Manchester Terrier

Table of Contents

manchester terrier portrait
Welcome to the world of the Manchester Terrier – the sleek and sassy breed that's all about sophistication and playfulness! With their glossy coats, perky ears, and a love for adventure, these pint-sized companions will steal your heart with their charm and captivate you with their endless antics.

Join us in this comprehensive guide as we explore everything you need to know about this breed, including their appearance, temperament, ideal environment, grooming, exercise requirements, training tips, dietary needs, health concerns, history, and more.

Best For

The Manchester Terrier is a perfect match for active individuals or families with older kids who love outdoor adventures. If you’re after a loyal companion that’s equally happy hiking trails as they are solving puzzles, meet your new best friend!


OFFICIAL NAMEManchester Terrier
BREED GROUPStandard: Terrier Group
Toy: Toy Group
BREED SIZEStandard: Medium
Toy: Small
HEIGHTStandard: 15-16 inches
Toy: 10-12 inches
WEIGHTStandard: 12-22 lbs
Toy: under 12 bls
LIFESPAN15-17 years
manchester terrier standing in a green meadow
Photo: K_Thalhofer/Getty Images


The Manchester Terrier comes in two sizes: the standard and the toy. The standard version typically weighs between 12 to 22 pounds and stands about 15 to 16 inches tall. The toy variation, on the other hand, is smaller, weighing less than 12 pounds and standing no more than 12 inches tall. But don’t be fooled by their size — both versions pack quite a punch when it comes to personality and charm.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Manchester Terrier is its sleek, glossy coat. It’s a beautiful mix of jet black and rich mahogany tan, arranged in distinct markings that give this breed a unique appearance. The coat is tight and smooth, perfect for showcasing the Manchester Terrier’s athletic physique.

The body of a Manchester Terrier is a study in elegance and efficiency. They’re compact yet sturdy, with a slightly arched back that hints at their agility and speed. These dogs are built for action, and whether they’re sprinting after a ball or leaping over obstacles, their strength and grace are truly a sight to behold.

Now, let’s talk about the head. Long and wedge-shaped, it features a pair of bright, almond-shaped eyes that sparkle with intelligence and curiosity. These dogs have an alert and watchful expression, always ready for the next adventure. Their ears, which can either be naturally erect or cropped, add to their playful and perky appearance.

The tail is moderately short and tapers to a point, giving the breed an elegant silhouette. In active moments, the tail is usually held high in the air with a slight curl at the end, while more relaxed moments see it tucked in close to the back of the dog. The tail not only adds balance and

The Manchester Terrier’s coat is the real showstopper. Not only is it sleek and glossy, but it also features distinct tan markings that give this breed its unique appearance. This coat helps to showcase the Manchester Terrier’s athletic physique, which is compact yet strong. The coloring consists of jet black mixed with rich mahogany tan

In short, the Manchester Terrier is a dog that turns heads. Whether it’s their striking looks or their lively personality, these dogs have a way of making a lasting impression.

manchester terrier on a cravel
Photo: Matti Salminen/Getty Images


The Manchester Terrier is a breed that oozes personality and charm. These dogs are often described as bright, alert, and keenly intelligent. They have a quick mind that never misses a beat, making them an engaging and entertaining companion. If you’re looking for a dull moment with a Manchester Terrier, you’re out of luck. Every day with them is an adventure!

One of the most endearing traits of these dogs is their loyalty. They form strong bonds with their human families and are happiest when they’re included in all aspects of home life. Whether you’re relaxing on the couch or busy with household chores, your Manchester Terrier wants to be right there with you, sharing in every moment.

But don’t mistake their affectionate nature for neediness. Manchester Terriers crave attention, but they’re not overly demanding. They won’t paw at you or beg for attention. Instead, they’ll patiently wait for their turn, content to simply be in your company. Their love is steadfast and true, making them a joy to have around.

Manchester Terriers are also known for their discerning nature. They have a keen sense of who’s friend and who’s foe, making them excellent watchdogs. They’re not typically aggressive, but they’ll definitely let you know if something’s amiss. They’re vigilant without being overly anxious, striking a perfect balance between alertness and calm.

These dogs are also well-mannered and responsive. They’re eager to please and quick to learn, making them a pleasure to have around the house. They’re not given to bouts of stubbornness or willfulness. Instead, they’re cooperative and eager to follow your lead.

Despite their small size, Manchester Terriers are full of spirit and energy. They’re lively and athletic, always ready for a bit of fun. They’re not hyperactive, but they do enjoy a good game or a playful romp. Their zest for life is infectious, and they’ll quickly win you over with their exuberant displays of joy.

