Manchester Terrier Dog Breed

Find out why they're known as the sleekest of the terriers.
By: PawCulture Editors
Manchester Terrier dog.

About the Manchester Terrier Dog Breed

Manchester Terriers are sleek, short-coated dogs with a black and mahogany coat. Compact and muscular, they are bred to kill vermin and course small game. There is a Toy variety as well as the Standard Terrier.

Manchester Terrier Physical Characteristics

It is said that the raciest and the sleekest of terriers is the Manchester Terrier, with its compact, smooth, slightly long, and muscular body and an arched topline. The dog’s gait is effortless and free, while its expression is alert and keen.


Black and tan


It has a very glossy and smooth coat with minimal care required.

Manchester Terrier Personality and Temperament

Activity Level



The Manchester Terrier shows a more responsive nature than other terriers and is a very well-mannered house dog. It shows utmost devotion to its family, and loves to sleep beside its favorite person.

Things to Consider

Reserved with strangers, independent, impeccably clean and sensitive, this terrier is often described as “catlike.” Sometimes it can be rambunctious, looking for a game or adventure. Some have also been known to dig incessantly.

Manchester Terrier Care

Ideal Living Conditions

Although it likes to spend the day in the yard, the Manchester Terrier should not be allowed to live outdoors and it needs a soft, warm bed.

Special Requirements

The Manchester Terrier is an active and alert breed that should be led on moderate on-leash walks, off-lead outings in safe areas, or fun romp in the garden.

Manchester Terrier Health

Although it does not suffer from any major health issues, the Manchester Terrier may be susceptible to minor problems like von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD), hypothyroidism and cardiomyopathy. Some other common health concerns include patellar luxation, Legg-Perthes disease and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). To identify some these problems early, a veterinarian may advise DNA, eye, hip, and thyroid tests for this breed, which has an average lifespan of 15 to 16 years.

Manchester Terrier History and Background

It is essential to understand the background of the Black and Tan Terrier, one of the most proficient and popular terriers of 16th-century England, to learn about the Manchester Terrier. As a talented dispatcher of rats, the Black and Tan could perform this task in pits or along watercourses. During the age of industrialization, rat killing with Whippets, Black and Tans, and other dogs was a common sport, enjoyed by the working class in English towns.

With this in mind, John Hulme, a dog fancier in Manchester, crossed the two breeds to create one that would be excellent in both chasing and dispatching rats. It resulted in a superior black and tan terrier that had a somewhat arched back. Other regions saw similar crosses, as this new variety was common there. However, the breed was more popular in Manchester.

The name of Manchester Terrier, however, was disputed by many locals, as similar dogs had the same name in many parts of England. Therefore, the breed was mainly referred to as Black and Tan Terrier until 1860. In 1923, the name for the breed became official when the Manchester Terrier Club of America was formed.

Always having a big size range, Toy and Standard Manchesters were displayed as two different breeds until 1959, even though inter-breeding was practiced. Soon the breed was reclassified as a single breed with two strains, thus making inter-breeding legitimate. Apart from size, the two varieties differ in cropping, which is allowed only in Standards.