The Toy Manchester Terrier: Everything You Need to Know

The Toy Manchester Terrier is a feisty little dog full of character, with a rich history and distinct physical characteristics that set it apart from other breeds. 

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the unique Toy Manchester Terrier, from origins and physique to temperament and health. 

History of the Toy Manchester Terrier

Origins of the Breed

The Toy Manchester Terrier has a long and fascinating history. The breed was originally developed in the 19th century in Manchester, England, as a small but agile vermin-control dog. 

As the Industrial Revolution took hold in England, the need for vermin control in urban areas increased. The small size and agility of the Toy Manchester Terrier made it the perfect breed for this task.

The breed’s popularity grew rapidly, and soon, Toy Manchester Terriers could be found in households throughout England. However, they were also kept as pets, not just rat killers. 

Development and Recognition

Over time, breeders worked to refine the dog and create the Toy Manchester Terrier that we know today. They focused on reducing the dog’s size while maintaining its characteristic features, such as sleek build, black & tan coat, and erect ears.

Today, there are two size varieties of the Manchester Terrier – Toy and Standard. Both are similar in appearance, apart from the size difference and are recognized as separate breeds. The AKC recognized the Toy Manchester Terrier in 1886. 

Physical Characteristics

Size and Weight

The Toy Manchester Terrier is a small dog, typically weighing less than 12 pounds and standing between 10 and 12 inches tall at the shoulders. Males are generally heavier and taller than females. 

Despite their small dimensions, breed members are muscular and sturdy, with a compact build that gives a confident and agile appearance. Manchester Terriers are well-suited for apartment living.

Coat and Colors

One of the most recognizable features of the Toy Manchester Terrier is the black and tan coat. The coat is short and dense, with a unique glossy sheen that highlights the breed’s muscular form. 

It’s important to note that the Toy Manchester Terrier’s coat requires minimal grooming. They shed very little and only need to be brushed occasionally to keep their coat looking shiny and healthy.

Distinctive Features

In addition to their distinctive coat, Toy Manchester Terriers also have long, pointed ears that stand straight up. They have a wedged head with dark, almond-shaped eyes that convey a sense of intelligence and alertness.

Overall, the Toy Manchester Terrier is a sleek, muscular, and athletically built dog. Despite the small size, the breed has a sturdy yet elegant frame and a streamlined silhouette.

Personality and Temperament

The Toy Manchester Terrier is a delightful breed with a lively, affectionate, and playful personality. They are incredibly loyal and devoted to their families, and they thrive on human interaction.

General Disposition

Toy Manchester Terriers are known for their lively and affectionate personalities. They are eager to please their owners, enjoy spending time with them,  and are always up for a good game.

Toy Manchester Terriers are very loyal and devoted. They are also highly vocal and very protective, meaning they will bark to alert the owners of potential danger.

Intelligence and Trainability

Toy Manchester Terriers are intelligent and trainable, but they can be stubborn at times. It’s important to establish a consistent training routine early on to help them understand what is expected of them.

Positive reinforcement techniques, like treats and praise, are the most effective way to train these dogs. With the right approach, breed members are quick learners and excel in obedience and agility training. 

Socialization and Interaction

Toy Manchester Terriers are generally friendly with other dogs and people, but they can be standoffish with strangers. Socialization from a young age can help them develop social skills and become more confident.

Toy Manchester Terriers are good with children but may not tolerate rough handling or excessive noise. As with any dog, interactions between children and members of the breed should always be supervised.

Affection and Sensitivity 

Toy Manchester Terriers thrive on human interaction and love to be around people. They are very affectionate and will often follow their owners around the house. 

Breed members are also known for their playful nature and will often initiate playtime with their owners. If left alone for longer, Toy Manchester Terriers are prone to separation anxiety. 

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

Some of the most common health issues in Toy Manchester Terriers include: 

  • Patellar Luxation: An orthopedic condition in which the dog’s kneecap slips from its position, causing severe pain and limping 
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: A temporary loss of blood supply in the head of the femur resulting in painful hip joint problems 
  • von Willebrand’s Disease: A congenital blood-clotting disorder when the blood does not clot and the dog is prone to bleeding 
  • Heart Problems: The breed is often born with juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy, which can result in heart failure unless managed 

Preventative Care and Maintenance

In addition to regular vet check-ups and preventative care (vaccination and parasite control), Toy Manchester Terriers require high-quality diets, daily exercise, and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

Expected Lifespan

Toy Manchester Terriers have an average lifespan of 15 to 17 years. With proper care and attention, they can live long, healthy lives and bring joy to their families for years to come.


Overall, the Toy Manchester Terrier is a charming breed with a unique personality. With proper care and attention, it makes a wonderful companion and brings joy for years to come.

Understanding the Toy Manchester Terrier’s history, physical characteristics, and temperament can help you decide if this breed is right for you and your family. 

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