Originally bred in Manchester, England, the Manchester Terrier, also known as the Gentleman’s Terrier is a lively and spirited dog that makes him a great companion. Although small in size, the Manchester Terrier has a big personality and is loyal to his owners. With a strong bark, these dogs make a terrific watchdog but are not aggressive. They are actually known to be one of the more well-mannered and loving dog breeds out there today.
Although these dogs look like a miniature Doberman Pinscher or a large Miniature Pinscher, the Manchester Terrier is a breed in their own right. If you’re interested in learning more about this little pup, read on below.
History Of The Manchester Terrier
It is common to think that the Manchester Terrier is actually a smaller version of the Doberman or a larger version of a Miniature Pinscher. However, this is not true. Manchesters were actually used by Louis Doberman to breed Dobermans and there is no indication that Miniature Pinchers and Manchester Terriers share any kind of history.
In the United States and Canada, there are two varieties of the Manchester Terrier — the Toy and the Standard. In England, however, the two sizes are classified as different breeds: the English Toy Terrier and the Manchester Terrier.
Manchester Terriers are thought to be one of the oldest dog breeds. They were originally an important part of society back in 19th century England when sanitation was poor. Manchester Terriers were bred by crossing a Whippet with a Black and Tan Terrier to produce a Manchester Terrier that could chase and kill rats.
The Manchester District of England became the place where these dogs were bred, so thus they became known as the Manchester Terrier. However, people wanted a smaller dog, so began crossing their dogs with chihuahuas. This caused a lot of health problems, especially thin coats, apple heads and bulging eyes. Although unhealthy, these dogs became very popular during the Victorian Era.
In 1937, the British Manchester Terrier Club was formed. The members of the club are the reason the breed did not go extinct following World War II. The dogs were eventually imported into the United States. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the Toy variety in 1886 and the Standard Manchester in 1887. The Manchester Terrier Club of America was formed in 1923. Nowadays, the Toy and Standard are not seen as separate breeds and two variations of the same breed.
The Manchester Terrier comes in two different sizes — standard and toy. Standard Manchester Terriers weigh 12 to 22 pounds while Toy Manchester Terriers weigh less than 12 pounds. The compact size of both varieties makes them suitable to any size home.
Both sizes of Manchester Terriers have very similar characteristics and personalities, which we will take a look at in more detail below.
The Manchester Terrier is a small dog and is slightly longer than they are tall with a muscular body. They have a wedge-shaped head, the neck is slightly arched, the topline (back) is slightly arched over the loins and the abdomen is tucked up with an arched line. The tail tapers to a point and is carried in a slight upward curve.
Aside from size, the only other difference between the standard and toy version of this dog is their ears. According to the American breed standard, Toys must have naturally erect ears and cropping is not allowed. Standards can have a naturally erect ears, cropped ears or button ears.
The Manchester Terrier coat is short and does not require a lot of maintenance. They do shed, although not excessively, and regular brushing can keep this in check. We go into more detail about grooming your Manchester Terrier below.
Because of their short coats, they should not be left out in the sun for too long. This can cause them to become overheated and, similarly, if it is not warm enough outside, they can become very cold.
Manchester Terriers are always black in color with with rich mahogany markings. They also have black, almond-shaped eyes.
Manchester Terriers adore people and do not like to be left alone. They will want to be with you all day and love to exercise, so it will be great if you can take them out running and hiking with you. Without enough exercise they can resort to digging and other unwanted behaviors. The Manchester is very loyal dog and they can make fantastic guard dogs. They are also known to bark, but that is just because they want to protect you!
They are very energetic dogs and love to play, but will want to do this with you. This breed thrives with both mental and physical stimulation because they are very intelligent dogs who are willing to learn. They also excel in certain sports, such as agility, obedience and rally. However, they are sensitive and have moments where they just want to be left alone.
Although they are not particularly aggressive, they are hunting animals and therefore will not do well with other small pets — such as rodents and rabbits. They will believe they are in charge, so unless you train them properly to understand that you are in charge, they can remain stubborn and determined. However, they are intelligent and observant and they like to please, so training them is not too difficult, although it will take patience and consistency.
The Manchester Terrier has a life expectancy between 14 to 16 years, meaning they can live to be quite an old dog!
Known Health Issues
The Manchester Terrier breed is a relatively healthy dog, but unfortunately, like all breeds, they are prone to some health problems. The best thing to do to ensure you buy a dog that does not have too many health issues is to find a reputable breeder that will show you health clearances for both your puppy’s parents. You will want to see health clearances in hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism and von Willebrand’s disease.
The most common health problems in Manchesters are set out below:
- Glaucoma — this is when pressure in the eye is abnormally high and the eye is constantly producing and draining fluid.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease — this is disease that is found in both humans and dogs. It is a blood disorder that affects the clotting process. It cannot be cured but it can be treated with small surgery.
- Heat Bumps — these bumps may appear along your Manchester’s back if they stay out in the sun for too long.
Now you know everything you need to about the Manchester Terrier temperament and their characteristics, it is time to look at daily life with a Manchester.
Food And Diet
Manchester Terriers are not picky eaters and are therefore known to be prone to obesity. Therefore, you should monitor how much you give your Manchester Terrier and never leave food laying around for them to eat. Exercise is also important.
