In this guide, we will learn all there is to know about the oldest British terrier breeds – the Manchester terrier. Find out all of the attributes of the Manchester terrier (also known as the Black and Tan Terrier) and discover if this is the right pet for you.
Cool facts about the Manchester Terrier
- The Manchester terrier is the oldest terrier breed and the progenitor of many terrier breeds.
- Unlike other terrier breeds, this is not a ‘digging’ dog; rather they were bred to tackle the vermin on the docks and ships.
- Manchester and Welsh terriers share a common ancestor.
- The English Toy Terrier is a smaller version of the Manchester and is considered a separate breed in the UK. In America, the breed is known as the Toy Manchester terrier.
- In 1889, during a rat-baiting competition, a Black and Tan terrier named Jacko, owned by one Mr. Shaw, killed 100 rats in 7 minutes.
- Manchesters were exported to the USA and Canada in the late 1800s and the Manchester Terrier Club of America was formed in 1923.
The Manchester terrier is a medium-sized dog with a short brown and tan coat. They have tilted ears, alert brown eyes, and a short muzzle. In spite of their below-the-knee sizes, they are masculine dogs and do not show any signs of timidity or shyness.
- Males – 40 to 41 cm
- Females – up to 38 cm
- Males – 10 to 12 kg
- Females – 6 to 8 kg
Coat length, type, and colors
Manchester terriers have a minor coat in short length with black color and brown markings.
This is a small, confident, alert, and agile dog. He is known for his speed and agility and though he is not a hunting dog, he is a great ratter. From killing rats on docks and in barns, the Manchester has come a long way today as a household companion. Thanks to his small size, he can easily fit into a small apartment or a compact home in the city.
This active dog has a cheerful personality and he is an easy dog for first-time dog owners. Although small, they are not timid or scared. Any shyness or timidity is a result of poor breeding, puppy mills, or even an abusive environment.
With strangers, the Manchester can come across as alert, wary, and aloof for a while but once he has had a chance to look someone over, he will accept them. This cocky dog will never start a fight with other dogs, but he won’t hesitate to stand his ground when challenged.
As stated earlier, unlike the other terriers, he is not a digger and his semi-hare feet do not allow digging. Rather; he is a clean, bright, and handsome dog that does not need too much grooming and also trains easily.
His keen sense of smell, excellent hearing and eyesight, as well as agility, make him an excellent watchdog and also suitable for canine flyball and agility events. While they are not as active as the other terrier breeds, they are willing to take as much exercise as you are able to provide. With kids, they get along well provided the children are well-behaved.
All in all; this is a reliable, versatile dog that loves to be challenged and also loves to please its owners.
Training a Manchester Terrier
There is a big difference between training an adult and training a puppy. With a puppy, everything is new and he is eager to learn and absorb everything. So start training your puppy the day he comes home! You can start with house-training him. Show him where he can void. Manchesters are sensitive dogs; they understand the tone of your voice and they will know that they have done something wrong from it. It is a good idea to take your pet outdoors several times a day to relieve himself. You can also invest in a crate as it provides a den-like, secure home for your dog.
As your pet grows, you can start teaching him some basic commands. Thankfully, these intelligent dogs learn quickly provided you are consistent and patient while training them. Always use reward-based training. Never shout or hit your puppy as that would make him aggressive, shy, or timid. The rewards of a well-trained Manchester are long-lasting. Therefore, stick to a schedule and soon you will have a well-behaved dog on hand. If needed, enroll your pet in puppy obedience classes nearby.
The Manchester is not as active as the other terriers and is willing to take as much exercise as you can provide him. It is a good idea to take your pet out for a walk once or twice a day. This will help him expend that energy so he does not indulge in bad behaviors like excess barking, chewing up furniture, etc. Encourage your kids to play a game of fetch with your pet or take him out on hikes with the family.
The Manchester’s short coat does not need too much brushing or washing. Give your pet a ‘once-over’ with a grooming glove or a boar bristle brush a few times a week. That will eliminate stray hairs, ticks, and fleas, and also stimulate the natural oils to keep his coat shiny. You can also bathe him once a month with a vet-approved shampoo. Alternatively, wipe him down with a damp cloth in between baths to remove dirt and grime. Make sure to brush your pet’s teeth every now and then. Also, trim his nails and inspect his ears to prevent infections.
Health issues and lifespan
Issues like missing teeth, hypothyroidism, and anal gland disease have been reported in the Manchester. They are also known to have certain inherited diseases such as patella luxation and hip and elbow dysplasia. The lifespan of the Manchester terrier is 14-16 years.
Where to find a Manchester Terrier
When it comes to getting a dog, please adopt first before you shop. Check with local animal shelters and rescue homes. If none is available, then you can start your search for a good Manchester terrier breeder. A list of reputed breeders can be found on the website of the Manchester Terrier Club of America. The average cost of a purebred puppy is about $800.