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Manchester Terrier

Manchester Terrier

“A descendant of Britain’s Black and Tan Terrier, the Manchester was bred as a “ratting machine.” Its prime purpose was to keep the farm rabbit and rat population under control. The breed was respected for its prowess in the rat pit and one dog, ‘Billy,’ is reported to have dispatched 100 rats to that great cheese tray in the sky in just six minutes and 13 seconds. Two events almost led to the breed’s disappearance. The first was the banning of blood sports and the second was the banning of ear cropping. The Manchester’s ears, cropped to prevent them from suffering rat bites, took on an ungainly appearance in their natural state. Next, a precise breed standard was adopted that made perfect specimens difficult to breed and public favour moved on to other terriers. A foremost breeder was Samuel Handley of Manchester, Lancashire, and because of his efforts to stabilize breed type, the breed name was changed from Black and Tan to the Manchester Terrier.

General Appearance

A terrier calculated to take his own part in the rat pit and not of the
Whippet type.


The Manchester is keenly observant, devoted but discerning in his friendships. A gentle family member and a good watchdog, he may still be able to tackle any rat unlucky enough to cross his path.

Activity Level

A powerful and active dog, the Manchester requires daily exercise.


Weight ranges from 12-22 lb (5.5-11 kg).


The coat is close, short and glossy.


The base coat is glossy black with precise tan markings over each eye, on each cheek, the lips of the upper and lower jaws extending down to the throat, the inside of the ears, the forelegs to the knee, the inside of the hind legs and under the tail.


The Manchester wears an ‘easy-care’ coat.”

(Source-Canadian Kennel Club)

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