Miniature Bull Terrier
The Miniature Bull Terrier is a smaller version of the Bull Terrier. Upbeat and fearless, this small dog breed loves to clown and is affectionate and friendly. He loves to be a part of a family and is happy to be involved in any activities together. Fondly known as the Mini Bull or MBT, the breed is so popular and was famously featured as the icon for shopping superstore Target since 1999.
Origin & History
The Bull Terrier was created in England in the 19th century by crossing a Bulldog, white English Terrier and Spanish Pointers. It wasn’t until 1992 that the Miniature Bull Terrier was recognized as a separate breed.
In the beginning, the only way to differentiate between the Miniature and the Bull Terrier was the weight of the dog. This led some breeders to develop Miniature Bull Terriers that looked more like Chihuahuas.
Because of his size, this dog serves as ratters, hunting small even in tight quarters.
The Miniature Bull Terrier was registered by the American Kennel Club in 1992 and is presently considered a vulnerable native breed.
Distinguishable by his long egg-shaped head, the Miniature Bull Terrier has a strong build with symmetrical features and muscular shoulders. He has sunken dark eyes that are small and triangular. His ears are small and held stiffly erect.
Like Bull Terriers, the Miniature has short glossy fur that is close to the skin. Coat colours are usually pure white or white with any other colour, except for blue and liver.
Size & Weight
A fully grown Miniature Bull Terrier can be 14 inches (35cm) tall at the shoulder and weigh 18 to 28 pounds (15 to 34kg).
Character & Abilities
The Miniature Bull Terrier is affectionate, playful and courageous. He is devoted to his owners and friendly towards strangers.
Highly intelligent and curious, this dog loves to please his owners once he understands what is required of him.
This dog breed is tolerant of children and can make a good play companion. He enjoys playing games and has a mischievous nature.
Exercise & Nutrition Needs
The young Miniature Bull Terrier is quite energetic and playful. With maturity, he becomes less energetic but should continue getting adequate exercise to avoid obesity.
Puppies can develop sudden lameness as their bones are still developing. Limit the Miniature puppy’s physical activity to a minimum to avoid putting a strain on his skeletal structure. Use dog stairs and ramps to prevent him from jumping up and down from heights.
A fully grown Mini Bull should be walked regularly and allowed to exercise his mind and body to burn up energy and stay well-behaved in the home. To stay in shape, he will enjoy dog athletics like agility and flyball.
This breed excels in dog shows.
The Mini Bull needs high-quality dog food. Portions and frequency will depend on the dog’s age and activity level. To prevent obesity, calorie consumption and weight need to be monitored while limiting the use of treats or feeding table scraps.
Providing this breed with dog food that has limited ingredients can help to combat allergies and promote healthy skin and fur.
As with any dog breed, clean fresh drinking water should always be made available, inside the home, and outside.
The Mini Bull is an average shedder that requires minimal grooming. Weekly brushing with a soft bristle brush or grooming mitt can remove dirt and dead hair. Baths may be given when necessary to prevent doggy odour, using a shampoo formulated for dogs with short coats and sensitive skin.
Basic regular care includes:
- Trimming the fast-growing nails
- Brushing the teeth with dog toothpaste
- Clearing dirt and wax build-up from the ears
- Checking the ears and skin for parasites, redness, foul smell or inflammation
Trainability & Intelligence
This Mini Bull is independent, stubborn and needs a lot of training which should begin early with socialization and obedience classes. He needs a firm hand and gentle voice, patience and humour.
Despite his size, he will readily challenge bigger dogs. To reduce such confrontations, the Miniature Bull Terrier should receive appropriate training and care must be taken when he is in the company of other dogs.
Clicker training works well with this breed. Training sessions need to be light and fun to keep the Mini Bull’s attention.
Living Conditions & Adaptability
To avoid sunburn and skin cancer, sunscreen can be applied to the dog’s skin when spending time outdoors, especially in the summer months.
This dog breed is ideal for people living in limited space. Even though he is a small dog, he makes a good watchdog but should not live secluded outdoors.
Even though the Mini Bull is not particularly aggressive, he is better walked on the leash because he has a strong prey drive. With good training, he can be allowed off-leash.
This dog should not be left alone for long periods of time because, like most terriers, he will become bored or destructive.
Health & Life Expectancy
The stocky Mini Bull is a sturdy dog that isn’t frail or feeble. He is however genetically predisposed to develop health conditions like:
- Deafness in one or both ears
- Lethal Acrodermatitis (LAD) leads to a terrible skin condition and premature death
- Luxating patellas
- Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
- Bull Terrier hereditary nephritis (BTHN)
- Primary lens luxation
- Heart diseases like aortic valve stenosis and mitral valve dysplasia
- Hot spots (pyotraumatic dermatitis)
- Skin allergies and hives
The Miniature Bull Terrier has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
The Miniature Bull Terrier is a tenacious dog with a wonderful affectionate personality. He has a big heart inside his deep chest. He can live comfortably in an apartment or house but is not recommended for first-time dog owners. He is tremendously loyal and not overly clingy.
Here at All The Small Dog Breeds, we believe that owning a dog is a responsibility and the best way to understand the commitment it entails is to know as much as possible about the dog. Our small dog breed descriptions help you do your homework to find the right dog for you. It’s a good idea to adopt from your local animal shelter or reputable breeder.