This funny and affectionate breed wants constant companionship, petting, and preferably something to chew on.
The Miniature Bull Terrier was created as a fighting dog in the 1830s by crossing Bulldogs with now-extinct English terriers. Soon after, breeders began working on a miniaturized version to use as above-ground ratters that eventually resulted in this breed. Today’s Minis are companion dogs, but the ratter instinct and a protective streak remain constant from the breed’s formative years.
The Miniature Bull Terrier is a funny and affectionate breed, known for their cheerful enthusiasm and mischief. They want constant companionship, and as much petting as they can get. They like to sit on your lap, and will stand as close to you as possible when you’re in the kitchen.
They are highly trainable with fun, creative, reward-based training, but tend to get bored easily when the training becomes repetitive.
They have a thin coat and they suffer from the cold easily, so they must be indoor dogs. They love to wrap themselves in blankets when on their beds inside the home.
Their temperament varies—from living happily with other animals, to being aggressive at the sight of a dog passing on the other side of the street.
Experienced owners that provide positive but firm rules. Obedience classes are very good for this breed.
- People who want a highly dog-social dog.
- People who are not home a lot.
- People who want to keep their dog outside; these are strictly indoor dogs.
- People not willing to devote time to give this breed plenty of mental stimulation and daily walks.
Affectionate, fun, clownish, devoted.
- Can be dog-aggressive.
- Not a good jogging partner.
- Often targeted by thieves: this breed has been taken out of locked yards. Make sure to leave your Bull Terrier inside when you leave the house.
Average 10-14″ high at the shoulder, weighing 20 to 35 pounds.
Any solid color, and color combination, including brindle.
Miniature Bull Terriers are energetic dogs when younger, up to about 2 or 3 years old. Ball games, tug games, short runs of a half mile are great for calming them down. Jogging is not something they are built for, due to the disproportionate weight they carry on their front end and joints. Watch your Miniature Bull Terrier on runs longer than a half mile to see if she/he is still enjoying the run. If you run with them regularly, give them a joint supplement with MSM, glucosamine and something like a fish oil, and find a good orthopedic vet in your area to help guide you. If you really desire a jogging partner, consider other breeds designed for long distance running.
Surprisingly, using their minds can help tire them out: obedience, agility and trick training is satisfying to them.
Miniature Bull Terriers are strong chewers, and any toys need to be assessed for destructibility and also examined occasionally. Tennis balls need to be monitored because they’re usually punctured immediately, split in two, then eaten, again potentially causing a visit to your emergency vet. Rawhide is also not advised as they can unravel and swallow it, which can result in emergency surgery. If started as puppies, they can learn how to safely chew on raw bones, which is satisfying for them. Smoked or cooked bones are too brittle to be safe. Check their teeth after chewing something hard to see whether they’ve broken or chipped a tooth.
Average lifespan is 10-14 years.
Generally, Miniature Bull Terriers are good with kids. The first issue that arises is that Miniature Bull Terriers are clumsy yet enthusiastic dogs and can inadvertently knock a small child down, especially if the dog is moving quickly for a toy on the other side of the child. Another issue is that if the children are not reliable about closing doors and gates, the Miniature Bull Terrier can find an open door to roam the neighborhood, which usually puts it in harms way.
Bull Terriers are not known for being good with other animals, and we are not surprised when they are not. However the temperament varies from living happily with other animals, to being aggressive to a dog passing on the other side of the street. We encourage you to attend positive training classes so you can learn how to cultivate their tolerant aspect. Even so, it is not necessarily a ‘fixable’ thing and you should be prepared to manage it instead. They can harm another animal in a short amount of time so this is not an aspect to take lightly. Management means that you are responsible for keeping a bull terrier out of situations that are challenging, including a dog park. They require a fenced yard, and their activities should always be supervised.
Brisk walks and fetching, joining all family activities.
Coat care is easy – a quick brush with a medium to soft bristle brush is all it takes. Their coat repels dirt well. Some have a short, slightly bristly coat that may irritate people with sensitive skin.
Bull Terriers can suffer from allergies and several other medical issues. Concerning allergies, I recommend a low vaccination plan and either a raw diet or a high end kibble. I also recommend that at about 5 years old dogs have an eye exam and a complete blood panel. These should be repeated each year afterwards. The eye exam should especially check for tear production, lack of tears will lead to blindness. Other medical issues we watch for are heart murmurs, kidney failure, knee problems (often from fast turns when pursuing a ball), and feet problems. Most dogs suffer from none of these or if they have any of them they are mostly manageable with vet care and don’t impact daily life. Early detection is important to lessening these problems should they arise. Keep them in good health and you can expect enjoy many years with them by your side.