Depending on the size and weight of your Manchester Terrier, it is advised you feed them 1/4 to 1 cup of high-quality dry dog food a day, divided into two meals. If you are unsure about what type of food to feed your Manchester, you can always ask your vet for their recommendations.
To check your doggie is not overweight, you should be able to see a waist and to feel but not see their ribs without having to press hard.
Your Manchester Terrier has big exercise needs — a minimum of half an hour each day — which includes walks, runs, disc games, obedience or agility. They will want to do their exercising with you, so leaving them alone in the backyard to exercise does not count!
When out for walks, they should be on a lead. This is because of their prey drive and the fact that other dogs could be in danger if you do not keep control of your Manchester. The more exercise your Manchester does, the less likely they are to become bored and exhibit destructive behaviors. Your Manchester can also suffer with obesity if they are not exercised properly.
Manchester puppies don’t need as much hard exercise as adult dogs, and you shouldn’t let them run on hard surfaces such as concrete or let them do a lot of jumping until they’re at least a year old. This could stress their still developing skeletal system and cause future joint problems.
We have mentioned above how loyal Manchester Terriers are and how they love to spend time with their owners. They are always happiest when hanging out with you and will not want to be left alone — this includes letting them out into the backyard by themselves. These dogs will most likely sit at the door and wait to go back inside!
They love to exercise and play games, both mental and physical. You will need to be up for an active life if you choose to live with a Manchester Terrier, although they are not the type of dog to be running around the house. They try to match their energy with their owner, but of course benefit from lots of exercise outside too. When not exercised or stimulated enough, Manchesters can bark and dig, so watch out for this too.
They like children, but their small size means that young children will need to be careful with them in case they harm them. There are also times with the Manchester just wants to be left alone and can snap. If you can teach your children to be gentle with your Manchester and socialize your Manchester from a young age, then this will help a lot.
With Other Pets
In regards to how Manchester Terriers behave with other pets, it depends on the other pets! With their hunting nature, they are not suited to homes with other small animals such as hamsters and rabbits. They do however get on with other dogs and, if you have more than one Manchester Terrier, they will keep each other entertained for hours.
Manchester Terriers are clean, virtually odorless, and wonderfully adaptable, which means they suited to living in apartments or houses, but less so to living outdoors. It is worth mentioning though, you should be ready for them to bring you dead critters or pests!
The Manchester needs firm training from a young age to prevent any unwanted behaviors. They are very stubborn and will believe they rule the roost unless you put a stop to it and show them that you are in charge, so training is vital. They can snap at you and become overly protective if the training regime is not firm.
That being said, they are very intelligent animals with good trainability. It does require a lot of patience and consistency from you, but they will learn what you want them to do. Following through is very important, because they will take advantage of any inconsistencies in your training scheme. Furthermore, Manchesters can be stubborn and difficult to housebreak. Crate training is often recommended.
It has been advised that Manchester Terriers attend an obedience class from an early age, both for the socialization and training, and they should continue going to whatever classes or competitions they enjoy the most to remain intellectually stimulated and physically spent all through their life.
Just as they need training from a young, the Manchester Terrier also needs socializing from a young age. This will prevent them from becoming too headstrong or protective. They love other people, but very young children should be supervised when around Manchesters, because they are very delicate.
Manchesters also need to socialize with other dogs, especially if they are going to be living in the same home as another dog. With the right introduction from a young age though, this should not be a problem. Cats may be scared of your Manchester Terrier at first, but again, if socializing is done properly then it shouldn’t be an issue.
Thanks to their short coat, Manchester Terriers are pretty low maintenance. They need to be brushed once a week with a rubber or bristle brush to get rid of dead hair and prevent matting. They do shed, but this is only minimal and can be helped with regular brushing. Also, keeping them brushed means they will only need a bath once a year.
You will need to ensure that your Manchester’s teeth are brushed two to three times a week to prevent dental decay or disease. Daily brushing will help with bad breath. You should also trim their nails once or twice a month and check their ears for any signs of infection.
Grooming your Manchester Terrier from a young age and making it a positive experience for them will allow them to realize there is nothing to be worried about. Grooming once a week can also help you spot signs of any health problems before they become a big issue.
Machester Terrier FAQs
Are Manchester Terriers aggressive?
Manchester Terriers are not aggressive, despite their hunting instinct. They can be stubborn and believe they are in charge if they are not trained properly, however. They are also known for barking, but this just makes them great watchdogs and does not mean they are aggressive! To ensure your Manchester Terrier has the right temperament, you should train them from a young age.
Do Manchester Terriers make good family pets?
Manchester Terriers love to be around people and are very loyal so, yes, they make good family pets. They love to exercise, so are best suited to a family who will want to devote their time to walking and running with their Manchester. Because of their small size, they may not get on well with young children who are rough with them, but in the right environment a Manchester Terrier can get on with everyone!
The Manchester Terrier is a lively and energetic dog that loves to be around people. Although they can be stubborn and believe they are in charge, with the right training they are very sociable dogs that do not want to leave your side. They need lots of exercise — both physical and mental — and will thrive if this is done with you instead of alone in the backyard. They do have a hunting nature and may not be the dog to have around other small animals, but can get on well with other dogs. If you’re looking for a loving and well-mannered dog that also makes a good guard dog, then a Manchester Terrier might just be for you.