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The miniature bull terrier is the exact reflection of the standard bull terrier, except smaller. He may be wee in size, but he has a big personality. Jolly and mischievous, the miniature bull terrier takes delight in playing games and may sometimes pull off a few crazy antics. That’s why he earned the title "Clown Prince of Dogdom." Whilst he may be goofy, the dog is spunky, courageous, and devoted to his family. The breed was officially recognised as a separate variety by the Kennel Club in 1943.
The miniature bull terrier breed originated directly from the standard bull terrier, so they closely share the same background. During the 1800s, the bull terrier was developed from cross-breeding various breeds, including the white English terrier, old English bulldog, English greyhound, Dalmatian, and black and tan terrier.
The standard bull terrier proved to be skilled at hunting and snuffing out rats. The hunters were impressed by the breed's prowess that they decided to develop a smaller version. The new breed is mainly created to hunt small prey in tight spaces.
The Coverwood terriers were the smallest of the white bull terriers, a toy bull terrier. Some records show that there were bull terriers with different colours and weigh about four pounds. Unfortunately, these dogs were from a poor variety, thus they quickly fell out of favour. The people preferred miniature and standard-sized dogs.
In the 1860s, James Hinks, a notable breeder of bull terriers, was able to create a miniature breed with a more refined look. The dogs have a longer head and a balanced body structure that was fully white. They are now the miniature bull terriers that we see today. Back in the day, they were dubbed as white cavaliers and became trendy accessories for gentlemen.
The miniature bull terrier has a compact, sturdy, and square-proportioned build. His head is long and egg-shaped with a strong jaw. He has small dark eyes and petite lanky ears that stand upright. Attached to his body is a short tail that is stubby at the base and recedes to a fine point. Since the dog’s physique is muscular and firm, his skin is tightly drawn.
The breed is short-haired with a coarse coat. Although the fur has a rough texture, it gives off a glossy and flat appearance. The miniature bull terrier comes in two colour varieties. He can be completely white or white with predominant coloured markings.
Grooming a miniature bull terrier doesn’t require much work. The dog is an average shedder, so it is best to brush him at least once a week. Bathing is only required once every two or three months. However, if he is too dirty or smelly, a bath is needed. Make sure to check his nails regularly. Once they get too long, be sure to trim them to prevent cracking or splitting. Regular ear inspection and cleaning are a must too. Daily toothbrushing is recommended to keep periodontal diseases at bay.
A goofy and lively dog, the miniature bull terrier can easily charm people’s hearts. He has a gusto for anything that involves fun and may commit mischief at times. He quickly gets attached to his family and is loyal and dedicated to them. Whilst he is not a needy dog, he still needs sufficient amount of attention. Lack of it would result in him developing unwanted behaviours.
The breed has a protective streak, so he can be quite territorial. He is open to meeting new friends at home, but will be defensive against anything or anyone he feels is a threat to his family. Socialising him is crucial to ensure that he has a good grasp of determining the right threats. The miniature bull terrier is not the best choice for a guard dog. He may be protective, but he functions more of a deterrent than being an actual protector.
Because he is high-spirited, he makes a great playmate for kids. Keep in mind that the miniature bull terrier can be rowdy and may end up knocking down small children. Therefore, supervision is advised. The breed is known to be unfriendly towards other dogs of the same sex as they may end up fighting. Cats and other small pets tend to be incompatible buddies of the miniature bull terrier too, since he has a high prey drive.
The miniature bull terrier shares the same stubbornness of the other terrier breeds, so expect his training to be a challenging one. Since he loves to please his owner, you can use this to your advantage. Be sure to use positive reinforcement techniques such as praising him for a job well done. The miniature bull terrier is smart but has a short attention span, so keep training sessions engaging but short. With a firm, consistent, yet gentle approach, you can successfully teach him new tricks and commands in due time.
To maintain the health of your miniature bull terrier, his diet needs to have good-quality proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Protein is the foremost important ingredient in a dog’s diet and it should come from high-quality, animal-based sources like fresh meat and fish. Plant-based proteins like alfalfa and pea are also good sources, but they should only be used as supplemental protein sources. If you choose to feed your dog a commercially manufactured dog food, look for a high-quality animal protein in the list of ingredients.
Fats are the second most important ingredient in a dog’s diet. Fats are considered the most concentrated source of energy for dogs, but you also need to be mindful of how much fat you are feeding your dog. Healthy fats should come from animal-based sources like chicken fat and salmon oil.
Another important ingredient in a dog’s diet is carbohydrates, which provide dietary fibre as well as vitamins and minerals for your dog. Carbohydrates should come from digestible sources or starchy vegetables.
Choose a premium-quality dog food that corresponds to his life stage. This way, your miniature bull terrier will get the right amount of vitamins and minerals that he needs. If possible, pick one that is grain-free as well, since the breed is prone to skin allergies.
The price of a premium-quality dog food is slightly more expensive than commercial ones. However, cheaper alternatives often contain low-quality ingredients, so it only offers low nutritional value to your dog. Because of this, the dog will need to consume more to fulfil his nutritional needs. Thus, you may need to buy more and spend more compared to getting a premium-quality dog food.
A miniature bull terrier puppy should be fed at least three times daily. Once he is fully mature, he can eat once a day. Note that the breed is prone to overeating, which can result in obesity; thus, avoid free-feeding your dog. It is also best to choose dry dog food as wet ones are high in sugar, which can cause weight gain.
The miniature bull terrier does not fare well in outdoor living despite his high energy levels. However, he still requires sufficient amount of exercise and mental stimulation. Be sure to walk him thirty minutes to an hour daily. If you have a backyard, allow him to romp and play freely there.
It is important to know that miniature bull terrier puppies are prone to sudden lameness. It is caused by the combination of rapid growth rate, density, weight of the muscles, and the puppies’ activeness. Oftentimes, their joints fail to withstand these changes. Thus, exercise shouldn’t be strenuous and excessive. With that said, the miniature bull terrier is not a good match for dog lovers who are looking for an active pooch.
The miniature bull terrier can live a full life if taken care of properly. They can live for eleven to fourteen years. There are a number of health conditions that you should be aware of though. Below are the common diseases found in miniature bull terriers:
If you are set on caring for a Miniature Bull Terrier, be ready to pay at least £1000 for a well-bred puppy. To ensure it stays healthy at whatever age, you need to spend £20-£30 a month on high-quality dog food. You also need to factor in the initial cost for dog accessories and equipment such as food bowls, leads, collars, and beds, which will likely be about £200 depending on the brand.
When it comes to healthcare, you need to be prepared in case your dog suddenly falls ill or gets into an accident. You can offset some medical bills if you get a pet insurance, which can range from £23 a month for a time-limited cover up to £31 a month for a lifelong insurance cover. These are the quotes for year 2020 for a 4-month old puppy. These prices vary depending on your dog’s health and age, size and weight, the type of cover you choose, and whether it has pre-existing conditions.
Other outgoings to consider are veterinary expenses that may not be included in a pet insurance coverage such as vaccinations, routine checks, neutering or spaying, and annual boosters, which can have a combined cost of £800 annually. Roughly, you will be setting aside £30-£50 a month for recurring expenses, depending on the type of insurance cover you choose. This estimate is exclusive of walking or grooming services that you might want to use at times.
Are you sure the Miniature Bull Terrier is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz