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 to make them a great companion dog. They enjoy being with their people and participating in group activities. They like to learn things and are trained pretty easily, however, they can also be a typical terrier and be hard headed. It is important that training be performed consistently. The breed can also be content with sitting on the couch with you. Due to the intelligence of the Manchester Terrier, they do not do well being left alone. If left too long they can entertain themselves and you may not like the results!! To entertain themselves, they will bark or dig, usually after small rodents. This is not a dog to turn out in the back yard and be left for long periods of time, they will hang by the door to let you know that they want to be inside. The dog really excels at agility courses and requires about 30 minutes of exercise daily. This one of the best ways to keep the dog occupied and entertained and to use up the energy.
Due to the short coat of the Manchester Terrier, they do not tolerate cold well. The breed does shed and should not be considered to be hypoallergenic. Coat maintenance is pretty easy, brush a couple times during the week and an occasional bath, when dirty. Because of the dark black coat, they can get overheated pretty easily. In fact, one of the biggest health problems of the breed is heat bumps. These appear when the dog is in the sun too much. Manchester Terriers are a healthy breed, with few other health problems and living for about 12 years usually. Typically, they are between 15 to 16 inches tall and weigh about 12 to 22 pounds. They can become overweight, if they do not get enough exercise. The small size and limited exercise requirements, make the Manchester Terrier a good apartment dweller, especially if they get about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily.
While the Manchester Terrier likes to play and is good with other dogs and children, they are small and slender dogs without the sturdiness of some breeds. Because of this it is best to watch children around the dog. Being a terrier, the breed does not back down from interactions with other dogs and may not realize size differences (as 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 to them. It is not advisable to have the dog off of a lead in the open, because once the chase is on, all else is forgotten. As with many terriers, they have a vicious killing instinct, with documentation of one Manchester Terrier killing 100 rats within 12 minutes!