Manchester Terrier

Posted in Terrier Group

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential.  Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.


BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: His name denotes his origin, and it is likely that there is some Whippet in his ancestry. Elegant and graceful, he was bred as a ratter and can still be relied upon to despatch vermin quickly and efficiently. Rat killing reached its peak in the mid-1800s and what dog shows there were, at that time, were usually held in public houses. In Manchester, especially, these became a weekly feature and soon this terrier had classes of his own, eventually taking the name Manchester Terrier.

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Compact, elegant and sound with substance.

BEHAVIOUR AND TEMPERAMENT: Keen, alert, gay and sporting; discerning and devoted.



Skull: Long, flat and narrow, level and wedge-shaped, without showing cheek muscles.

FACIAL REGION: Nose: Jet black.

Muzzle: Well filled up under eyes, tapering.

Lips: Tight

Jaws / Teeth: Jaws level, with perfect and regular scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Eyes: Relatively small, dark and sparkling. Almond-shaped, not prominent.

Ears: Small and V-shaped, carried well above top line of head and hanging close to head above eyes.

NECK: Fairly long and tapering from shoulder to head and slightly arched at crest; free from throatiness.

BODY: Short.

Loin: Slightly arched over the loin.

Chest: Well sprung ribs.

Underline and belly: Cut up behind ribs.

TAIL: Short and set on where arch of back ends, thick where it joins body, tapering to a point, carried not higher than level of back.


FOREQUARTERS: Front narrow and deep.

Shoulder: Clean and well-sloped.

Forearm: Forelegs quite straight, set on well under dog; proportionate length to body.

Forefeet: Small, semi-harefooted and strong with well arched toes.

HINDQUARTERS: Strong and muscular. Hindlegs neither cow-hocked nor with feet turned in.

Stifle (Knee): Well bent.

Hind feet: Small, semi-harefooted and strong with well arched toes.

GAIT / MOVEMENT: Straight, free and balanced with good-reaching forequarters and driving power in hindquarters.

COAT: Hair: Close, smooth, short and glossy, of firm texture.

Colour: Jet black and rich mahogany tan distributed as follows: On head, muzzle tanned to nose, nose and nasal bone jet black. Small tan spot on each cheek and above each eye, under-jaw and throat tanned with distinct tan V. Legs from knee downward tanned with exception of toes which shall be pencilled with black, a distinct black mark (thumbmark) immediately above feet. Inside hindlegs tanned but divided with black at stifle joint. Under tail tanned, vent tanned by marking as narrow as possible so that it is covered by tail. A slight tan mark on each side of chest. Tan outside hindlegs, commonly called breeching, is undesirable. In all cases black should not run into tan or vice versa, but division between colours clearly defined.

SIZE: Ideal Height at the withers: Males 41cm. Females 38cm.

FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.


  • Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.


  • Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum (this expression is obligatory in every standard).
  • Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.