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Manchester Terrier – Fun Facts and Crate Size

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 Manchester Terrier - Fun Facts and Crate Size

Manchester Terrier

Quick Facts:

  • AKC recognized in 1886
  • Lifespan: 15 – 17 years
  • Size: Small
  • Energy: Medium
  • Recommended Crate Size: 24” dog crate*

Return to main Dog Crate Size Breed Chart.


The Manchester Terrier is vibrant and bursting with energy, just as his native town of Manchester, England is.  This handsome lad is a “ye olde” Terrier breed, one of the oldest in existence, actually.

One of the oldest terrier breeds, this Gentleman’s Dog, as he was endearingly referred to in the Old Country, was originally developed by John Hulme as a rat and vermin hunter in Manchester, England around the nineteenth century. Since then, the dog breed was given the nickname Rat Terrier because of its ability to catch mice and rats.

This sleek and racy dog was bred to hunt rats and other vermin.  It is said that Queen Victoria of England had a kingdom in which the sun never set.  Maybe even more remarkable, at least to dog lovers, is the fact she helped popularize the Manchester.

Throughout the years though, he found his way into the hearts of humans and became a loveable companion dog.  If you think you have found your dashing diamond in the ruff and are ready to take this chap home, it just might be a good idea to discover a little more about him first, dirt and all, before you leap.  After are forever. 


The Manchester Terrier is a majestic breed with ancestral roots that date back as far as the 1500s and beyond.  He was the first known dog in the area to be developed specifically for city life.

Actually, it wasn’t as glamorous as it might sound.  He was created to help prevent diseases - those that were carried by rats and other rodents, a true problem back in those days of old.  Since city dwellers had homes and buildings that were often infested, the dogs were considered heroes in dog disguises. 

Also known as English Toy Terriers, the Manchester comes in two sizes, small and tiny.  The Toy types weigh 12 pounds and under.  They were developed through the intentional crossing of tan and black Terrier dogs and it is also believed that somewhere in the story, Whippets entered the picture in the breeding.

Not only were the Manchester Terriers terrific at catching all sorts of rodents, but they also had quite a talent for hunting, more so than the typical Terrier.  This was a huge plus.  Toss the fact that they were well-mannered in the mix and an absolutely awesome dog was on the scene, much to the delight of many.

This dog’s fortune was his misfortune too.  He was such an excellent ratter, he was often used in rat-baiting pit activities which were highly inhumane.  During that period is when it became common to crop his ears so they wouldn’t get ripped during the “game”.  The practice of pitting was banned in the United Kingdom in 1835 and was finally stomped out in the rest of the world (for the most part) in the early 20th century.

Once the MT was no longer participating in blood sports, he earned his keep honestly, ridding homes and hotels of rodents, just as he was intended to do.  It was customary for Inns to keep their dogs in kennels by day and let them out at night to hunt for rates.  It was reported that one Manchester named Billy killed 100 rats in the record timing of just 12 minutes.  It was clear to all that he was the king of ratting.

The Manchester has a close resemblance to the Black and Tan Terrier which helped create the MT bloodline.  The dogs were mentioned in the 16th-century writings of John Caius in the De Banibus Britannicis which was the first written documents on dogs. The information was written again in the Cynographia Britannica in the 19th century where the name of Manchester Terrier was formally referenced.

The Manchester Terrier was practically legendary in and around Manchester.  He was praised for his ratting abilities and his fox and rabbit hunting too.  Manchester became the Terrier breeding center around the 1860s and during this time, the Dachshund and Italian Greyhound were perhaps mixed in with the Manchester to excel his abilities even more. 

In the Victorian age, the MT was deemed the Gentleman’s Terrier because of his graceful, dignified demeanor.   The population wanted these well-behaved rodent hunters in record numbers but there was an outcry for them to be even smaller. 

In order to satisfy the desire for a more petite version, breeders in the Manchester District began to cross Manchesters with Chihuahuas.  This mix was a grave mistake.  The litters yielded dogs with terribly thin coats, bulging eyes, and apple shaped heads.  Although the pups were unhealthy and unusual looking (to put it mildly), they were actually quite popular. 

