One of the preeminent dogs of England was the black and tan terrier, a breed valued for its rat-killing prowess since the sixteenth century. Rat-killing dogs were valuable not only for ridding homes of vermin but also for the entertainment value of betting upon how many rats a dog could kill in an allotted time. Manchester, England, was populated by workers who looked to their rat-killing contests and dog-racing contests for entertainment. It was only natural that eventually a cross between the black and tan terrier ratter and the whippet racer would be made, and the result was the dog known since about 1860 as the Manchester terrier. At times the Manchester terrier was considered no different from its black and tan terrier forebears, and it was not until 1923 that the name was officially changed back to Manchester terrier. Other breeds have probably been intermingled with the Manchester during its development, most notably the Italian greyhound. This may account for the breed's wide size range. An early standard of 1881 described the existence of a toy variety even then. The smaller dogs were in high demand, and breeders resorted to inbreeding to achieve even smaller specimens, which eventually led to exceedingly small frail dogs. Upon realizing the state of these dogs, breeders endeavored to breed a miniature, but not tiny, version. The result is the toy Manchester terrier. The AKC initially considered the Manchester and toy Manchester separate but interbreeding breeds. In 1959, they were changed to be two interbreeding varieties of one breed. Besides size, the toy Manchester differs from its larger counterpart in that cropped ears are not allowed. The toy Manchester terrier is also known as the English toy terrier.
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