Toy Manchester Terrier

By PetMD Editorial on Sep. 10, 2009

Manchester Terriers are sleek, short-coated dogs with a black and mahogany coat. Compact and muscular, they are bred to kill vermin and small game. In addition to the Toy Manchester Terrier, the breed has a standard-sized dog.

Physical Characteristics

The Toy Manchester Terrier is described as a miniature form of the standard Manchester, with an alert and eager expression. Its racy, sleek, and compact body is long in proportion to its height, with an arched topline. The dog’s gait is effortless and free. Its coat, meanwhile, is smooth and shiny.

Personality and Temperament

The Toy Manchester is one of the most sensitive and gentle breeds, but in terms of hunting instincts and aggressiveness, it shows its real terrier nature. This inquisitive terrier may give chase to small pets. And while it is reserved or at times timid with unknown people, the Toy Manchester is generally playful with the members of its human family.


Coat care for the Toy Manchester is minimal, involving just the occasional brushing. This indoor dog hates cold weather, but enjoys the occasional outdoor romp. The dog should also be provided with a soft, warm bed.


The Toy Manchester Terrier, which has an average lifespan of 14 to 16 years, may sometimes suffer from hypothyroidism, Legg-Perthes disease, deafness, patellar luxation, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). It is also prone to some minor troubles like von Willebrand’s disease (vWD) and cardiomyopathy. Eye, hip, and DNA tests for vWD are suggested for this breed.

History and Background

The Black and Tan Terrier, one of the best-known dogs in England, was appreciated for its ability to kill rats in the 16th century. These dogs were valued both for their quality to keep homes free of vermin and for the purpose of entertainment. People also laid bets on the number of rats a dog could kill in a given amount of time. Numerous workers in Manchester, England were fond of dog-racing contests and rat-killing contests.

In the mid-1800s, a cross between the Whippet racer and the Black and Tan Terrier resulted in a dog named the Manchester Terrier. Although the Manchester Terrier and its Black and Tan Terrier ancestors were sometimes considered to be the same breed, it wasn’t until 1923 that the name Manchester Terrier was officially used.

During its development, the Manchester was crossed with many other breeds, including the Italian Greyhound. The toy variety of the breed has existed as early as 1881.

As the demand for smaller dogs was high in the 19th century, inbreeding was practiced to produce smaller versions of the breed, but this resulted in very delicate dogs. To combat this problem, breeders attempted to produce a miniature version instead of a very small one. This ultimately resulted in the Toy Manchester Terrier or the English Toy Terrier.

Early on, the American Kennel Club (AKC) regarded the Toy Manchester and Manchester as different but inter-breeding breeds. But in 1959, the AKC adjusted the Manchester standard to include both inter-breeding varieties as one breed. The Toy Manchester is differentiated by its diminutive size and cropped ears.

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