Miniature Bull Terrier: Get You a Dog Who Can Do Both

Miniature bull terrier standing on grass
Wyatt Robinson
Written by Wyatt Robinson

The Miniature Bull Terrier can look intimidating at first glance, and it’s true that they can be a bit overprotective and territorial, but those who have personal experience living with this dog will tell you it is impossible not to have fun when you are with them.

The Mini Bull Terrier loves human companionship. These dogs are a great fit if you spend a lot of time outdoors. They will accompany you on those jogging and hiking escapades, and you will love it.

If you live in the city, do not worry. The Miniature Bull will fit perfectly in an apartment life as long as you give them attention and plenty of playtimes. Additionally, the MBT will bond well with your older children

If you are still in doubt whether to adopt this lovable dog or not, read on. We have done thorough research on the Miniature’s temperament, history, health conditions, appearance, and grooming among other characteristics. We make it easy for you to decide if this dog is for you or not.

Breed Characteristics

white miniature bull terrier on blue background

  • Adaptability: Good; the MBT will adapt well to different conditions although warm climates are this dog’s preference.

  • Trainability: Moderately Easy; the Miniature Bull Terrier needs to be trained when young. The dog can be very stubborn as an adult, which makes training difficult. The trainer must be patient and consistent during training.

  • Health and Grooming: Low Maintenance; the breed does not have special grooming needs. However, the owner should watch the dog’s weight as the Mini has a tendency to get overweight, which can lead to serious health issues.

  • All Around Friendliness: Good; this dog will become fast friends with your older children. However, socialization at an early age is essential, and it will not guarantee that the dog will get along well with other pets.

  • Exercise Needs: High Maintenance; they can be very destructive if not given enough attention, exercises, and thus need to be stimulated both physically and emotionally.

Dog Breed GroupTerrier Dogs
HeightMale: 10-14 inches
Female: 10-14 inches
WeightMale: 22-34 pounds
Female: 22-32 pounds
Lifespan11-13 years

The earlier dogs of the breed came in different colors and body shapes. James Hinks, a Bull Terrier breeder in the 1860s, helped develop the breed into what it is today. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1991.The Miniature Bull Terrier was the result of a breeding program between the Bulldog with the English Terrier. The goal was to come up with a fighting dog. The Bull in this dog’s name comes from the common practice of bull baiting where several dogs were often matched up against a chained bull.

The MBT is a dog who is curious and full of life. They adore their family, and they make loyal companions. They get along with children but can be too excited for toddlers. The dog can be very destructive when left alone for too long as they suffer from separation anxiety.

This MBT needs plenty of physical and mental exercises. However, they can fit in an apartment life provided they get plenty of attention and exercise. They are not hard to train, as they are intelligent dogs. However, they need a firm and consistent trainer, as they are very independent. Positive reinforcement will work best with your MBT. They also need early socialization to get along well with other dogs and pets.

Grooming your MBT’s coat is easy as a weekly brushing is all that is needed to keep their short coat healthy and clean. This seasonal shedder has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.

The dog has a tendency to gain weight fast so owners should avoid giving them too many treats and calories. Further, other common health problems that might affect your Mini include deafness and blindness due to lens luxation.

Main Highlights

Miniature bull terrier sitting in the field of flowers

  • Other names that are common for the Miniature Bull Terrier include the Bull Terrier Mini, Mini, MBT, Mini Bull, and Miniature.

  • The Miniature Bull Terrier is from England, and it was bred in the 1830s by crossing the Bulldog with the now-extinct English Terrier.

  • It was breed in an effort to come up with an undisputed fighting dog, but today it has been highly developed to be a loyal family companion.

  • This breed is an exact copy of the Bull Terrier except for its small size.

  • This dog is a fun-loving clown and has been featured in several television shows, advertising media, and films.

  • The Mini Bull has a distinct egg-shaped head and a muscular build. It is impossible to confuse it with another breed.

