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About Toy Manchesters

Of the Toy Manchester Terrier by Peter Brown

As the name suggests, the Manchester Terrier originated in Manchester, England some time back in the early 1500’s, although this breed name was not used until the late 19th century.  All indications are that the breed evolved from the original Black and Tan Terrier and the Old English Terrier, believed to be the most ancient of the British terriers, having existed in Britain for 400 to 500 years.

In ancient times, these noble black and tan hunters were cherished for their keen sense of smell and hearing.  Some accounts describe these original specimens, used mainly as ratters.  Feisty terrier-dog qualities certainly added to the Manchester’s value as an expert mouse and rat killer!  The breed’s strong desire to chase prey, and it’s extreme loyalty to man, will undoubtedly remain a part of its character, even if the Toy variety never hunts more than a stray mouse or “dust bunny.”  The Manchester’s alert nature and clown-like charm have remained in today’s Toy variety.  Most histories of the breed point to an 18th-century gentleman by the name of John Hulme as the key figure responsible for the breed’s development.  It was Hulme’s breeding experiments with England’s common Black and Tan Terrier and the graceful, speedy Whippet that gave rise to the Manchester Terrier we know today.  Specific traits certainly point to these crossbreedings.  Selective breeding resulted in a speedy and agile little hunter, which quickly went on to become a prized and most sought after rodent killer.  The Manchester’s expertise as an excellent little tracking and hunting companion even placed the breed in the saddlebags of hunters that sought fox.

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