But perhaps the most striking aspect of the Manchester Terrier’s temperament is their grace. They move with a light-footed elegance that’s truly captivating. They’re agile and swift, moving with a fluidity that’s almost cat-like. Watching a Manchester Terrier in motion is like watching a dancer — every move is precise, every step is calculated.

manchester terrier playing with a ball
Photo: istoke/Getty Images

Ideal Environment

If you’re considering welcoming a Manchester Terrier into your life, it’s important to understand the type of environment that suits them best. These dogs are versatile and adaptable, but there are certain conditions that will allow their personalities to shine brightest.

Ideal Owner

The Manchester Terrier thrives in a home where they’re considered part of the family. They form strong bonds with their human companions and love being involved in daily activities. Whether it’s lounging on the couch during movie night or tagging along on family outings, these dogs want to be included.

When it comes to pet parents, the Manchester Terrier is best suited to those who appreciate an active and intelligent dog. They’re a breed that loves to exercise their minds as much as their bodies. So, puzzle toys, fun games, and interactive play sessions are all part of the package when you have a Manchester Terrier.

Other Pets

As for other pets, Manchester Terriers can usually coexist peacefully with them, provided they’re properly socialized from a young age. However, they have a strong prey drive and might chase smaller animals. If you have small pets like hamsters or birds, it’s essential to supervise interactions and ensure everyone’s safety.

Physical Environment

In terms of physical environment, Manchester Terriers are adaptable. They can live comfortably in an apartment provided they get enough mental and physical stimulation. A house with a securely fenced yard where they can safely explore and play would be a real bonus.

Climate Adaptability

One thing to consider is the Manchester Terrier’s sensitivity to temperature extremes. Their short, sleek coat offers little protection against cold weather, so they’ll need a warm doggy coat for winter walks. In hot climates, make sure they have plenty of shade and fresh water, as they can be prone to overheating.

manchester terrier in a garden
Photo: CaptureLight/Getty Images


With their sleek, shiny coats and athletic bodies, Manchester Terriers are low maintenance but do require some regular upkeep to keep them looking their best.

Coat Care

The most striking aspect of the Manchester Terrier is their glossy, short coat. It’s a beautiful blend of black and rich mahogany that gives off a wonderful sheen when properly cared for. The good news is, maintaining that shine is surprisingly easy.

Weekly brushing with a soft bristle brush or a grooming mitt is usually enough to remove loose hair and distribute natural oils, keeping their coat looking healthy and vibrant. Their coat doesn’t need trimming, making them a relatively low-maintenance breed in terms of grooming.

Bathing your Manchester Terrier is an occasional affair. They don’t have a strong doggy odor and their short coat stays relatively clean on its own. Unless they’ve rolled in something smelly or gotten particularly dirty, a bath every couple of months should suffice. Be sure to use a gentle dog shampoo to maintain the natural oils in their skin and coat.

Dental Care

Now, let’s talk about dental hygiene. Like all dogs, Manchester Terriers need regular teeth cleaning to prevent gum disease and bad breath. Brushing their teeth several times a week is ideal, but if that’s not possible, aim for at least once a week. Use dog-friendly toothpaste and a soft brush suitable for their mouth size. Dental chews can also help keep their teeth clean and healthy.

Ear Care

Their ears also need regular attention. Check them weekly for any signs of redness, irritation, or bad odors which could indicate an infection. Clean them gently with a vet-approved solution and a cotton ball.

Nail Trimming

When it comes to their nails, regular trims are necessary to prevent overgrowth which can cause discomfort or even injury. If you can hear their nails clicking on the floor, it’s time for a trim. Use a dog nail clipper or grinder, and be careful not to cut into the quick, the sensitive part of the nail that contains blood vessels.

Paw Care

Lastly, don’t forget about their paws. Check them regularly for any signs of injury or irritation. In winter, ice-melt chemicals can be harsh on their pads, and in summer, hot pavement can cause burns. So, make sure to clean their paws after walks and consider using dog boots for protection.

manchester terrier's face up close
Photo: nodostudio/Getty Images


If you’re looking for a dog that loves to move, meet the Manchester Terrier. These dogs are equal parts athlete and adventurer, and they thrive on physical activity. But don’t worry, they’re more marathon than sprint, preferring consistent, enjoyable exercise over intense bursts of energy.

Exercise Amount & Types

Expect to set aside a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour each day for exercise. This can be divided into two brisk walks or a combination of walks and playtime. Manchester Terriers love the chance to stretch their legs in a good run, so a securely fenced yard or dog park visits are great options.

But don’t stop at just physical exercise. Manchester Terriers are intelligent dogs who enjoy mental challenges as well. Activities such as obedience training, agility courses, or even disc games can provide both physical exertion and mental stimulation. These activities engage their sharp minds and satisfy their need for interaction and engagement.

