A hybrid-like British dog combining the best of the terrier and the hound, the Manchester Terrier is a very interesting and unique dog that comes in both standard and toy sizes. Originally conceived by joining the Black and Tan Terrier with a Whippet, the Manchester Terrier is part coursing hound and part ratting terrier.
Skillful and beautiful as they are, Manchester Terriers remain relatively uncommon, landing itself at the 133rd most popular dog of 193 American Kennel Club breeds. Though often confused with the Miniature Pinscher, the Manchester Terrier is a distinct breed, as you will quickly come to realize.
Machester Terrier Appearance
Sharing many physical qualities of the Miniature Pinscher, the Manchester Terrier sports a dense, black and tan coat. The coat of the Manchester Terrier is short, shiny, and sleek, though not soft, and may include tan markings, though they are not standard in the breed.
Standard Manchester Terriers reach an adult height of 15 to 16 inches and weigh between 12 and 22 pounds, while Toy Manchester Terriers stand 10 to 12 inches in height and weigh less than 12 pounds.
A pair of small, almond-shaped eyes bear the alertness and intelligence of the Manchester Terrier, while its ears are either erect or button, with some owners opting for cropping this breed’s ears.
The Manchester Terrier’s body is slightly longer than it is tall. On the whole, the breed is lean, yet powerful and well-muscled, lending the breed its impressive athleticism, speed, and strength.
The Manchester Terrier is a talented and useful dog that is quite affectionate and attached to its family. An impressively long lifespan of 15 to 17 years is among the longest of any dog breeds, and though small, the Manchester Terrier is very hardy.
At home, the Manchester Terrier will be a loving family pet, though the breed is constantly on the lookout for any trespassers or strangers and will likely bark in response, making it a dependable watchdog. While the Manchester Terrier will enjoy playing with children, toddlers and young children should always be supervised when interacting with these dogs, as with any other.
Unsurprisingly, the Manchester Terrier has a strong natural inclination to chase and root out small animals. Though the Manchester Terrier can certainly get along with cats and other dogs if raised with them, it may not always act kindly to animals it is unfamiliar with. When face-to-face with the toy and pocket dog breeds or any rodents, however, the Manchester Terrier may turn to its ratting instincts and pursue the smaller animal. With strangers, the Manchester Terrier may bark and be cautious and reserved, though it is uncharacteristic of this breed to express outright aggression unprovoked.
Manchester Terriers are highly social dogs and tend to grow very attached to their families. When traveling, the Manchester Terrier will certainly want to tag along, and its manageable size should make doing so well within reason. The Manchester Terrier’s adaptability also makes it easy for these dogs to enjoy just about any setting on earth, rural, urban, or otherwise.
Caring for a Manchester Terrier
Manchester Terriers are one of the longest-lived dogs, and adhering to proper care practices can help this dog live happily well into its teen years.
The Manchester Terrier should be relatively easy-going when it comes to the food it eats. While a diet consisting of meals prepared at home may be a great way for this dog to get plenty of nutrition-rich food, it can be very time-consuming for the dog’s owners. Alternatively, the Manchester Terrier can benefit from a wholesome diet of organic dog food, whether it’s wet dog food, dry kibble, grain free dog food, or a combination of any of the above. Since puppies, adults, and senior Manchester Terriers have different nutritional needs, make sure an age-appropriate food is provided to best suit the dog’s stage of life.
Manchester Terriers love to run around and excel in lure coursing, canine sports, ratting and digging. Fortunately, the Manchester Terrier doesn’t have excessive quantities of energy and can make itself quite comfortable on your couch or on a dog bed. Nevertheless, a couple of brisk walks and the opportunity to run around an open yard will be required to appease the athleticism of this breed. For owners that are often out of the house or busy, a dog playpen can be helpful, or better yet, an electronic dog door to allow the Manchester Terrier open access to the yard. Always be sure to enclose the yard with a tall, secure fence, as the Manchester Terrier may get curious and wander off.
The Manchester Terrier responds positively to training, and will benefit greatly from an early start to some simple obedience lessons and a puppy socialization class. Manchester Terriers are bright and should pick things up quickly, making training well within reach for owners of this breed. A rewards-based training regimen should go a long way in helping this breed, which will thrive in any manner of dog sports and activities from lure coursing and agility to scent work and tracking. The Manchester Terrier is sensitive but almost always eager to please, so it’s best to shower this dog with praise and positivity throughout the training process.
The Manchester Terrier generally lives a nice, long life, though it’s important to bear in mind these dogs can be subject to certain diseases and health problems.
Like Greyhounds and other dogs with a low percentage of body fat, the Manchester Terrier may be particularly sensitive to anesthesia. Therefore, make sure your veterinarian is aware of this well in advance of performing any procedure.
Manchester Terriers can be prone to von Willebrand’s disease, an inherited blood disorder that inhibits blood clotting. Other problems sometimes seen in the Manchester Terrier include patellar luxation, or a dislocation of the kneecap, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.
Hypothyroidism can also be a concern in the Manchester Terrier. Since this condition reduces a dog’s metabolism, weight gain is a common side effect, so it’s important to see a veterinarian and administer medication to treat the disease.
The best course of action for any Manchester Terrier owners is to keep an eye out for any signs of pain or abnormality in their dogs, and to conduct the appropriate tests to ensure early detection of any potential problems. In addition to regular checkups at the vet, these tests include a von Willebrand’s disease dog DNA test, eye exams, and a thyroid evaluation.
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