Manchester Terrier

  • Manchester Terrier Dog Breed

    Mary Bloom

  • Manchester Terrier Dog Breed

    Mary Bloom

  • Manchester Terrier Dog Breed

    Mary Bloom

  • Manchester Terrier Dog Breed

    Mary Bloom

  • Manchester Terrier Dog Breed

    Mary Bloom

  • Breed Group: Terrier
  • Height: 15 to 16 inches at the shoulder
  • Weight: Up to 12 (Toy); 12 to 22 pounds (Standard)
  • Life Span: 14 to 16 years

A well-mannered, active terrier, the Manchester (both Toy and Standard) is keenly intelligent, a bit stubborn, and barky. He’s not as aggressive as most terriers, but no rodents or pocket pets are safe around him. His antics will make you laugh even when he outwits you.

Breed Characteristics

Adaptability 5 stars Dog Friendly 3 stars Shedding Level 3 stars
Affection Level 4 stars Exercise Needs 4 stars Social Needs 5 stars
Apartment Friendly 5 stars Grooming 1 star Stranger Friendly 3 stars
Barking Tendencies 4 stars Health Issues 2 stars Territorial 5 stars
Cat Friendly 3 stars Intelligence 4 stars Trainability 3 stars
Child Friendly 3 stars Playfulness 4 stars Watchdog Ability 5 stars

Did You Know?

The Manchester Terrier and Toy Manchester were registered as separate breeds until 1959. They are now treated as one breed — the Manchester Terrier — with two varieties: Toy and Standard.

Originally famed for his prowess at killing rats, he’s still a game terrier, but these days he is more likely to be a family companion and show dog -- although he’ll certainly lay waste to any vermin population you may have. The Manchester comes in two varieties, standard and toy. Standard Manchesters weigh 12 to 22 pounds; Toys weigh less than 12 pounds. The compact size of both varieties makes them suitable to any size home.

The Manchester has the curious and independent nature of any terrier, combined with charm and good humor. He is alert and makes an excellent watchdog, but his curiosity and alertness may contribute to habits of digging and barking. He’ll need plenty of companionship and exercise to keep those vices under control.

When it comes to training, the Manchester is a quick learner. He responds well to positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play and food rewards. To hold his attention, keep training sessions short, fun and interesting. And resign yourself to the fact that he will probably frequently outwit you. Fortunately, he does it in such an entertaining manner that you can’t help but laugh.

Always walk the Manchester on leash. He will go after any small, furry animals he sees, and he can be aggressive toward dogs he doesn’t know.

The Manchester is simple to groom with weekly brushing and regular nail trimming, ear cleaning and dental hygiene. Bathe him if he gets dirty.

A people-loving dog like the Manchester Terrier needs to live in the house. This is a dog who wants to be physically close to his family. It’s an unhappy Manchester who doesn’t sleep on a nice, comfy bed indoors and an even unhappier one who is relegated to the backyard with little or no human companionship.

Other Quick Facts

  • The Manchester Terrier is a small dog, slightly longer than he is tall, with a short coat in jet black with rich mahogany markings. He has a wedge-shaped head with a keen, bright expression shining out of black, almond-shaped eyes. This is a breed with curves. The neck is slightly arched; the topline (back) is slightly arched over the loins; and the abdomen is tucked up with an arched line. The tail tapers to a point and is carried in a slight upward curve.
  • With the exception of size, the only difference between the Standard and Toy Manchester is ear shape. The Standard Manchester has a naturally erect ear, a cropped ear or a button ear. Cropped ears are long and pointed. A Toy Manchester has a naturally erect ear, never one that has been cropped.
Next: History ›

The History of the Manchester Terrier

The sleek and handsome Manchester Terrier is thought to have been created by crossing Britain’s black and tan terrier with the Whippet and possibly other breeds such as the Italian Greyhound. He originated in Manchester, where popular sports included rat killing and rabbit coursing. The Manchester was designed to excel at both and became popular throughout Britain.

The dogs were eventually imported into the United States. The American Kennel Club recognized the Toy variety in 1886 and the Standard in 1887. The Manchester Terrier Club of America was formed in 1923. Today the breed ranks 121st among the dogs registered by the AKC.

