Manchester Terriers were bred to hunt rats in Manchester, England (of course!). They have a very typical terrier personality; Alert, intelligent, lively, active and loyal. These traits help make them a great companion dog. They enjoy being with their people and participating in group activities. They like to learn things and are fairly easily trained, however they can also be a typical terrier and be stubborn. It is important that training is done consistently. The breed can also be content to sit on the couch with you. Due to the intelligence of the Manchester Terrier, they do not do well to be left alone. If they are left too long, they can be entertaining and you may not like the results! For entertainment, they will bark or dig, usually behind small rodents. This is not a dog to go out in the backyard and leave for long periods of time, they will hang on the door to let you know they want to be inside. The dog really excels in agility courses and requires about 30 minutes of exercise a day. This is one of the best ways to keep your dog busy and entertained and to expend energy.
Due to the short coat of the Manchester Terrier, they do not tolerate cold well. The breed is molting and should not be considered hypoallergenic. Coat maintenance is fairly easy, brush a few times during the week and an occasional bath when dirty. Due to the dark black fur, they can overheat quite easily. In fact, one of the breed’s biggest health problems is heat stroke. They appear when the dog is too much in the sun. Manchester Terriers are a healthy breed, with few other health problems, and they typically live for about 12 years. They are typically 15-16 inches tall and weigh 12-22 pounds. They can become overweight if they don’t get enough exercise. The small size and limited exercise requirements make the Manchester Terrier a good apartment dweller, especially if it gets 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day.
While the Manchester Terrier likes to play and is good with other dogs and children, they are small, slender dogs without the robustness of some breeds. Because of this, it is best to keep an eye on children around the dog. Being a terrier, the breed does not shy away from interactions with other dogs and may not be aware of size differences (as is the case with all terriers). It is not recommended to have small pets: gerbils, hamsters, etc. with Manchester Terriers. Since they were bred to hunt and kill rats, this may be too tempting for them. Taking the dog off the leash outdoors is not advisable, because once the chase begins, everything else is forgotten. As with many terriers, they have a fierce killing instinct, with documentation of a Manchester Terrier killing 100 rats in 12 minutes!