General Appearance
A small, black, short-coated dog with distinctive rich mahogany markings and a taper style tail. In structure the Manchester presents a sleek, sturdy, yet elegant look, and has a wedge-shaped, long and clean head with a keen, bright, alert expression. The smooth, compact, muscular body expresses great power and agility, enabling the Manchester to kill vermin and course small game. Except for size and ear options, there are no differences between the Standard and Toy varieties of the Manchester Terrier. The Toy is a diminutive version of the Standard variety.
This paragraph sums up the Manchester well and sets the breed apart from all others. From the distinctive markings to the taper tail. The symmetry should be pleasing, harmonious and a well proportioned blend-in of the animals parts and features, shape, size, and structure. The muscular body expresses great power and agility, keeping in mind that excessive development of individual muscle group, usually on and around the limbs result in a relatively restricted, cumbersome and lumbering movement. In today's ring, there are some differences in the two Varieties that you will see when Judging. Namely, the head, tailset and carriage, bite and lack of underjaw in the toy.
Size, Proportion and Substance
The Toy variety shall not exceed 12 pounds. It is suggested that clubs consider dividing the American-bred and Open classes by weight as follows: 7 pounds and under, over 7 pounds and not exceeding 12 pounds. The Standard variety shall be over 12 pounds and not exceeding 22 pounds. Dogs weighing over 22 pounds shall be disqualified. It is suggested that clubs consider dividing the American-bred and Open classes by weight as follows: over 12 pounds and not exceeding 16 pounds, over 16 pounds and not exceeding 22 pounds. The Manchester Terrier, overall, is slightly longer than tall. The height, measured vertically from the ground to the highest point of the withers, is slightly less than the length, measured horizontally from the point of the shoulders to the rear projection of the upper thigh. The bone and muscle of the Manchester Terrier is of sufficient mass to ensure agility and endurance.
The Manchester Terrier has a keen and alert expression. The nearly black, almond shaped eyes are small, bright, and sparkling. They are set moderately close together, slanting upwards on the outside. The eyes neither protrude nor sink in the skull. Pigmentation must be black. Correct ears for the Standard variety are either the naturally erect ear, the cropped ear, or the button ear. No preference is given to any of the ear types. The naturally erect ear, and the button ear, should be wider at the base tapering to pointed tips, and carried well up on the skull. Wide, flaring, blunt tipped, or "bell" ears are a serious fault. Cropped ears should be long, pointed and carried erect. The only correct ear for the Toy variety is the naturally erect ear. They should be wider at the base tapering to pointed tips, and carried well up on the skull. Wide, flaring, blunt tipped, or "bell" ears are a serious fault. Cropped, or cut ears are a disqualification in the Toy variety. The head is long, narrow, tight skinned, and almost flat with a slight indentation up the forehead. It resembles a blunted wedge in frontal and profile views. There is a visual effect of a slight stop as viewed in profile. The muzzle and skull are equal in length. The muzzle is well filled under the eyes with no visible cheek muscles. The underjaw is full and well defined and the nose is black. Tight black lips lie close to the jaw. The jaws should be full and powerful with full and proper dentition. The teeth are white and strongly developed with a true scissors bite. Level bite is acceptable.
The almond shaped eyes are basically oval shape and bluntly pointed at both corners. The button ear is a semi-errect type ear in which the lower lobe portion stands upright with the top part dropped of folded forward in the direction of the eye, thereby at least partially obscuring the external ear canal's orifice. Fox and Irish Terriers are good examples. Years ago, the button ear helped to prevent loose earth from entering the ear canals during digging for the rats. The head is wedge shaped, of greater diameter at it's origin. Although full dentition of 42 teeth is considered most desirable, it is not unusual for dogs to have missing teeth. Those commonly absent are the premolars. This is really not surprising when it is realized, from the skulls discovered at excavation sites that the first 3 premolars in each jaw were absent in most prehistoric specimens.
Neck, Topline, Body
The slightly arched neck should be slim and graceful, and of moderate length. It gradually becomes larger as it approaches, and blends smoothly with the sloping shoulders. Throatiness is undesirable. The topline shows a slight arch over the robust loins falling slightly to the tail set. A flat back or roached back is to be severely penalized. The chest is narrow between the legs and deep in the brisket. The forechest is moderately defined. The ribs are well sprung, but flattened in the lower end to permit clearance of the forelegs. The abdomen should be tucked up extending in an arched line from the deep brisket.
The slight arch over the robust loins is the lumbar area extending from the end of the rib cage to the start of the pelvis, the upper section of the coupling region. An arched loin is symptomatic of strength and agility in that area. This is due to muscular development over the spine and minor differences in the angles of lumbar vertebrae and pelvis. The chest of the Manchester should be narrow between the legs and deep in the brisket. These were "diggers" who worked in the soil. Accordingly, they were bred with generally narrows fronts and straight legs placed relatively close together so that when digging, the loose earth could be propelled between their spread rear legs. Spring of rib is a reference to the shape of ribs after their emergence from where they are joined with the thoractic vertebrae. The spring of ribs has a direct influence upon chest capacity. The more pronounced the arch or spring (with in reason), the greater the restriction on lung and heart development and consequently, the less the anticipated stamina. A dog with correct rib curvature and development is said to be well sprung, rounded or arched in rib. The tuckup is the appearance produced by the abdomen's underline as it sweeps upwards into the flank and or hindquarters region. Tuckup is also referred to as "cutup."
The taper style tail is moderately short reaching no further than the hock joint. It is set on at the end of the croup. Being thicker where it joins the body, the tail tapers to a point. The tail is carried in a slight upward curve, but never over the back.
The taper style tail is a short coated tail that tapers to a point. Set on at the end of the croup, which is the muscular area just above and around the set on of the tail.