  • Miniature Bull Terriers are very energetic and need plenty of exercises, engaging activities, and toys to keep them from participating in destructive activities such as digging and chewing on furniture.

  • Mini Bulls need human companionship and will suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for too long.

  • This breed will do well in an apartment provided its exercise needs are met.

  • Miniature Bulls make excellent watchdogs since they are wary of strangers and are very protective of their owner and territory.

  • Mini Bulls get along well with older kids as they are very playful and affectionate. However, they are not the best playmates for toddlers as they tend to get overly excited during playtime.

  • This breed does not get along well with same-sex dogs and pets in the home. Your Mini Bull will also chase small animals around.

  • The Mini Bull is a low maintenance breed, but they are prone to becoming obese if they are not watched carefully.

  • Training for this dog is easy as it is an intelligent breed. However, training should be started early, and the trainer should be patient and consistent as the dog has a stubborn streak.

  • The average litter size is one to five puppies, but the litter size can be as large as nine puppies.

  • The breed was recognized by the American Kennel club in 1991.

Breed History

Miniature bull terrier lying on coach

The Miniature Bull Terrier’s history started in England in the early 1800s. The early Bull Terriers were found in different sizes including tiny toys that were as small as 3 pounds and larger ones that were almost the same size as the Bull Terrier we know and love today.

James Hinks bred the dogs for their white color and a uniquely-shaped head. Gradually, other coat colors started blending in. Today, they also have different colors including blue.

In 1963, the American Kennel Club recognized the dog as a part of the miscellaneous class, but in 1991 the dog was transitioned into the Terrier group.

The dog was bred in an effort to come up with the ultimate fighting dog—mixing the agility and speed of the Bull Terrier and the build of a Bulldog. After dog fighting was abolished, the dogs were used to kill rats in homes and compete with other dogs in pits.

In the 20th century, the role of the dog changed from that of a hunter and a fighter to a companion dog. Today, this dog is known as a family companion that has a great fondness for children.


three Miniature bull terriers sitting together

The Miniature Bull Terrier is a smaller version of the larger Bull Terrier. Their ideal height is between 10 to 14 inches, and their weight can be between 20 to 34 pounds.

This small dog is strong and has a distinct egg-shaped head. You will also notice their small, piercing, and triangular-shaped eyes. This dog has a broad chest, a long and muscular neck, a square body shape, and an athletic build. Mini Bulls carry their tails which are short and low-set horizontally.

Mini Bulls come in solid white colors, but others do come marked with other colors such as fawn, black, red, and even tricolor with white touches. The accepted colors are white and colored. The white colored Mini will have markings on their head and nowhere else while the colored miniatures will be bridle, black-brindle, fawn and white, red, or tricolored

Personality and Character

Miniature bull terriers playing with a ball

This miniature dog is a strong and playful breed. They are also loyal and are easily attached to their owners. They love human companionship and love being included in family activities. Most people find them appealing, as they are easier to manage compared to their larger Bull Terrier cousins.

This clown of a dog will make you laugh due to their famous runs through your house or yard for no apparent reason. However, they can also be seriously protective of their families and territory, especially if a stranger shows up. Your Miniature will easily sense the difference between a friend and a foe. Their loyalty, courage, and the fact that they are very dependable make them excellent watchdogs.

Due to the fact that they bond strongly with their owners or families, if left alone for long periods, your Mini will suffer from separation anxiety. Ensure you keep them engaged with loads of interesting toys and exercises to prevent them from becoming destructive. They love to chew on toys. They can be quite silly at times.

This dog is a digger. Thus do not leave them outside on your lawn for too long. They will also chew on your furniture if you leave them indoors for long hours without any mental stimulation.

See Also: How to Stop a Dog From Chewing

Health and Potential Problems

Miniature bull terrier's head

Miniature Bull Terriers often suffer from lens luxation that causes blindness. White Mini Bulls are also known to suffer from deafness and obesity. We look at the three health conditions below among others that are common in this breed.

