Manchester Terrier

Manchester Terrier

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

Size :

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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

FCI Group

Group 3 - Terriers


Section 1 : Large and medium sized Terriers

Physical characteristics of the Manchester Terrier

  • Manchester Terrier
    Manchester Terrier

    Adult size

    Female : Between 14 and 16 in

    Male : Between 15 and 17 in


    Female : Between 15 and 18 lb

    Male : Between 15 and 18 lb

    Coat colour

    Type of coat

    Eye colour



    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


    • 100%


      He is loyal and  affectionate with his family – a great companion dog.

    • 100%


      He never refuses a game, especially if it involves fetching a ball or finding treasure.

    • 66%


      He is a quick and lively dog ​​but also knows how to be very quiet at home.

    • 66%


      What is acquired once is forever. This is a dog who understands quickly and well.

    • 100%


      He is a natural hunter, designed for small quarry such as rats and rabbits.

    • 100%

      Fearful / wary of strangers

      He will be stand-offish or even defensive with strangers.

    • 66%


      His Terrier origins push him to a certain independence, but he is very loyal to his social group.

      Behaviour of the Manchester Terrier

      • 66%

        Tolerates solitude

        If as a puppy he has got used to short bouts of alone time, as an adult he can stay alone for longer periods.

      • 66%

        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.

      • 66%


        He’s quite a barky one and should be taught not to be so from a young age.

      • 100%

        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.

      • 66%


        He is an active dog who can get destructive during periods of loneliness and boredom.

      • 66%

        Greedy / Gluttony

        Treats are useful to overcome his stubborn nature and reward good behaviour.

      • 100%

        Guard dog

        The Manchester Terrier can make an excellent watchdog by combining his powers of protectiveness and barkiness.

      • 100%

        First dog

        This little dog is a very good choice for a first adoption by an active family.

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        • 100%

          Manchester Terrier in a flat

          He should do just fine in a flat if he gets plenty of exercise.

        • 100%

          Need for exercise / Sporty

          This dog requires a decent hour of exercise and exploration each day in addition to regular walks and play.

        • 100%

          Travelling / easy to transport

          This dog does just fine in a car, and can follow his masters everywhere quite easily.


          • 33%

            Manchester Terrier and cats

            His hunting instinct makes it difficult to live with other pets (especially small ones).

          • 66%

            Manchester Terrier and dogs

            He gets on okay with other dogs if socialised from youth.

          • 100%

            Manchester Terrier and children

            He can be a great companion for children who have learned to communicate respectfully with him.

          • 66%

            Manchester Terrier and the elderly

            The Manchester Terrier can be a good pal for an elderly person who can deliver that serious hour of daily exercise he requires.



            Between £700 for Non KC Registered dogs, and £850 for KC Registered dogs.

            Looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £50 to £80 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.


            He doesn’t require much grooming, and due to the glossy nature of his fur can look just grand after simply being wiped down with a damp cloth.


            Nutrition of the Manchester Terrier

            Ordinary high-quality dog food is just fine. He should eat at a more or less fixed hour once a day, preferably in the evening.

            Health of the Manchester Terrier

            Life expectancy

            The lifespan of a Manchester Terrier is approximately 15 years.

            Strong / robust

            This is quite a sturdy little dog who lives a long time, but still has some health problems.

            Withstand heat

            This dog is quite comfortable in moderately warm circumstances but should be protected from extremes.

            Withstand cold

            Although he is quite resistant, he prefers the cozy comfort of home when it is cold.

            Tendency to put on weight

            He is a small dog who can fill out around the middle if he is overfed or his exercise needs are not met.

            Common illnesses

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