The Manchester Terrier is the oldest known terrier breed.
Developed as a rat hunter in nineteenth century Manchester, England by a man named John Hulme, it has earned the nickname of "rat terrier" because of its tenacity at catching rats and mice. It is considered to be the best vermin hunting breed.
The idea of breeding smaller dogs was conceived in order to keep up the sport of rat killing.
But they were also used in traditional hunting to climb through grasses and thickets that the larger versions could not get through. These smaller dogs were often referred to also as the 'Gentleman's Terrier.'
In a British contest one Manchester named Billy was said to have killed 100 rats in only 6 minutes and 13 seconds.
The Manchester Terrier was developed by crossing the Black and Tan Terrier and the Whippet. There are two types of Manchester Terrier: Standard and Toy. The Toy variety became popular during the reign of Queen Victoria, when smaller dogs were very popular. The Standard Manchester still retains the ability to be a prized ratter, but the breed as a whole is a companion dog.
The Manchester Terrier has gone down in popularity.
The Manchester Terrier was used in the development of several breeds, among them the Doberman Pinscher, and the Airedale Terrier.
The Manchester Terrier has a dual history in both England and in the United States, making it a well-traveled breed.
In England, the Manchester Terrier was first used as a way to hunt and kill all the rats that were filling up the streets in the 1800s. A man name John Hulme bred a dog by crossing a Whippet and a cross bred terrier to help the 'sport' of rat killing. The result was a dog that was perfectly suited for hunting and killing rats, and thus became a successful dog breed.
There are two varieties of the Manchester Terrier according to its native England, these are known as the Manchester Terrier and the English Toy Terrier. The Toy breed is much smaller than the 'regular' breed and has become quite the stylish dog to carry around.
With a lot of energy to spare, the Manchester Terrier is a great companion for active owners. Outside, this breed of terrier is happy to run around and play, but indoors, they can be calm and sedate.
With their energy, the Manchester Terrier is quite capable of being agile and athletic. They might have a slight mischievous streak, but they are also willing to listen to commands from their owners. Loving to please their master, they will respond quickly to training if they are handles in a constant manner with consistent discipline as needed.
While the Manchester Terrier is good around children and other pets, they will still need to be watched. It is simply not a good idea to leave this dog alone with smaller children and animals. This terrier still exhibits aggressive tendencies when they are in a situation where they don't feel they are the dominant one or that they need to assert their dominance.
Another consideration for those looking at the Manchester Terrier is that they can have troubles when they are left alone for long periods of time - especially when they are young. They can begin to crave this alone time and can become irritated when they are not left to their own devices. It is important to allow younger Manchester Terriers to socialize and interact with others as often as possible to begin to create a healthy demeanor.
They will become bored and irritated when they are left alone for long periods of time as they are quite dependent on attention from their owners. This may not be a suitable breed for someone who is gone a lot of the time, or who has to leave the house for extended periods during the day.
Sometimes stubborn, proper training can help to manage the Manchester Terrier and make them more suitable for household living. If the dog was improperly trained in its youth, it will need strong training to curb these aggressive tendencies. But you can train them with consistent training exercises and goals.
A Manchester Terrier that is not constantly attended to can also exhibit signs of hyperactivity, destructiveness and loud barking.
With the short tan and black coat, the Manchester Terrier requires little, if any, special grooming. This makes it a perfect fit for those that just don't want to spend the time or the energy on the grooming process. Or, this breed may be a good fit for those without the physical dexterity to handle the grooming - i.e. the physically disabled or elderly.
You can brush the coat on a weekly basis, if you like, to keep the excess hair from getting into your home and on your furniture. But this dog truly doesn't shed that much, so it's a quick chore to take care of. The toy Manchester Terrier sheds even less if that's a concern for you.
To keep your Manchester Terrier healthy, you will want to check their ears often and keep them clean and free of any infections or obstructions. If you notice anything that's out of the ordinary, it's best to check with your veterinarian to be sure that it's nothing more serious.