#1: Lens Luxation

Lens luxation happens when the support ligaments of the eye lenses weaken or break. The result is the dislocation of the lens from its normal position. Often, this happens without the dog owner’s knowledge.

The lens might fall forward in the eye and block the drainage of fluid from the eye. That will result in glaucoma or intraocular pressure. This will result in permanent blindness and a lot of pain for your Mini Bull.

If the lens is left untreated, it will cause pain and vision loss especially if it is stuck in the front part of the eye. A lens that is floating at the back of the eye might cause less damage, but it will also harm the retina with time.

In the Miniature Bull Terrier breed, this condition is known to be hereditary, and it is important that you watch for any signs of change or discomfort in your dog’s eye. In case your dog has lens luxation, the only effective treatment of the condition is the removal of the displaced lens.

#2: Deafness

Deafness in your dog refers to a partial or total loss of hearing in one or both ears. Deafness may be hereditary in your Mini, but sometimes it might be caused by an infection, a blocked ear canal, or old age.

Acquired deafness caused by an infection or a blocked ear canal is often temporary and treatable. However, your Miniature might suffer from congenital or hereditary deafness that might be permanent and untreatable.

Symptoms of deafness might include little or no response to sound, no response when called by name, and excessive barking. In case you notice any of these symptoms in your Miniature Bull Terrier, take him or her to the vet for an examination.

Your vet will look for wax accumulation, inflammation, injury, infections, or any foreign object in your dog’s ears. The vet will also conduct a history examination to determine the possible causes of your dog’s deafness.

A temporary hearing loss is treatable depending on the cause. In case of permanent deafness, there might not be an effective treatment. Surgery can be attempted to correct hearing if the defect is found in the outer, the middle ear, or if it involves the inflammation of the inner ear. Hearing aids might also help although they are not very effective and your dog might not tolerate them.

Permanent ear loss does not mean your dog cannot lead a normal life. Teach your dog to understand hand signals rather than verbal commands. For example, you might teach him/her to recognize stomping your feet as a means of calling him/her. Use collars with ID tags to prevent your dog from getting lost which is very common in deaf dogs.

See Also: How to Train a Deaf Dog

#3: Mitral Valve Dysplasia (MVD)

If your Miniature Bull Terrier has mild mitral valve dysplasia, there might be no symptoms for months or even years. However, severe malfunction of the heart valve will be accompanied by gagging, a hacking cough, weakness, and a lack of stamina.

This condition is a congenital cardiac condition, which means it was present at birth and thus it is an inherited condition. The condition is often discovered during a wellness check as the vet will discover a heart murmur indicating that there is a problem with the heart’s blood flow.

If your dog is detected with MVD, he/she will need to be on a low salt diet. You also might need to decrease their caloric intake. You should also avoid high humidity and heat.

In case the condition is very advanced, your vet will prescribe medications to lower the dog’s blood pressure and to help strengthen the heart contraction. In some instances, surgery might be necessary to replace the valve.

#4: Obesity

Obesity in your Mini can lead to adverse health effects such as the reduction of his/her lifespan. Obesity is common at the age of 5 to 10. You need to exercise your dog and watch their diet to prevent excessive weight. Additionally, refrain from giving your dog unnecessary and frequent treats.

If you are not sure if your dog is obese, take your dog to the vet, and they will measure the dog’s weight or assess the body composition and compare it to the breed’s standard. Your Mini will be considered obese if they weigh 10% to 20% above the ideal body weight of this breed.

See Also: Weight Loss Dog Food

Care Features

Miniature bull terrier puppy lying in its bed

The MBT needs a lot of exercises and human attention. You will have to take them for daily walks and play with them both indoors and outdoors. If your dog is not getting enough exercise, they will let you know as you will notice them chewing, digging, or even chasing their own tail.