Owners of the micro dogs dawned custom made leather pouches that suspended from their belts in which placed the pint-sized pups in to tote them around.  The little dogs were endearingly called the “Groom’s Pocket Piece”.   While very small, the Toy versions retained the tenacity and determination of the larger Standard type and the line was eventually cleaned out and the dogs became healthier as a rule.

The world began to take note of this dashing dog and he made his way to various countries, including the United States.  He was recognized into the famous American Kennel Club in 1886.  Standard Manchesters are in the Terrier group while the Toy Manchester Terriers are in the Toy sector.  In England, the Toys are called English Toy Terriers.

Finally, with all his ducks in a row for the important dog clubs, it would seem the MT had “arrived”.

But...he had not arrived and in fact, it was almost quite the opposite.  This dog did not fare well during World War II.  In fact, by the end of the war, only eleven Manchesters were registered with the AKC.  The British Manchester Terrier Club stepped up to the plate to save the day, however. 

Even though the breed didn’t go into extinction, thanks to their royal efforts, they were so greatly diminished, they were listed as a vulnerable native breed.  Between the years of 2010 to 2015, there were an average of 164 new births recorded which is certainly hopeful for the Manchester’s survival status.

The MT has proven to be a coursing champion.  He is fast, courageous, and has inherited skills that require little polishing but yet, he strives to improve what he was born with in each and every training.  He has all the qualities of a winner, physically and mentally too.

The Manchester Terrier has earned his way into the lives of many now.  He is a gentleman and a scholar, proficient and polite.  He’s worked hard for his spot and has no intention of giving it up.  This dog...never gives up.


The Manchester Terrier is very distinguished.  He sports a sleek, shiny, short coat that is rich mahogany and jet black.  He’s very compact and athletic in body build and has an arched top-line, adding even more grace and dignity to his appearance. 

Manchesters come in two sizes, Toy and Standard.  The Toy Manchester Terrier weighs in at around 12 pounds or under while the Standard Manchester Terrier weights between 12 and 22 pounds.

Dogs of this fascinating breed can have one of three different types of ears: naturally erect, button, naturally erect, or cropped.

The MT head is wedge-shaped, narrow, pointed and bit on the long side, most likely specifically added in from the Whippet ancestors with the purpose of optimizing his picking up of scents.  His head sports mahogany markings on it just above the eyes.  There are also spots of tan right above each of his eyes. 

His are bright and are small in size.  They tend to point up as if he is being alert and watchful and usually, he is.  A note of intelligence can be picked up when he looks at you because he seems to understand what’s going on.  You’ll find mahogany markings on his legs and belly too.

Although this little guy is small in stature, his hindquarters are loaded with muscle and power.  Even the feet of the MT scream of the athletic hunter that he was designed to be.  They are tight and well-arched for super-fast running.

The chest of the Manchester is deeper than it is wide.  This characteristic was probably bred in for ample air to pass through his lungs while he’s on the run.

Through and through, this dog is a magnificent masterpiece of all of the most coveted traits of a ratter and a hunter mixed together into one very handsome package or, as the English might say, “He’s quite studly!”


The Manchester is a spunky guy who is full of zeal.  He’ll need high-quality dog food to fuel his energy.  It is recommended to provide dog food formulated to small size breeds.  It is wise to speak with your veterinarian and/or breeder to see what they advise as far as frequency and quantity of food.  Doing so will help to ensure a long and healthy life for your dog.

If you have a Toy Manchester, you’ll want to tailor his meals accordingly.  You will probably want to give him very small meals throughout the day and perhaps, as his tummy grows and he can hold more at one time, lessen the number of feeding times.  Standard Manchester puppies probably need a few small meals scattered throughout the day but not as many times as the more petite Toy pups.

Treats are fine for this breed within reason and as long as he is getting ample exercise to burn off the extra calories.  Most concerned pet parents save treats for rewards at training time or for times which he is exceptionally good. Since the MT is a well-behaved dog, to begin with, don’t get carried away.  This breed should be lean and fit, never overweight at all.

As with pets of all types, it is also important to ensure that clean, fresh water is always available.


Thanks to the Manchester Terrier's short and shiny coat, this handsome breed requires almost no grooming and is considered an easy-care dog. He is odorless for the most part.  The Standard variety sheds an average amount and little to no hair is shed for the tiny Toy variety.

