ALL DOG BREED PROFILES

Manchester Terrier

Manchester Terrier dog breed
John Walton
Written by John Walton

If you are an energetic and patient person who is always moving, then the Manchester Terrier might be perfect for you! This energetic dog is known to live up the party, or walk, whenever they are around. They are excited to sniff out anything, which is why they are great hunting dogs! Manchester Terriers are beautiful pups that are very loyal, loving, and they even have manners. This breed of terrier is one of the beloved of all terriers, and it is definitely easy to see why!

Breed Characteristics

AdaptabilityAbove Average
TrainabilityAbove Average
Health and GroomingHigh
All Around FriendlinessAbove Average
Exercise NeedsHigh

Dog Breed Group: Sporting
Height: Between 1 foot, 3 inches tall and 1 foot, 4 inches
Weight: 12-22 pounds (5.4 to 9.97 kilos)
Life Span: 14 to 16 years

The Manchester Terrier is said to be the oldest of all terrier breeds and can be found as early as the 16th century in England. A sporting man named John Hulme bred a terrier with a Whippet (also a slim, yet larger dog) so that he could use the Manchester Terrier as a sporting dog to kill rats in what is known as rat baiting. This became an actual sport due to the terrible conditions and lack of cleanliness that was in England. At the time, rats were bringing in bacteria and disease to England.

Manchester Terriers have been nicknamed “the gentleman’s terrier” because when the toy versions were originally bred, they were used to hunt down animals like the fox. If the owner’s hounds could not reach the animal due to shrubbery, then the owner would let the small terrier through to find the fox. They were helpful in those situations because they were so tiny. Another nickname for the Manchester Terrier is the “groom’s pocket piece”, as the toy version of the breed was so small that they could fit into small bags that the owner could carry on them.

During the 1800s, the Manchester Terrier was inbred with other small dog breeds, to try and keep the dog as tiny as possible. This was a terrible idea because if a dog such as the Chihuahua was bred with a Manchester Terrier, the result could be a sick puppy who could have a bigger head, buggy eyes, and lack of fur. Luckily, this trend was banned and the Manchester Terrier breed could thrive again.

Terriers in general are beloved dogs, and have many clubs that support the breed. The Manchester Terrier has clubs, too, such as the American Manchester Terrier Club, the British Manchester Terrier Club, and Canadian Manchester Terrier Club. The objective of these clubs is to not only spread awareness of this beloved breed, but to also protect the Manchester Terrier from puppy mills, bad breeders, and others who do not have the Manchester Terrier’s best interest at heart. Manchester Terrier clubs also promote dog shows, and sporting events for the dogs, as well as helping to find the right pup as a friend and family member.

Main Highlights
  • Manchester Terriers come in two sizes; toy and standard. They are very good in dog shows and agility performances.
  • They are known to bark loudly and often so they must be trained to stay quiet. Intruders cannot hide if a terrier realizes they are on the property, so they make wonderful watch dogs!
  • They are very energetic and love to be outside playing, or going for a walk. Manchester Terriers require a lot of exercise or risk becoming easily obese. Playing Frisbee or going to the park is a great way to let this breed work off some energy.
  • Manchester Terriers love to kill small animals, such as rats or rabbits, because they were bred for that reason originally. In the 1800s, lack of sanitation caused a man to breed a whippet and a terrier to help kill rats and other vermin.
  • This breed of terrier is known for being sold from puppy mills and pet stores. Never buy them there, as they could have health issues and diseases. These all come from bad breeders who are greedy and do have the best intentions towards the dogs.
  • They live long lives; upwards of 15 years! With proper health and exercise, Manchester Terriers are known for living longer lives than normal dogs, which is great because that means more walks on the beach and playing fetch!
  • One downside to the Manchester Terrier is that they need training. Their sporting instinct sometimes gets them into trouble with commands, as their owner may ask them to come to them, but the dog is out looking for rats. Always be sure to leash them when outside around other people or animals.
Breed History

Due to the terrible conditions of living in England in the 1800s, the Manchester Terrier was conceived out of necessity. A man named John Hulme had bred a Whippet dog with a terrier and the result was a laser focused cross breed that was named the Manchester Terrier. At the time, England was suffering from a horrible rat infestation and having the Manchester Terriers to kill the rats and other critters became a way to kill off the infestation. Killing rats was a sport at this time and the dogs were used as the killers, and immediately others wanted their own Manchester Terrier. The sport was banned eventually and many used these terriers to kill rats in the country side.

After the turn of the century, the British Manchester Terrier Club was born, in 1937. The founders and members actually prevented the Manchester Terrier from becoming extinct, which happened just after WWII. In 1923, the Manchester Terrier Club of America was founded, and in 1938, the American Toy Manchester Terrier Club became legitimate. Later, in 1958, the two clubs formed together to become the American Manchester Terrier Club, and that is how it is still today.

Size

There are two kinds of Manchester Terriers, which are the toy breed and the standard breed. First, the toy breed weighs in less than 12 pounds. The standard breed can weigh anywhere from 12 to 22 pounds if exercised properly. However, both the toy and standard breeds are longer than their actual height and tend to be muscular, which is why they are great for getting into small areas to kill any small animal or vermin. Manchester Terriers are not very tall, coming in at 1 foot, 3 inches to 1 foot, 4 inches in height.

Personality and Character

The Manchester Terrier is a very social dog, who loves to be around people and interacting. This breed does not like to be alone for extended periods of time because he loves to be moving and sniffing things out. They require and love exercise, as well as walks, playing fetch or just running around. While they were originally bred to kill smaller animals, they are not mean usually. Training is very helpful with having a polite, well-mannered Manchester Terrier.