They can be very destructive—tearing up the house and the furniture in minutes if they do not get the exercise and the attention they need. Therefore ensure you physically and mentally stimulate your Mini Bull for their well-being and for yours too.

The Mini Bull is an independent dog who can be stubborn at times. Thus, they need firm and consistent training especially during the early years so that they can learn to obey and respect their owner. However, the dog will not respond well to harsh treatment.

Their attention span is short, and training sessions should be short. If you keep them too long, they will become uninterested. Ensure you are patient with them even if they decide to test the boundaries as they get older.

Mini Bulls need socialization at an early age, as they often will not get along well with other dogs especially those of the same sex. Further, they might chase pets such as cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs around. Unaware of their small size, they will even confront larger dogs.

When out on a walk, make sure your dog is leashed, as he/she will chase small animals around. You also need to keep an eye on them around toddlers. They are very friendly and playful with older children. They can spend hours playing with them, but the play might be too intense for very young children.

Feeding Schedule

Miniature bull terrier lying on autumn leaves

The Mini will do well on high-quality dog food. You can get commercially manufactured dog food from dog sellers or prepare it yourself with the approval and supervision of your veterinarian. Ensure the food is appropriate for the dog’s age.

Watch your Miniature Bull Terrier’s weight, as these dogs are prone to getting overweight. Treats are great for training, but too much of them can result in obesity.

Learn the human foods that are safe for your dog from your vet and always seek advice from your vet if you have health concerns about your dog. Do not forget to give your dog clean, fresh water daily.

Coat, Color, and Grooming

tiger colored Miniature bull terrier

The Miniature Bull Terrier is a seasonal shedder. They have shiny, flat, and short hair that has a hard texture. The skin is tightly pulled over the dog’s body. The short, thick coat is easy to maintain.

Brush the coat once or twice every week using a bristle brush. During the shedding season, brush the coat daily. To maintain the coat, rub the dog with a damp towel once per week.

Clean the eyes and ears occasionally to avoid infections. The dog’s teeth will need to be brushed weekly to prevent gum disease. If your dog does not wear his/her nails down naturally, ensure you clip them occasionally.

Children and Other Pets Compatibility

Mini Bulls are loyal family companions. They are very affectionate and will play for hours on end with your children. This dog loves to chase balls and will help your child with their pitching arm.

However, these dogs are recommended for families with older children as they need supervision when left with small children. Small children might find their play overwhelming. It is also important to socialize puppies at an early age. Otherwise they can be aggressive towards kids they are not familiar with.

Mini Bull can be overprotective of their territory and owner. They can get on well with dogs of the opposite sex, but they are known to chase same-sex pets and small animals around and should always be on a leash when outdoors.

See Also: How to Leash Train a Dog

Wrap Up

Miniature bull terrier standing on ground

The Miniature Bull Terrier has more to offer than their small size might suggest. These are loyal companions who are easily attached to their family. They will fare well in an apartment as long as you take them out for a daily walk and give them plenty of puzzle toys and chew toys.

These dogs are very protective of their territory and will always alert you in case of an intruder. However, ensure you are not one of those people who work long hours, as the Mini Terrier will demand your attention and if you do not give them enough of it they will let you how displeased they are. Nevertheless, if you treat them well, these dogs will always make you laugh with their comic behavior.

Tell us what you think about the Miniature Bull Terrier. Do you think this is the right companion for you? Do you have any experience with this breed that you would like to share? Let us know in the comments section below. If you need a name for your new Mini Bull Terrier, check out our article on funny dog names!

About the author
Wyatt Robinson
Wyatt Robinson

Wyatt Robinson had a great 25-years career as a veterinarian in United Kingdom. He used to be a member of British Veterinary Association and worked in 3 pet hospitals in London and Manchester. He is shining when he sees his pets healthy and full of energy and it is his duty to help other dog owners to keep their best friends full of life.