Manchester Terrier (Toy)

AKC Toy 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 the Manchester Terrier looks like a miniature Doberman, the breeds are not related. The Manchester 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. The Toy variety became popular during the reign of Queen Victoria, when miniaturization was the rage. Some tiny Victorian dogs weighed only 2-1/2 lbs. Today, the Toy Manchester Terrier is primarily a companion. The lively dog in the cartoon strip “Maggie and Jiggs” was a caricature of the Toy Manchester Terrier.


The Toy Manchester Terrier has the same official standard as the (Standard) Manchester Terrier, except for its weight and ears. The Toy Manchester is a small, agile dog with a long, tapering head. The ears are shaped like a candle flame, are naturally erect, and must not be cropped. The small, dark eyes are almond-shaped. The nose is black. The teeth should form a scissors or level 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. The dog has rich tan markings on the face, chest, and legs.

Key Facts

  • Height:  10 to 12 in.
  • Size:  Very small
  • Weight:  Up to 12 lbs.
  • Availability:  Difficult to find
  • Talents:  Watchdog


A fragile animal, not recommended for children, but good for adults. Some bloodlines are prone to slipped stifle, fractures, skin problems, blood problems, and glaucoma. Needs warmth. Don’t let this breed off leash except in a secure area, as he likes to chase. Not good with other animals. The Toy Manchester has a shrill bark for sounding the alarm.


Active, alert, and curious. Devoted and demanding. A good friend, especially for the elderly. Can be snappish if surprised or peeved. Often shy with strangers. Can be willful.


  • Children:  Best with older, considerate children
  • Friendliness:  Reserved with strangers
  • Trainability:  Somewhat difficult to train
  • Independence:  Needs people a lot
  • Dominance:  High
  • Other Pets:  Not generally trustworthy with other pets
  • Combativeness:  Very dog-aggressive
  • Noise:  Likes to bark
  • Indoors:  Very active indoors
  • Owner:  Good for novice owners


  • Grooming:  Very little grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  No trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat:  Short coat
  • Shedding:  Very light
  • Exercise:  Moderate exercise needed
  • Jogging:  A fair jogging companion
  • Apartments:  Good for apartment living
  • Outdoor Space:  Does OK without a yard
  • Climate:  Prefers warm climates
  • Longevity:  Long (15 years or more)

Useful Links

AKC® Manchester Terrier (Toy) Breed Standard

Manchester Terrier (Toy) Breed Club

Search for a Breeder

Rescue Organizations

Books about the Manchester Terrier (Toy)

Manchester Terrier (Toy) Gifts