Dog Sports

Manchester Terriers can also excel in dog competitions. Their intelligence, agility, and keen desire to please make them outstanding candidates for obedience, agility, or even flyball competitions. Participating in these events can be a rewarding experience for both you and your dog, providing an opportunity for bonding and showcasing your Manchester Terrier’s skills.

Exercise Precautions

It’s important to remember that every dog is unique. Your Manchester Terrier might prefer long walks to high-energy games, or they might enjoy a mix of activities. The key is to pay attention to their preferences and adjust accordingly.

five manchester terriers sitting in front of a wall
Photo: LourdesPhotography/Getty Images


The Manchester Terrier is a breed that was born to learn. With their sharp minds and eagerness to please, they take to training like a duck to water. But, like all dogs, they need the right approach to bring out their full potential.

Manchester Terriers are highly trainable. Their intelligence and keen observational skills make them quick learners. But that doesn’t mean training is a walk in the park. These dogs will keep you on your toes! They’re smart enough to try and outwit you if they think they can get away with it. Consistency is key when training a Manchester Terrier. They respond well to clear, consistent commands and expectations.

Positive reinforcement is the best way to train these dogs. They thrive on praise, treats, and play. Harsh corrections or heavy-handed methods will likely backfire, leading to a stubborn and uncooperative dog. Instead, make training sessions fun and rewarding. Celebrate their successes and gently guide them through their mistakes.

Start with basic obedience training. Commands like “sit”, “stay”, “come”, and “leave it” are not only useful in everyday situations, but they also serve as a foundation for future training. Once they’ve mastered the basics, you can move on to more advanced commands or tricks.

Socialization is another important aspect of training. Manchester Terriers are naturally friendly and sociable, but they need to be introduced to a variety of people, places, and situations to develop into well-rounded dogs. Early socialization helps prevent behavioral issues and ensures your Manchester Terrier grows up to be a confident, adaptable adult.

Lastly, remember that training is an ongoing process. Even after they’ve mastered basic commands, Manchester Terriers benefit from continued learning and mental stimulation. Whether it’s agility training, advanced obedience, or learning fun tricks, keeping their minds active will help keep your Manchester Terrier happy and engaged.

manchester terrier running over a green meadow
Photo: K_Thalhofer/Getty Images

Diet & Nutrition

What to Feed & How Much

When it comes to choosing food for your Manchester Terrier, quality is key. Whether you opt for dry kibble, wet food, or a raw diet, make sure it’s high-quality and meets the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) guidelines. These foods are specially formulated to provide all the nutrients your dog needs in the right proportions.

The amount you feed your Manchester Terrier will depend on their age, size, and activity level. Puppies usually require more calories than adults because they’re growing and developing. Active adult dogs need more calories than older, less active ones. It’s best to follow the feeding guidelines on your dog food packaging as a starting point and adjust as necessary based on your dog’s weight and activity level.


Treats are a great tool for training and bonding with your Manchester Terrier, but remember, they should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake. Too many treats can lead to weight gain and other health issues. Opt for healthy treats like lean meats or vegetables, and always give them in moderation.


Water is another essential part of your Manchester Terrier’s diet. Fresh, clean water should be available at all times, especially during hot weather or after exercise.

Additional Feeding Tips

One last thing to keep in mind is that every dog is unique. What works for one Manchester Terrier may not work for another. Monitor your dog’s weight, energy levels, and overall health, and don’t hesitate to consult with your vet if you have any concerns or questions.

toy manchester terrier standing on a road
Photo: DevidDO/Getty Images


When it comes to health, the Manchester Terrier is a bit like a well-oiled machine. With a life expectancy of 15-17 years, these dogs are generally robust and healthy. However, just like any breed, they do have certain health concerns that potential owners should be aware of.

Here are common health issues associated with the breed:

Von Willebrand’s Disease: This is a blood-clotting disorder similar to hemophilia in humans. It can lead to excessive bleeding even from minor injuries.

Eye Problems: Manchester Terriers can be prone to certain eye conditions such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which can lead to blindness.

Hypothyroidism: This condition occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to issues like lethargy, weight gain, and skin problems.

Cardiac Problems: Some Manchester Terriers can develop heart diseases like cardiomyopathy, which affects the heart muscle.

Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease: This condition affects the hip joint and is more common in smaller dogs. It can lead to lameness and joint pain.

While this list might seem daunting, remember that these are potential health issues, not guaranteed problems. Many Manchester Terriers live long, healthy lives without encountering any of these conditions.

To keep your Manchester Terrier in top shape, a balanced diet is crucial. Feed them high-quality food that meets their nutritional needs. Regular exercise helps keep their weight in check and their joints flexible.