A little brushing now and then will keep his coat sleek and shiny and will help his skin stay well circulated and free of scales and debris too.  He will probably melt when you brush him.  He soaks up the attention.

Give him a bath from time to time or if he gets especially dirty or stinky.  He can be cleaned with a warm cloth and some shampoo in between his baths.  Use a hypoallergenic shampoo that is made for dogs.  This breed is susceptible to skin allergies.

Since he’s a digger, he very well may wear his toenails down naturally if given the chance.  Still, you’ll want to keep them up by trimming them if needed and also checking for cracks, chips, and splits and tending to any you see immediately to avoid future complications.  His nails will need to be cleaned from dirt too.

The Manchester ears, no matter which of the three types, stand erect and collect dirt and debris.  You’ll want to keep them clean and dry.  If they become irritated or red or if he is pawing at them, have him checked for an ear infection.  You don’t want to leave an ear infection untreated.  Untreated ear problems can lead to the need for surgery or even to deafness.  The MT is prone to ear problems so keep a careful eye out for any signs of one.

This Terrier is also susceptible to dental issues.  Brushing his teeth with doggie toothpaste and toothbrush no less than once per week is highly recommended in order to keep his teeth and gums healthy.  You’ll want to take him in for regular dental check-ups too.



The medium energy Manchester Terrier requires regular exercise. Around 45 minutes to one hour a day of formal brisk walking is recommended and if possible, even more. 

You can break his walking time into two sections if you wish as long as he gets the allotted time in.  Failure to do so will not be pretty.  This dog has to have his exercise or he will behave badly which is not the way this stately guy wants to act but he won’t be able to deal with all his pent up energy.

On his walks, you’ll need to calmly assert your leadership.  Always go out the door first and have him walk beside or behind you, never in front lest he gets the wrong idea (and...this breed will).  Keep a tight hold on his leash in case a squirrel scampers by or a small kitten jumps in the path.  He’s also given to chasing anything else that moves, even small children on bikes...or cars.

If you have a Toy Manchester, pay careful attention to his neck and don’t pull on the leash and don’t let him pull or tug on it either.  His neck area is very delicate.  A harness-type leash may be best for the smaller guys and not a bad idea for Standards either.

In between his formal walks, a good run is perfect for the MT.  He’s quick so make sure your dashing skills are up to par or run him in a confined area.  You certainly don’t want him to get away for he’s an excellent endurance racer.

Playtime is fun with this chap.  He’s so agile it’s humorous at times.  He’s so flexible there are a myriad of games you can play with him.  He’s always up for a good game of chase out.  You are likely to lose.  He’!  Do be sure to keep things gentle during playtime, he’s prone to get a little too active for some.

Don’t forget to include some great mentally stimulating exercises.  He’s a pro at brain games and loves to solve problems so a doggie puzzle, tricky treat dispensers, and other mentally challenging activities are perfectly suited for him.


Pet Crate Size

Pet Crates Direct recommends 24” dog crates* for most adult Manchester Terriers.

* Links for crate sizes will bring you to the most appropriate Amazon page.

More Information


Although there are definite differences between the Standard and Toy versions of Manchester Terriers, personality-wise, they are the same for the most part. 

While some Terriers are known to be stoic, this dog definitely is not.  He’s inquisitive and intelligent, feisty, yet affectionate.  Courageous, eager to please, and friendly.  It seems this breed is almost the ideal dog.  The American Temperament Test Society scores dog on a scale.  The average pass rate for a well-tempered dog is 80.4.  This fine specimen boasts an 87.1.  How’s that for having a great personality?

Manchesters love their human families.  Even though they are tough as nails, they simply melt when it comes to love.  They are loving and loyal and very devoted.

The MT tends to have an independent streak which was helpful when he was on the hunt or chasing rats.  Now, it can pose a bit of a problem at times, like during training.  He can be stubborn too but he’s very given to want human approval so there’s nothing that cannot be overcome.  He’s quite sensitive and hates being on your bad side. 

Barking can be a problem.  He uses it as an alert but what he feels warrants alerting you about and what you feel he should alert you about are usually two different things entirely.  While he has a definite opinion about the mailman (mostly that he is up to no good), you and your neighbors may disagree with him on that.  He is, however, a good watchdog.  No one is going to pull one over and slip past him.  He’s more apt to alert than to attack.

