Manchester Terrier Life Expectancy

My ancestors won rat-killing contests.

My ancestors won rat-killing contests.

Manchester terriers come in two sizes -- toy and standard. Either type has the same average lifespan, which is fairly long by canine standards. According to the American Manchester Terrier Club, this is the oldest identifiable breed of terriers, dating from the 1570s when it was known as the black-and-tan.

Manchester Terriers

As their original name describes them, Manchester terriers are black-and-tan. American Kennel Club standards state that toy Manchesters may weigh up to 12 pounds, while the standard Manchester weighs between 12 and 22 pounds when grown. Bred as rat killers, modern Manchesters retain that hunting instinct. They're devoted to their people, get along well with other dogs and do a good job of watching the premises. Well-cared for Manchesters can live into their mid-teens.

Toy Manchesters

Good food, exercise and regular veterinary care are essential if you want your dog to live as long as possible. The toy Manchester's needs are a little different from those of his taller cousin. He doesn't require as much exercise, and because of his short coat he shouldn't be left outside for long in cold weather. You might want to put a coat or sweater on your pup when going for winter walks. Take good care of his teeth. Like many little dogs, he's prone to dental disease, the result of 42 adult canine teeth trying to fit in one little mouth. Brush his teeth every day with special, meat-flavored doggie toothpaste.

Standard Manchester

The standard Manchester, while active and alert, also is an unusually clean dog. He's a smart dog who needs a good, long daily walk or access to a fenced-in yard where he can run around. He does well in canine sports, such as obedience and agility. Be careful not to overfeed your Manchester, no matter how hard he tries to convince you that you're starving him. The AKC requirements are healthy weights for the breed. You can't expect an obese Manchester to live as long as one who is normal size.


Manchesters are hardy dogs, but like most purebred dogs they are prone to certain hereditary health issues. Among these are von Willebrand's disease, a bleeding problem; autoimmune thyroiditis, which eventually causes hypothyroidism, or lack of the hormone; and eye diseases, such as cataracts and glaucoma. Toy Manchesters may suffer from Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, a malformation of the head of the hip joint.

About the Author

Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images