Key Breed Facts
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Manchester Terrier
Average Cost to keep/care for a Manchester Terrier
Often thought of as a “gentleman's terrier”, this spirited little dog has a lot to boast about. Manchester Terriers were originally bred as ratters and for hare coursing, but these days they have proved themselves to be superb agility dogs, enjoying games like flyball to name but one of the activities they excel at. They are elegant little terriers that boast friendly, loyal natures. You'd be forgiven for thinking they were Doberman Pinschers only in miniature, but the Manchester Terrier is very much a breed in their own right.
These attractive terriers were first bred in Manchester, hence their name. They were highly prized by the Victorians for their prowess when it came to hunting and coursing. Lots of people think the breed is a smaller version of the Doberman whereas in fact, Louis Doberman used Manchester Terriers to create his Doberman breed. With this said, many experts believe that the Miniature Pinscher and the Manchester Terriers do not share any bloodlines or ancestry whatsoever.
It is thought the Manchester Terrier is the oldest of all terrier breeds with records of them dating back to as early as the 16th century when they were used to control vermin in England. One enthusiast of the sport of killing rats and who used terriers was a man called John Hulme who decided to develop a breed by crossing a Whippet with a Black and Tan Terrier. The Manchester Terrier soon became a popular choice even when the sport was eventually banned in Britain.
Some people went on to cross their Manchester Terriers with Chihuahuas to create even smaller dogs, but this caused many health issues. By 1937, a club for formerly set up for the British Manchester Terrier and it was the members of this club who saved the breed ensuring these charming alert dogs did not vanish altogether after World War II. Today, anyone wanting to share their home with a Manchester Terrier would need to go on a waiting list once they have found a breeder because there are very few puppies registered with The Kennel Club every year.
Height at the withers: Males 41 cm, Females 38 cm
Average weight: Males 5.4 - 10 kg, Females 5.4 - 10 kg
The Manchester Terrier does resemble a Doberman Pinscher - only in miniature. These handsome little dogs, however, only stand at around 40 cm at the wither. Their heads are long, narrow and flat being wedge-shaped. Their muzzles taper to the nose and dogs are tight lipped. A Manchester Terrier's eyes are quite small, almond-shaped and dark in colour with dogs always having a glint in them. Ears are V-shaped and small in size and they hang close to a dog’s head.
The Manchester Terrier has a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite where their upper teeth neatly overlap their lower ones. Their necks are quite long, being thicker at the shoulder before tapering to a dog's head which they hold slightly arched adding to their overall noble appeal. Front legs are well sloped, clean and straight being set well under a dog's body.
They have well sprung ribs which are a little arched over a dog's loins and well cut up behind their ribcage. Back legs are well-muscled, strong with dogs having small feet which are very hare-like having well arched toes. Their tails are short being thicker at the root before tapering to the tip which these terriers carry level with their backs.
When it comes to their coat, the Manchester Terrier boasts having a smooth, short, close and very glossy coat that's quite firm to the touch. The accepted breed colour is as follows:
Much like many other terriers, the Manchester Terrier is a clever, high spirited and at times wilful dog. However, they are known to be very loyal characters and if well socialised and trained when young, they tend to be extremely well mannered around people, loving nothing more than to be in their company. They have a ton of energy which means they need to be kept busy. In short, these terriers need to be given lots of mental stimulation as well as physical exercise on a daily basis for them to be truly happy, well-balanced and obedient characters.
They are very good watchdogs and will always let an owner know when strangers are around or when something suspicious is going on. Manchester Terriers hate being left on their own for long periods of time, which can lead to them becoming not only destructive around the home but very vocal as well. Another habit they tend to develop when bored, is digging holes and this includes in the furniture, carpets and garden.
They are terriers, and as such care has to be taken when they are around any other pets which includes rabbits, guinea pigs or cats. Because they can be quite wilful, their training has to start early. They respond well to positive reinforcement training techniques, but any sort of harsh correction and heavier handed training should be avoided because it could lead to these dogs being timid and shy. However, if they get their own way, Manchester Terriers can develop unwanted behavioural issues which could prove hard to rectify later on.
