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Manchester Terrier

Country/Date of Origin: England/1500s

There are two sizes of the Manchester Terrier, the standard and the toy. Both spring from the same stock, one of the oldest strains of British terrier. In the Manchester district of England the breed was developed for "poor man's sports": rat killing and rabbit coursing. Judicious crossings of the now extinct Black and Tan Terrier and Whippets gave the Manchester what was wanted in a rat and rabbit dog: the fire and courage of the terrier and the speed of the little greyhounds. In 1923 the American Kennel Club adopted the name of Manchester Terrier. Until 1959 the toy and the standard were registered as two separate breeds although interbreeding between the two breeds was permitted. Since that date they have been registered as a single breed with two varieties. A single litter may have both varieties; those under 12 pounds being shown as toys and the larger ones as standards.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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Black and Tan Terrier

AKC Group: Terrier

Breed Club: American Manchester Terrier Club

Rescue Club: Rachel King, M1 Farmhouse Road, Morristown, NJ 07960; (201) 787-3497

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Body Type:

  • Everything about this medium sized terrier is sleek from the long, unbroken line of the face to the tapering tail
  • Height: 15-16 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 12-22 pounds. Show classes are often divided into two sizes: 12-16 pounds and 16-22 pounds
  • Ears on the standard size are often cropped to stand erect. Unaltered ears are either button or pendant. If ears are to be cropped, this should be done at about 8 weeks of age. Altered ears are not allowed in the toy variety. Their ears must stand erect naturally
  • Long whiplike tail is unaltered


  • One-family dog that is reserved with strangers
  • Alert and quick to bark an alarm
  • Many not get along with other pets, especially smaller ones


  • Sleek, short coat lies close to the body and is very glossy
  • Only color allowed is jet black with mahogany tan markings on the legs and head. A small tan spot on the side of each cheek and over each eye is required
  • Low maintenance grooming

Health Concerns:

  • Tends to overeat
  • Severe genetic problems with the bleeding disorder known as von Willebrand's disease
  • Glaucoma and lens luxation
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • Once used as a ratter in stables. In an 1880 rat killing contest, a Manchester Terrier called
  • Billy dispatched 100 rodents in just over six minutes
  • Very graceful in its movements
  • Breeders describe the Manchester as "pleasant" and "a dog that cares, adapting itself to your moods"

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