top of page
Manchester Terrier SPDR rescue Seattle 187351568.jpg

About the Breed: Manchester Terrier


Manchester terriers are one of the most versatile and hardy breeds, and can be ideal pets in many circumstances.


The Manchester Terrier is the oldest identifiable Terrier breed, having been traced back to the late 1570s, when it was known as the Black and Tan Terrier.

By the early 1800s, the Black and Tan Terrier was cross bred to the Whippet to produce a breed that was not only a proficient rodent killer, but also a very capable game courser. The breed was renamed the Manchester Terrier as the Manchester district of England became the breed center.

Manchester Terriers were initially bred to be vermin hunters, a task they excelled at. In addition to being a companion animal, they were used to rid both homes and ships of rats and mice.


Eventually a sport developed in England that involved the killing of rats. Dogs were put into pits and bets were placed as to which dog could kill the greatest number of rats in a given period of time. A five pound Toy Manchester Terrier named “Tiny” was reported to have killed 300 rats in 54 minutes and 50 seconds. This “sport” eventually fell out of favor and is no longer practiced.


Today’s Manchester Terriers come in 2 sizes: Toy Manchester Terriers are less than 12 pounds; Standard Manchester Terriers are 12-22 pounds.


This sleek, yet sturdy breed with its smooth, compact body, black glossy coat, and distinctive rich mahogany markings, presents an elegant appearance.

The Manchester Terrier is a thinking breed and keenly observant—they prefer to stand back and evaluate a situation before making judgement. A highly intelligent breed, the Manchester Terrier is capable of excelling in many tasks. They are fiercely protective of their owner, and can be a vocal breed if not trained properly.

Early socialization to a variety of situations and people, along with obedience training, is a must to make the Manchester Terrier a well-rounded pet. Puppy socialization and obedience classes are also a great way for a new owner to bond with their Manchester.


  • Incredibly loyal and loving.

  • Extremely smart, quick learners.

  • Very protective of their family.

  • Very little grooming needed.

  • Relatively few health issues.

  • Very high prey drive.


  • Can be pushy and stubborn.

  • Toenails need weekly trimming.

  • Can be overly protective of family.

  • Can be barky.

  • Very high prey drive.

More Info

Best With

  • A loving home that can provide vigorous, daily, mental and physical exercise, and a regular routine.

  • Owners willing to use positive training only.

  • Homes with a minimum 6-foot solid wooden fence or secure farm fencing.

  • Active owners.

Not For

  • Someone who wants a very obedient dog.

  • Someone who is bothered by barking.

  • Someone who is not willing to trim toenails.

  • Someone who is not willing to take the time and money to train.

  • Someone who lives in an apartment or has no yard.




Manchester Terriers have two breed sizes:​


Average 15-16 inches at the shoulder, and between 12 to 22 pounds.


Average 12-13 inches at the shoulder, and up to 12 pounds.



Only one color pattern: black with tan points.

Energy Level:


Somewhat active to very active.

Life Expectancy:

On average, 12 to 15 years.



Manchester terriers are great with children if they are raised with children.

Other Animals:


Due to the high prey drive of this breed, extreme care must be taken around other small animals.



The breed does well in obedience trials, agility trials, rally exhibitions, and go to ground events. They have even been known to achieve herding degrees!



The Manchester Terrier’s short, close single coat doesn’t need much grooming, and shedding is minor. However toenails must be trimmed weekly.


Known possible health issues include Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), Juvenile Cardiomyopathy (in Toys), and Von Willebrand’s disease (vWD).

bottom of page