Mini Bull Terrier

mini bull terrierOther names for the Mini Bull Terrier are the Mini Bull, English Miniature Bull Terrier, or Miniature Bull Terrier. The breed is known for its courageous temperament and distinctive appearance. The dogs are bright, fiery, and amiable.

The Mini Bull Terrier descended from the now-extinct White English Terrier and the English Bulldog. Initially, the dogs were competitive gambling pit ratters. Later they became cherished family pets and watchdogs. The American Kennel Club recognized the Miniature Bull Terrier in 1963 in the Miscellaneous Class. In 1991, the breed received full approval as a Terrier Group member.


Measured at the withers, the ideal height of a Miniature Bull Terrier is between ten and 14 inches. They typically weigh from 25 to 35 pounds. These small dogs are strong. They have egg-shaped heads. Piercing is the description often used to describe the unique triangular-shaped eyes.

The Bull Terrier has a neck that is muscular and long. Its chest is broad. The body is in square proportion. A muscular, back arches over the loin. The short tail is set low and carried horizontally. Two color varieties exist, colored and white. There may be markings on the head, but nowhere else, on the white type. Colored miniatures come in fawn, red, brindle, black-brindle, and tricolor. The flat, short coat is shiny and has a hard texture. A muscular body has skin pulled tightly over it.


The Mini Bull Terrier is appealing to many people because it is easy to manage. As a clown of a dog, the breed is loving and playful. The dogs make excellent family companions if the family has an active lifestyle. Miniature Bull Terriers love people and like inclusion in family activities such as a romp in the park, a neighborhood stroll, or a ride in a car.

They have been known to cause lots of laughs as they tear through the yard or house for no apparent reason. Typically, the dogs are visitor-friendly, but they are excellent watchdogs and protect the family and home from those will ill intentions.

The Mini Bull Terrier needs a lot of exercise. Even though they are small in stature, they are hardy and happiest when active. Playing long games of fetch, short runs, or long walks daily provide their activity requirement. They let owners know if they lack needed exercise. Notoriously destruction behavior makes easy work of expensive furniture or flower beds.

Some develop neurotic behaviors. They chase their tails. Prolonged association with another unaltered male dog is intolerable for an intact Miniature Bull Terrier. Unpleasant confrontations take place that require permanent separation of the two makes.


This breed is easy to groom. The short coat of the dog is easy to care for, but the ears require regular attention. A weekly brushing keeps loose hair under control and the coat looking shiny. In the fall and spring, the dogs shed heavily. Daily brushing is required.

Frequent bathing is not necessary. A damp cloth or dry shampoo keeps the dogs smelling and looking fresh between baths. Check ears for signs of infection or redness weekly. Cleaning once each week with a cleaner approved by a veterinarian prevents harmful bacteria buildup. The teeth need brushing weekly also to prevent bad breath and keep gums and teeth healthy. Nails not worn down naturally, require clipping.

Health Issues

The lifespan of a Miniature Bull Terrier is between ten and 12 years. This breed has a strong blindness predisposition caused by lens dislocation. The condition typically manifests when the dog is three years of age or older. Other health concerns include subaortic stenosis, mitral valve dysplasia, entropion, compulsive tail wagging, and allergies.


The intelligent breed has a mind of its own. Training starts early and is done in a manner that is calm and assertive. Harsh tones and discipline receive no response. The short attention span means short training sessions are best. Even using treats as a reward is useless in preventing a Mini Bull Terrier from becoming disinterested easily.

Often, training is a long process. Fully trained dogs, test their boundaries as they grow older. Socialize puppies with children at an early age so the dogs accept the children as welcome guests.

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Bull Terrier Temperament

bull terrier temperamentOriginally bred in the 19th century for dog fighting, the Bull Terrier later became a fashion statement and a cherished companion of gentlemen. Nowadays, the Bull Terrier has gained acceptance as more of a family pet and in some cases, a show dog. Among the 340 dog breeds, of which the American Kennel Club only recognizes 167, the Bull Terrier remains one of the easiest to recognize because of his long and egg-shaped head. Bull Terriers can pack muscle on their frame much easier than some of the other dog breeds.


The Bull Terrier Temperament

At one point, the Bull Terrier earned the nickname “kid in a dog suit” because of his friendly and active demeanor. In fact, the Bull Terrier ranks right up there with Pugs and Bulldogs when it comes to the annual clown awards. The Bull Terrier’s larger-than-life personality ranges anywhere from thoughtful and intelligent to innovative. However, innovative has not always gone appreciated in the dog ownership world, as many prefer a more loyal and placid best friend. You can also get the Bull Terrier in a smaller size, but he has the same Bull Terrier temperament of a larger one.


From Puppyhood to Adulthood

From the beginning of puppyhood, you have an ever-curious and playful dog that will continue into the middle of his life. For someone who will be gone for long periods, the Bull Terrier makes a poor choice because he won’t be content to be alone all day long. He’s a people dog, and he loves to do the things his humans do. An active family who encourages energetic play is one of the best choices for the Bull Terrier. In addition, this dog needs someone who will act like the master of the home. He needs rules enforced, or he will start to play by his own rules.


The Bull Terrier: Aggressive?

