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Manchester Terrier Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Here’s a great dog that doesn’t always get the credit that he deserves here in the United States, mainly because he looks quite similar to the more familiar Doberman Pinscher dog breed that most American’s can more easily recognize.

But that shouldn’t…

Keep you, the well-informed dog “aficionado”, from understanding just how great these guys are.  After all, they are sleek and handsome and make for a great family pet and are among the most common dog breeds in the UK.

And when you…

Think about it, it’s easy to see why these breeds are so popular. There is nothing fancy about the Manchester Terrier.  He’s not a massive dog that takes up the whole room, he’s also not a dog that you’re going to need to spend hours every week trying to keep well groom and he’s tough!

What makes this breed…

So good is his simplicity, intelligence and the fact that he is so easy to live with. He is one of those reliable dog breeds that you can trust around children and with strangers.

He is also really intelligent…

…Independent minded but does bark a lot. But the Manchester Toy Terrier is by no means aggressive or shy, for that matter. He is a very active, energetic dog that moves around all the time.


He is a Terrier: Which means, he was bred for rat killing. He is always on the lookout for rats or other vermin. When he sees one, there is no stopping him. He has a strong prey drive and is quite a hunter.

Do you have a therapy hamster at home? Well, the Manchester Terrier will probably have him for dinner soon. You are warned!

Which begs the question…

“Is the Manchester Terrier the one for you?”

 Perhaps he is, but perhaps, owning a “terrier” isn’t the best idea of you?  This is why we wanted to take a moment and discuss exactly what it might be like to own one of these awesome little guys.  This way if you ever get a chance to own one, you’ll know for sure if it’s a good idea or not.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Manchester Terrier Fast Facts

Country of Origin: The UK

Original Purpose: Ratting and hunting rabbits

Height: 15 to 16 inches at the shoulder

Weight: Up to 12 (Toy Manchester Terrier); 12 to 22 pounds (Standard Manchester Terrier)

Dog Breed Classification:  Terrier group (Standard Manchester Terrier), Toy group (Toy Manchester Terrier)

Life Span: 14 to 16 years

Origin of the Manchester Terrier

The Manchester Terrier is so called because he was first bred in the city of Manchester in the UK way back in the early 16th century.  Back then, it is believed that the Manchester Terrier was created by crossing the Whippet with the Black and Tan Terrier and the Italian Greyhound.


As you can probably guess, these guys are FAST!  Which is a good thing because during the early 16th century, these guys were mainly cherished for their rat killing ability which was very useful in Manchester, a city that was at the heart of the industrial revolution that transformed England in the 19th century.

That was…

Also, a period of explosive population growth and rapid, albeit unplanned urbanization.  You see during this time, people were coming to live and work in the factories of Manchester from all over England, a city with virtually no sanitation system. There were rats everywhere and hundreds of people died from diseases such as plague every month.

Manchester Terrier the “Superhero”

It’s hard to tell how many humans lives the Manchester Terrier saved because of his awesome rat killing abilities. But it is safe to assume that the rats saw him as their enemy #1! Almost every house, inn or hotel in Manchester had a couple of these Terriers.


This very useful dog was brought to the United States in the late 19th century. He was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886 – the Toy Manchester was recognized in 1886 and the Standard Manchester in 1887. The Manchester Terrier Club of America was formed in 1923.

Even today, the Manchester Terrier remains a somewhat popular breed in the United States (where it’s still often incorrectly identified), and certainly in the UK.

Physical Characteristics of the Manchester Terrier

As said earlier, there are two types of Manchester Terrier – the Standard Manchester weighs up to 22 pounds and the Toy Manchester only 12 pounds. They are both small, compact breeds, with a sleek, lean and muscular frame.

This dog has…

A very distinctive longish, wedge-shaped head, small eyes, long neck, erect ears and walks with a brisk gait. He has a smooth coat with short, close-lying hair and of the colors black or black and tan. This dog doesn’t require much grooming. All you need to do is to brush his coat once a week and bathe him once in a while whenever you’re free.

Comparisons dog breeds

The Manchester Terrier may be compared to other breeds such as the Doberman Pinscher, Tan Terrier, English Toy Terrier, Black and Tan Terrier. In fact, he was probably developed from crossing the Whippet with the Black and Tan Terrier and other small breeds such as the Italian Greyhound.

Temperament and Personality of the Manchester Terrier

The Manchester Terrier is a smart, curious and independent minded dog. He is also funny and has you in splits with some of the things he does. He is a real charmer, this little dog.

He is very sharp…

And makes for a very good watchdog. He is quite a barker. You can be sure that he will bark every time someone approaches the house. But he is not aggressive and is not the sort of dog that jumps on people or nips at them.

This is a dog…

That craves human companionship. He is a people pleaser and considers himself to be a part of your family. He wants to be a part of everything you do. He has a tendency to sulk in a corner when he feels ignored.

This dog also…

Makes for a perfect playmate for slightly older children. He is rambunctious and energetic and loves being around kids.

However, he has a strong prey drive, so always keep him on leash when taking him outside for a walk. He can be aggressive towards other animals, especially against cats and other dogs that he is not familiar with.

 Manchester Terrier Health Problems

The Manchester Terrier is one of the healthiest dog breeds. It is very rare for him to get sick. But in some cases, he can pick up health problems such as…

And while…

Many of these conditions may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with particularly if they become recurring issues.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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