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Toy Manchester Terrier

Nicole Cosgrove

The Toy Manchester Terrier is a small toy sized purebred originally from the United Kingdom. Other names include the English Toy Terrier, the Toy Black and Tan Manchester and the Toy Black and Tan Terrier. These dogs were bred to be vermin and small game hunters. Today they are more commonly kept as companions though it does do well in events like flyball and agility. The Manchester part of its name comes from the place in the UK the standard size was first bred. It has a life span of 15 to 17 years.
The Toy Manchester Terrier at a Glance
Name Toy Manchester Terrier
Other names English Toy Terrier, Toy Black and Tan Terrier, Toy Black and Tan Manchester
Nicknames The Gentleman’s Terrier
Origin United Kingdom
Average size Toy (small)
Average weight Under 12 pounds
Average height Under 15 inches
Life span 15 to 17 years
Coat type Silky, short, sleek
Hypoallergenic No
Color Tan, blue, black
Popularity Recognized as Manchester Terrier, the Toy size is not recognized separately
Intelligence Above average
Tolerance to heat Good but nothing extreme
Tolerance to cold Low – needs extra care when it gets cold
Shedding Moderate with seasonal high blow outs
Drooling Low – not prone to drool or slobber
Obesity High – gains weight easily so measure its food and make sure it is well exercised
Grooming/brushing Low to moderate – brush once a week, but in seasonal shedding times that should be daily
Barking Occasional – should not be constant but there will be some
Exercise needs Moderately active
Trainability Moderate – experience helps
Friendliness Very good with socialization
Good first dog Good but easiest to handle by those with experience
Good family pet Very good with socialization
Good with children Moderate to good – socialization is essential, not the best dog for homes with children
Good with other dogs Moderate to good – socialization is important as does tend to challenge dogs much larger than it is
Good with other pets Moderate to good – socialization needed high prey drive
Good with strangers Good with socialization but wary
Good apartment dog Excellent
Handles alone time well Moderate to good – can be left for short periods
Health issues Somewhat healthy, issues can include deafness, patellar luxation and eye problems
Medical expenses $435 a year for basic health care and pet insurance
Food expenses $75 a year for a good quality dry dog food and dog treats
Miscellaneous expenses $195 a year for toys, license, miscellaneous items and basic training
Average annual expenses $705 as a starting figure
Cost to purchase $900
Rescue organizations Several including the American Manchester Terrier Rescue and the Canadian Manchester Terrier Club, also check local shelters and rescues
Biting Statistics None reported

The Toy Manchester Terrier’s Beginnings

The Toy Manchester Terrier comes from breeding down the Manchester Terrier which is a breed from the UK in a town called Manchester. The standard Manchester Terrier was developed in the 1800s by a breeder called John Hulme who wanted a dog for vermin hunting and rat catching. It is thought it was crossed with several breeds such as Whippets, the Italian Greyhound and the black and tan terrier. It was extremely successful in its role and became popular in sports too like rat killing and rabbit coursing.

During the Victorian era toy sized dogs became very popular especially with nobility who likes to carry them around with them, this included Queen Victoria herself. As a result the dog was bred smaller creating a Toy version that became popular around the country. Often both sizes of the Manchester are mistaken for small Dobermans, but the breeder of the Doberman, Louis Doberman actually used the Manchester when he developed his dog. Moving into the 20th century though there were issues with the breed, some breeders tried using a Chihuahua to make the dog small and that caused problems, and the dog dropped in popularity too. In 1923 its name became officially the Manchester Terrier but after World War II it was struggling.

New Lease on Life

In 1937 the British Manchester Terrier Club was formed and they worked to save the breed. In the US in the 1920s the Toy Manchester Terrier became known as the Toy Black and Tan Terrier. But it was changed to Manchester in the 1930s, a breed club was formed called the American Toy Manchester Terrier Club and in 1938 it received recognition from the AKC. However it did not do well, the breed declined in numbers, the club fell apart and the AKC instead of recognizing it separately in 1958 recognized it alongside the standard size. In 1958 the American Manchester Club now included both sizes of the breed. Similar breeds around the world are the English Toy Terrier Black and Tan, the German Miniature Pinscher and the Russian Russkiy Toy.

The Dog You See Today

The Toy Manchester Terrier is a small toy sized dog weighing under 12 pounds and standing under 15 inches tall. It does look a lot like a small version of the Miniature Doberman or a Miniature Pinscher. It is about rectangular in shape as it is a bit longer than it is tall and has long legs and a long tail. Apart from the weight and size difference between the Manchester and the Toy Manchester they are very much alike expect for the ears, on the toy the ears are erect and should not be cropped. Its neck is arched as is its stomach and the tail is thicker at the base and then tapers to the tip. Its coat is smooth, short and dense and common colors are black and tan or black and mahogany. Its head is wedge shaped and long and slim and it has a black nose. The eyes are dark too and are almond shaped.

The Inner Toy Manchester Terrier


Toy Manchester Terriers are alert and make great watchdogs that will bark to let you know if there is a stranger approaching or someone trying to break in. It is a loyal, intelligent and funny dog, it enjoys acting clown like and entertaining you for attention. It is also very charming and it sometimes uses that to get its way with you! It is affectionate with its family and prefers to have your company than being alone, but it does have an independent side that means it can be stubborn sometimes. It is a fairly sensitive dog and tends to not be as bold as many terrier types.