Regular vet check-ups are vital for early detection and management of any potential health issues. Your vet can also guide you on the necessary vaccinations to protect your dog from various diseases.

manchester terrier standing outdoor
Photo: Mary Swift/Getty Images


The Manchester Terrier is a breed steeped in rich history. These dogs can trace their roots back to 19th-century England, specifically the industrial city of Manchester. Here, they were bred for a very practical purpose: to control the rat population. Their compact size, agility, and tenacity made them excellent ratters, able to dispatch vermin with impressive efficiency.

The breed’s development is attributed to a man named John Hulme, who crossbred a Whippet with a cross-breed terrier. The result was a dog that had the Whippet’s speed and grace and the terrier’s fearless ratting instincts. Over time, these dogs gained recognition not just for their working skills but also for their refined looks and loyal nature.

As the breed gained popularity, it began to attract the attention of the upper class. In Victorian times, the Manchester Terrier earned the nickname “the Gentleman’s Terrier” due to its dignified demeanor and sleek appearance. It became a fashionable companion for gentlemen who appreciated the breed’s elegance and intelligence.

The breed crossed the Atlantic and made its way to America, where it was among the first breeds registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The year was 1887, and the Manchester Terrier has been a recognized member of the AKC ever since.

Despite its many appealing qualities, the breed isn’t as popular as some of its terrier cousins. As of now, it ranks 130th on the AKC’s list of Most Popular Dog Breeds.

Today, the Manchester Terrier is cherished for much more than its ratting abilities. Owners around the world value this breed for its loyalty, intelligence, and companionship. Whether they’re curling up on the couch for a quiet evening or livening up a gathering with their energetic antics, Manchester Terriers bring a touch of class and a lot of love to any situation.

Parent Club

The American Manchester Terrier Club (AMTC) is the official parent club for the Manchester Terrier breed in the United States. The club serves as a vital resource for breed information, events, and breed-specific rescue efforts. You can learn more about the club, its mission, and its activities by visiting their website.

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines established by breed clubs or kennel organizations, defining the ideal appearance, temperament, and physical traits of a specific breed. 

It serves as a reference for breeders, judges, and enthusiasts to evaluate and maintain a breed’s unique qualities. Covering aspects like size, appearance, and temperament, breed standards are used in dog shows and competitions to assess individual dogs against the ideal representation of their breed.

Check out the Manchester Terrier’s breed standard as set by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

manchester terrier puppy on green grass
Photo: Tomas Mähring/Getty Images


Acquiring a Manchester Terrier is an exciting journey! Before bringing one home, prepare your space for an energetic and intelligent dog. You’ll need quality dog food, a comfortable bed, toys, and lots of love!

If you choose to buy, ensure you purchase from reputable breeders who prioritize the health and temperament of their dogs over profit. Ask questions, meet the parents, and see where the puppies are raised.

However, consider rescuing a Manchester Terrier. Many lovely dogs are waiting in shelters for their forever homes. The American Manchester Terrier Club (AMTC) and the American Kennel Club can provide resources for rescue efforts.

Whether buying or rescuing, remember: you’re not just acquiring a pet, you’re gaining a family member. So take your time, do your research, and prepare to open your heart to a wonderful new companion.


Are Manchester Terriers good dogs?

Yes, Manchester Terriers are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and sociability. They make excellent companions and are great with families. Their high energy levels make them fun playmates and their keen intelligence makes them quick to learn.

Is the Manchester Terrier a Doberman?

No, although they might look similar due to their sleek black and tan coats, Manchester Terriers are not Dobermans. They are two distinct breeds with different origins and characteristics.

What is the difference between the Manchester Terrier and the Miniature Pinscher?

While both breeds share some physical similarities, they have different origins and temperaments. The Manchester Terrier was bred in England for ratting and rabbit hunting while the Miniature Pinscher was developed in Germany with a likely mix of breeds including the Italian Greyhound and Dachshund.

What are Manchester Terriers known for?

Manchester Terriers are known for their agility, intelligence, and their history as skilled ratters. They also have a distinctive sleek, black and tan coat and a friendly yet spirited personality.

How much exercise does a Manchester Terrier need?

Manchester Terriers are active dogs that need 30-60 minutes of daily exercise to keep them healthy and content. This can include walks, playtime, or mentally stimulating activities like agility training or puzzle toys.

Are Manchester Terriers good with children?

Yes, Manchester Terriers are generally good with children, especially if they are raised together. However, like all dogs, it’s important to supervise interactions between dogs and young children to ensure safety for both.

Are Manchester Terriers easy to train?

Yes, thanks to their intelligence and eagerness to please, Manchester Terriers are relatively easy to train. They respond well to positive reinforcement techniques and enjoy the mental stimulation that training provides.

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