The Manchester Terrier
The Manchester Terrier is lively, high-spirited and active dog breed that originated in Manchester, England. The history of this breed goes back to 16th century when these dogs are first mentioned in books. These terriers are considered the oldest of all identifiable terrier breeds. The Manchester Terrier was bred for the common man's sports od rat killing and rabbit hunting.
FUN FACT: The Manchester Terrier named Billy was famous for his rat killing abilities. Reportedly, Billy lived in 1820s and is still remembered for having killed 100 rats in only 12 minutes.
The Manchester Terrier comes in two varieties: The Toy and Standard. However, up until 1959, the two varieties were registered as separate breeds. Both varieties have the same short and sleek coat with black-and-tan color pattern, but the difference is in size. While the Standard Manchester Terrier is larger and sturdier, the Toy Manchester Terrier is smaller and more fragile. The Standard Manchester weights over 12 pounds (up to 22 pounds) and is 15-16 inches tall, and the Toy Manchester weights less than 12 pounds. Also, ear cropping, a practice that began to eliminate the risk of ears being torn in fights, is only allowed in Standards.
FUN FACT: The Manchester Terrier in Victorian England was known as The Gentleman’s Terrier.
Manchester Terriers are pretty low maintenance. Brushing is recommended once a week to get rid of dead hair and to keep the coat healthy. As they don’t shed excessively (only every spring and fall), regular brushing will keep shedding under control. Keep in mind that Manchester Terrier’s coat is very short and won’t keep warm too long. Also, when it is hot and sunny outside, their black coats could cause them to become overheated. Nails should be trimmed when needed (when you can hear them clicking on the floor). Ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to keep them free of excess wax or debris that can cause an ear infection.
Manchester Terriers, as most terriers, are active, agile, sporty, athletic dogs that require regular daily exercise. They excel at sports such as agility, obedience, and rally. Except for physical exercise, they also need mental stimulation. Manchester Terriers are best suited in active families that love to spend their days outside. These dogs love to play with their humans, with other dogs, or with themselves if they have interesting toys. They don’t like being left along for too long. They can become bored, nervous and destructive.
FUN FACT: If left alone for too long, Manchester Terriers might bark excessively, just to amuse themselves.
Manchester Terriers are extremely "people oriented" dogs. They thrive on human contact and love to spend time with their families. They are a good choice for families with children. But, make sure to teach your kids how to handle such tiny dog. Manchester Terrier’s size makes him vulnerable to youngsters who aren't old enough to know it hurts when you squeeze the dog or pull his ears.
The Manchester Terrier is reserved to strangers and always alert, which make this dog an excellent watchdog. You can be positive that Manchester Terrier will bark loudly to tell you if something suspicious is going on or someone they don’t know is approaching the family. Their barking can be excessive so teach your Manchester Terrier to stop barking on command. An early socialization is a must so that this dog doesn’t become sharp or skittish with strangers.
These dogs have an extremely high prey drive and often will chase anything that moves so it is a smart thing to keep your Manchester Terrier on leash while spending time outside, in an unfenced area. Pay extra attention if you are bringing this dog into a family where there are some other pets, especially rabbits, cats or guinea pigs. With other dogs, especially dogs of the same sex, they might pick a fight so make sure your Manchester Terrier is well socialized and trained from an early age. All terrier breeds can be stubborn and dominant so training can sometimes be frustrating. The key is to teach them that you are the boss and that you mean what you say. Use only positive reinforcement training techniques. Harsh treatment can lead to these dogs being timid and shy.
Manchester Terriers are generally healthy breed and have an extraordinary long lifespan. They can live over 16 years. Some health conditions they are prone to are: glaucoma, Von Willebrand's Disease (a blood disorder that affects the clotting process causing nosebleeds, bleeding gums, prolonged bleeding from surgery, prolonged bleeding during heat cycles or after whelping, and occasionally blood in the stool) and heat bumps. They are also prone to obesity if overfed and under-exercised.
FUN FACT: The Manchester Terrier is considered a rare breed. Well-breed puppies can be hard to find and will cost a lot of money.
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