Bathing this dog isn't something you'll need to do on a regular basis, just on occasion when they've gotten a hold of something less desirable. You might want to become wary if your Manchester Terrier has gotten a bath and still smells bad - that can be a sign of bacteria infections that need medical intervention. Always check with your vet if something doesn't seem right. The vet will want to look at the dog's mouth, ears, and nose to be sure that nothing else is going on.
If you should let your Manchester Terrier wander around in nature, you will want to make sure they are getting checked for ticks and fleas when they come back home. If you do notice anything in their paws, ears, or coat, you will want to talk with the vet about handling that situation.
The Manchester Terrier is another dog breed that does like to get as much exercise as possible during the day. In order to sate their hunger for activity, it will work best for you to bring this dog on regular walks with you each day. If you have a trail or park in the area that allows dogs to be off their leash, this will be even better. The Manchester Terrier likes to run around off their leash and will be able to keep up with you - even if you can't keep up with it.
If you're the type that enjoys running or biking, the Manchester Terrier will be able to run alongside you without any problems. They might need to have the level of activity built up over time (just like you), but once they get into shape, they're a great workout partner.
The only problem you might have with the Manchester Terrier being off the leash is that they like to chase after things, so you might have troubles catching up to this dog if it finds something interesting. If a Manchester Terrier is well-trained and in a secure area, having them off the leash shouldn't be a problem though.
What most owners need to realize about the Manchester Terrier is that their high intelligence is going to cause them to act on higher levels than other dogs might. For example, instead of thinking that your dog is simply behaving badly, you want to start thinking of this behavior as 'rude.' This will help reestablish the idea of a pack order with the Manchester Terrier.
To address this rudeness, you want to take charge of things in your dog's life so that they know that you are the one that is in control. This might mean that you are in charge of when they get fed, when they go outside, and other small things that your Manchester Terrier does during the day.
By slowly taking control of their life, they begin to realize that you are the one that's at the top of the pack order, not them. This 'respect' sort of training method is generally quite effective for this particular breed because of their natural tendency to be territorial.
The good news is that with their intelligence, they will be able to discern what certain words mean and what they should do in a response. For example, if you were to say 'Sit down' and you push them down repeatedly, they will make the connection between the sound and the action.
Training for a Manchester Terrier needs to begin at a young age so that they are learning exactly what their place in the family is and what is expected of them. You will need to be firm with their training, consistent, and if you are taking them to obedience courses, you will need to make sure that you are keeping up with the lessons they have learned.
This constant attention to what they are doing at all times will allow them to feel like you are in control, but also that you are protecting them. This creates a positive relationship between you and the dog, rather than an adversarial.
When your Manchester Terrier has done something that you do not want them to do, you need to step in aggressively to show that the behavior is not tolerated. This might mean that you physically demonstrate your presence or that you raise your voice to indicate when you are upset.
This is a breed that requires a lot of training initially, and thus a lot of attention when they are young. If you are unable to provide such attention, this may not be a breed that works for your lifestyle.
Because of its tendency to be active, the Manchester Terrier doesn't usually develop a lot of Health Problems. But here are some that have been seen in this particular breed:
von Willebrands Disease - This is a disease that is transmitted via heredity lines and causes abnormal bleeding in the dog, but is also seen in humans. Some dogs will experience severe internal bleeding as well as prolonged bleeding after cuts and scrapes. Generally, this disease is not necessarily treated, but constant monitoring for excessive and possibly fatal bleeding is advised.
Glaucoma - While most people think of Glaucoma as a problem with the eyes, it's actually a disorder in which the blood pressure is elevated and thus causes pressure on the eye's retina, distorting sight. This can lead to problems with vision loss and optic nerve damage. Treating this condition is possible, and sometimes surgery is indicated as well. Talking with your veterinarian will be the best place to start.
Heat sensitivity - Because of their thinner skin and shorter coat, the Manchester Terrier may develop a sort of heat reaction when out in the sun too long. Small bumps can appear on the back of the dog, indicating that they have had a bit too much sunshine for the day. Treatment is to bring the dog indoors or at least in the shade until the bumps subside. Have the dog drink plenty of water too to cool down the inflammation.