Manchester terrier an excellent 'low maintenance' pet

Pausing with pets

April 01, 1992|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Staff Writer

A toy Manchester terrier is the breed of dog Jim Burrows fell in love with when he was young. ''A neighbor in Upper Marlboro raised them and I always looked across the street and really wanted one,'' he recalls.

In his home in Ellicott City, Mr. Burrows, 26, now owns a toy Manchester terrier named Brittany and says she is everything he wants in a dog.

''After I graduated from Loyola College, had a job and was semi-settled, I began looking for the breed but couldn't find a breeder in this area,'' he says. ''So, with my friend Elizabeth Gallagher, we went to a dog show being held by the Catonsville Kennel Club and met a breeder . . . from Pittsburgh who told us she had a litter of puppies. A few days later we drove up to Pittsburgh to see them,'' says Mr. Burrows, a product manager for consumer real estate with Signet Bank.

Several weeks later, the breeder sent the puppy to Baltimore with a friend of hers who was driving here.

''The little thing looked more like a hamster than a dog and at 8 weeks, weighed less than a half pound," he says. "I named her Marlboro's Lady Brittany.

''That was three years ago and Brittany weighs nearly 10 pounds now,'' he adds.

Mr. Burrows may be the only dog owner who trained his dog for a litter box.

''I am a believer in puddle papers," he says, but he asked himself, if a cat can be trained for a litter box, why not a dog?

''I bought a litter box, put papers in it and I reinforced Brittany's use of it with so much praise she couldn't wait to climb in, relieve herself, and climb out," he says. "Although we live in a house now in Ellicott City and we take walks, I'm sure she would use the litter box if needed.''

According to breed information, the Manchester terrier was developed in Manchester, England as a cross between a Whippet and a hunting terrier. This was probably the black and tan terrier used for the popular sport of rat killing or rabbit coursing. Some breed information suggests the mating was with the hunting terrier and a greyhound or Italian greyhound.

At any rate, the little dog is a keen and intelligent house pet and companion. It is gentle and pleasant but not a lap dog. It is

active, inquisitive and demands attention. The breed is not good with strangers, either animals or people, but is excellent with children.

Breeders note that the terrier is more confident after obedience training and is well-suited to apartment living.

In 1923, the Manchester Terrier Club of America was formed and in 1959 the Manchester terrier was registered as one breed with two varieties, the toy and the standard. The standard Manchester cannot exceed 22 pounds and the toy cannot exceed 12.

Mr. Burrows says his love of the breed is as strong today as it was when he was young. ''I call Brittany the low maintenance dog. She is tiny and travels well and is easy to exercise. Just chasing a ball rolled across the floor for a few times is all the exercise she needs for a day. Also she doesn't shed, needs no grooming -- just a bath now and then,'' he says.

Mr. Burrows is a member of the American Manchester Terrier Club. If you are interested in the breed and its history, contact the club president, Diana Haywood, 429 Ferris St., South Amboy, N.J. 08879.

Mr. Burrows says, ''I think I'll be getting another Manchester very soon.''

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