Manchester Terriers

The sleek and handsome Manchester Terrier is thought to have been created by crossing Britain’s black and tan terrier with the Whippet and possibly other breeds such as the Italian Greyhound. Originally famed for his prowess at killing rats, he’s still a game terrier, but these days he is more likely to be a family companion and show dog, although he’ll certainly lay waste to any vermin population you may have. The Manchester comes in two varieties, standard and toy. Standard Manchesters weigh 12 to 22 pounds; Toys weigh less than 12 pounds. The compact size of both varieties makes them suitable to any size home. Here’s what else you should know about Manchester Terriers.

Traits, Personality and Behavior

The Manchester has the curious and independent nature of any terrier, combined with charm and good humor. He is alert and makes an excellent watchdog, but his curiosity and alertness may contribute to habits of digging and barking. He'll need plenty of companionship and exercise to keep those vices under control.

When it comes to training, the Manchester is a quick learner. He responds well to positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play and food rewards. To hold his attention, keep training sessions short, fun and interesting. And resign yourself to the fact that he will probably frequently outwit you. Fortunately, he does it in such an entertaining manner that you can't help but laugh.

Always walk the Manchester on leash. He will go after any small, furry animals he sees, and he can be aggressive toward dogs he doesn't know.

The Manchester is simple to groom with weekly brushing and regular nail trimming, ear cleaning and dental hygiene. Bathe him if he gets dirty.

A people-loving dog like the Manchester Terrier needs to live in the house. This is a dog who wants to be physically close to his family. It's an unhappy Manchester who doesn't sleep on a nice, comfy bed indoors and an even unhappier one who is relegated to the backyard with little or no human companionship.

Health Issues Common to Manchester Terriers

All purebred dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don't walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines. Manchester Terriers have some health conditions that can be a concern, especially if you aren't cautious about whom you buy from. They include an inherited bleeding disorder called von Willebrand's disease, a heart condition called juvenile cardiomyopathy (Toy Manchester Terriers), autoimmune hypothyroidism, patellar luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease (Toy Manchesters), and eye problems such as glaucoma and cataracts. Ask breeders to show evidence that both of a puppy's parents have OFA or PennHIP evaluations for the hips (Legg-Calve-Perthes), an OFA thyroid evaluation, a DNA test clearing them of von Willebrand's disease, and certification from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation that the eyes are healthy. Do not purchase a puppy from a breeder who cannot provide you with written documentation that the parents were cleared of health problems that affect the breed. Having the dogs "vet checked" is not a substitute for genetic health testing.

Condition Risk Profile Cost to Diagnose and Treat
Patellar Luxation Medium $1,500-$3,000
Cardiomyopathy Medium $500-$1,500
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease High $1,000-$3,000
Cataracts Medium $1,500-$5,000
Hydrocephalus Medium $5,000-$10,000
Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease Medium $1,000-$3,000

5 Tips to Bring Home a Healthy Manchester Terrier Puppy

A list of breeders can be found on the website of the American Manchester Terrier Club. Choose one who is committed to following the AMTC's Code of Ethics, which prohibits the sale of puppies to pet stores or wholesalers and outlines the breeder's responsibilities to the breed and to buyers.

Consider an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue group. Many of the health and behavior problems in Manchester Terriers aren't apparent in puppyhood, but by adopting an older dog, most of them can be ruled out. Since a Manchester Terrier can live to be 15 years old or more, even an adult dog will be with your family for a long time.

Puppy or adult, take your Manchester Terrier to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot visible problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.

Don't ever, ever, ever buy a puppy from a pet store. You're more likely to get an unhealthy, unsocialized and difficult to house-train puppy and will be supporting the cruelty of high-volume puppy mills.

Make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. In states with "puppy lemon laws," be sure you and the person you get the dog from both understand your rights and recourses.

Pet Insurance for Manchester Terriers

Pet insurance for Manchester Terriers costs more than for mixed breed dogs. This is because Manchester Terriers are more likely than mixed breed dogs to make claims for hereditary conditions that are expensive to treat.

Embrace dog insurance plans offer full coverage for all breed-specific conditions (excluding those that are pre-existing) to which Manchester Terriers are susceptible. The best time to get pet insurance for your Manchester Terrier is when he's a healthy puppy. You can't predict what will happen in the future, and pet insurance is the one thing you can't get when you need it the most.