Manchester Terrier Standard

Manchester Terrier Standard Image courtesy of DSD

Welcome to our article on the Manchester Terrier Standard! In this guide, we will explore the fascinating history, size and appearance characteristics, temperament, trainability, exercise requirements, grooming needs, health issues, and notable dogs from this breed. Whether you are a Manchester Terrier enthusiast or simply curious about this breed, this article will provide you with valuable insights into the world of Manchester Terriers.

History and Origins of the Breed

The Manchester Terrier Standard has a captivating history that dates back to the 19th century in Manchester, England. The breed’s origins can be traced to a cross between the Black and Tan Terrier, a now-extinct English breed, and the Whippet, a breed known for its speed and agility.

Originally, Manchester Terriers were bred for their exceptional ratting skills. They were highly valued for their ability to control vermin, which was a prevalent problem in urban areas during that time. With their compact size, sharp senses, and tenacity, Manchester Terriers became popular choices for rat-catching in both homes and mills.

The breed’s popularity grew rapidly, and they became sought after as companion dogs as well. Their sleek and elegant appearance, combined with their loyal and affectionate nature, made them a favorite among dog enthusiasts. Manchester Terriers were often seen accompanying their owners to various social events, showcasing their versatility and adaptability.

In the late 1800s, the breed’s name was changed from Black and Tan Terrier to Manchester Terrier, in honor of the city that played a significant role in their development. The breed’s recognition and standardization were further enhanced through the efforts of dedicated breeders who worked diligently to preserve and refine their traits.

Over time, Manchester Terriers faced challenges, including the decline of ratting as a popular sport and the devastation caused by World War II. However, their loyal fan base and dedicated breeders ensured their survival and continued popularity.

Today, the Manchester Terrier is recognized by various kennel clubs and is admired for its intelligence, agility, and elegance. While their ratting skills may not be as essential in modern times, they continue to excel as companion dogs, participating in various dog sports and activities.

Understanding the history and origins of the Manchester Terrier provides valuable insight into the breed’s purpose and characteristics. It highlights their working heritage and underscores the importance of preserving their unique traits as they continue to bring joy and companionship to countless families around the world.

Size and Appearance Characteristics

The Manchester Terrier Standard is a small and elegant breed with distinct appearance characteristics that set them apart. Let’s delve into the size and physical features that define this breed.


Manchester Terriers are classified as small-sized dogs. According to the breed standard, there are two recognized varieties: Toy and Standard. The Toy Manchester Terrier stands at approximately 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) tall at the shoulder, while the Standard Manchester Terrier is slightly larger, ranging from 15 to 16 inches (38 to 41 cm) in height. The weight of the Toy variety typically falls between 6 to 8 pounds (2.7 to 3.6 kg), while the Standard variety weighs between 12 to 22 pounds (5.4 to 10 kg).

Body Structure

The Manchester Terrier Standard has a well-balanced and muscular body, reflecting their agility and athleticism. They possess an elongated neck that flows smoothly into a level topline. Their chest is moderately deep, providing ample space for lung capacity.

One defining characteristic of the breed is their sleek and glossy coat. The coat is made up of short, dense, and smooth hair that lies close to the body, giving them a refined and polished appearance.

Head and Facial Features

The Manchester Terrier has a distinctive head shape that adds to their overall charm. Their head is long and wedge-shaped, with a flat skull and a well-defined stop. They have a strong and muscular jaw with a scissor bite, where the upper teeth closely overlap the lower teeth.

Their expressive eyes are small, dark, and almond-shaped, exuding an alert and intelligent expression. The ears are set high and are naturally erect, contributing to their attentive and inquisitive appearance.


The Manchester Terrier has a docked tail, which means it is traditionally shortened to a specific length through a surgical procedure. However, in countries where docking is prohibited, the tail is left natural and is carried in a straight line from the body.

Coat Color

Manchester Terriers have a striking coat color pattern known as “black and tan.” Their body is predominantly jet black, while their markings are a rich mahogany tan. The tan appears on their muzzle, cheeks, chest, legs, and beneath the tail. This color combination gives them a sleek and stylish look.

Understanding the size and appearance characteristics of the Manchester Terrier provides a visual image of this elegant breed. Their small size, well-balanced body structure, unique head shape, and striking coat color pattern contribute to their overall appeal and make them easily recognizable. Whether in the show ring or as a beloved companion, the Manchester Terrier’s appearance is sure to turn heads and capture hearts.

