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Manchester Terrier

Quick facts

Manchester Terrier AKC Group: Terrier
Height: 15 - 16 inches
Weight: 12 - 22 pounds
Colors: Black and tan
AKC recognized in: 1887

Here’s one breed of Terrier dog which belongs to the smooth-haired type. It comes from a cross between the Whippet and the Black and Tan Terrier.

Records show that Manchester Terriers could be the oldest of all current Terrier breeds. These 16th century dogs trace back to as early as 1570 when Dr. Caius mentioned the Black and Tan Terrier which he described as rough-coated and short-legged, among others. Add to that being smooth-haired and tapering, the description fits much of what we know about the Manchester Terrier today.

The Manchester Terrier can be subdivided into two varieties: the Standard Manchester Terrier of the Terrier Group and the Toy Manchester Terrier of the Toy Group.

The first Standard Manchester Terrier was officially registered and duly recognized by the AKC in 1887. It is a black, short-coated dog which is unique for its rich mahogany markings. Small in stature, it has a flat narrow skull, a sleek body, and a tapering tail. Show dog ears may be erect, button-like, or cropped.


Manchester Terrier Summary
Affection four paws
Cold Tolerance one paw
Ease of Training four paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements four paws
Friendliness : Children three paws
Friendliness: Other Animals three paws
Friendliness: Other Pets three paws
Grooming Requirements one paw
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability two paws
Watchdog Ability four paws

Known for its tenacity at rat hunting, the Manchester Terrier has always been nicknamed the “Rat Terrier”. It is the best vermin hunter among all hunting hounds and terriers. Because of its great hunting and tracking skills, it has been used to develop better breeds of the Doberman Pinscher and Airedale Terrier.

Intelligent and cunning, this dog is more than a hunter and tracker. It can also be an agile and high-spirited pet and show dog. Keen, alert, and sporty, it is very eager to learn new tricks and obey more commands from a good leader.

In the home, the Manchester Terrier can be a very faithful and devoted companion. It thrives on care and attention, especially when handled gently and affectionately right from puppyhood.

Because a Manchester is a master in agility, it will love to play catch and other lively games. The secret is to give this dog plenty of outdoor exercise and mental stimulation.

This terrier will adapt to apartment living if you let it run off-the leash in an enclosed yard. When it lacks exercise and is left alone a lot, it can suffer from boredom and separation anxiety. That’s when it becomes restless and hyperactive to the point of being destructive. It can also express this upset by become more demanding or worse, aggressive.


The average lifespan of the Manchester Terrier is 14 to 16 years.

While the Manchester Terrier is generally a healthy dog, it is susceptable to certain health problems. These problems include:

  • Von Willebrand’s Disease - This is a blood disease that causes a deficiency in clotting glycoproteins. This disease is similar to hemophilia in humans.
  • Obesity - Having excess body fat. This can be caused by over eating, lack of exercise, or an inherited tendency to retain weight.
  • Glaucoma - A disease causing high pressure inside the eye, due to the fluid not draining properly. This can result in vision loss or even blindness if not treated.


The Manchester requires at least a half hour of exercise each day. And you can’t get away with just letting him on his own in your back yard, because he will get no exercise just waiting for you to come back to let him in!

Manchester Terriers can be difficult to house train. Patience, consistency, and crate training will help.

A weekly brushing is all it takes to keep shedding under control and to prevent matting. Shedding does get a little worse in the spring and fall, though.

Visitor Comments

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