Manchester Terrier

"The Black-and-Tan Terrier"

Photo of Manchester Terrier


One of the earliest known and named terriers in England was the Black and Tan terrier. Now thought by some to be extinct, the Black and Tan Terrier was used to create many modern breeds, including the Doberman Pinscher and the Miniature Pinscher. But some believe the Manchester Terrier is the modern incarnation of the old Black and Tan, crossed with the speedy Whippet during the 19th century by a man named John Hulme from Manchester, England, who enjoyed competing with his dogs in both rat killing and rabbit coursing. The resulting Manchester Terrier was not only a good ratter but a good racer, too. The Whippet influence gives the Manchester Terrier his arched back and whippy tail, while the Black and Tan terrier passed along his handsome color scheme and superior vermin-eliminating abilities. When smaller Manchesters became fashionable late in the 19th century, Italian Greyhounds were crossed in and probably some Chihuahuas. These toy versions got too small and weak but breeders were able to re-invigorate the small dogs with some purposeful breeding, and the Toy Manchester Terrier became a separate breed until 1959, when the AKC officially designated them as two varieties of the same breed. Today, the Manchester Terrier (including the Toy variety) currently ranks as the 106th most popular breed.


With his clean lines, catlike demeanor, and independent self-possessions, the handsome and adaptable Manchester Terrier is just as happy in a small apartment as on a large acreage. A natural ratter and close personal companion, the Manchester wants to move, interact, play, and be part of the family. The Toy Manchester works best in small spaces, while the Standard Manchester Terrier may be a better match for kids, but both make affectionate and responsive family friends. Unlike some terriers, Manchesters usually get along well with other dogs, although there are exceptions. They will chase small animals and tend to be wary of strangers - they are terriers, after all.

Photo of Manchester Terrier


The Manchester comes in two varieties. The standard size Manchester Terrier (pictured above) should be about 15 to 16 inches tall and about 12 to 22 pounds. The Toy Manchester Terrier (pictured left) should be about 10 to 12 inches tall and under 12 pounds (they are usually in the 6 to 8 pound range). The Toy Manchester Terrier may not have cropped ears, according to the breed standard. Other than the ears and the size, however, both varieties should be identical: a blunt wedge head, erect ears, an arched loin, a trim tucked-up abdomen, and a long whip-like tail. The Manchester Terrier's coat is sleek and shiny in black and tan, with a black 'thumbprint' mark on each tan foreleg, a tan muzzle and underbelly, and tan spots over each almond-shaped eye.


More affectionate and biddable than some terriers, the Manchester Terrier nevertheless needs short, fun training sessions or this highly intelligent dog will get so bored, he'll fall asleep mid-"down boy." Busy and athletic, Manchesters enjoy training for sports like agility, obedience, and rally, but despise rote repetition, so be creative and patient and your Manchester will stay engaged and responsive.

Grooming & Care

One of the Manchester Terrier's best qualities is his easy grooming. Once a week, brush the sleek coat with a natural bristle brush or hound mitt, brush teeth, trim nails, and move on with your life. Don't bathe the Manchester too often or you could dry out his sensitive skin. Finally, don't forget exercise and don't overdo the treats—these chow-hounds can become overweight easily.

Health Concerns

Manchester Terriers can be prone to several genetic conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy (a degenerative eye disease resulting in blindness), thyroid problems, a bleeding disorder called von Willebrand's disease, and a degenerative hip disorder called Leggs-Perthes that is common to small dogs. Ask your breeder if the parents of the litter have been tested for these conditions.

Famous Manchester Terrier

Billy, was a champion rat-catcher living in 19th century England. Legend has it Billy killed 100 rats in 5 minutes, 30 seconds.

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 4
Schedule 6
Home 44
Children 49
Experience 54
Quick Facts
Grooming 13
Exercise 61
Challenges Barks a lot, can get scrappy with other dogs.
Height 12 to 16 inches
Weight 16 to 22 pounds
Life 16 to 18 years
Home Alone 83
With Kids 86
With Strangers 113
Availability 95

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

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