Manchester Terriers are energetic, intelligent, and alert dogs. They're also loyal, loving, and protective of family and territory. There are two varieties of the Manchester Terrier: the Standard and the Toy. Except for different sizes and ear carriage standards, there are no major distinctions between the two types.
Manchester Terrier History
The Manchester Terrier hails from Manchester, England, where it historically hunted rats and rabbits. During the 19th century, England needed a solution for its massive rat problem. So, John Hulme crossed a Whippet and a dark brown terrier.
The resulting terrier breed was extremely popular among tavern owners. After closing, the owners would let the dogs roam their taverns to clear out the rats. The breed's supreme skill for this job earned it the nickname "Rat Terrier." The name "Manchester Terrier" didn't arise until the 1860s—when Manchester became the dogs' breeding center.
Manchester Terriers arrived in the United States in the late 1860s. And the American Kennel Club recognized the Manchester Terrier in 1887.
Manchester Terrier Traits
A small, black, short-coated dog, the Manchester Terrier has a sleek yet substantial and refined appearance.
Coat and Coloring
The Manchester Terrier is jet black and rich mahogany tan. The tan markings are on similar locations on every Manchester Terrier.
Distinctive Physical Traits
A spirited and athletic breed, the Manchester Terrier has a long, wedge-shaped head and attractive pointy ears.
Manchester Terrier Temperament
Small, clever, and confident dogs, Manchester Terriers can move at great speeds. They have amazing agility skills, too. But they aren't the best lap dogs.
That said, Manchester Terriers are usually affectionate with adults and children. In fact, they often demand attention and enjoy lots of love, bonding quickly with people. With a bright and charming personality, the Manchester Terrier is a fine companion for any family.
This breed may be wary around strangers. Its loud bark will warn of possible danger, making it an excellent watchdog.
Manchester Terrier Care
Manchester Terriers need high-quality food appropriate for their age and size.
It's important to monitor the amount of food you feed your Manchester Terrier and reduce portions if your pup gains weight. Also, remember that giving too many treats in addition to regular meals can contribute to obesity.
Grooming is easy with the Manchester Terrier—occasional baths are typically all they need to stay clean.
Every couple of weeks, you should also trim your dog's nails to prevent splitting. Likewise, aim to check your Manchester Terrier's ears regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris.
Quick and lively, the Manchester Terrier is an athletic dog that needs a good walk a few times a day to support its mental and physical well-being.
Though these pups may enjoy life as couch potatoes some of the time, they're usually eager to chase a ball or run in the great outdoors. Manchester Terriers also enjoy dog sports such as agility, tracking, flyball, and both rally and competitive obedience.
Manchester Terriers are easy to train and inquisitive—eager learners that like to show off their abilities. Your pup's training should start early and be firm yet gentle and consistent.
Though Manchester Terriers are stubborn, they will thrive in a reward-based training environment. Treats and favorite toys can provide excellent motivation.
All dogs benefit from early socialization, as it helps them be more comfortable around strangers and other animals.
Manchester Terrier Genetic Health Conditions
von Willebrand's Disease, type 1
von Willebrand's Disease (vWD) type 1 is a clotting disorder that usually causes mild bleeding tendencies in affected dogs though some may have more severe signs. The low level of von Willebrand's factor impacts the bloods clotting ability.
Knowing if your Manchester Terrier is a carrier or at-risk for these conditions can help you and your veterinarian plan for your pup’s lifelong care. With Wisdom Panel™ Premium, you can get results for over 200 genetic health tests.
Reviewed July 26, 2020 by Cindy Elston, DVM, MPH