By Sergey Uhanov (Certified Veterinarian)Dr. Sergey Uhanov Last updated: 5th September 2023

Manchester Terrier


Sergey Uhanov (Certified Veterinarian) Dr. Sergey Uhanov
Last updated: 5th September 2023

The Manchester Terrier, named after Manchester, the city of its origin, is an elegant, slim, and hardy dog. This agile and lively breed is great for active families and loves to play and run. With its smooth, sleek black and tan coat, sharp ears, and muscular body, it was known as the “Gentleman’s Terrier” in Victorian England.

One of the oldest Terriers, this breed comes in two varieties in America: Standard and Toy. The Toy variety was made by mixing with Chihuahuas. The significant difference between the two varieties is their size, with the Standard being larger.

Manchester Terrier Pictures

Quick Information

Other namesThe Gentleman’s Terrier, Black and Tan Terrier
CoatSmooth and short
ColorBlack and tan
Breed typePurebred
Group Terrier
Life expectancy14-16 years
Height15-16 inches
Weight12-22 pounds
Litter Size2-4 puppies
Behavioral Characteristics Affectionate, diligent, alert, and playful
Good with children Yes
Barking Tendency High; they like to bark as a form of amusement
Climate compatibilityModerate; their short coats allow them to survive hot weather but are ineffective against cold weather
Apartment compatibilityHigh
Do they shedModerate; they shed heavily during fall and spring
Are they hypoallergenicNo
TrainabilityModerate; they are wilful and have a high prey drive
How much do they cost$600 – $1,000
Competitive Registration Qualification/InformationAKC, UKC, FCI

History and Origin

In the 19th century, mill workers in the Manchester region practiced two popular sports: rabbit hunting and rat killing, a controversial practice of putting a terrier in a rat pit and making bets. Demand increased for dogs that excelled at both, leading breeders to develop the Manchester Terrier. Notably, John Hulme crossed Whippets and Black and Tan Terriers to create the compact, strong, and agile breed we know today. During the Victorian era, there was a high demand for small pets. Initial breeding with Chihuahuas resulted in offspring with several deformations. Eventually, the Toy variety was perfected, becoming popular all over England. It got the name Manchester Terrier in 1860, though it remained popular as the Black and Tan Terrier till 1923.

This breed significantly declined during the World Wars, with only 11 specimens left in Britain by 1946. Conservation efforts using imported dogs from the United States were fruitful, and numbers rose again. The Standard and Toy Manchester Terriers were kept separate until 1959 when they were reclassified as two varieties of the same breed. However, the AKC still considers them as different breeds.

Temperament and Personality

Manchester Terriers are spirited, sporty, and energetic. They love running around and need an owner who can keep up with their endless energy. Still, their small stature and calm temperament help them adapt well to apartment living. They are great family pets, getting along well with children and other pets. However, their strong hunting instincts might make them chase after smaller animals unless adequately trained. They are devoted to their masters and are excellent watchdogs. 

They need proper care and attention to thrive in your home; otherwise, these Terriers develop separation anxiety and become restless and destructive. Their loud bark is used to attract their owner’s attention. With early training and exposure, they make excellent companions and playmates for your entire family.



This athletic and playful breed needs plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy. Multiple daily walks and off-leash outdoor play in a fenced enclosure are recommended for their mental and physical development. Hiking and cycling are good options for you and your dog. Manchester Terriers have great stamina and intelligence. So, you must provide mentally stimulating toys such as tennis balls, Frisbees, and Buster Cubes. They also excel at sports such as agility, earthdog, flyball, tracking, scent work, and freestyle dancing. 


The Manchester Terrier is a “wash-and-wear” dog, only needing weekly brushing to deal with shedding. You should use a rubber or thistle brush to remove tangles and matting. It only requires occasional baths with dog shampoo and regular wipe-downs to maintain its shiny coat. Check its ears regularly for signs of redness, infection, and wax build-up. Trim its nails whenever needed.

Health Problems

This breed may suffer from conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, glaucoma, patellar luxation, juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy, xanthinuria, Legg-Perthes disease, Von Willebrand’s disease, and heat bumps on its skin. Timely check-ups and sourcing your dog from reputed breeders can help avoid many problems.


They do well on high-quality store-bought or homemade dog food. The daily recommended amount is one-fourth to one cup of dog food over two meals. These dogs will eat almost anything and are prone to obesity, so give them treats judiciously and watch their daily intake. Always consult your veterinarian while making a diet plan for your dog to consider factors like age, weight, and activity level. Always provide clean, fresh water for your pet. 


Manchester Terriers need early socialization and training to manage their tendency to bark and become destructive if left alone. They are a lovable, joyful, and intelligent companion if correctly trained.

Socialization: They respond well to gentle and firm instructions. They resist harsh corrections and may become stubborn. Ample praise and treats go a long way in getting your pet to learn and follow commands. Start socializing your dog early to prevent snappish and headstrong behavior. You must establish yourself as the leader fast to avoid displays of dominance.

Crate training is advised to help in housetraining. Puppy classes, exposing them to children and other pets, and taking them to the dog park are suitable for building confidence and controlling aggressiveness.

Obedience: It is vital to teach your pet a recall command, as Manchester Terriers tend to run after small prey. They are brilliant and can pick up tricks quickly with the right encouragement. Dog games and puzzles are good options.

Leash: Always keep your dog leashed in open, public spaces, as its hunting instincts will cause it to give chase to smaller animals and run after enticing scents. Indulge in off-leash play only in fenced and protected areas to prevent it from running off.

Interesting Facts

  • Contrary to popular belief, Manchester Terriers are not bred from Dobermanns. In reality, they were used to develop Dobermanns by Herr Louis Dobermann.
  • Their prowess as ratters led to Queen Victoria bestowing them a “Royal Warrant” for their services.
  • President Theodore Roosevelt famously owned one named Blackjack.
  • Painter L. S. Lowry often featured his two Manchester Terriers in his works.


1. What is the difference between Manchester Terriers and Miniature Pinschers?

While they may look similar, Manchester Terriers are a few inches taller and weigh more than Miniature Pinschers. Also, they have more prominent, petal-shaped ears, while Miniature Pinschers have narrower and sharper ears. Lastly, they are only black and tan, but Miniature Pinschers can have a variety of colors.

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