and Tan Terrier with Whippets; the result was a distinct Manchester type of terrier.
Up until 1959, the Standard Manchester and the Toy Manchester were registered as separate breeds, although interbreeding was permitted. Since then, the two breeds have combined to form one breed, the Manchester Terrier, with two varieties: the Toy and Standard. However, the AKC has grouped the two varieties separately. The Standard Manchester belongs to the Terrier Group while the Toy belongs to the Toy Group.
Temperament: Spirited / Bright / Keenly Observant
Height: 15-16 inches
Weight: 12-22 pounds
Life Expectancy: 15-17 years
Lovers of the Manchester Terrier around the globe are currently banding together to develop a genetic test for juvenile cardiomyopathy, a deadly disease that can affect the breed (and several others). If your Manchester ever requires surgery, remind your vet that the breed should be given anesthesia with the same caution as their Greyhound ancestors. Also, like some small dogs, the Manchester can be affected by ‘loose knees,’ or patellar luxation.
Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:
- Cardiac Exam
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- Thyroid Evaluation
- Von Willebrand’s Disease DNA Test
The Manchester is a very easily maintained, ‘wash and wear’ kind of dog. An occasional bath with a shampoo formulated for dogs is all that is necessary to keep him looking quite dapper. Wiping him down weekly with a damp towel or a hound glove will give the coat a healthy shine. Nail trimming should be done every couple of weeks to maintain the proper alignment of his joints. Ears should be cleaned regularly to keep them free of excess wax or debris that can cause a painful ear infection. The Manchester will look forward to these grooming times as a bonding experience with the human he loves.
Active, swift, and athletic, the Manchester will require a couple of good walks with his human every day to maintain his mental and physical health. He can enjoy relaxing on the sofa with his owner but will be equally eager to go outside and chase a few tennis balls or run around and play vigorously.
The Manchester is very intelligent and likes to think his way through every situation. He enjoys pleasing his people and can be easily trained using positive, reward-based methods. He does not react well to harsh corrections, so keep your training sessions fun and filled with lots of effusive praise for jobs well done. The breed is an ideal candidate for a variety of dog sports including obedience, rally, agility, lure coursing, barn hunt, earthdog, tracking, flyball, scent work, and even freestyle dancing. They love a challenge! They should be well socialized early on.
The Manchester Terrier should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.