Manchester Terriers need to be well socialised and trained from an early age so they grow up to be well-balanced and happy mature dogs that make great family pets to have around. They adore human contact which means people need to spend as much time with them as they can. They're a great choice for people who live in apartments where one person usually stays at home when everyone else is out of the house but only as long as these terriers are given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy, healthy and fit.
They are not a good choice for people who lead more sedentary lives. However, they are a good choice of dog for first-time owners because Manchester Terriers are easy to train and love nothing more than to please, forming strong bonds with their families. With this said, these terriers are known to suffer from separation anxiety which can be a real issue if they are left on their own for even shorter periods of time.
Manchester Terriers are clever little dogs, ranked 32 out of 79 other breeds when it comes to intelligence, this paired to the fact they love to please makes them easy to train. However, their training has to start early because they are known to be a little wilful at times, a trait that needs to be nipped in the bud.
It cannot be stressed enough the importance of early socialisation which has to involve introducing a young Manchester Terrier to as many new situations, people, noises, animals and other dogs as soon as they have been fully vaccinated. This helps dogs like the Manchester grow up into well-rounded and obedient mature dogs. A well socialised terrier tends to be a more relaxed and less excitable when they are put in all sorts of different situations.
Manchester Terriers are extremely "people oriented" dogs that thrive on human contact. As such as long as they have been well socialised when they are puppies and young dogs, they tend to get on well with children. However, because they are such lively and energetic characters by nature, any interaction with children should always be supervised by an adult to make sure playtime does not get too boisterous which could end up with somebody getting hurt.
Care has to be taken when a Manchester Terrier comes into contact with small animals and pets because they have such a high prey drive. They could well see smaller pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, cats as "fair game" if they come into contact with them.
For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.
The average life expectancy of a Manchester Terrier is between 14 and 16 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.
Like so many other breeds, the Manchester is known to suffer from a few hereditary health issues which are worth knowing about if you are planning share your home with one of these active and noble looking dogs. The conditions that seem to affect the breed the most include the following:
As with any other breed, Manchester Terriers need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.
Because Manchester Terriers boast having short, tight coats they are low maintenance when it comes to keeping them looking tidy. With this said, a wipe over with a chamois leather on a regular basis will keep a lovely sheen on a dog's coat and a brush once or twice a week helps keep their skin in good condition and any hair a dog sheds under control. These terriers shed all year round, but like other breeds they shed the most during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent brushing is usually necessary to keep on top of things.
It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.
Manchester Terriers are high-energy, intelligent little dogs and as such they need to be given the right amount of daily exercise and mental stimulation for them to be truly happy, well rounded characters. As such, they need a minimum of 1 hour's exercise every day and this should include playing lots of interactive games. A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must.
Letting a Manchester Terrier run around a back garden is a good idea because it allows them to let off steam. However, this is not "exercise" and you may find a dog standing at the back door waiting to be let back in the house ready to for a walk. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these terriers in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape out and get into all sorts of trouble.
With this said, Manchester Terrier puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives. They should not be allowed to jump up or off furniture nor should they be allowed to run up and down the stairs.
If you get a Manchester Terrier puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.
Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.
If you are looking to buy a Manchester Terrier you may have to go on a waiting list because not many puppies are registered with The Kennel Club every year. You would need to pay anything upwards of £800 for a well-bred pedigree puppy. The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Manchester Terrier in northern England would be £18.12 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £41.22 a month (quote as of May 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK and a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed.
When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry, to feed your dog throughout their lives making sure it suits the different stages of their lives. This would set you back between £20 - £30 a month. On top of all of this, you would need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Manchester Terrier and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying your dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £800 a year.
As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Manchester Terrier would be between £50 to £80 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree puppy.
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