Any color is acceptable, as long as there are few markings on the coat.
10-14 in (25-33 cm)
24-33 lbs (11-15 kg)
10-14 in (25-33 cm)
24-33 lbs (11-15 kg)
Miniature Bull Terriers do better in suburban or urban environments, as long as they have some way of getting daily exercise. A suburban house with a fenced yard is best for this, but an urban apartment can also work if you're willing to give the dog daily walks. Rural or sparsely-populated suburban areas will do as well, but it's important to keep the dog indoors and to carefully supervise it when outside in order to avoid fights with other animals.
Because of the Miniature Bull Terrier's short coat, it's inadvisable to keep this breed in colder climates. The dog will have no way to deal with colder weather and exercising it will become much more difficult.
The Miniature Bull Terrier is a compact, tough dog, bred for combat and for its menacing appearance. The dogs are muscular and wiry, with spiky ears and a spiky coat that can sometimes prickle to the touch. They often have blanched-white coats with a few dark spots, making them easily identifiable and sometimes comical in appearance--but that comical appearance belies an extremely aggressive and energetic heart--yet a playful one, and a loyal one if you can earn the dog's trust.
The Miniature Bull Terrier's coat should be extremely short. It has no wave or curl to it and is never smooth. The Miniature Bull Terrier's coat is usually unmarked, although markings on the head are considered acceptable by AKC standards.
The Miniature Bull Terrier's aggressiveness is unsurprising when you consider its origins. The breed arose during the early 1800s in professional dog fighting circles, when unscrupulous breeders decided to attempt the creation of a breed that would fight with all the aggressiveness of the Bulldog, but with the additional speed, reflexes, and intelligence of terrier breeds. The resulting cross of Bulldogs, English Terriers and other miscellaneous breeds resulted in the Standard Bull Terrier.
Despite the meticulous (and sinister) work put into its breeding, the Standard Bull Terrier was not as successful in the fighting ring as its creators had imagined. But later in the nineteenth century, the breed took out a new lease on life as excellent guard and watchdogs, as their aggressiveness and protective instincts made them ideal for attacking and frightening intruders without actually killing. Even in this capacity, however, the Standard Bull Terrier often proved too much for owners who didn't reckon on the breed's capacity for violence, and the Miniature Bull Terrier was created to retain all of the excellent watchdog capacities of the breed while at the same time reducing its size to make it more manageable for handlers and trainers.
The Miniature Bull Terrier can be an aggressive, dog who won't hesitate to attack as severely as possible--if he or she doesn't like you. If he or she does, however, the Miniature Bull Terrier is a fun-loving, good-natured, and even sweet companion, capable of infinite loyalty and protectiveness toward his or her masters.
This isn't to say that the Miniature Bull Terrier is the perfect dog. In fact, the breed can be quite a handful due to its boundless energy and playfulness, which can easily turn dangerous. Biting, jumping, scratching, and other extremely antisocial behaviors can be the norm if an excited Miniature Bull Terrier hasn't been carefully trained and handled. The Miniature Bull Terrier was bred for fighting, and he or she doesn't view his or her behavior as a problem--it's simply what the dog was born to do. But you'll likely view it as a problem, and consistent training needs to be employed in order to eliminate or reduce these kinds of behaviors so that they don't become an annoyance--or worse, an outright legal liability.
Miniature Bull Terriers can do well with strangers if they're patiently socialized to accept people outside of their immediate family. Friends and other people should be consistently introduced as a vital part of the dog's training, and any negative reactions should be firmly put down before they get out of control. With enough time and enough exposure, the Miniature Bull Terrier won't be a social problem, and will recognize and respond well to non-threatening behavior toward its masters. But the dog will still recognize and respond aggressively to threatening behavior, making it an excellent watchdog and protector.
Children need to be careful around the Miniature Bull Terrier. Although the Miniature Bull Terrier won't naturally attack or behave threateningly toward children, it does have a high level of energy and can unintentionally bite or harm a child. Children need to be advised to be careful around this breed, and should be instructed in some basic training methods in order to keep the dog calm during play. If children can't control themselves around the Miniature Bull Terrier, or if they're too prone to excite the dog, they shouldn't be allowed to play with this breed unsupervised.
Animals are another story altogether. The male Miniature Bull Terrier has extreme problems with other male dogs, and will not hesitate to fight at the first opportunity. Female dogs are less of a problem, but fighting and territorial struggles still happen on a regular basis. Other household animals (cats, rodents, and other pets) are also problems for the Miniature Bull Terrier. Although socialization to these other animals is possible, it probably won't happen without a great deal of training, and it probably won't happen without a few injuries on either side. For all of these reasons, the Minature Bull Terrier is not a good dog to introduce into households with lots of pets.
Despite all of these violent tendencies, the Miniature Bull Terrier does have its friendly, playful side, and countless owners and breeders have noted the breed's clownish and friendly side. When the dogs don't feel themselves or their masters to be threatened, they often enjoy tricks, ridiculous behavior, or other playful acts. It's this side of this problematic dog's personality that has endeared it to thousands of people worldwide and that makes the dog an ideal companion--to those who know how to deal with the breed, of course.
