Are Manchester Terriers good as family dogs?

  • By: Mick Whitefield
  • Time to read: 2 min.

Whilst many Terrier dogs find it difficult to acclimatise to family life the Manchester Terrier is a sensitive and devoted family dog. Despite that this dog was originally bred for ratting and rabbit hunting they have evolved into excellent dogs for children and adults alike, particularly those families that are active and enjoy tie outside.

Manchester Terrier Puppy In Hand
A Manchester Terrier puppy in its owners hands

Origin: ~ England.
Bred for: ~ Ratting and Rabbit Hunting.
Coat: ~ Smooth and short.
Colour: ~ Jet Black & Tan, usually with pencil marks on the toes.
Height: ~ 15 to 16 inches or 38 to 41cms.
Weight: ~ 12lbs or 5.4kgs for a Toy ~ 22lbs or 10kgs for a Standard.

Lifespan ~ 12 to 15 years
AKC Group – Terrier Group.

History of the Manchester Terrier

The Black and Tan Terrier as this dog was referred to in the 16th Century was used for killing rats in farms, cotton mills and as a sport. They were cross bred with another popular working class breed of dog, the Whippet. They were most popular around Manchester and as such were formally recognized as The Manchester Terrier. Whilst the name was dropped for a while in favour of The Black & Tan, eventually the name Manchester Terrier was the name that stuck and has remained so since around 1923.

The breed had a wide size range and in 1959 the Standard and the Toy Manchester’s were accepted as one breed with two varieties, with specific sizes given for each variety. As a general rule the Toy Manchester Terrier has remained the more popular breed variety.

Temperament and Upkeep of The Manchester Terrier

These lively and alert dogs are adventurous, independent, yet sensitive and very devoted to their family members. They are very much social dogs and enjoy both the company of humans and other dogs, but should be socialised at an early age to avoid them being reclusive or snappy.

Training for recall is a must as these dogs still have a fairly high prey drive and will sprint off after small vermin such as rabbits. Early introduction at a young age to other household pets is advisable, older rescue dogs may not have the control in place not to chase the cat.

Not only are these dogs loyal, they are good watch and guard dogs, always willing to protect their home and loved ones. Ever playful with children, loving games of fetch and running.

Manchester Terrier Puppy In Agility Class
Manchester Terrier in a competition of agility

If you want a dog that can do well at agility you won’t need to look much further than this agile little dog.

There is a devoted fanbase for these wonderful little dogs and a huge amount of information can be found at their website ~

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