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Toy Manchester Terrier

Country/Date of Origin: England/1500s

There are two sizes of the Manchester Terrier, the toy and the standard. 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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Toy Black and Tan Terrier (no longer used)

AKC Group: Toy

Breed Club: American Manchester Terrier Club

Rescue Club: Toy Manchester Terrier Rescue

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Body Type:

  • Everything about this small terrier is sleek from the long, unbroken line of the face to the tapering tail
  • Height: 10-12 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: under 12 pounds (Classes at shows are often divided into two groups: 7 pounds and under, and over 7 pounds but not exceeding 12 pounds)
  • The erect ears of the toy variety of the Manchester must not be altered
  • Standard Manchesters can have button ears, drop ears or cropped erect ears
  • Long whiplike tail is unaltered


  • One-family dog that is reserved with strangers
  • Alert and quick to bark an alarm
  • Is less aggressive than the standard variety


  • 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
  • Thin black lines, described as "penciling" are found in the tan color of the toes and lower legs
  • 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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