What's my history?
Our history is pretty interesting, but a little macabre, so if you are of a sensitive disposition then maybe scroll down. In the days of poor sanitation in England, rats were so prevalent that eradicating them was a serious health issue. A cross of whippet with a terrier gave rise to a new breed – mine! Given that much of this breeding was taking place in the North West of England, we became known as the Manchester Terrier. Our ability to hunt and destroy rodents was remarkable and hence our popularity soared. In fact, we were so ferocious that we would attack any animal, even those bigger than us. Our ears were pinned back to reduce the risk of them being torn in fights. As time moved on, we became equally popular in the United States and today we are a recognised and loved breed both sides of the Atlantic. I could tell you about our uses in fox hunting, but I think you get the picture?
What do I look like?
Unlike many dog breeds we have a fairly consistent appearance with little variation in colour and size. We are closely related to the English Toy Terrier, but bigger. Our colour is black and tan. Our most distinctive features are our v-shaped button ears and long tapering nose. In some dogs you may see our ears erect. The tan aspect is mainly on our legs and muzzle. We are recognised in the terrier category.
What do I need from you?
Here’s the thing with the Manchester Terrier – not unlike terriers in general: we are very keen and receptive to training. We learn fast and we allow our behaviours to embed. So if you give us a good, firm development then we will be a fantastic pet. Give us no direction, or let us rule the roost and we can became a handful. Other than that, we are very adaptable and can accommodate the country or the town life. However, we do need a reasonable amount of exercise – not necessarily long walks but ones that keep us stimulated. We love playing games and are wonderfully agile. Our coat is short so we are pretty low maintenance on the grooming front.
What I will give in return
I can well imagine that our history must be a little daunting. Nowadays, indiscriminate attacks on rodents is not really attractive behaviour. I can’t promise we can declare ourselves small animal pacifists – it’s kind of in our genes. But what I can say is that we are a very devoted family pet. We are capable of being very gentle and loving with humans and can equally be a good companion for other dogs. Naturally, it would be a good idea not to let us share our family home with hamsters, pet mice or, God forbid, rats!
How big will I get?
We can grow to around 40cm (16in) and weigh somewhere in the range of 5kg-10kg (11-22lb).
Jack Black – rat catcher to the queen, not to be confused with the modern day Hollywood funny man, was probably a Manchester Terrier devotee. He would have been pretty famous back in the 19th century.
Want us to live with you?
We’re currently recruiting breeders and adopters to go here. Could that be you
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Disclaimer: the views expressed on this page and any comments below are only a guide to typical traits and views on the breed. Individual circumstance and traits will always vary so we can be in no way responsible for any of the information provided.
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