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Manchester Terrier Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Personality & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Manchester Terrier

Height: 15–16 inches at the shoulder (Standard), 10–12 inches at the shoulders (Toy)
Weight: 12–22 pounds (Standard), 6–8 pounds (Toy)
Lifespan: 14–16 years
Colors: Black and tan
Suitable for: Those looking for a companion dog, individuals wanting a low-maintenance dog, apartment dwellers, families with older children
Temperament: Feisty, stubborn, clever, loving, loyal

The Manchester Terrier is an extremely unique breed just based on its personality alone. They’re part of the Terrier group which lends them to be feisty, stubborn, and full of fire. But on the other hand, they’re jovial, well-mannered, and devoted to their loved ones. There’s not one single description that fits them entirely.

They come in two sizes: Standard and Toy. However, the Toy version has just as big of a character and heart as the Standard. Each makes for a great companion dog for anyone looking for the company.

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Manchester Terrier Puppies

Manchester Terrier puppy outdoors
Image Credit: Melounix, Shutterstock

A Manchester Terrier is a great breed for companionship or even families with older children. However, there are a couple of things you should understand before taking the plunge and getting a new Manchester Terrier puppy.

These are not quiet dogs. In fact, they are known as barkers and alarm dogs. So, if you’re ever worried about missing a squirrel running through your yard or a random passerby, your Manchester Terrier will keep you informed.

They also have a desire to dig. This comes from their background as ratters and vermin control. If possible, give them a designated area to dig and exercise.

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Manchester Terrier
Image credit: cynoclub, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Manchester Terrier🧠

The Manchester Terrier is one of the more empathetic dog breeds around and has a true ability to read a room. It’s not uncommon for this breed to essentially mimic the mood and temperament of their owner at any given period in time. So, if you’re in a good mood, you’ll probably find them running around your feet looking to play. And on rainy days, they’ll be sunken into the couch right alongside you.

This ability to adapt comes from their eagerness to please and high intelligence. The Manchester Terrier is an extremely smart breed, and they aren’t afraid to show it.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?🏡 

These dogs can make for good family pets, provided they are trained and socialized at an early age. They might not be as cuddly as other pups, however, they’ll still love their families. However, they can get a bit nippy when pulled or tugged the wrong way. And they don’t necessarily have the best patience and tolerance for smaller children.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?🐶 😽 

The Manchester Terrier can get along with other dogs with no issue as long as they are socialized at an early age. As a matter of fact, they actually love having playmates to have adventures with. But with other animals such as cats, rodents, or other smaller creatures, you may have a difficult time introducing your Manchester Terrier without having it be an eventful meeting.

They’re still Terriers, after all, and haven’t forgotten it. They have an extremely high prey drive—especially for rodents—and will be tempted to hunt them down swiftly.

Manchester Toy Terrier
Image Credit: Olga Aniven, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Manchester Terrier

Caring for your Manchester Terrier is a lot easier than many other breeds. They really are the definition of low-maintenance. That’s one of the attributes that makes them so desirable as pets.

Food & Diet Requirements🦴 

Because they are smaller dogs, Manchester Terriers don’t require as much food as other breeds. Standard-size dogs may only require just 1 cup of high-quality dry food per day. And the Toy size only really needs a ¼ cup. This food should be divided between two meals—normally once for breakfast and the other in the evening.

They aren’t picky eaters, either. The Manchester Terrier has been known to eat anything set in front of them. So, instead of letting them just eat whatever, we recommend feeding them Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Healthy Weight dry dog food. They are prone to obesity, so having a healthy weight food is a great way to combat it.


Your Manchester Terrier may be perfectly content with being a couch potato, but they need to get a minimum of 30 minutes a day worth of exercise. This could mean a brisk walk or a quick stopover in the park.

However, they are perfectly content with getting their exercise indoors, making them great for apartment dwellers.

Manchester Terrier
Image Credit: Ricantimages, Shutterstock


Terriers, in general, can be difficult to train due to their independent streaks and feisty temperaments. But that isn’t always the case. The Manchester Terrier is a people-pleaser and will do anything to see you happy. That, coupled with their high intelligence, makes them very easy to train, and they’ll catch on much faster than other breeds.

Grooming ✂️

Manchester Terriers are one of the easiest dog breeds to groom out there. They have a propensity for self-cleaning, such as cats, and require very little bathing. Also, their extremely short coats don’t necessarily need to be scrubbed as often as other breeds. Normally, a quick wipe-down with a damp cloth is more than sufficient to keep them clean and groomed.

Health Conditions❤️

Generally speaking, the Manchester Terrier’s a pretty healthy dog. However, like with every other breed, there are certain maladies that the Manchester Terrier is more susceptible to.

This breed has an increased chance of contracting glaucoma and von Willebrand’s disease. Glaucoma is a disease that affects the dog’s eyes and can eventually lead to vision loss and blindness even with treatment. Von Willebrand’s disease is a blood disorder that limits the clotting ability of your dog’s blood. Fortunately, von Willebrand’s disease is an inherited disorder, and breeders are doing their best to remove this trait from the gene pool.

On a minor note, the short coat of the Manchester Terrier makes them abnormally sensitive to both heat and cold. Temperate climates are best for this breed. Heat bumps may form on their back if they stay out in the sun too long. However, these will disappear with time.

Minor Conditions
  • Heat bumps
Serious Conditions
  • Glaucoma
  • Von Willebrand’s disease

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Male vs Female

While you will see a noticeable difference in size between the Standard and the Toy Manchester Terrier, the differences between sex in either version will be negligible. The quirks in your pup’s personality will be more based on its parents and the environment in which is it raised rather than on its sex.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Manchester Terrier

1. The Manchester Terrier was originally bred to be a pest control agent.

The Manchester Terrier was first bred in the early 1800s by a man named John Hulme. In those days, rats were a terrible sanitation issue, spreading filth and disease around the community. John decided the best course of action was to breed an ultimate rat-catcher by crossing a Whippet with a Black and Tan Terrier. The resulting breed was the Manchester Terrier, which excelled in lowering the festering rat population.

2. They were among the first dogs to be specifically purse-carried.

During the Victorian Era, these dogs were held in such high regard they became a status symbol to own. And higher society wanted them bred even smaller. So, the Manchester Terrier was often crossed with Chihuahuas in order to produce miniature-sized pups. Although these hybrids weren’t very healthy, they were loved. Some owners would have specially designed pouches that they could carry their dogs in while riding on horseback. This led them to earn the nickname “Groom’s Pocket Piece”.

3. The breed almost went extinct after World War II.

Due to poor breeding habits and health concerns, the Manchester Terrier had all but gone extinct. By the end of World War II, only 11 Manchester Terriers were registered. However, thanks to the efforts of the British Manchester Terrier Club, the breed was protected and has been able to start its recovery process. Within the last few years, an average of more than 160 births per year were registered.

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Final Thoughts

The Manchester Terrier is an adorable, spunky little pup who loves nothing more than to please his master. They make a great companion dog, especially for apartment dwellers and those confined indoors.

They’re unlike just about any other terrier with their more mild-mannered demeanors and enhanced trainability. But don’t let that fool you. They still remember where they came from and love a good hunt.

Featured Image Credit: Lourdes Photography, Shutterstock

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