If this breed is outside and catches a scent or sees an animal, they are too stubborn to listen to their owner sometimes, which can be dangerous to the owner and dog. The owner must show the Manchester Terrier that they are the leader and must be obeyed. However, this breed is very smart, alert, and always checking things out. They will let you know if they have found anything or hear a noise, as they tend to bark a lot and get excited, or on high alert. It is recommended they be crate trained for times when they have to be alone at home, as they can cause some mischief around the household if left to their own devices.

Health and Potential Problems
  • Do not go through breeders, puppy mills, or pet stores as they are known to have dogs with health issues or diseases.
  • Glaucoma is one disease that affects the Manchester Terrier. This disease of the eyes occurs when the pressure within the area builds and causes pain. The liquid within the eye drain may not drain properly and causes blindness or lack of clear vision, and damages the optic nerve in the eye. Glaucoma can be hereditary but can come from injuries or tumors.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease is one that can affect all breeds of dogs. This is where blood cannot clot properly and thus bleeding occurs in one or more various areas for the dog, such as a nose bleed, bloody gums, and blood in the stool. There is a way to help this disease, which can mean blood transfusions for the Manchester Terrier, and cauterization. If the dog is taking any medication, this should be discussed with the veterinarian before surgery.
  • Heat bumps are common for many species, but for the Manchester Terrier, it can be annoying. Be aware of how much sunlight the dog is getting. Too much can cause the heat bumps. The bumps generally appear on the dog’s back, but they can occur anywhere, so owners should be on alert during hotter weather.
  • Hypothyroidism can occur in your Manchester Terrier, which can cause laziness, sleepiness and lack of motivation. This hormonal disease can also cause hair loss, weight gain, infections, infertility, seizures, and weakness. A few things can cause this but not all information is known. For example, cancer and congenital disease can cause hypothyroidism. This is treatable, with the help of a veterinarian.
  • Legg Calve Perthes Disease is one in which the femur bone’s head begins to erode. This can cause inflammation, and thus the hip joint is in danger of eroding away. Symptoms include lack of use of the affected hind leg, pain, and using other muscles to accommodate his pain.
Care Features

The Manchester Terrier is a dog that needs to be exercised every day, with walks or playing in the backyard or park. This breed is great for agility, so it can learn to jump through hoops, or dive through objects and possibly win a dog show! Your Manchester Terrier needs lots of obedience training, so owners should be practicing commands when the dog is young. This helps them to learn that they are not the boss, you are.

Manchester Terriers should not be left along for too long to be left up to their own devices. Obedience training over time can help this while, in the meantime, they can be crated when they are left alone for a while. These terriers tend to love adventures, so they will always be looking for something to do, or some small animal to hunt down. However, they do make great pets because they are extremely loyal and devoted to their owner and family.

Feeding Schedule

The Manchester Terrier breed is said to need 1/4 to 1 full cup of dry food per day. That means, 1/8th, to 1/2 twice per day. The smaller amount is for the toy breed of the Manchester Terrier, while the larger amount is for the standard breed. Since this breed is prone to getting fat, the food intake should be watched carefully.

Coat, Color and Grooming

If you are the lucky owner of this breed, you will be happy to know that there is little maintenance for the Manchester Terrier! Their fur should be brushed about once per week just to keep the fur to a minimum. Bathing is an easy task as they don’t need one very often, unless they are dirty, as they generally do not have a smell to them. Do get their nails trimmed at least every 8 weeks, which can otherwise cause health issues.

The Manchester Terrier’s coat is short and smooth, and comes in a black and tan coat. There are no other colors for this breed. Some have more tan than others, but the coat is predominantly black.

Children And Other Pets Compatibility

Adults should supervise children who are not used to this breed as they can become a little over bearing at times and children can get hurt or the children can hurt the dog because of its small stature. Children need to be aware of not hurting the dog by pulling on its ears or legs, which can cause damage to your Manchester Terrier. Having a household where there are older children is preferred, though they do make great family dogs, and they are great for single owners, too. They have a decent adaptability rate, but ideally need some space because of their energy level.

Manchester Terriers may not do well with other pets, especially small ones like pet rats, hamsters, and rabbits. Since they were bred to be killers, they may take the life of another pet into their own hands. They can do well with other dogs in most cases, but each case is different. This is definitely a situation to be aware of when thinking of this breed.

The Manchester Terrier is a great dog to have if the right owner comes along and can keep up with the energetic terrier. Owners must be vigilant, if other pets are in the home, that there are no deathly occurrences. Having small children can be dangerous if they are not supervised around this breed. Since they were bred to kill, they are perfect for an owner who likes to hunt.

Obedience from the start will help your Manchester Terrier to be a strong and well-behaved dog who is not very stubborn. Agility trials are great for them since they are smart and can maneuver quickly and easily. Exercise is key with this breed and they will need lots of fresh air and a companion to do it all with! The park, the beach, the backyard, and country side are great places to hang loose with a Manchester Terrier. They will be loyal from beginning to end, often wanting to sleep with their owner. Full of love, the Manchester Terrier would be a wonderful addition to the right home. After all, who doesn’t want an adorable dog who can kill the mouse that you are shrieking about?!

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

  • Victoria Chapman

    Manchester Terriers are active go-getters, and you must give them opportunities to vent their energy, and keep their minds busy by doing interesting things. I recommend «earth dog» classes, where terriers can dig and tunnel after small critters, that are safely secured in a sturdy cage so they don’t harm themselves :)

    • John Walton

      Terriers are known to be filled with boundless energy, and on the case of the Manchester Terriers, they are one of the most energetic of the bunch. It is very important to know that they do need a great deal of diversion and make the most out of that energy into something productive.

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