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of a Manchester Terrier Standard is an important consideration when welcoming one into your family. Understanding their average lifespan allows you to make informed decisions regarding their care, health, and overall well-being. Let’s explore the factors that influence the life expectancy of Manchester Terriers.

On average, Manchester Terriers have a lifespan of 14 to 16 years. However, it is essential to note that individual dogs may vary, and various factors can impact their longevity. These factors include genetics, overall health, diet, exercise, environment, and access to proper veterinary care.

Genetics play a significant role in determining a dog’s lifespan. Responsible breeders strive to produce Manchester Terriers with good genetic health by conducting health screenings and selecting breeding pairs that are free from hereditary conditions. By obtaining a puppy from a reputable breeder who prioritizes health, you increase the likelihood of your Manchester Terrier Standard having a longer life expectancy.

Maintaining your Manchester Terrier’s overall health is crucial for their longevity. Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive care are essential in detecting and addressing any health issues early on. Proper nutrition is also vital, as a well-balanced diet tailored to their specific needs can contribute to their overall well-being and extend their lifespan.

Exercise and mental stimulation are key components in a Manchester Terrier’s life. Regular physical activity not only helps maintain a healthy weight but also keeps their minds sharp and their bodies agile. Providing opportunities for mental stimulation, such as puzzle toys or training sessions, can help prevent boredom and promote a longer, happier life.

The environment in which a Manchester Terrier Standard lives can also impact their lifespan. Providing a safe and secure living space, free from hazards and potential accidents, is crucial. Additionally, minimizing exposure to extreme temperatures, ensuring proper ventilation, and offering a comfortable resting area can contribute to their overall well-being and longevity.

While Manchester Terriers are generally healthy dogs, they may be prone to certain health issues. These can include patellar luxation (knee joint problems), progressive retinal atrophy (a degenerative eye condition), and von Willebrand’s disease (a bleeding disorder). Regular veterinary care and early detection of any potential health concerns can help manage these conditions and potentially extend their lifespan.

By understanding the factors that influence the life expectancy of Manchester Terriers and taking proactive measures to ensure their overall health and well-being, you can maximize the time you have with your beloved companion. With proper care, love, and attention, a Manchester Terrier Standard can bring joy and companionship to your life for many years to come.


The temperament of a Manchester Terrier Standard is a crucial aspect to consider when deciding if this breed is the right fit for your lifestyle and family. Let’s explore the typical temperament traits exhibited by Manchester Terriers.

Loyal and Affectionate

Manchester Terriers are known for their loyalty and devotion to their families. They form strong bonds with their owners and thrive on human companionship. They enjoy being part of the family activities and are often found by their owner’s side, providing love and companionship.

Intelligent and Alert

These dogs are highly intelligent and possess keen observation skills. They are alert and aware of their surroundings, making them excellent watchdogs. Manchester Terriers will often notify their owners of any unusual sounds or activities, making them an excellent early warning system.

Playful and Energetic

Despite their small size, Manchester Terriers have abundant energy and love to play. They enjoy engaging in various activities, such as fetch, agility, or obedience training. Regular exercise and mental stimulation are essential to keep them happy, healthy, and prevent boredom-related behaviors.

Curious and Inquisitive

Manchester Terriers have a curious nature and are always eager to explore their environment. They enjoy investigating new scents and sights, making them curious companions on walks or outdoor adventures. Their inquisitive nature also makes training sessions engaging and stimulating.

Independent and Strong-Willed

While Manchester Terriers are loyal and affectionate, they also possess a level of independence. They are known to be self-assured and may exhibit a strong-willed nature at times. This independence can make them confident and resilient, but it may also require consistent and firm training to establish boundaries.

Good with Children and Other Pets

When properly socialized from a young age, Manchester Terriers can get along well with children and other pets. They are generally patient and tolerant, but supervision is always recommended, especially with young children, to ensure positive interactions and prevent any accidental harm.

Potential Challenges

While Manchester Terriers are a delightful breed, they may present a few challenges. They can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods, as they thrive on human companionship. Early socialization and training can help alleviate this issue.

Additionally, their strong prey drive may make them inclined to chase small animals or exhibit territorial behavior. Proper training and supervision can help manage these instincts and ensure their safety.

Understanding the temperament of Manchester Terriers allows you to anticipate their needs, provide appropriate training and socialization, and create a harmonious living environment. With their loyalty, intelligence, playfulness, and curiosity, Manchester Terriers make wonderful companions for individuals and families alike.

