In most every way the Miniature Bull Terrier is a Bull Terrier, only smaller. These upbeat, mischievous dogs come equipped with terrier fire and fearlessness. If ever a dog could claim the title ‘Clown Prince of Dogdom,’ it’s the Mini.
Like the class clown or an adorable toddler, the Miniature Bull Terrier is full of mischief and high spirits. With square bodies and egg-shaped heads, no other breed looks quite like it. These small, muscular terriers are strong, active, fearless, and endlessly entertaining. As fun as he is, it’s not a good idea to let your Miniature Bull Terrier puppy get away with too many high jinxes. He’ll be at his absolute best with early socialization and patient training; you couldn’t ask for a more amusing companion.
The Bull Terrier was created as a fighting dog in the 1830s by crossing Bulldogs with now-extinct English terriers. Soon after, breeders began work on a miniaturized version to use as above-ground ratters (as opposed to “go to ground” terriers, who burrow into the earth in search of quarry). The result of a very long trial-and- period was the Mini. Today’s Minis are companion dogs, but the ratter instinct and a protective streak remain as souvenirs of the breed’s formative years.
Temperament: Comical / Upbeat / Mischievous
Height: 10-14 inches
Weight: 18-28 pounds
Life Expectancy: 11-13 years
Ask your dog’s breeder for the results of health tests performed on both sire and dam, and results on the puppy itself for heart and kidney issues, deafness, luxating patellas, and primary lens luxation. Puppies can be susceptible to sudden lameness, so care should be exercised to limit some of their activities. The Miniature Bull Terrier Club of America requires breeder-members to test all breeding stock and puppies. Any responsible breeder should belong to the breed club and adhere to their rules.
Recommended Health Tests From the National Breed Club:
- Cardiac Exam
- BAER Testing
- PLL DNA Test
- Ophthalmologist Exam
- Kidney-Urine Analysis
The Miniature Bull Terrier doesn’t require a lot of grooming beyond regular baths and a weekly once-over with a soft brush or hound glove. The breed’s strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed regularly using a nail clipper or grinder to avoid splitting and cracking of an overgrown nail. Their ears should be checked routinely to avoid a buildup of wax and debris, which can result in infection. Teeth should be brushed regularly and should also receive periodic cleanings from your veterinarian.
Exercising an MBT can be tricky. They require enough exercise as puppies to stay in good condition and keep good muscle tone, yet they can be prone to ‘sudden lameness.’ This is from a combination of weight and density of the muscle, rapid growth rate, and the breed’s very character, which keeps them in almost constant motion. Often their joints simply can’t handle the excesses until the dog is fully matured. For that reason, exercise of an MBT puppy should be kept at a minimum. Never allow them to jump up and down from heights or make sudden stops at high speeds.
Typical terriers, Mini Bulls require a trainer with a firm hand and a gentle voice, as well as lots of patience and a great sense of humor. MBTs are highly intelligent, curious, and independent, although they do love to please their human once they know what you want. Many owners of Mini Bulls suggest clicker training. Whatever method you use, keep your tone positive, and be sure to keep training sessions light and fun to hold your MBT’s attention. Early socialization is a must.
The Miniature Bull Terrier should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some Mini Bulls are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.