This feisty Mancunian gentleman is a very special terrier: eager, sociable, and fearless. A smartly designed little character, his glory days were those of the industrial revolution when working people and dogs alike enjoyed the dubious sport of rat-baiting in England’s engine room, the city of Manchester. This fellow stood up against the rats, putting his rabbit-hunting instincts into an urban context. Numbers dropped following the exodus of the rats and a ban on rat-baiting, and although he has enjoyed a renaissance of late, he remains a vulnerable breed.
Key facts about the Manchester Terrier
Life expectancy :
Temperament :Affectionate Playful Hunter
Origins and history
The Manchester Terrier came here to do two things: chase rabbits and fight rats. As such, it is believed he was developed from a meeting of a fast breed (the whippet) and a rat-killing one (the black-and-tan terrier). While these pastimes have dwindled over the years since the Manchester Terrier’s 19th century heyday, the dog himself was too charming to forget. Although his numbers dipped significantly following WW2, breeders and enthusiasts have battled to keep the breed afloat.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 3 - Terriers
Section 1 : Large and medium sized Terriers
Physical characteristics of the Manchester Terrier
Female : Between 14 and 16 in
Male : Between 15 and 17 in
Female : Between 15 and 18 lb
Male : Between 15 and 18 lb
Type of coat
This neat little package is all wrapped up in what the FCI lovingly calls “jet black and rich mahogany tan” fur. Indeed, there’s something at once luxurious and deeply down to earth about this scampish, tight-limbed fellow, and perhaps it is in the juxtaposition of the gem-likeness of his eyes and their mischievous edge; the Egyptian glamour of his prominent, pointy ears and their eminent practicability; the languor of his long beak versus the workmanlike musculature of his cheeks. Modestly-sized yet coiled up with energy, the Manchester Terrier can’t help but recall some short-lived experimental car design, or that unassumingly eye-grabbing person you saw everywhere at university and never quite said more than ‘Hi’ to.
Good to know
The Victorians knew him as ‘the Gentleman’s Terrier’ because he’s such a smart looker.
Less than 12lbs
Less than 22lbs
He is loyal and affectionate with his family – a great companion dog.
He never refuses a game, especially if it involves fetching a ball or finding treasure.
He is a quick and lively dog but also knows how to be very quiet at home.
What is acquired once is forever. This is a dog who understands quickly and well.
He is a natural hunter, designed for small quarry such as rats and rabbits.
Fearful / wary of strangers
He will be stand-offish or even defensive with strangers.
His Terrier origins push him to a certain independence, but he is very loyal to his social group.
Behaviour of the Manchester Terrier
If as a puppy he has got used to short bouts of alone time, as an adult he can stay alone for longer periods.
Easy to train / obedience
Despite his strong Terrier character, he is clever and eager to please. Training should start early, be firm, gentle, and kind.
He’s quite a barky one and should be taught not to be so from a young age.
Tendency to run away
As soon as he is outside, he lets his hunting instinct speak by launching himself in pursuit of all the small prey he encounters: lizards, sparrows, crickets, etc.