Miniature Bull Terrier

Introduction | History & Health | Temperament & Personality | Breed Standard

Miniature Bull Terrier

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Introduction

The Miniature Bull Terrier, also known as the Mini Bull Terrier, the English Miniature Bull Terrier or simply the Mini Bull, is an amiable, fiery and bright breed known for its distinctive appearance and courageous temperament. The Miniature Bull Terrier is the smallest surviving version of the standard Bull Terrier. They were originally used as competitive ratters in gambling pits, and they later became watch dogs and cherished family pets. The Miniature Bull Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in its Miscellaneous Class in 1963 and received full breed approval as a member of the Terrier Group in 1991.
Intact male Miniature Bull Terriers tend not to tolerate prolonged association with other unaltered male dogs. Inevitably, an unpleasant confrontation will take place, requiring permanent separation of the two boys.
The Miniature Bull Terrier ideally stands 10 to 14 inches at the withers and typically weighs between 25 and 35 pounds. Their short, flat, harsh coat is extremely easy to care for; they shed their coats twice a year. They come in many colors, but if white they should be pure white. Their ears should be cleaned on a regular basis.

History & Health

History

The Miniature Bull Terrier was developed in England in the early 1800s, descending from the English Bulldog and the now-extinct White English Terrier. This cross produced the Bull and Terrier, which was later shortened to the Bull Terrier. Some authors suggest that the Black-and-Tan, the Spanish Pointer and the Dalmatian contributed to the mix. Early Bull Terriers varied widely in size, from tiny toys (as small as 3 pounds) to much larger dogs resembling the full-sized Bull Terrier of this day. They came in a number of colors, include white-and-black-patched, blue and even pure white.
Toy Bull Terriers were shown in Europe until about 1914, but they were not very popular because there was no consistency in type. The toy variety suffered the problems frequently accompanying extreme miniaturization; inbreeding of litter runts led to conformational deformities and dwarfing distortions, together with a number of health disorders. Eventually, the toy variety disappeared. The medium-sized (called "miniature") Bull Terrier was more typey and thus much more popular, as it more closely approximated the standard "Bully" but was more manageable in size.

Breed fanciers concentrated on breeding a compact (but not tiny) dog around 16 pounds that otherwise was identical to its larger cousin. The Miniature Bull Terrier was standardized due largely to the efforts of James Hinks, who bred selectively for white color, gameness and the unusual egg-shaped head. Other coat colors were introduced gradually after breed type was set. Colonel Glyn founded the Miniature Bull Terrier Club in England in 1938. The modern Mini Bull Terrier continues to be a delightful companion and a bold watch dog, thriving in urban environments with city-dwellers.
The Miniature Bull Terrier became eligible to show in the American Kennel Club's Miscellaneous Class in 1963, and was fully accepted into the Terrier Group in 1991. The Miniature Bull Terrier Club of America was formed in 1966 and is the parent club for this breed.

Health

The average life span of the Miniature Bull Terrier is 10 to 12 years. Their most serious health issue is a strong breed predisposition to blindness caused by lens dislocation, which typically shows up at or after 3 years of age. Other breed health concerns may include allergies, congenital deafness (in whites), compulsive tail chasing, entropion, mitral valve dysplasia and subaortic stenosis. A minor breed "weakness" is its tendency to fall asleep on its owner's lap and snore loudly.

Temperament & Personality

Personality

The Miniature Bull Terrier is just a tiny version of their larger Bull Terrier cousin, and many people find them appealing because they are easier to manage. The Miniature Bull is a loving, loyal, clown of a dog who makes an excellent family companion for those with active lifestyles. They love being with people and want to be included in all family activities whether it's a ride in the car, a neighborhood stroll or a romp in the park. They are famous for "Bully Runs," tears through the house or the yard that happen for no apparent reason, and can cause a lot of laughs. They are typically friendly to visitors, but they make excellent watchdogs and will protect their home and family from anyone with ill intentions.

Activity Requirements

Bullies need a lot of vigorous exercise, but are small enough for apartment life when a commitment is made to their need for physical activity. Though small, they are a hardy breed and are happiest when they are active. Long walks, short runs, or playing long games of ball in the back yard will meet their daily activity requirements. If a Miniature Bull Terrier is not getting enough exercise, they are sure to let you know. They are notoriously destructive, making easy work of flower beds or expensive furniture, and some develop the neurotic behavior of obsessively chasing their own tail.