The shoulder blades and the upper arm should be relatively the same length. The distance from the elbow to the withers should be approximately the same as the distance from the elbow to the ground. The elbows should lie close to the brisket. The shoulders are well laid back. The forelegs are straight, of proportionate length, and placed well under the brisket. The pasterns should be almost perpendicular. The front feet are compact and well arched. The two middle toes should be slightly longer than the others. The pads should be thick and the toenails should be jet black.
Obliquely placed shoulders are slanting, sloping, well angulated or well laid back. 60% of a dogs weight is carried on the front end. A cat foot is a round, compact foot with well arched toes tightly bunched or close cupped. The two center toes being only slightly longer than those on the outside and inside. A hare foot is when the center toes are considerably longer than associated outer and inner ones. Toe arching is less marked making feet appear longer, over all. The pasterns are almost perpendicular. The ideal slope is 20-25 % from the perpendicular is considered correct in most instances. It is sufficient to say that for normal function some degree of pastern slope is essential.
The thigh should be muscular with the length of the upper and lower thighs being approximately equal. The stifle is well turned. The well let down hocks should not turn in nor out as viewed from the rear. The hind legs are carried well back. The hind feet are shaped like those of a cat with thick pads and jet black nails.
The hindquarter angulation is the well turned stifle. Well let down hocks are hocks close to the ground. Rear pasterns constructed and angulated in such a manor that the distance from point of hock to ground is correct for the breed. The shorter the rear pastern and the more acute the hock joint angle, the more "let down" do hocks appear. Well let down hocks are not more than 1/5 of the height of the dog at the withers.
The coat should be smooth, short, dense, tight, and glossy; not soft.
A smooth coat is a short, close lying hair. Glossy is a shiny, lustrous coat denoting health and well being. It can be up to 1/2 inch in length.
The coat color should be jet black and rich mahogany tan, which should not run or blend into each other, but abruptly form clear, well defined lines of color. There shall be a very small tan spot over each eye, and a very small tan spot on each cheek. On the head, the muzzle is tanned to the nose. The nose and nasal bone are jet black. The tan extends under the throat, ending in the shape of the letter V. The inside of the ears are partly tan. There shall be tan spots, called "rosettes," on each side of the chest above the front legs. These are more pronounced in puppies than in adults. There should be a black "thumbprint" patch on the front of each foreleg at the pastern. The remainder of the foreleg shall be tan to the carpus joint. There should be a distinct black "pencil mark" line running lengthwise on the top of each toe on all four feet. Tan on the hind leg should continue from the penciling on the toes up the inside of the legs to a little below the stifle joint. The outside of the hind legs should be black. There should be tan under the tail, and on the vent, but only of such size as to be covered by the tail. White on any part of the coat is a serious fault, and shall disqualify whenever the white shall form a patch or stripe measuring as much as one half inch at its longest dimension. Any color other than black and tan shall be disqualified. Color and/or markings should never take precedence over soundness and type.
Thumbprints can and have been put on my means of mascara, permanent markers and "Lady Clairol" hair dye, as is the vent area being narrowed. White has/is being covered up, particularly in the chest area. Peroxide has/is being used to separate thumbprints that are excessive. Gay tails are being surgically corrected and some have been poorly broken. PLEASE refer to AKC "Rules Applying to DOG SHOWS" Chapter 11. Sec. 8C. No dog shall be eligible to compete at any show and no dog shall receive any award at any show in the event the natural color or shade of natural color or the natural markings of the dog have been altered or changed by the use of any substance whether such substance may have been used for cleaning purposes or for any other reason. Such cleaning substances are to be removed before the dog enters the ring. If in the judges opinion any substance has been used to alter or change the natural color or shade of natural color or natural markings of a dog, then in such event the judge shall withhold any and all awards from such dog, and the judge shall make a note in the judges book giving his reason for withholding such award. The Handler or the Owner, or both, of any dog or dogs from which any award has been withheld for violation of this section of the rules, or any judge who shall fail to perform his duties under this section, shall be subject to disciplinary action. This also holds true for altering the set or carriage of the tail.
The gait should be free and effortless with good reach of the forequarters, showing no indication of hackney gait. Rear quarters should have strong, driving power to match the front reach. Hocks should fully extend. Each rear leg should move in line with the foreleg of the same side, neither thrown in nor out. When moving at a trot, the legs tend to converge towards the center of gravity line beneath the dog.
Good reach is a reference to the distance covered with each stride. A dog said to have plenty of reach is one with maximal stride length. You DO NOT want to see the Hackney action which is exaggerated lift from the elbow with a bend at the pasterns before extending the limb. Rear: Strong driving power, this is used to describe hind quarter propulsion. Single tracking: In normal canine movement, irrespective of breed, the tendency is for the legs to incline more and more under the body as the speed increases. Eventually, the paws come to travel in a single line. Such action is referred to as single tracking. In judging gait, anatomically incorrect specimens are rarely if ever capable of sound movement.
The Manchester Terrier is neither aggressive nor shy. He is keenly observant, devoted, but discerning. Not being a sparring breed, the Manchester is generally friendly with other dogs. Excessive shyness or aggressiveness should be considered a serious fault.
Standard variety-Weight over 22 pounds.
Toy variety-Cropped or cut ears.
Both varieties--White on any part of the coat whenever the white shall form a patch or stripe measuring as much as one half inch at its longest dimension.
Any color other than black and tan.
Approved June 10, 1991
Effective July 31, 1991

*Comments & definitions prepared by JoAnn Emrick and as published by Harold R. Spira, Author of "CANINE TERMINOLOGY" - Text Copyright - 1982
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manor without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Wilane Manchester Terriers
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