The Miniature Pinscher vs Manchester Terrier is a common discussion among dog lovers. In the pictures below you can see the Miniature Pinscher (2A) and Manchester Terrier (2B) have undeniable similarities. As a result, they are often mistaken for being the same breed. But there are differences that set the two breeds apart from each other. Today we will discuss the similarities and differences between these two breeds to help you identify each breed.

Manchester Terrier vs. Miniature Pinscher

Sizes & Origins

The Manchester Terrier is bred in two sizes, standard and toy. For this article we will focus on the toy size Manchester Terrier. Because the toy size is most often confused with the Miniature Pinscher. Crossbreeding from the whippet racer and an unknown black and tan terrier is likely what created the Manchester Terrier. However, crossbreeding from the German Pinscher, the Dachshund, and the Italian Greyhound is likely what created the Miniature Pinscher.

Miniature Pinscher vs Manchester Terrier Comparison Chart
Manchester Terrier Miniature Pinscher
Size 10-12” tall 10-12.5” tall
Weight 12-22 lbs 8-10 lbs
Country of Origin England Germany
Original Use Hunting small rodents Hunting small rodents
Temperament Gentle, playful, timid Playful, daring, stubborn
Energy Level High High
Trainability Low Low
Climate Tolerance Low – Likes Heat Low – Likes Warmth
Life span 14-16 Years 12-14 Years

Toy Vs Standard Size Manchester Terrier

The toy and standard size Manchester Terriers are considered two interbreeding versions of the Manchester Terrier. The toy is up to 6” smaller than the standard size and approximately 14 pounds lighter. The only other difference besides their size is ear shape and cropping style. Cropping is a procedure where part of a dog’s ear is removed resulting in erect ears. In Europe, cropping is illegal but the AKC considers cropping “acceptable” because it preserves the characteristics of the breed. Against common misconception, the Miniature Pinscher is not a smaller version of the Doberman Pinscher. Sure, they have similar appearances but they are two separate dog breeds.

Can You Guess Which Breed is Which?

Doberman Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher

On the right you can see the larger Doberman Pinscher and on the right is the smaller Miniature Pinscher.

Exercise – Life Expectancy – AKC Faults

Both the Manchester Terrier and the Miniature Pinscher enjoy playing outside, but heavy exertion is not necessary. In other words, a quick round of play will do the trick as they don’t require a lot of exercise. Both breeds live around 14 years and do not have any major health concerns. Their smooth and glossy coats require little maintenance and have similar tan markings on their feet, face, and chest. The Miniature Pinscher has narrow ears, while the Manchester Terrier has round ears. They are petal shaped ears that come to a tip. Overly wide or curved ears are considered “faults” by the American Kennel Club. The toy Manchester naturally has erect ears. Cropped ears are considered a “fault” by the AKC. But the Miniature Pinscher’s ears are often cropped by their owners.


Unlike the Manchester Terrier, the Miniature Pinscher has a straight docked tail. Docking is a procedure that severs the dog’s tail. The Manchester and undocked Miniature Pinscher have similar tails. The tail is thin, straight, and curls upwards. Also, the tail should never curl over the back like a Pomeranian.


All in all these two breeds have many similar characteristics like lifespan, historical uses, and energy levels. But the differences in their country of origin, ears, tails, and size set them apart. Next time you see a Miniature Pinscher running in the park, stop for a second to consider if the dog is actually a Manchester Terrier. Now you’ll know the difference!

John Mattar
August 13, 2011
Last Updated on September 9th, 2020

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