This Terrier is very active and although he’s good natured and usually well-behaved, he can get snippy if he feels he’s being threatened.  A small child pulling his ear is not going to go over well with him.  He does best with older children and not the younger ones. 

He isn’t one to naturally take up with other pets in the household but if he’s introduced to them at a young age, he’ll do fine except with pocket pets.  He should never be alone with any gerbil, hamster, or small creature.  His instincts are likely to kick in, no matter how socialized or trained he is.  He just can’t help himself.

While the Manchester, especially the Toy version, is suited for close quarter living, like in an apartment or condo, his barking tendencies will have to be addressed if he does.  He’s also quite fitted for rural country life but should definitely be brought in at night. 

Through the years, the breed has gotten used to being an indoor dog because even when he was a ratter and an avid hunter, he mostly belonged to city folk and spent his nights in the shelter of the family home or at least in an enclosed area which was made for him.

This dog loves to dig.  It’s part of his heritage because, after all, he often needed to dig into the ground to fetch his prey.  But it’s not so constructive when he digs up your freshly planted lawn or makes a burrow under the backyard fence in which to escape. 

You’ll need to keep a good eye on him when he’s outdoors and also train him not to dig at will.  A designated digging spot can help detour him from digging where he’s not supposed to.

While he’s very gentle about it, the MT craves attention.  He isn’t apt to beg or paw for it and you’ll probably never catch him doing naughty things to draw your focus, he does eat up all the love and affection you give him which can come in very useful when training him.

When this breed is most likely to misbehave is when he is left alone.  He is not into being left for any length of time.  He may turn to digging if left outdoors or may get quite vocal. 

The Manchester Terrier is an intelligent breed.  He is a super-fast learner.  He can easily become bored if not stimulated mentally and physically.  His roots are to use his brain to figure out things.  He’s just wired like that.  The busier you keep him, the better.

He’s confident too which is a good trait but can backfire if not properly directed.  You might say his excellent hunting skills can be “overkill” when it comes to some other areas of his training and obedience.  You will, in no uncertain terms, need to establish yourself as his pack leader. 

Until you do, being a devout Terrier, his belief is that he rules the world.  Oh, he does so in a very gentleman fashion but his concept is not to bow down but rather to be polite about his ruling and reigning.  Once you get it across that you are the leader, things will shape up.

Although he has a short coat, it is black which attracts the sun.  He doesn’t fare well in hot weather.  He can easily become overheated.  Since his coat is short, he isn’t fully equipped for the cold either.  He does best indoors for the most part but he does love outdoor time when appropriate.  His outside time is optimal when he’s attended.

The Manchester Terrier is, all in all, a dashing and delightful breed.  He’s got a lot of life in him that when properly exercised and trained, makes him a joy to all.


Although this breed is very smart and physically able, training can be a bit difficult for some.  If you are a novice at training, you may even want to consider taking him to a class or hiring a professional trainer.  Or, you can read up on pointers. 

The most helpful tip is to be sure to establish yourself as his leader.  In the days of old, he was an avid hunter with a keen sense of determination and was sometimes downright stubborn in order to fulfill his job, but he did have an owner who led him.  Be the leader and you’ll find once he gets the hang of things, he’ll be a star student.

Potty training the Manchester is known to be a little challenging at times, mostly because it is the time you’ll be introducing some rules.  Take him out to his potty spot often and if you have a Toy Manch, keep in mind how tiny his bladder is.  Since this breed is not equipped for extreme cold or heat, having an alternative potty solution for indoors is recommended.

Socialization is imperative for the MT.  Expose him to all different situations like noisy, busy places and quiet spots where he’s not allowed to bark.  Let him be around all sorts of people and pets too but do keep a close eye on him.  Never let him be around small critters like pet mice or hamsters though.

Behavioral training is another must.  It’s for his safety as well as for the well-being of pets and humans around him.  Teach him the basics, like sit, stay, and heel.  But he can handle a good number of commands and is intelligent enough to remember them all so...don't stop with just a few.

Agility training is one area where this athletic guy is Top Dog.  You can find an agility course in your town or build one yourself in your own backyard.  This kind of training teaches your MT discipline in activities he loves so it is ideal.

