Breed Information Centre

Manchester Terrier

Description

Illustration of Manchester Terrier

Unlike many terriers, bred for country pursuits, the Manchester Terrier has its roots in urban civilisation, developed in the city and surroundings of Manchester to keep down rats in the developing towns and mills in the industrialisation of the mid 19th century. Again the old Black and Tan terrier can claim some part in its ancestry, but with an input of Whippet blood. The Manchester terrier could also be an efficient hunter for rabbits and bring home the supper.

In the early days the breed had its ears cropped to prevent injury from rats – or from fighting in staged contests which were popular at the time. However, this ban on cropping in 1898 brought a decline in the breeds popularity: the pendant ears of the uncropped dogs were off-putting to those who had known the cropped version. Such is fashion!

The advent of modern methods of vermin control also threatened the survival of the breed, and by the 1940's the breed was something of a rarity, with only 11 registered pedigree dogs in 1945.

Thankfully the work of a few dedicated breeders and the British Manchester Terrier Club, the breed has enjoyed a regeneration of interest and the smart, little black and tan with its unique thumb print markings on its legs, is now growing in popularity both in the show ring and as a family pet.

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The Terrier Breed Group

Dogs originally bred and used for hunting vermin. 'Terrier' comes from the Latin word Terra, meaning earth. This hardy collection of dogs were selectively bred to be extremely brave and tough, and to pursue fox, badger, rat and otter (to name but a few) above and below ground. Dogs of terrier type have been known here since ancient times, and as early as the Middle Ages, these game breeds were portrayed by writers and painters.


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