Although the Miniature Bull Terrier tends to suffer from comparatively few acquired diseases, the breed is subject to a few problematic genetic conditions. Congenital Deafness, OCD, and zinc deficiencies are among the most common genetic problems that a Miniature Bull Terrier can suffer. hip dysplasia and other joint problems have been known in older members of the breed.
The Miniature Bull Terrier's short coat makes it easy to groom. Occasional passes (maybe once a week) with a grooming glove over the dog's short coat will be sufficient to remove any dead hair and to reduce shedding concerns. Bathing the Miniature Bull Terrier isn't often necessary (and can be a challenge, given the dog's rambunctious personality), but can be done without any risk to the dog if dirt or mud become serious issues. Nail trimming and other grooming issues should only be done when necessary, and an occasional visit to a vet or professional groomer can take care of this for you.
One grooming-related issue faced by the Miniature Bull Terrier is the overeating issue. Miniature Bull Terriers are prone to overeat, which ruins their appearance and puts their health at risk. It's important to monitor your dog's diet closely in order to keep him or her looking his or her best, and to cut back on feedings when you notice evidence of overeating or bloating.
Although the Miniature Bull Terrier is on the smaller side as far as dogs go, it still requires a decent amount of exercise every day in order to get out some of its nervous terrier energy. What's more, daily exercise will help solve one of the minor health problems of the breed--its tendency toward overeating and obesity. You should regulate the dog's diet for this purpose, of course, but it's also important to give your dog regular exercise in order to work off any excess weight that he or she acquires during particularly strenuous training sessions that require plenty of treats.
Two walks a day will help a great deal in both respects, but the best solution is always to allow your Miniature Bull Terrier to spend some time in a fenced yard every day. This lets the Miniature Bull Terrier exercise some of its instincts a little better and play more energetically, while it still allows you to supervise your dog and keep him or her from wandering off in pursuit of some rival animal.
And supervision is a vital consideration with Miniature Bull Terriers, simply because of their aggressiveness. Left unchecked, the Miniature Bull Terrier will fight with other dogs at the drop of a hat. This may be good exercise, but it can easily lead to injuries for your dog (or for the other dog) and is extremely inappropriate behavior. So when walking your Miniature Bull Terrier, keep him or her on the leash, and when giving your dog yard exercise, make sure you keep him or her within a fence or, if that's not an option, make sure a leash is kept handy.
Even with all of these possible problems taken into account, the Miniature Bull Terrier can be an aggressive playmate during exercise. Make sure that you start training early, and make sure to strongly discourage aggressive or vicious play behavior--which is quite likely to occur in unstructured play or exercise sessions if you aren't careful.
Training a Miniature Bull Terrier requires commitment. The Miniature Bull Terrier combines two of the worst personality traits that dogs can have--all the aggressiveness of a mastiff with all the stubbornness and nervousness of a terrier--and both of these can easily lead to extreme problems with training your dog. But if left untrained, the Miniature Bull Terrier's personality issues make the dog not merely frustrating, but actually a potential danger to you, your friends, or other animals in your area. So training, although not a walk in the park, is also not an option.
The key to effective training for any dog is to start early, and the Bull Terrier is no exception to this pattern. The earlier you begin to socialize and train your dog, the fewer bad behavior patterns you have to eliminate and the more opportunity you have to get your dog used to proper behavior. With the Miniature Bull Terrier, early training is somewhat complicated by the dog's youthful exuberance, energy, and borderline destructiveness, which can make the Miniature Bull Terrier more interested in play than in the work of serious obedience training. Be patient, firm, and commanding and your efforts will eventually pay off--but not without a great deal of aggravation, most likely.
Positive training is usually a better method for dog training than negative training, but your options for rewarding a Miniature Bull Terrier are somewhat limited by the breed's tendency to overeat. You can't give food rewards very frequently, if at all, or else you run the risk of exposing your dog to some health problems. Since consistency is vital when training a Miniature Bull Terrier, it's best to use food rewards extremely sparingly. If you offer treats for every little piece of obedience, your dog will expect you to do this all the time, and your training program will run into a wall once it becomes a health risk to reward your dog with food. Instead, use praise, affection, and other methods to reward good behavior, and reserve food for only once or twice per training session, usually right at the end as a reward for exceptionally good progress.
Training should focus on socialization above all. The Miniature Bull Terrier's protectiveness and aggressiveness are the most likely problems the breed will face when encountering other people or other animals, and the earlier you start socialization training, the better equipped your dog will be to handle these unique situations (which invariably make his or her instinct for protection flare up.) Gradual introduction of other animals into the Miniature Bull Terrier's vicinity and frequent introduction of other people (to desensitize the dog to strangers) are both good policies to follow, and despite the problems you'll face along the way, both policies will eventually pay off.