The Miniature Bull Terrier dog breed is a mixture of the Bulldog breed and Terrier dog breed with some contribution from the Mastiff dog breed too. Even though their ancestors were used for fighting in the pits, these dogs were specially bred for the purpose of being a companion to their owners, a role they still perform very well. They are great for people looking for companionship in a dog. They can even adjust to apartment living if they are given plenty of exercise and activities outside.
The Miniature Bull Terrier dog breed originated in England in the 1800s. They were selectively bred from Bull Terriers of normal size because there were many smaller sized puppies naturally occurring in their litters. This was due to the mixed ancestry of the Bull Terrier dog breed which included the English White Terrier, the English Bulldog, the Black and Tan terrier, and the Dalmatian.
Initially, the attempt was to develop lighter dogs, which resulted in toy dogs that weighed just 4 pounds. For example, an early smaller version of the Bull Terrier dog breed called the Coverwood Terriers were extremely small dogs with white coats. But concerns about the health and viability of the toy versions led to the development of the miniature dogs that were in between the regular dogs and the toy versions in size and weight.
These miniature dogs became so popular in England that the Kennel Club recognized them as separate breed. But the downside of this hasty separation of the two breeds was that the breeding pool for the Miniature breed was very small. These small but feisty dogs became equally popular in the United States with the American Kennel Club recognizing it in 1991.
The Miniature Bull Terrier is similar in appearance to the Bull Terrier breed except in size. Their height range is 10 to 14 inches and may weigh anything between 25 to 33 pounds. They have a well-built, muscular body with a thick neck and strong shoulders that give the dog a stocky look. These dogs have the characteristic egg-shaped head with triangular ears that stand erect. The eyes are very small and closely set.
The coat is very short and smooth, lying close to the skin to accentuate the body contours. It comes in solid white, or bi-colored, the usual colors being fawn, red, and black in combination with white or black brindle. The thin, medium-long tail is held high. The colored dogs usually have a white-tipped tail.
The Miniature Bull Terrier dog breed is just as loving and people-oriented as their larger counterparts. However, they are not docile like typical lap dogs. These little dogs, with the spirit and ego of a large dog, have no sense of their real size. They fearlessly take on dogs double their size and stubbornly refuse to back down. That is one reason why they need thorough training early on in life to obey their owner’s commands.
When socialized early, they may tolerate other dogs, but cannot be trusted in this regard. They are not very safe for households with small pet animals like rabbits. They are generally good with kids, but can be a bit too feisty for young children.
Even though they start out as energetic little puppies and continue to be active and playful into adulthood, they have a tendency to become lethargic as they become older, and consequently put on weight and even become obese. Owners should insist on regular exercise to keep them in good health.
Grooming and exercise
The short coat of Miniature Bull Terriers requires very little grooming except an occasional light brushing and wiping with a damp cloth to keep it clean and glossy.
These dogs need regular exercise and plenty of activity to keep them occupied, and to curb destructive behavior. Brisk walks in the park and a free run in a secure yard will give them plenty of exercise. They would be happy to have a round of games too.
Miniature Bull Terriers are not suitable for outdoor living, even though they like to spend some time in the yard during the day. These dogs love warmth, but cannot tolerate cold.
Common health issues of Miniature Bull Terrier dog breed
The Miniature Bull Terrier breed is a tough breed with only a few health issues. Eye disorders such as glaucoma and lens luxation are seen in these dogs. Deafness is another problem encountered in Miniature Bull Terriers, especially in those with the solid white coat. Some dogs may develop kidney disease, but is not a very common occurrence. These dogs have a life expectancy ranging from 11 years to 15 years.