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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 he deserves here in the United States, mainly because he looks similar to the more familiar Doberman Pinscher dog breed that most Americans can more easily recognize. But that shouldn’t keep you, the well-informed dog “aficionado,” from understanding how great these guys are. After all, they are sleek and handsome, 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’ll need to spend hours every week trying to keep well-groomed, and he’s tough!

What makes this breed so good is its simplicity, intelligence, and the fact that it is so easy to live with. He is one of those reliable dog breeds you can trust around children and strangers.

He is also brilliant…

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 constantly moves around. However, 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! This begs the question…

“Is the Manchester Terrier the one for you?”

Perhaps he is, but possibly owning a “terrier” isn’t your best idea? 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. If you ever get a chance to own one, you’ll know whether it’s a good idea.

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 Manchester in the UK in the early 16th century. Back then, it was 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! This is a good thing because these guys were mainly cherished during the early 16th century for their rat-killing ability. It was helpful in Manchester, a city 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. Rats were everywhere, and hundreds of people died from diseases like the plague every month.

Manchester Terrier, the “Superhero”

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

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 small, compact breeds with sleek, lean, and muscular frames. This dog walks briskly with a distinctive longish, wedge-shaped head, small eyes, long neck, and erect ears. 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. 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

The Manchester Terrier is an innovative, 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 an excellent watchdog. He is quite a barker. You can be sure he will bark whenever 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 part of your family. He wants to be a part of everything you do. He tends 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 a leash when taking him outside for a walk. He can be aggressive towards other animals, especially cats, and dogs, that he is unfamiliar with.

Potential Health Concerns

The Manchester Terrier is one of the healthiest dog breeds. It is scarce 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 become quite expensive, 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 suitable 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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