Manchester Terrier Vs. Miniature Pinscher – Similarities and Differences

At first glance, as shown in pictures 1a and 1b, the Manchester Terrier and the Miniature Pinscher have undeniable similarities. Some may even mistake these two dogs for being the same breed. But, if you look at pictures 2a and 2b you can see, depending on the individual dog, that the Manchester Terrier and the Miniature Pinscher have noticeable differences that set the two breeds apart from each other. Here we are going to discuss the similarities and differences between these two breeds so you will be able to tell the distinction, even if you are looking at two dogs similar to those in pictures 1a and 1b.


The Manchester Terrier comes in two sizes, standard and toy. For the sake of this discussion we are going to focus on the toy size Manchester Terrier, which is more likely to be confused with the Miniature Pinscher. The Manchester Terrier is the result of the crossbreeds of the whippet racer and one of the black and tan terriers that were used for catching rats. The Miniature Pinscher is thought to have been a crossbreed of the German Pinscher, the Dachshund, and the Italian Greyhound.

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Manchester TerrierMiniature Pinscher
Size10-12” tall10-12.5” tall
Weight10-12.5” tall8-10 lbs
Country of OriginEnglandGermany
Original UseHunting small rodentsHunting small rodents
TemperamentGentle, playful, timidPlayful, daring, stubborn
Energy LevelHighHigh
Climate ToleranceLow – Likes HeatLow – Likes Warmth
Life span14-16 Years12-14 Years

The toy and standard size Manchester Terriers are considered two interbreeding versions of the one Manchester Terrier breed; the toy being up to 6” smaller than the standard size and about 14 pounds lighter. The only difference between the standard and toy, besides the size, are the ears and the way they are cropped. Cropping is when part of a dog’s ear is removed so the ears stand up straight. In Europe, cropping is illegal but the AKC considers cropping “acceptable” because it preserves the characteristics of the breed. We aren’t too convinced on this controversial topic, so we will also be writing an article debating this practice. Against common misperception, the Miniature Pinscher is not a smaller version of the Doberman Pinscher. Although they have their similarities in appearance, these are considered two totally separate dog breeds. You can read about the differences between the Doberman and the Miniature Pinscher in our other dog articles.

Miniature Pinscher
Miniature Pinschers

Both the Manchester Terrier and the Miniature Pinscher enjoy playing outside to burn off all the energy they have, but just a quick round of play will do the trick; they do not require a lot of exercise. Both breeds, who live to be around 14 years, do not have any major health concerns. Their smooth and glossy coats require little maintenance and they have similar tan markings on their feet, face, and chest. While the Miniature Pinscher has narrower tipped ears, the Manchester Terrier has more round, petal shaped ears that narrow off into a pointed tip. Overly wide or curved ears are considered “faults” by the American Kennel Club. The toy Manchester has naturally erect ears so having cropped ears is considered another “fault” by the AKC, whereas the Miniature Pinscher’s ears are often cropped by their owners.

Unlike the Manchester Terrier, the Miniature Pinscher has a high, straight tail that is docked. Docking is when the dog’s tail is severed or the blood supply is cut off from the tail until it falls off or is amputated. The Manchester has a similar tail to an undocked Miniature Pinscher. The tail is thin, straight, and swoops up, but never curls over the back like a Pomeranian.

All in all these two breeds have many characteristics in common like their lifespan, historical uses, and energy levels. But, the differences in their country of origin, ears, tails, and size set them apart from one another. Next time you see the more popular and well-known Miniature Pinscher running in the park, stop for a second to consider if the dog is actually a Manchester Terrier. You will know the difference!

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August 13, 2011