It loves to play and can become devoted to one owner especially. It is energetic and adaptable but also likes to be comfortable so it will happily be active but then also happily snuggle up with you. It is fine for new owners but experienced ones will handle that independent side a lot easier. If it is too spoiled, left alone too much or does not get enough activity it becomes bored, lonely and acts out being destructive, loud and hard to live with. With strange people it tends to be wart until it has time to get to know them and socialization is important to ensure it does not become timid.

Living with a Toy Manchester Terrier

What will training look like?

Toy Manchester Terriers are not easy to train if you are new to it which is why experienced owners will have an easier and quicker time of it. It is important to be firm, consistent and clear about being the pack leader. If you keep the sessions short and interesting and offer it praise, treats and rewards you can motivate it a lot better. It can be stubborn and it is smart and will try to get away with things so be ready for that. Starts its socialization and training from a young age, before it has a chance to learn bad habits! Socialization should involve bringing different people to it, taking it to different locations, having different situations and sounds and animals occur so it learns to react appropriately.

How active is the Toy Manchester Terrier?

This is a fairly active toy breed but easy to meet its needs being small. A couple of daily walks along with play, with its toys and with you, a few times a week having off leash safe run time will all add up to enough physical activity and it will also need mental stimulation too. Its size makes it suited to apartment living as long as you take it out enough too. It barks occasionally though so if that is a problem with close neighbors be sure to include a command to stop it barking as part of its training. As it likes to chase small animals outside keep it on a leash, it is a quick dog and can easily get away from you before you know it.

Caring for the Toy Manchester Terrier

Grooming needs

The Toy Manchester is not a high maintenance breed, it does not require a lot of effort in terms of grooming. It sheds a moderate amount and that can become more heavy in seasonal shedding times, so some hair in the home to clean up but not huge amounts usually. Brush once or twice a week and then just daily when it is heavy. It is a clean dog and does not have a strong smell and it does not need to be bathed often. Use only a dog shampoo and keep baths to just when it is needed.

Other needs are general care of its ears, nails and teeth. Check its ears weekly for infection signs like redness, discharge, wax build up or irritation. If they are infection free give them a clean, not by pushing anything into them but just wiping easy to reach places with a damp cloth or cotton ball and ear cleanser. Its teeth should be brushed at least two to three times a week using a dog toothbrush and toothpaste. Then its nails will need clipping when they get are too long. Find some proper dog nail scissors or clippers and be careful when cutting. Too low and you cut the blood vessels and nerves there cause bleeding and pain.

Feeding Time

A dog of this size will need between ½ to ¾ cup of a good or better quality dry dog food a day, split into at least two meals. The amount can vary as it depends on size, health, age, metabolism, and level of activity. The Toy Manchester Terrier likes its food and will eat anything so can be prone to obesity. Avoid its begging as giving it too many treats or table scraps is not good for it. Also make sure it has access to water at all times and keep it as fresh as possible.

How is the Toy Manchester Terrier with other animals and children?

The Toy Manchester Terrier is not naturally great with children but it does okay, and being raised with them and well socialized can mean that it can learn to live with them. It is best with older children though as being small less careful small children can hurt it. It may be best in homes that are child free but if they are around make sure they are educated on how to touch and play with them safely and appropriately. Supervise toddlers and strange children. Socialization is important too for how it gets on with other dogs, it forgets or does not care that its size is small and may challenge dogs a lot larger. It has a high prey drive too so socialization is important if other pets need to be accepted.

What Might Go Wrong?

Health Concerns

The Toy Manchester Terrier has a life span of 15 to 17 years and it is fairly healthy but a few issues include deafness, patellar luxation, eye problems, von Willebrand’s disease and hypothyroidism.

Biting Statistics

When looking at dog attacks against people that did bodily harm in the US and Canada over the last three and a half decades, there is no mention of the Toy Manchester Terrier or the Manchester Terrier. This is not a breed to be wary of, it is not generally people aggressive but it may chase strange animals or challenge other dogs. But size does not mean it would never happen, it just changes the kind of damage it can do. You can limit the chances of an incident by making sure your Toy Manchester is socialized, trained, cared for, given the attention it needs and demands and gets enough exercise and mental stimulation.

Your Pup’s Price Tag

A Toy Manchester Terrier pup is going to cost about $1000 from a pet quality dog from a respected breeder and then quite a lot more for a experienced and decent top breeder of show dogs. Do not be tempted into using unsavory options like backyard breeds, puppy mills or even pet stores. Finding this dog as a purebred at a rescue or shelter is unlikely but it is still worth check them out, there are plenty of mixed dogs that would make great companion dogs that are hoping for you to take them home. Fees for adoption are likely $50 to $400.

Initial costs are going to be another factor to consider for both medical tests and such and for things you will need for it. The latter covers items like a crate, collar and leash, carrier, bowls and such for around $120. Medical concerns include things like vaccinations, a physical exam, deworming, micro-chipping, spaying or neutering and blood tests for another $260 or so.

Ongoing costs are another factor for consideration. Feeding the Toy Manchester Terrier will cost just about $75 for a decent quality dry dog food and treats. Basic health care costs like flea and tick prevention, vaccinations, veterinarian check ups along with pet insurance is likely another annual cost of $435. Then other miscellaneous costs like miscellaneous items, license, toys and basic training will cost about $195 a year. This gives an estimated starting figure of $705 a year.


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The Toy Manchester Terrier is not a common dog you see around but it has a lot to offer people looking for a small toy sized dog that can cuddle but is also entertaining, full of character and very affectionate and loyal. It is not great though in homes with children of with other pets, it does best with singles or couples who are home often and happy to have it hanging around. Take care not to over feed it and make sure you socialize it and let it get enough exercise and stimulation.

Featured Image Credit: Ricantimages, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.