Manchester Terrier vs Doberman

Written by Kathryn Dueck
Updated: January 23, 2023
© eAlisa/
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What’s the most frightening dog in the world? If you’re like most people, the Doberman Pinscher is high on your list. With their sleek bodies and alert expressions, they’re naturally intimidating canines. But did you know there’s a dog that looks just like a miniature Doberman? Compare the Manchester Terrier vs Doberman Pinscher to find out about these two breeds!

Comparing a Manchester Terrier and a Doberman Pinscher

Differences between Manchester Terriers and Doberman Pinschers include breed origin, appearance, size, hair type and color, and temperament.
Manchester TerrierDoberman Pinscher
Breed OriginEnglandGermany
AppearanceLong, narrow head and muzzle; erect or button (folded) ears; lean, sturdy, athletic body; long, muscular legs; long, tapered tailLong, narrow head and muzzle; naturally floppy ears or cropped erect ears; lean, sturdy, athletic body; long, muscular legs; long, curved tail (often docked)
SizeStandard: 15-16 inches, 12-22 pounds Toy: 10-12 inches, up to 12 poundsMale: 27-28 inches, 70 pounds
Female: 25-27 inches, 60-65 pounds
Hair Type and ColourShort, sleek, glossy hair
Black with tan on the head, chest, and legs
Short, sleek, glossy hair
Black, blue, red, or fawn with rust-colored markings on the face, body, and tail
TemperamentIntelligent, loyal, active, alert, energetic, independent, stubbornIntelligent, loyal, active, alert, energetic, independent, fearless, confident, obedient

The 7 Main Differences Between a Manchester Terrier and a Doberman Pinscher

Five Manchester Terriers sitting in a row in a field
Manchester Terriers look somewhat like miniature Doberman Pinschers. Both breeds can have either erect or floppy ears.

©Lourdes Photography/

Though these two breeds may appear similar, there are notable differences between them. Read on to find out how they compare in breed origin, appearance, size, hair type and color, and temperament.

Manchester Terrier vs Doberman Pinscher: Breed Origin

Doberman Pinschers originated in Germany as guard dogs.


As their name suggests, Manchester Terriers originated in England. Originally called the black-and-tan terrier, it gained its current name in the 1920s. Breeders in Manchester and elsewhere crossed whippets (racing dogs) with black-and-tan terriers (ratters) to create the Manchester Terrier. Their raison d’être was vermin hunting, especially killing rats in factories, but they were also capable of hunting other small game like rabbits. Today, they are mainly companion pets.

Doberman Pinschers originated in the town of Apolda in the German state of Thuringia. Louis Dobermann, a dogcatcher and dog pound owner, created the breed in 1890 by crossing several other breeds. These include the Rottweiler, German Pinscher, Black and Tan Terrier, Weimaraner, and short-haired shepherd. The American Kennel Club first officially recognized the breed in 1908. Dobermann bred these dogs as guard dogs; since then, they have served as police, military, and private guard dogs around the world.

Manchester Terrier vs Doberman Pinscher: Appearance

The lovely Manchester Terrier in a garden
Manchester Terriers have a sleek physique reflective of their racing and hunting origins.


The Manchester Terrier is an elegant, athletic dog with a sleek physique to match its racing and ratting origins. The head is narrow and wedge-shaped with a long, tapered muzzle. The ears can be either erect (V-shaped) or button ears (folded). Erect ears are more common among toy Manchester Terriers than standard. The body is lean but sturdy with muscular legs, and the tail is long and tapered.

Doberman Pinschers appear similar in head and body shape to Manchester Terriers, though they are significantly larger. Called the “noblemen” of dogs, Dobermans are lean but muscular in body with long, athletic legs. Breeders often crop their ears to make them stand erect; Doberman ears are naturally floppy. Their tails, when not docked, are long and curved.

Manchester Terrier vs Doberman Pinscher: Size

Doberman Pinscher pair
Doberman Pinschers are large dogs weighing up to 70 pounds.


