So you want to own a Manchester Terrier

To help you decide whether this breed is for you we have detailed some points you may wish to consider below. Click on each heading for more information. Also read the page titled About the Breed.

There is lots of ways that you can meet owners and breeders of Manchester Terriers.  Some of these can be found in the links in the side menu.

Regular walks (called Mooches in the side menu) are held up and down the country which are a good way to meet Manchesters having fun. The contacts listed in each area will be happy to discuss the breed with you and help organise visits to see dogs up close in their homes.  You can also meet breeders and dogs at one of the championship shows listed.

We also attend country fairs, Discover Dogs and pet shows across the country where you can meet dogs and their owners.  These are listed in Promoting the Breed. Once a year we have a fun weekend which again is a good way to meet the breed, breeders and owners.


Manchester Terriers are described as being devoted and discerning. This means they usually adore family members and can be devoted pets but are usually more reserved with strangers. Manchester’s are not a naturally aggressive dog but are a terrier and have the terrier tenacity to stand their ground when needed. If socialized and well-trained Manchester’s are a bright, alert and friendly dog.


Socialization and puppy training are of utmost importance as puppyhood is the most important and critical time in your dog’s development. How you train your puppy now, will affect your dog’s behaviour for the rest of his/her life.

A properly socialized puppy is well adjusted and makes a good companion. It is neither frightened by nor aggressive towards anyone or anything it would normally meet in day to day living. Unsocialized dogs cannot adapt to new situations and a simple routine visit to the vet could turn into a nightmare not only for the dog itself, but for everyone involved. Don’t let this happen to you and your dog. Start socializing your new puppy NOW!

Make sure that each of the following events are pleasant and non-threatening. If your puppy’s first experience with something is painful and frightening, you will be defeating your purpose. In fact, you will be creating a phobia that will often last a lifetime. It’s better to go too slow and assure your puppy is not frightened or injured than to rush and force your pup to meet new things and people.


The Manchester Terrier can be headstrong and stubborn, as such it is important to set ‘Ground Rules’ at an early stage. Dogs are ‘Pack animals’ and are very happy to be at the bottom of the pecking order. You must maintain this equilibrium at all times and the dog will respect you for that.

We suggest that dogs have their own cage to sleep and travel in. They regard this as their own little space and go there for some peace and quiet. If you need to have them under control for any reason, then simply shut the door and they will be fine.

If you don’t want your full-grown dog to take over your bed, then don’t let it go on the bed as a puppy. If upstairs is out of bounds, then start as you mean to go on and don’t let them up in the first place.

They are resourceful, determined and at times challenging but are very intelligent. Training any adult dog is demanding and time consuming, so the earlier you start, the better it is for everyone. It is far easier to train a puppy. Many training clubs hold puppy classes where vaccinated pups can mix with one another.

Toilet training starts early and puppies are already partly paper trained when you get them at eight weeks or so.

Manchester’s are known to compete at high levels in showing, obedience, agility, fly ball and heelwork to music and many have gained the Kennel Club good citizen Dog Scheme Awards, so training to a high level is really possible if you are prepared to put in the time and effort with your new puppy.

An ideal start is to find a club that holds Kennel Club Good Citizen puppy foundation classes.


All dogs enjoy exercise and the Manchester, being a naturally fit dog, appreciates regular walks, plays, runabouts. It is not essential to be exercised for many hours per day. They will survive with 1/2 to 1 hour a day of free running and lead work. In bad weather, they are often content to lie in front of the fire.

Exercise, however is not just about muscle tone. It is essential Manchester’s have mental stimulus, as they are a bright, thinking dog. Meeting other dogs and people improves their social skills, makes them calmer, and interested.


Manchester’s have a small simple diet but can be a very greedy dog. It is wise to follow your breeder’s or your vet’s instructions. The dog’s food can be canned, raw or dried but should be controlled as they tend to be greedy and regularly eat more than is required. The highlight of a dog’s day is feeding time, so feed your dog’s twice a day and give them double the pleasure. All foods state a recommended amount by the, manufacturers but the best guide is how they look.

Maintenance and grooming

The Manchester has a smooth short coat that does not shed much hair for most of the year. It requires only light grooming and is easy to maintain. A regular brushing, or wipe over with a clean piece of velvet or chamois leather is usually sufficient. Bathing is an infrequent need and is only required to remove excessive smell or dirt. If your dog ever rolls in Fox poo – Tomato sauce is one of the best things to remove the smell.

Care of the teeth is vital to all breeds of dog to prevent tartar build up, long term gum disease and associated health complications. The Manchester has a good set of teeth with a scissor bite, they need to be cleaned to keep them this way. Raw, fresh bones from the butcher are excellent for cleaning the teeth.

Some dogs will wear down their own nails to a comfortable length through their regular exercise, especially on concrete. However, other dogs may need regular trimming despite regular exercise. Given the nail is black, caution is advised to the beginner if do you choose to trim them yourself. With some experience and gaining confidence the task becomes easier but if in any doubt have the nails cut by a pro-fessional person.

Some Manchester’s can be prone to scurf when under stress or in a strange environment. This is quickly remedied by using a baby wipe. If scurf is a general problem the dog may require some oil in the diet.


Manchester’s are a hardy, healthy breed of dog and are free of any major health problems. There are no specific health issues or concerns.

However, Manchester’s are one of the many breeds which carry a minor blood disorder known as Von Willebrand Type 1, this is the least affected. (See Health Section for more information). The British Manchester Terrier Club has taken steps to reduce and eventually eliminate this rogue unwanted gene by recommending all breeding stock are DNA tested. A testing and recording scheme are in place which is approved by the Kennel Club

Good diet, exercise and care with regular worming and annual health checks and vaccinations will ensure a healthy long life, which can be around 12-15 years for a Manchester Terrier.