Trainability and Adaptability

Trainability and adaptability are important factors to consider when bringing a Manchester Terrier Standard into your home. Let’s explore their trainability and adaptability traits in more detail.


Manchester Terriers are intelligent dogs that are generally eager to please their owners. This, combined with their quick learning ability, makes them highly trainable. They excel in obedience training and are known to perform well in various dog sports such as agility, rally, and obedience trials.

Consistency and positive reinforcement methods work best when training Manchester Terriers. They respond well to praise, rewards, and treats as motivation. Harsh training methods or punishment can be counterproductive and may lead to stubbornness or resistance.

Early socialization is crucial for Manchester Terriers to develop positive behaviors and adaptability to different environments, people, and other animals. Exposing them to varied experiences, such as meeting different individuals, encountering various sounds and sights, and introducing them to other dogs, helps shape their behavior and promotes a well-rounded and socially adept dog.


Manchester Terriers are generally adaptable to different living environments. They can thrive in both urban and rural settings, as long as their exercise and mental stimulation needs are met. They can adapt to apartment living, provided they receive regular exercise and mental enrichment to prevent boredom.

While they are adaptable, Manchester Terriers do require a consistent routine and structure to feel secure and comfortable. Changes in their environment or routine may initially cause some stress or anxiety, but with proper guidance and reassurance, they can adjust well.

It is important to note that Manchester Terriers may have a strong prey drive, which can make them inclined to chase small animals. Care should be taken when introducing them to smaller pets, such as cats or small rodents, and proper training and supervision should be in place to ensure their safety and the safety of other animals.

Manchester Terriers can also adapt to different family dynamics, including single individuals, couples, or families with children. However, as with any dog breed, it is important to teach children how to interact respectfully and gently with the dog to ensure a positive and safe environment for both.

Understanding the trainability and adaptability of Manchester Terriers allows you to provide them with the necessary training, socialization, and environment to thrive. With their intelligence and willingness to please, combined with a consistent routine and positive reinforcement, Manchester Terriers can become well-behaved and adaptable companions.

Exercise Requirements and Energy Level

Manchester Terriers have a moderate to high energy level and require regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Let’s explore their exercise requirements and the activities that suit their energy levels.

Exercise Requirements

Manchester Terriers benefit from daily exercise to maintain their overall health and prevent the development of behavioral issues due to pent-up energy. On average, they require about 30 to 45 minutes of exercise each day, but this can vary depending on the individual dog’s age, health, and energy level.

Physical Exercise

Manchester Terriers enjoy a variety of physical activities that engage their athleticism and agility. Daily walks or jogs are a great way to fulfill their exercise needs while providing mental stimulation through the exploration of different scents and sights. Off-leash playtime in a securely fenced area can also allow them to run and burn off excess energy.

Other activities that Manchester Terriers excel in include agility, flyball, and obedience training. These activities not only provide physical exercise but also challenge their minds, as they have to follow commands and navigate obstacles. Engaging in such activities strengthens the bond between the owner and the dog while providing an outlet for their energy.

Mental Stimulation

In addition to physical exercise, Manchester Terriers require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors. Puzzle toys, interactive feeding games, and obedience training sessions can keep their minds active and engaged. These activities also help channel their intelligence and prevent them from becoming bored or restless.

Weather Considerations

Manchester Terriers are generally adaptable to different weather conditions. However, they can be sensitive to extreme temperatures. During hot weather, it is essential to avoid exercising them during the hottest part of the day and provide access to shade and water to prevent overheating. In colder weather, they may benefit from wearing a dog coat or sweater to keep them warm during walks.

Adjusting Exercise as They Age

As Manchester Terriers age, their exercise needs may change. While they may require more vigorous exercise during their younger years, they may prefer shorter, more leisurely walks as they enter their senior years. It is essential to monitor their energy levels and adjust their exercise routine accordingly to prevent overexertion or discomfort.

Understanding the exercise requirements and energy levels of Manchester Terriers allows you to provide them with the appropriate physical and mental stimulation they need to thrive. Regular exercise and mental engagement not only keep them physically fit but also contribute to their overall well-being and happiness.

Grooming Requirements

Manchester Terriers have relatively low grooming requirements, thanks to their short and smooth coat. However, regular grooming is still necessary to keep them looking their best and maintain their overall health. Let’s explore the grooming needs of Manchester Terriers.

