The Manchester Terrier, from which the Toy Manchester Terrier was bred, was developed in the 19th century from crosses between an old Black and Tan Terrier with the Whippet, along with other breeds, primarily for rat-catching. In England, another breed was also developed in the 19th century in Manchester, the English Toy Terrier, as a separate breed from the Manchester Terrier. The English Toy Terrier was a popular pet in Victorian England, and bred to be very small, some weighing as little as 1 kg (2.2 lbs.)
The Toy Manchester Terrier breed was developed by breeding down the Manchester Terrier in size. In the United States in the 1920s the breed was called the Toy Black and Tan Terrier. The name was changed to the Toy Manchester Terrier and the American Toy Manchester Terrier Club was formed in the 1930s. The American Toy Manchester Terrier was recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1938, but by the 1950s the breed had declined and the breed club ceased to exist. Due to declining numbers of the breed, the Toy Manchester Terrier breed was re-defined as a size division of the Manchester Terrier in 1958 by the American Kennel Club, and the club name (including the two breeds as varieties) was changed to the American Manchester Terrier Club in 1958.
In England, the very similar English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan) has also declined, to the point where it is listed by the Kennel Club as being in danger of extinction. In order to rescue the breed, the Kennel Club has opened the stud book to allow certain selected examples of the North American Toy Manchester Terrier to be registered and bred as an English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan). However, the two breeds are not considered to be identical, and the standards for the two breeds show different requirements.
The Toy Manchester Terrier in North America is a small, long legged dog with a short coat marked with tan, a long tail and ears which stand upright. In color and general conformation the Toy Manchester Terrier follows the standard for the Manchester Terrier. However, the Toy Manchester Terrier cannot exceed 12 pounds (5.4 kg) in weight; and, unlike the larger Manchester Terrier, for the Toy Manchester Terrier, cropped ears are a disqualification. Ears should be wide at the base and pointed at the tip. Flaring "bell" ears are a serious fault, meaning that it is undesirable to breed a dog with such ears; it does not mean that the dog has any disadvantages as a companion.
The English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan) is considered to be the same breed as the Toy Manchester Terrier. In contrast with the Toy Manchester Terrier though, the desirable size for the English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan) is slightly smaller, and wider ears are also preferred.
The German Miniature Pinscher is another toy dog that some think resembles the Toy Manchester Terrier, but they really are quite different and have a very different ancestry.
The Russian Russkiy Toy is another similar dog, developed in Russia from early imports of the English Toy Terrier. They may be of various colours, not just Black and Tan, indicating a possible background in other breeds as well.