We've been involved with purebred dogs since we brought our first purebred puppy home in 2004. Learn how Curlious has evolved and grown over the years!
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Manchester Terriers: A (very) Brief History of the Gentleman's Terrier
The lively Manchester Terrier can trace its roots back over centuries, claiming the honour of being the oldest documented terrier breed. Paintings from the 16th Century showcased small black and tan terrier dogs as athletic, determined, and loyal to their master.
By the mid-1800s, ratting was a popular sport in England, and black and tan terriers dominated the field of competitors. The breed was dubbed the English Terrier and was often crossed with Bulldogs for their tenacity in the pit. This cross introduced new colours, so English Terriers became known as Black and Tan Terriers and English White Terriers. These White English Terriers later led to the development of the Bull Terrier and Miniature Bull Terrier.
Black and Tan Terrier breeders later introduced small sighthounds for speed and agility, possibly Whippets or Italian Greyhounds. The sighthound influence can still be seen today through their sleek lines and short, glossy coat. The name shifted between English Terrier, Black and Tan Terrier, and eventually Manchester Terrier, for the Manchester district of England. What we call a Toy Manchester Terrier in North America is known as an English Toy Terrier in the rest of the world.
For a more in-depth history, please visit the Canadian Manchester Terrier Club or the American Manchester Terrier Club. Also, check out the recommended health clearances with the OFA through their CHIC program.
Manchesters often get confused with other breeds when out in public; people ask if they are Miniature Pinschers (Min Pins) or a puppy Doberman. While Manchesters were influential in the creation of the Doberman breed, they have very little (if any) common ancestry with the Min Pin, despite their appearance.
Small black and tan dogs are often labelled as Manchesters by well-meaning shelter and rescue employees, hoping the rare-breed name will attract potential homes. Black and tan markings are commonplace, and Manchesters generally express a more distinct tan pattern than most breeds, typically displaying "thumbprints" on the wrists and "kisses" on each cheek.
What Should a Manchester Look Like?
A great way to learn about a breed is to familiarize yourself with the Breed Standard. Breed standards differ slightly around the world, as each club and each set of fanciers within that club can put emphasis on different characteristics they feel are important.