Manchester Terrier

AKC Terrier Group


Photo Copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Photo Copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

The Manchester Terrier was developed as a rat hunter in nineteenth-century Manchester, England, by a man named John Hulme. The Manchester was considered to be the best vermin- hunting breed of the day. A Manchester Terrier named Billy supposedly killed 100 rats in only six minutes, 13 seconds in a British contest! Though he looks like a miniature Doberman, the breeds are not related. The Manchester Terrier was the result of crosses between the tough black and tan terrier and the Whippet. There are two types of Manchester Terrier, the Standard and Toy. Today, the Manchester is primarily a companion, though the Standard Manchester can still serve as a rodent killer.


The Manchester Terrier is a small, compact, agile dog with a long, tapering head. The ears are V-shaped, and may be naturally folded over, pricked up, or cropped (in the Toy variety, the ears must be naturally erect). The small, dark eyes are almond-shaped. The nose is black. The teeth should form a scissors bite. The back is slightly arched, showing the breed’s Whippet heritage. The short whip tail tapers to a point. The short, shiny black and tan coat is easy to care for, requiring almost no grooming.

Key Facts

  • Height:  Averages 17 in.
  • Size:  Medium
  • Weight:  12 to 22 lbs.
  • Availability:  Difficult to find
  • Talents:  Watchdog


Must be introduced to children as a young puppy. A good, easy-care breed, but very active. Don’t let this breed off the leash except in a secure area, as he likes to chase. Not good with other animals. Some lines are prone to blood problems and glaucoma.


Very active, clean, and smart. A good friend to his master. Can be headstrong and protective. Should be thoroughly socialized when young to prevent potential aggression. Can be snappish. Needs thorough, firm training. Sources differ on the breed’s combativeness with other dogs. Ask breeders about this characteristic in specific lines.


  • Children:  Good only when raised with children from puppyhood
  • Friendliness:  Moderately protective
  • Trainability:  Slightly difficult to train
  • Independence:  Moderately dependent on people
  • Dominance:  Moderate
  • Other Pets:  Not generally trustworthy with other pets
  • Combativeness:  Friendly with other dogs
  • Noise:  Average barker
  • Indoors:  Very active indoors
  • Owner:  Good for novice owners


  • Grooming:  A little grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  No trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat:  Short coat
  • Shedding:  Average shedder
  • Docking:  The ears are customarily cropped
  • Exercise:  Moderate exercise needed
  • Jogging:  A good jogging companion
  • Apartments:  Good for apartment living
  • Outdoor Space:  Does OK without a yard
  • Climate:  Prefers cool climates
  • Longevity:  Long (15 or more years)

Useful Links

AKC® Manchester Terrier Breed Standard

Manchester Terrier Breed Club

Search for a Breeder

Rescue Organizations

Books about the Manchester Terrier

Manchester Terrier Gifts