Coat Care

The Manchester Terrier’s coat is short, dense, and smooth, requiring minimal maintenance. A weekly brushing with a soft-bristle brush or a rubber grooming mitt is usually sufficient to remove loose hairs and keep their coat in good condition. This also helps distribute the natural oils in their skin, promoting a healthy and shiny coat.


Manchester Terriers generally do not require frequent baths unless they get particularly dirty or develop a strong odor. Bathing them every few months or as needed using a mild dog shampoo is usually enough to keep them clean. It’s important to ensure their coat is thoroughly rinsed to prevent any shampoo residue from irritating their skin.

Nail Care

Regular nail care is essential for Manchester Terriers. Their nails should be trimmed every few weeks to prevent them from becoming too long and causing discomfort or issues with their gait. Care should be taken to avoid cutting into the quick, which is the sensitive part of the nail. If you’re not comfortable trimming their nails yourself, you can seek the assistance of a professional groomer or a veterinarian.

Dental Care

Dental hygiene is crucial for the overall health of Manchester Terriers. Regular teeth brushing with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste is recommended to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. Additionally, providing dental chews or toys designed to promote dental health can help keep their teeth clean and healthy.

Ear Cleaning

Manchester Terriers are prone to ear infections due to their drop ears, so regular ear cleaning is important. Weekly ear checks and gentle cleaning using a veterinarian-recommended ear cleaning solution can help prevent the buildup of wax and debris, reducing the risk of infection. It’s important to be gentle and avoid inserting anything deep into the ear canal, as this can cause injury.

Eye Care

Routine eye care is necessary for Manchester Terriers to maintain good eye health. Regularly checking their eyes for any signs of redness, discharge, or irritation is important. If you notice any abnormalities, it’s best to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Professional Grooming

While Manchester Terriers have relatively low grooming requirements, some owners may opt for professional grooming services. Professional groomers can provide additional services such as nail trimming, ear cleaning, and expressing the anal glands, if needed.

By following a regular grooming routine and paying attention to their coat, nails, ears, teeth, and eyes, you can keep your Manchester Terrier Standard clean, healthy, and looking their best. Grooming sessions also provide an opportunity for you to bond with your dog and ensure their overall well-being.

Health Issues

Manchester Terriers are generally healthy dogs with a long lifespan. However, like any breed, they may be prone to certain health issues. Being aware of potential health concerns allows you to take proactive measures to prevent, manage, or seek appropriate veterinary care. Let’s explore some common health issues that Manchester Terriers may encounter.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation, also known as kneecap dislocation, is a common orthopedic condition in Manchester Terriers. It occurs when the kneecap slips out of its normal position, causing lameness and discomfort. Depending on the severity, treatment options may include medication, physical therapy, or surgery.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive retinal atrophy is an inherited degenerative eye disorder that affects the retina, leading to gradual vision loss and, ultimately, blindness. Regular eye examinations by a veterinary ophthalmologist can help detect early signs of PRA, and responsible breeders conduct appropriate genetic testing to reduce the risk of passing on this condition to offspring.

Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD)

Von Willebrand’s disease is a bleeding disorder caused by a deficiency in von Willebrand factor, a clotting protein. Dogs with vWD may experience prolonged bleeding after injuries or surgeries. While there is no cure for vWD, proper management can include avoiding certain medications and ensuring prompt veterinary care in case of bleeding episodes.


Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. It can lead to symptoms such as weight gain, lethargy, hair loss, and skin problems. Diagnosis is typically made through blood tests, and treatment involves lifelong administration of synthetic thyroid hormone medication.


Manchester Terriers may be prone to allergies, including food allergies, environmental allergies, or flea allergies. Symptoms can include itching, skin irritations, ear infections, and gastrointestinal issues. Identifying and managing the allergen, whether through dietary changes, environmental modifications, or medication, can help alleviate symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease

Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease is a condition that affects the hip joint, causing the femoral head to deteriorate. It can lead to lameness, pain, and difficulty in walking. Treatment options may include medication, physical therapy, or surgery, depending on the severity of the condition.

While these are some of the health issues that Manchester Terriers may be prone to, it’s important to note that not all dogs will develop these conditions. Responsible breeders conduct health screenings and genetic testing to reduce the risk of passing on hereditary diseases. Regular veterinary check-ups, a healthy diet, exercise, and preventive care can help maintain the overall health and well-being of your Manchester Terrier.