Manchester Terriers come in two sizes: standard and toy. Though these used to be considered separate breeds, breeders today recognize them as different types within the same breed. Standard Manchester Terriers stand 15-16 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 12-22 pounds. Toy Manchester Terriers are somewhat smaller, with a height of 10-12 inches and a weight not exceeding 12 pounds. Males and females have little difference between them.

Doberman Pinschers are much larger dogs. Males stand 27-28 inches at the shoulder, averaging 70 pounds. Females stand 25-27 inches at the shoulder with an average weight of 60-65 pounds.

Manchester Terrier vs Doberman Pinscher: Hair Type and Colour

Doberman pinscher with erect ears laying in leaves
Doberman Pinschers have sleek, short, glossy coats.


Dog fanciers adore the Manchester Terrier for its sleek, glossy coat. The hair is short but not soft, lying close to the body. This breed sheds, though not abundantly; shedding may increase in spring and fall. There is only one possible color for Manchester Terriers: black with tan markings on the head, chest, and legs.

Doberman Pinschers are also famous for their sleek, glossy coats, often groomed to a high shine. The hair is extremely short and close to the body. Dobermans are moderate shedders; regular brushing will help reduce this. They come in a wider range of colors than Manchester Terriers, including black, blue, red, and fawn. Rust-colored markings appear on the face, body, and tail.

Manchester Terrier vs Doberman Pinscher: Temperament

Portrait of a Manchester Terrier dog
Manchester Terriers make loyal, affectionate pets. However, they can be stubborn.


Manchester Terriers make good pets for experienced dog owners who know how to be firm and consistent in their training. Inexperienced dog owners may find this breed’s natural independence and occasional stubbornness frustrating. However, its keen intelligence and loyal nature pay rich dividends to anyone who can master it. These terriers love their owners and make excellent watchdogs with an alert temperament and discerning nature. They are well-mannered but high-energy, requiring frequent walks and romps and abundant mental stimulation.

Like the Manchester Terrier, the Doberman Pinscher is highly intelligent and quick to learn. This breed tends toward ready obedience to a firm and trusted trainer. They are alert, loyal pets with lots of energy. They are gentle and loving with the right handling, but they are also extremely fearless and can be aggressive if not trained properly. Given this dog’s size and history as a guard dog, owners must take extra care to ensure it is properly socialized and conditioned.

Manchester Terrier vs Doberman Pinscher: Life Expectancy

Manchester Terriers are long-lived dogs with a typical lifespan of 15-17 years. Though they are generally healthy, they may suffer from various ailments. The most common of these is juvenile cardiomyopathy, a disease-causing sudden cardiac arrest in dogs between 10-52 weeks old. Other possible issues include von Willebrand Disease (a bleeding disorder), autoimmune hypothyroidism (issues with the immune system and metabolism), and glaucoma (an eye disease).

Unlike Manchester Terriers, Doberman Pinschers only live between 10-13 years. This is not surprising, given their status as large dogs. Dilated cardiomyopathy (a condition leading to heart failure) is one of this breed’s most common health issues. Individuals may also suffer from von Willebrand Disease, chronic active hepatitis (a liver disorder), or cervical vertebral instability (a spinal disease causing difficulty walking).

Manchester Terrier vs Doberman Pinscher: Grooming Needs

Manchester Terriers are generally clean dogs without any odor. Owners should brush their dog weekly with a curry comb or mitt to keep its coat clean and reduce shedding. Because Manchesters’ coats are so short, tangling and matting shouldn’t be a problem. A bath every 3 months is sufficient, though they should be bathed if they get dirty. Use a conditioner or polish formulated for dogs for an especially glossy coat.

Doberman Pinschers also need little grooming due to their short hair, and weekly brushing and a bath every couple of months should do it. As with Manchester Terriers, a curry comb or mitt will remove dirt and loose hair without irritating the skin.

Though both breeds can be a handful, they make loyal, intelligent pets in the hands of an experienced dog owner.

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About the Author

I am a freelance writer with experience in both fiction and nonfiction. When not putting words on a page, I enjoy reading, hiking in the great outdoors, and playing with my dog.

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