Lure course training is another good activity for this breed.  He’s a natural and will simply blow you away with his skills.

Trick training can be tricky with the Manchester.  If you pick things he is interested in, like hide-and-go seek using scents, he’ll do well.  He may never dance for you but if you put a treat in one closed hand without him seeing and close both hands, he’s very likely to be able to pick the hand with the treat.  He’s talented like that!


Manchester Terriers are fairly healthy as a rule.  You should definitely check out the health records for some important clearances though.  Do be sure you get yours from a responsible breeder with verifiable references as this dog is one that greedy breeders tend to prey on.

Some of the medical woes that the MT are susceptible to are:

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia is a deformity of the socket in which the hip or elbow moves and rotates in.  The problem may be present in birth (the most noted form for Manchesters) or can be caused by environmental factors like jumping off cliffs and running on rocky surfaces.  If your dog is limping, favoring a leg, or cannot walk at all, it’s time to have him checked for this genetic condition.  In the event that he has the problem, treatment will be presented.

Hypothyroidism has to do with a dysfunction of the thyroid.  If your dog is losing hair, seems lethargic much of the time, or is having unexplained weight gain or loss, a simple test can determine if his thyroid is functioning properly.

Eye issues like Glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye condition that is very painful.  It involves high pressure within the eye.  When the eyes don’t drain properly, the pressure builds causing damage to the optic nerve which results in severe pain and can lead to blindness.  If you suspect your Manchester has this problem, take him to his vet to be examined right away.  There are treatments available.

Von Willebrand’s Disease is another malady this breed is prone to.  It is an inherited disorder of the blood which affects the process of clotting.  Frequent nose bleeds, bleeding gums, and unstoppable bleeding following a surgical procedure are all signs of the issue.  If your dog manifests any of these symptoms, take him to the vet clinic immediately.  Management treatment is available if caught early enough.

Allergies are common to the Manchester.  He may be sensitive to his bedding or the carpet or even the grass.  Introducing new foods may cause him to break out.  Heat bumps are a big problem too if he is in the sun too long.

Dental disease runs rampant in this breed of dogs, unfortunately.  It is estimated at 80% of Manchester Terriers, both Standard and Toy varieties, are affected by one dental issue or another.  Tartar build-up is one of the main culprits so be sure to brush his teeth at least once per week, but preferably even more often. 

Their teeth and gums are unusually prone to infection which can go to the gums and root of his teeth.  This can lead to tooth and gum decay, lots of pain, and even loss of teeth.  In addition, infections of the mouth can cause kidney and liver damage, heart problems, and wearing away of the joints.  Regular dental check-ups are a must for this dog.

Just because there is a lengthy list of things your Manchester Terrier may be genetically susceptible to does not at all mean he will get any of them.  But, by keeping a watchful eye out for any symptoms of them, you’ll be able to get him in for prompt treatment if he does which will ensure the best possible chance for a full recovery and a happy, healthy life.

Is a Manchester Terrier the Right Dog for Me?

Does a Manchester tickle your fancy?  Do you think he might be “the one”?  Before you sign up, it’s time to do a little soul searching.

Do you have young children or small pocket pets in the household?  If so, this dog may not be your best choice.  If your children are older and settled down, he may be perfect for he is loyal and loving and is a good watchdog too.

He barks!  If you have close neighbors, you’ll need to curb his barking tendencies with some rigid, but loving, training techniques.  Are you up for that?

Will you be able to commit to exercising this dog, both mentally and physically, every single day?  If not, he’ll never be the dog he was designed to be.

While the Manchester is a gentleman and is known for being a gentleman’s dog, he is a Terrier and has a hunter’s heart. There are some attributes he has that will demand a firm but loving hand.  If you are a patsy, as the English call it, then you’ll be doing him a favor by passing him up.  But, if you are, or are willing to be, a leader...step right up because this dog is a winner when he’s properly guided.

If you have read all the information about him and still feel like a Manchester Terrier is your cup of tea, perhaps it’s time to have a gander at it.  This dog is, according to many, one of the best breeds on the planet.  He just might be the “absobloodylootely” best Brittish mate match ever for you!

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