If you are considering getting a Manchester Terrier Standard, it’s essential to choose a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and welfare of their dogs. Additionally, staying informed about potential health issues allows you to be proactive in monitoring your dog’s health and seeking appropriate veterinary care when needed.

Comparable Breeds

While the Manchester Terrier Standard is a unique and captivating breed, there are other breeds that share similar characteristics or may be of interest to those considering a Manchester Terrier. Let’s explore some comparable breeds that you may want to consider:

Miniature Pinscher

The Miniature Pinscher, often referred to as the “Min Pin,” is a small breed that shares some similarities with the Manchester Terrier. Like the Manchester Terrier, Min Pins are energetic, intelligent, and loyal. They also have a similar sleek and short coat. Both breeds are known for their alertness and make excellent watchdogs. If you are drawn to the Manchester Terrier’s temperament and energy level, the Miniature Pinscher might be a breed to consider.

Rat Terrier

Rat Terriers are another comparable breed to the Manchester Terrier, particularly in terms of their working background and appearance. Rat Terriers were originally bred for ratting and share the Manchester Terrier’s high energy level and intelligence. They are affectionate, loyal, and make excellent family companions. Rat Terriers come in different sizes, with the Toy and Miniature varieties being closer in size to the Manchester Terrier.


The Whippet is a breed known for its elegance, speed, and gentle nature. While not sharing the Manchester Terrier’s working background, Whippets are similar in size and have a similar sleek coat. Both breeds are known for their affectionate and loyal nature. However, Whippets have a more laid-back temperament compared to the high energy of Manchester Terriers. If you are drawn to the Manchester Terrier’s appearance and desire a more relaxed companion, the Whippet might be a good alternative.


The Basenji is an intriguing breed that shares some characteristics with the Manchester Terrier. Like Manchester Terriers, Basenjis are intelligent, independent, and have a short coat. They are known for their unique vocalizations, often referred to as “yodeling” or “baroos.” Basenjis are affectionate with their families but can also be aloof with strangers. If you are looking for a breed with a distinctive appearance and an independent spirit, the Basenji might be worth considering.

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is a small and energetic breed that shares some similarities with the Manchester Terrier. Both breeds have a high energy level, intelligence, and a strong prey drive. They are known for their agility and excel in various dog sports. However, Jack Russell Terriers can be more boisterous and require consistent training and socialization. If you are looking for an active and spirited companion, the Jack Russell Terrier could be a comparable breed to consider.

While these breeds share some similarities with the Manchester Terrier, it’s important to note that each breed has its own unique traits and characteristics. It’s recommended to thoroughly research and interact with different breeds before making a decision to ensure the best match for your lifestyle and preferences.

Notable Dogs from This Breed

Throughout history, there have been several notable Manchester Terriers that have made their mark in various fields. Let’s explore some of the notable dogs from this breed:


Billy, also known as Ch. Billy Buttons, was a Manchester Terrier that gained fame as a show dog in the late 1800s. He is considered one of the breed’s most influential dogs and played a significant role in shaping the breed standard. His exceptional conformation and striking appearance set the bar high for future generations of Manchester Terriers.


Willie, officially known as Ch. Willie of Arden, was another influential Manchester Terrier in the early 20th century. He had an impressive show career, earning numerous titles and accolades. His exceptional qualities and success in the show ring solidified his place in breed history. His influence can still be seen in Manchester Terriers today.


Jet, also known as Ch. Jet of Ilex, was a Manchester Terrier who achieved great success in the show ring in the mid-20th century. He was known for his elegance, sound structure, and powerful movement. His achievements helped raise the profile of the Manchester Terrier and contributed to the breed’s continued recognition and popularity.


Hektor, officially known as Ch. Hektor of the Night, was a Manchester Terrier who made a significant impact as a sire and producer of top-quality offspring. His exceptional lineage and genetic contributions have had a lasting influence on the breed. Many Manchester Terriers today can trace their ancestry back to Hektor, highlighting his importance in the breed’s history.


Rufus, also known as Ch. Rococo’s House of Blues, gained widespread recognition when he became the first Manchester Terrier to win the prestigious title of Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 2006. His victory brought attention to the breed and showcased the Manchester Terrier’s exceptional qualities and potential.

These notable Manchester Terriers have left a lasting legacy in the breed’s history. Their exceptional qualities, achievements, and contributions have helped shape the Manchester Terrier into the beloved and respected breed it is today. Their influence can still be seen in the show ring and in the hearts of Manchester Terrier enthusiasts worldwide.

You May Also Like

Related Articles

You May Also Like