The Manchester Terrier developed in response to the increasingly poor sanitation in England as the result of the Industrial Revolution and population growth. Smaller, spunkier dogs like Terriers were needed to help cull the growing rat populations. The Manchester Terrier arose from breeding a Whippet with a crossbred terrier to produce an enthusiastic and courageous hunting companion. Today, the Manchester Terrier continues to thrive as an earth dog and excellent companion. This breed is active and social but needs firm training to subdue his headstrong perception that he’s the boss. Daily exercise is a must with a Manchester Terrier, but their coats are low maintenance.
The Manchester Terrier, as its name implies, is of the Terrier family and was developed in Manchester, England. In the early 19th-century sanitation conditions in the cities were abominable, and rats flourished in the streets. Rats are a constant source of disease and poor quality of life, and the rat terrier breeds worked to rid the cities of the rodent population. The Manchester Terrier rose from the experimental breeding of a Whippet and a cross-bred terrier to produce a new, energetic ratting dog. The new breed was very successful and by the mid-19th century Manchester, England was well known for its “Rat Terrier”, thus earning the breed’s name, the Manchester Terrier. Manchester Terriers were also excellent hunting companions for hare and rabbit coursing. The smaller dogs were often carried in special leather pouches during the hunt and referred to as the “Groom’s Pocket Piece.” When the larger hounds were unable to penetrate thick brush, the Manchester Terrier courageously and spiritedly charged in after its quarry. The Manchester Terrier’s usefulness as an earth dog for fox and hare hunts earned him the nickname, the “Gentlemen’s Terrier.” By 1886, the Toy Manchester Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club, and the following year the Standard Manchester Terrier earned AKC recognition. The two variations of Manchester Terriers continued as separate breeds until 1959 when the two were combined. Today, high-spirited, full of energy Manchester Terrier is a much-loved companion as well as an excellent earth dog. The breed continues to show its usefulness in the field and at home.
The Manchester Terrier is a small black dog with deep mahogany markings and a tapered tail. The coat is glossy and dense but not soft to the touch. The Manchester Terrier is thin-boned and sleek with a long head and bright, keen expression. The muscular structure is smooth and compact, showing off this breed’s great agility. Aside from the size and ears, there is no difference between the Standard and Toy varieties of Manchester Terrier. This breed's eyes are nearly black and almond-shaped. They are set moderately apart and are also slightly slanted. Standard breed’s ears can stand straight up, be cropped, or buttoned while the Toy breed’s ears stand straight up. This breed’s muzzle is equally as long as its skull and ends in a well-defined black nose. The Manchester Terrier’s lips are tight and black with a scissor bite. Level bites are not as common. The Manchester Terrier’s forelegs are straight and end in compact, well-arched feet. The hind legs have strong, well-muscled thighs and the legs are carried well back with feet shaped like those of a cat. The tail is short and tapers from a thick stem to a point and is carried slightly upward.
The Manchester Terrier is remarkably easy to maintain when it comes to his coat. The short, dense hair is clean, and dirt particles are easily removed by brushing. However, this breed will blow their coat twice annually. Brushing is essential during these times to help remove dead and loose hair. Bathing your Manchester Terrier is only recommended when he needs a bath and shampoo. The Manchester Terrier’s toe nails will also need clipping up to two times per month if the dog does not naturally wear them down during activity. In addition to brushing and nail clipping, you should also check your Manchester Terrier's ears once a week for debris or wax. Speak with your grooming specialist or veterinarian for recommended products and methods for cleaning your dog’s ears. Being a part of the terrier family, the Manchester Terrier does not have a natural “doggy” smell. Keeping his coat, ears, and teeth clean will also help keep any unwanted smell from developing. The Manchester Terrier is a high energy dog who needs a lot of exercise. However, if given the opportunity to run and play this breed does very well in urban and apartment living. This breed is almost more tolerant of warm weather than it is of cold weather. When it comes to feeding the Manchester Terrier, this breed only requires ¼ cup to 1 cup of dry food divided into two meals daily. The amount of food given to your Manchester Terrier will depend on his metabolism, age, and size. This breed has a tendency to overindulge so obesity is a real threat. You should always watch your dog’s weight and make adjustments as necessary.