A Manchester Terrier runs in a green meadow.

Choosing a Manchester Terrier

The Manchester terrier is often confused with the miniature pinscher, especially the toy version. Both the standard and toy Manchester terrier look like little Doberman pinschers but they are not related. Originally used to get rid of vermin, the Manchester terrier is now more commonly a companion.

History and Origin

The Manchester terrier originated in Great Britain centuries ago but was developed to the breed we know today in Manchester, England in the 1800s. Initially called the black and tan terrier, this breed was developed from various terriers, and possibly the whippet and greyhound, to rid homes of rats and other vermin. He was eventually called the Manchester terrier and became more of a companion that a ratter. And, although he looks like a small Doberman pinscher, these breeds are not related.

The Manchester terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886. The standard terrier is a member of the terrier group. The toy terrier is a member of the toy group.

Appearance and Size

The Manchester terrier is often confused with the miniature pinscher and both look like a smaller version of the Doberman pinscher. There are two varieties of the Manchester terrier: toy and standard. Both have a wedge shaped head with a straight muzzle. The ears of the toy terrier are erect. The ears of the standard terrier can be erect or button. Some people chose to have the ears cropped. The body of the Manchester terrier is muscular and compact. The tail is tapered and not docked. The coat is short, smooth and glossy. The color of the coat is black with tan markings.

The adult toy Manchester terrier stands around 10 to 12 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 6 to 8 pounds. The adult standard Manchester terrier stands around 15 to 16 inches at the shoulder and weighs 17 to 18 pounds.


The Manchester terrier is a lively and smart dog. He is very playful and fearless but can be headstrong. Some can be aggressive toward other dogs or other pets and is hesitant and potentially aggressive toward strangers.

Home and Family Relations

This terrier loves his family and wants to be in the thick of things and join in on family activities. He is loyal and quite possessive of his family, making him a good watchdog. The Manchester terrier does best with older children and can live with other pets if raised with them but some may be aggressive toward other pets. The breed can be aggressive toward strangers or other dogs if not properly socialized as a puppy.

The Manchester terrier is a good dog for apartment dwellers. They are quite active inside but don’t require a large yard, leash walks will do. If left alone in the fenced yard, make sure it is secure since the Manchester terrier may try to escape to rejoin his family. These dogs are also protective and will chase other animals, especially if the dog thinks his territory is being invaded.


The Manchester terrier is intelligent and easy to train with patience and persistence. If not obedience trained, this terrier can become stubborn and have a problem with dominance.

Special Concerns

The Manchester terrier does not like to be left alone with nothing to do. They are intelligent dogs and need mental stimulation to prevent destructive behaviors. Because of their small size and short hair coat, the Manchester terrier should be protected from the cold.

Common Diseases and Disorders

Glaucoma is a disease that occurs when excessive pressure develops within the eye.

Von Willebrand’s disease is a bleeding disorder.

Cataracts cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. You may see a cloudy, white color in the pupil, which is normally black. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to blindness.

Legg-Calve Perthes, a disease of the hip joints that leads to lameness.

The average life span of the Manchester terrier is over 15 years.

We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.