Trainability

Bullies, like their larger cousins, are intelligent and have a mind of their own. Training should be started early and always done in calm-assertive manner, as they won't respond to discipline or harsh tones. Training is best done in short sessions due to Bull Terriers' short attention span and they will quickly become uninterested, even if treats are used as a reward. Lots of patience is necessary when working with a Bull Terrier, as training can be a long process. Even after your Miniature Bull Terrier is fully trained, they may decide to test their boundaries as they get older. These situations should be handled with calm assertion; like a teenager, they just want to see how much they can get away with.
Families with children should socialize puppies early on to accept outside children as welcome guests. While Miniature Bull Terriers will bond nicely with kids in their own family, they can sometimes be aggressive to to other children and should be taught early on that all kids are to be welcomed with open arms.

Behavioral Traits

Separation Anxiety develops often in Miniature Bull Terriers. It is important that this breed get enough exercise throughout the day and have enough activities to keep them busy when left alone, or they will become destructive. Some Bullies need to be crated well into adulthood to keep them (and the house furniture) safe when left alone.
Miniature Bull Terriers are possessive of their people and their territory and can be aggressive to other animals. They are usually fine with dogs of the opposite sex, but cats and same-sex dogs should not be introduced into a Bull Terrier's home.

Breed Standard

General Appearance
The Miniature Bull Terrier must be strongly built, symmetrical and active, with a keen, determined and intelligent expression. He should be full of fire, having a courageous, even temperament and be amenable to discipline.

Size, Proportion, Substance
Height 10 inches to 14 inches. Dogs outside these limits should be faulted. Weight in proportion to height. In proportion, the Miniature Bull Terrier should give the appearance of being square.

Head
The head should be long, strong and deep, right to the end of the muzzle, but not coarse. The full face should be oval in outline and be filled completely up, giving the impression of fullness with a surface devoid of hollows or indentations, i.e., egg shaped. The profile should curve gently downwards from the top of the skull to the tip of the nose. The forehead should be flat across from ear to ear. The distance from the tip of the nose to the eyes should be perceptibly greater than that from the eyes to the top of the skull. The underjaw should be deep and well defined.

To achieve a keen, determined and intelligent expression, the eyes should be well sunken and as dark as possible with a piercing glint. They should be small, triangular and obliquely placed, set near together and high up on the dog's head. The ears should be small, thin and placed close together, capable of being held stiffly erect when they point upwards. The nose should be black, with well developed nostrils bent downwards at the tip. The lips should be clean and tight. The teeth should meet in either a level or scissor bite. In the scissor bite, the top teeth should fit in front of and closely against the lower teeth. The teeth should be sound, strong and perfectly regular.

Neck, Topline, Body
The neck should be very muscular, long, and arched; tapering from the shoulders to the head, it should be free from loose skin. The back should be short and strong with a slight arch over the loin. Behind the shoulders there should be no slackness or dip at the withers. The body should be well rounded with marked spring of rib. The back ribs deep. The chest should be broad when viewed from in front. There should be great depth from withers to brisket, so that the latter is nearer to the ground than the belly. The underline, from the brisket to the belly, should form a graceful upward curve. The tail should be short, set on low, fine, and should be carried horizontally. It should be thick where it joins the body, and should taper to a fine point.

Forequarters
The shoulders should be strong and muscular, but without heaviness. The shoulder blades should be wide and flat and there should be a very pronounced backward slope from the bottom edge of the blade to the top edge. The legs should be big boned but not to the point of coarseness. The forelegs should be of moderate length, perfectly straight, and the dog must stand firmly up on them. The elbows must turn neither in nor out, and the pasterns should be strong and upright.

Hindquarters
The hind legs should be parallel when viewed from behind. The thighs are very muscular with hocks well let down. The stifle joint is well bent with a well developed second thigh. The hind pasterns should be short and upright.

Feet - The feet are round and compact with well arched toes like a cat.

Coat - The coat should be short, flat and harsh to the touch with a fine gloss. The dog's skin should fit tightly.

Color - For white, pure white coat. Markings on head and skin pigmentation are not to be penalized. For colored, any color to predominate.

Gait - The dog shall move smoothly, covering the ground with free, easy strides. Fore and hind legs should move parallel to each other when viewed from in front or behind, with the forelegs reaching out well and the hind legs moving smoothly at the hip and flexing well at the stifle and hock. The dog should move compactly and in one piece but with a typical jaunty air that suggests agility and power.

Temperament
The temperament should be full of fire and courageous, but even and amenable to discipline.

Faults
Any departure from the foregoing points shall be considered a fault, and the seriousness of the fault shall be in exact proportion to its degree.

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