Like most of the terrier breeds, if you don’t neuter him, he might exhibit aggressive behavior with some of the other animals. In fact, the Bull Terrier has a greater instinctual prey drive than most of the other dog breeds. For that reason, he makes a poor choice when you have other small creatures in the home. If you want the Bull Terrier to behave well around other dogs and animals, you should introduce him to socialization as early as possible. However, you should never do this without your supervision. Cats, ferrets and other furry creatures that enter into the territory of a Bull Terrier should remain ever-present to the potential for danger.


A Good Choice for Younger Children?

The Bull Terrier temperament tends to be overly rambunctious and because of this, Bull Terriers aren’t a recommended choice for families who have a younger child. For an older kid, however, they have become a tireless and fun-loving playmate. They love daily exercise, and an older kid will keep the Bull Terrier temperament from entering his more destructive—tear up the couch cushions—side of his personality when he gets bored. If you want to successfully train a Bull Terrier, you will need to display patience and remain confident in your leadership over him for the best consistency.


Beware of your State’s Laws

Before you decide to own a Bull Terrier, check out some of the city and state laws. In some cases, they have been restricted or banned, and you should know about your local laws before you decide to bring one of these dogs home.


Why the Bull Terrier

For those who are ready to take a chance on the Bull Terrier, they will find him a loyal and affectionate companion. He’s always willing to have fun, and he’s even been known to make the most dour-faced individuals crack a smile. When you get a Bull Terrier, life with this breed will almost never feel dull.

In general, Bull Terriers do best when they live indoors with their family, and they aren’t a good dog to leave alone for long stretches at a time because they tend to grow bored and start to wreak some unsupervised destruction. Luckily, these dogs aren’t high maintenance dogs, and you might have to brush them once a week. They will also go through a bi-annual shedding. You will want to exercise your Bull Terrier from 25 to 60 minutes every day with play and mental stimulation to keep him in the best mental and physical health.

American Bull Terrier Characteristics

Dog white bull terrier breed portrait close-up in profile in the garden on a background

The American bull terrier is a loving breed perfect for family life. They love their families and children so much, however, that they need lots of attention and don’t do well when left alone for long stretches of time. It’s hard to say no to their adorable oval faces, but you’ll need to learn how if you’re going to keep your bull terrier out of trouble. Here are some characteristics of the breed you should know about if you’re considering an adoption.


Size and Lifespan

With a lifespan of 12 to 14 years, bull terriers make excellent companions. Both males and females stand about 18 to 22 inches tall at maturity, with males weighing in a bit heavier than females. Healthy males weigh between 55 and 65 pounds while females weigh between 45 and 55 pounds.


American Bull Terrier Obedience and Training

Bull terriers are smart dogs. Though they are capable of learning and following several commands, they don’t always feel the need to go along with your agenda. It’s best to start training this breed as early as you can so he gets used to doing things the way you want. Prepare yourself for a bit of a stubborn streak, however, and some periodic mischief. First-time dog owners can do well with the breed but may want to consider some obedience classes.


Getting Along

If you’re looking for a good guard dog, the bull terrier is not the one for you. These love bugs are very affectionate with their owners and are just as loving toward strangers. They get along great with children and tolerate cats but need proper socialization at an early age in order to play well with other dogs. If you already have a dog, make sure you don’t adopt a bull terrier unless and until the two dogs have met and decided to be friends.


Exercise Requirements

Playful and energetic, bull terriers need daily walks and some time to romp. A big yard to run in is a plus, as are some children to run with. The breed can adapt to apartment living, but only if they get daily walks and frequent visits to the dog park. Animal Planet’s Dogs 101 program compares the breed to “a 3-year-old in a dog suit,” so expect a fairly high energy level that will find trouble if not properly guided and directed.



Unfortunately, bull terriers are prone to a handful of health problems that can require special care. Always check puppies for deafness and be prepared for the possibility of heart and kidney problems as well as some knee issues. Skin allergies are fairly common in the breed, as well. Not every individual will suffer these maladies, of course, but these are the issues you may encounter as a bull terrier ages.



Short, coarse hair makes grooming a bull terrier easy. A quick brushing every once in awhile and a weekly bath are all this breed typically needs. Bull terriers are naturally clean dogs who don’t produce a strong dog odor and need very little help from their owners to stay clean. Dogs will shed some hair all year long but the bull terrier is a seasonal shedder, losing hair mostly in the spring as winter weather subsides.


Other Considerations

Unlike some breed, bull terriers don’t feel the need to talk often. These dogs will bark when given a reason to but won’t howl all day and annoy your neighbors. They do, however, have a high prey drive and may wander off if distracted by a squirrel or an interesting scent. The best way to curb this wanderlust it to leash your pet at all times or keep him in a securely fenced yard. Periodically, mischief and mayhem will find your American bull terrier. The flip side of this trait is a dog who will always be up for a play session.

If you have a fair amount of free time or a large family full of playmates, an American bull terrier could be the breed for you. Keep in mind, however, that he’ll need quite a bit of attention and, though entertaining with his antics, will find trouble every once in awhile. If you can tolerate a bit of impish behavior now and then, an American bull terrier will make a fun, loyal and loving companion.