‹ Previous: Overview

Manchester Terrier Temperament and Personality

You could say the Manchester Terrier is a breed with a bit of kick to him. He is energetic, alert and playful. He is an extremely loyal dog and enjoys spending time with his owner. He is a keen watchdog, and will bark, sometimes too much, when newcomers arrive at his home. However, he is unlikey to be high-strung or overly aggressive. The Manchester Terrier is highly adaptable and does well as a city or country dog.

The spice you notice in the Manchester Terrier’s temperament comes from his terrier heritage as a ratter. He loves digging and chasing small furry critters, which can lead to trouble if he is left alone. The Manchester Terrier should always be walked on a leash and free time in a secure yard should be supervised. He can be testy with other dogs, so he must be taught early on not to act on his impulses.

Training should begin right away for the Manchester Terrier puppy. Even at 8 weeks old, he is capable of learning good manners. He can be headstrong, but with positive, patient training he can learn to behave like a gentleman. Don’t wait until he is 6 months old to begin training or you will have a more headstrong dog to deal with. If possible, get him into puppy kindergarten class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, and socialize, socialize, socialize. However, be aware that many puppy training classes require certain vaccines (like kennel cough) to be up to date, and many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines (including rabies, distemper and parvovirus) have been completed. In lieu of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends until puppy vaccines are completed. These experiences as a young dog will help him grow into a sensible, calm adult dog.

Talk with a reputable, experienced Manchester Terrier breeder. Describe exactly what you’re looking for in a canine companion, and ask for assistance in selecting a puppy. Breeders see the puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know something about your lifestyle and personality. Choose a puppy whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized by the breeder from birth.

‹ Previous: History
Next: Health ›

What You Need To Know About Manchester Terrier Health

All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.

Manchester Terriers have some health conditions that can be a concern. They include an inherited bleeding disorder called von Willebrand’s disease, hypothyroidism, patellar luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (Toy Manchesters), and eye problems such as glaucoma and cataracts.

Ask breeders to show evidence that both of a puppy’s parents have hip (Legg-Calve-Perthes) evaluations from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), an OFA thyroid evaluation, a DNA test clearing them of von Willebrand’s disease, and certification from the Canine Eye Registration Foundation that the eyes are healthy.

Do not purchase a puppy from a breeder who cannot provide you with written documentation that the parents were cleared of health problems that affect the breed. Having the dogs "vet checked" is not a substitute for genetic health testing.

Remember that after you’ve taken a new puppy into your home, you have the power to protect him from one of the most common health problems: obesity. Keeping a Manchester at an appropriate weight is one of the easiest ways to extend his life. Make the most of your preventive abilities to help ensure a healthier dog for life.

‹ Previous: Personality
Next: Grooming ›

The Basics of Manchester Terrier Grooming

When it comes to grooming, the Manchester Terrier is an easy keeper. Though the breed is naturally clean with little doggie odor, a bath every three months (or when he gets dirty) in a mild shampoo is a good idea. Brush his sleek coat with a natural bristle brush or mitt. Use coat conditioner/polish to brighten the sheen.

The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed, usually once every few weeks. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath. Check the ears weekly for dirt, redness or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. If the ears look dirty, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with a gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian. Introduce the ManchesterTerrier to grooming when he is very young so he learns to accept it, particularly nail trimming, patiently.

‹ Previous: Health
Next: Finding ›

Finding a Manchester Terrier

Whether you want to go with a breeder or get your dog from a shelter or rescue, here are some things to keep in mind.

Choosing a Manchester Terrier Breeder

Finding a good breeder is a great way to find the right puppy. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy, and will without question have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. He or she is more interested in placing pups in the right homes than making big bucks.

Good breeders will welcome your questions about temperament, health clearances and what the dogs are like to live with and come right back at you with questions of their own about what you’re looking for in a dog and what kind of life you can provide for him. A good breeder can tell you about the history of the breed, explain why one puppy is considered pet quality while another is not, and discuss what health problems affect the breed and the steps she takes take to avoid those problems. A breeder should want to be a resource for you throughout your dog’s life.

Look for more information about the Manchester Terrier and start your search for a good breeder at the website of the American Manchester Terrier Club. Choose a breeder who has agreed to abide by the AMTC’s code of ethics, which prohibits the sale of puppies to or through pet stores and calls for the breeder to obtain recommended health clearances on dogs before breeding them.

