BREED: Miniature Bull Terrier
TEMPERAMENT: Lively, affectionate, may be aggressive with other dogs.
LIFESPAN: 10-12 years
RECOMMENDED FOR: Families
MAINTENANCE: Low but accident prone
As early as 1863 small Bull Terriers (under 10lb) were being exhibited in the UK but it was not until 1939 that a separate register for the breed was established by the UK kennel club and the dogs were imported to Australia in 1965.
Miniature Bull Terriers should not exceed 25.5cm (14″) but there is no limit to the weight. The average miniature weighs between 11-14kg (25-30lb) while the standard Bull Terrier weighs between 27-34kg (60-75lb) and stands about 47cm (18.5″) high. Miniature Bull Terriers have the classic Bull Terrier egg-shaped head and come in brindle, brindle and white, black, red and white, white, fawn and tri-colour.
Miniature Bull Terriers have a happy, friendly temperament and are a manageable package. They are less intimidating and easier to handle than the standard Bull Terrier so provide a reasonable alternative.
Health and lifespan
- Both standard and miniature Bull Terriers suffer similar diseases.
- The straight stifle on the legs can cause the patella or knee cap to slip in and out of joint.
- Heart defects are hereditary in the breed.
- Kidney problems have occasionally been found in the breed but are far more common in the standard breed and breeders have developed schemes to eradicate these problems.
- Eye defects have been found in low numbers in the miniature breed.
- The fine, thin coat particularly in the white Standard and Miniature Bull Terriers needs to be protected from the sun in summer and breeders recommend sunscreen or zinc on their noses and bellies.
- Miniature Bull Terriers usually live for between 10 to 12 years.
Breeders recommend a balanced diet of fresh meat – chicken, beef, and mutton – with some dry dog biscuits. Do not overfeed them because they are prone to eating too much.
Breeding and costs
Breeders say Miniatures can experience whelping problems and often need caesarian operations because the puppies have large heads and chests. Litters are usually between six to seven puppies and cost between $500-$700.
Housepet potential and space
The smaller miniature Bull Terriers are more suitable indoors than the standard but can still be somewhat destructive in their early years. They will also be quite destructive in the garden. They are quite happy to laze around the house with a daily walk around the block, the only exercise needed.
Ideal owner and trainability
Miniature Bull Terriers are ideal for a family and their smaller size makes them easier for kids upwards from eight years old, to handle without fear of being knocked over. They are difficult to train needing patience and time, but eventually basic obedience is possible.
The smooth short coat of the Miniature Bull Terrier is low maintenance and only needs a weekly brushing. The breed sheds little hair.
To find up-to-date contacts for breeders, contact the following organisations.
Phone: 1300 728 022 (NSW only) or (02) 9834 3022
Fax: (02) 9834 3872
Phone: (03) 9788 2500
Fax: (03) 9788 2599
Phone: (02) 6241 4404 – Fax: (02) 6241 1129.
Phone: (08) 9455 1188
Fax: (08) 9455 1190
Phone: (08) 8349 4797
Canine Control Council of Queensland
Phone: (07) 3252 2661
Fax: (07) 3252 3864
Tasmanian Canine Association
Phone: (03) 6272 9443
Fax: (03) 6273 0844
Phone: (08) 8984 3570
Fax: (08) 8984 3409