Miniature Bull Terriers are exactly like Standard Bull Terriers, except that they are smaller. They are known for their courage and egg-shaped heads. Their coats are flat, short, harsh, and glossy, and they come in pure white or in any other color variation. Their eyes are dark and they have small ears and black noses. Miniature Bull Terriers range in size from 10 to 14 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 20 to 35 pounds.
It is important to begin training this breed very early in life, ideally around their second month of life. These dogs can become polite, well-behaved, civilized family members, but only if they are taught what is appropriate and what is not.
These dogs are active and silly and are sometimes described as clownish. On the other hand, they can also be serious, determined, and fearless when the need arises. They make great pets, especially for families with older children. They are not the best choice for homes with small animals, however, and do better as only pets or in homes with other dogs.
Due to the breed's mischievous, playful personality, the Miniature Bull Terrier is referred to as "the kid in the dog suit" by some people.
Miniature Bull Terriers are sweet, dependable, playful, and at times silly and mischievous. These good-natured dogs get along very well with older children, but they may be too rambunctious for younger kids. They have a great sense of humor, love to goof around, and enjoy being the center of attention. These dogs are devoted to their families and are very protective. They can sense a threat from a mile away, but remain gentle and polite when company calls.
These dogs do not appreciate being left alone for long periods. When neglected, Miniature Bull Terriers may chew furniture, dig up gardens, make messes, or become otherwise destructive. These dogs need a lot of attention, positive feedback, and affection. Any family unable to provide this should not adopt or purchase one of these dogs.
Miniature Bull Terriers enjoy a daily walk, and they can easily adapt to apartment life, provided they are given sufficient time to play outdoors. Despite their smaller size, these dogs are not lap dogs, though. They have a lot of energy and a desire to explore, run, and play, just like the larger Bull Terrier.
Miniature Bull Terriers are fairly healthy dogs, but they are prone to certain health conditions that can negatively affect length or quality of life. The breed is at risk for certain heart defects, patellar luxation, kidney disease, and several eye conditions, including lens luxation and entropion. Whites are also at increased risk for deafness, and puppies should be screened for hearing problems before purchase or adoption.
Miniature Bull Terriers also tend to gain weight if overfed and are prone to obesity. Because obesity in dogs increases the risk of heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, and other health conditions, it's important to serve small portions throughout the day and encourage physical activity.
With proper nutrition, regular exercise, timely vaccinations, and routine veterinary care, Miniature Bull Terriers typically live up to 12 years.
As independent thinkers with a tendency to be stubborn, Miniature Bull Terriers are not the easiest dogs to train. However, training is absolutely essential when it comes to this breed if there's any hope of preventing unwanted behaviors, such as leash pulling, digging, excessive barking, and others. For the best results, these dogs need firm but gentle training by someone with experience.
It is important to begin training this breed very early in life, ideally around their second month of life. These dogs can become polite, well-behaved, civilized family members, but only if they are taught what is appropriate and what is not. Consistency is key during training.
Socialization is also important and helps ensure these dogs can tell the difference between friend and foe, which is important considering their protective natures. It's important not to allow guarding and aggressive behavior and to begin introducing these dogs to a variety of people and places early in life.
Miniature Bull Terriers are easy to groom. A quick brushing once or twice a week is generally sufficient to keep shedding under control. Using a rubber hound mitt or natural bristle brush will help distribute skin oils throughout the coat to keep it shiny and healthy, and a coat conditioner will leave a nice sheen.
These dogs are naturally clean and rarely need bathing. If the Miniature Bull Terrier becomes dirty or rolls around in a stinky or harmful substance, a pH-balanced canine shampoo will clean the skin and coat without causing irritation or drying. These dogs have very little doggy odor, even in the absence of bathing.
The nails need trimming every few weeks to keep them from snagging and breaking, and the teeth should be brushed every day, if possible, to help prevent cavities and gum disease. The addition of drinking water additives and dental chews will improve dental health and freshen breath between brushings. About once weekly, the ears should be checked for wax accumulation and signs of infection. The outer ears can be cleaned with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved otic cleanser.
Most Bull Terriers were as small as the Miniatures when they were first created during the early 19th century. However, breeders thought the dogs were too small, so they started mixing in some Spanish Pointer to the Bulldog and White English Terrier that was used to create the original breed. The result was dogs of various sizes, which breeders quickly separated into two groups: Miniature and Standard.
Miniature Bull Terriers were used primarily as ratters and herders, although some took on the role of guard dog. These dogs excelled at these roles, but they were also popular in the show ring due to their unique appearance.
Bull Terriers first became popular in the United States as fashionable accessories for upper class men, but they were quickly recognized for their fun and playful personalities. This led to their role as a family companion, which is how they are primarily kept in America today.
The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Miniature Bull Terrier in 1991.