Avoid breeders who only seem interested in how quickly they can unload a puppy on you and whether your credit card will go through. Breeders who offer puppies at one price “with papers” and at a lower price “without papers” are unethical. You should also bear in mind that buying a puppy from websites that offer to ship your dog to you immediately can be a risky venture, as it leaves you no recourse if what you get isn’t exactly what you expected. Put at least as much effort into researching your puppy as you would into choosing a new car or expensive appliance. It will save you money in the long run.

Lots of reputable breeders have websites, so how can you tell who’s good and who’s not? Red flags include puppies always being available, multiple litters on the premises, having your choice of any puppy, and the ability to pay online with a credit card. Those things are convenient, but they are almost never associated  with reputable breeders.

Whether you’re planning to get your new best friend from a breeder, a pet store, or another source, don’t forget that old adage “let the buyer beware”. Disreputable breeders and facilities that deal with puppy mills can be hard to distinguish from reliable operations. There’s no 100% guaranteed way to make sure you’ll never purchase a sick puppy, but researching the breed (so you know what to expect), checking out the facility (to identify unhealthy conditions or sick animals), and asking the right questions can reduce the chances of heading into a disastrous situation. And don’t forget to ask your veterinarian, who can often refer you to a reputable breeder, breed rescue organization, or other reliable source for healthy puppies. 

The cost of a Manchester Terrier puppy varies depending on the breeder’s locale, whether the pup is male or female, what titles his parents have, and whether he is best suited for the show ring or a pet home. The puppy you buy should have been raised in a clean home environment, from parents with health clearances and conformation (show) and, ideally, working titles to prove that they are good specimens of the breed. Puppies should be temperament tested, vetted, dewormed, and socialized to give them a healthy, confident start in life. 

Before you decide to buy a puppy, consider whether an adult Manchester Terrier might better suit your needs and lifestyle. Puppies are loads of fun, but they require a lot of time and effort before they grow up to become the dog of your dreams. An adult may already have some training and will probably be less active, destructive and demanding than a puppy. With an adult, you know more about what you’re getting in terms of personality and health and you can find adults through breeders or shelters. If you are interested in acquiring an older dog through breeders, ask them about purchasing a retired show dog or if they know of an adult dog who needs a new home. If you want to adopt a dog, read the advice below on how to do that.

Adopting a Dog from Manchester Terrier Rescue or a Shelter

There are many great options available if you want to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or breed rescue organization. Here is how to get started.

1. Use the Web

Sites like Petfinder.com and Adopt-a-Pet.com can have you searching for a Manchester Terrier in your area in no time flat. The site allows you to be very specific in your requests (housetraining status, for example) or very general (all the Manchester Terriers available on Petfinder across the country). AnimalShelter can help you find animal rescue groups in your area. Also some local newspapers have “pets looking for homes” sections you can review.

Social media is another great way to find a dog. Post on your Facebook page that you are looking for a specific breed so that your entire community can be your eyes and ears.

2. Reach Out to Local Experts

Start talking with all the pet pros in your area about your desire for a Manchester Terrier. That includes vets, dog walkers, and groomers. When someone has to make the tough decision to give up a dog, that person will often ask her own trusted network for recommendations.

3. Talk to Breed Rescue

Most people who love Manchesters love all Manchesters. That’s why breed clubs have rescue organizations devoted to taking care of homeless dogs. The American Manchester Terrier Club’s Rescue Network can help you find a dog that may be the perfect companion for your family. You can also search online for other Manchester Terrier rescues in your area.

The great thing about breed rescue groups is that they tend to be very upfront about any health conditions the dogs may have and are a valuable resource for advice. They also often offer fostering opportunities so, with training, you could bring a Manchester Terrier home with you to see what the experience is like.

4. Key Questions to Ask

You now know the things to discuss with a breeder, but there are also questions you should discuss with shelter or rescue group staff or volunteers before you bring home a pup. These include:

What is his energy level?

How is he around other animals?

How does he respond to shelter workers, visitors, and children?

What is his personality like?

What is his age?

Is he housetrained?

Has he ever bitten or hurt anyone that they know of?

Are there any known health issues?

Wherever you acquire your Manchester Terrier, make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter, or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. Petfinder offers an Adopters Bill of Rights that helps you understand what you can consider normal and appropriate when you get a dog from a shelter. In states with “puppy lemon laws,” be sure you and the person you get the dog from both understand your rights and recourses.

Puppy or adult, a breeder purchase or a rescue, take your Manchester Terrier to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot problems and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.

‹ Previous: Grooming

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