Miniature Bull Terrier

Breed Group: Terrier

Temperament and Behavior

Like his full-size counterpart, the Miniature Bull Terrier is a fun-loving clown that is “full of fire” and loves to be the center of attention. As with their larger brethren, Minis have bursts of energy that propel them for a few quick laps around the house called a “bully run”. They become very attached to their owners, thrive on affection and love to join family activities. With their high energy level, they are best suited for active families. Although they are likely too rambunctious for small children, they are exceptionally playful and make great companions for older school-aged youngsters. “Minis” are more accepting of other animals than his big brother. They do well as either single pets or with dogs that are less assertive. Like many dogs, they enjoy harassing cats and like other terriers will stalk squirrels and other small animals. Visitors can be met with overwhelming exuberance or wariness, depending on the dog. Almost as animated outside as they are in, they need plenty of vigorous play time and time to run in order for their above average exercise needs to be met. Miniature Bull Terriers share their great watchdog skills with their larger counterpart but because of their smaller size, they should not be counted on for protection. If restrained and not exercised sufficiently or left alone for extended periods, Minis, like their larger counterparts, can become bored, then destructive.

Physical Characteristics

Similar to Bull Terriers, the small Miniature Bull Terrier has a strong and powerful body. They grow to be 13-15 inches tall and weigh from 13-35 pounds with males slightly larger than females. Their coats come in virtually any color. With their short hair, they need only occasional brushing and are average shedders. The breed does well in any but extreme temperatures.

Trainer's Notes

Extensive early socialization is important with the Miniature Bull Terrier to encourage a stable temperament as aggression and timidity exist in some lines. With a high energy level and a definite mind of their own, Miniature Bull Terriers can be difficult to train. They need to be consistently reminded who is “alpha” or they will attempt to assert their own dominance. Trainers who are able to calmly discipline with firmness, fairness and a good sense of humor will succeed. Short sessions with frequent play breaks work best. As a result of their high defense instinct, loud vocal reprimands or physical punishments have a negative effect. There are much better choices for a first-time owner than a Miniature Bull Terrier.

Photo © by Sebwal available under the GNUFDL
Miniature Bull Terrier

Miniature (and Standard) Bull Terrier


Miniature Bull Terriers are a healthy breed with few inherited diseases. Those that are seen include Deafness, especially in predominately white dogs. Puppies should have a BAER printout indicating normal hearing in both ears. Although relatively few dogs that have been tested, 17% of the breed may be affected by some level of Thyroiditis and 14% suffer from Lens Luxation. Much more rarely seen is Patellar Luxation. The leading killers of Miniature Bull Terriers are thought to be Heart Problems, Cancer, and Kidney Failure. They have a tendency to become overweight and lazy if their owner does not make sure they get adequate exercise. Miniature Bull Terriers typically live to about 12 years of age.


The Miniature Bull Terrier ranks 126th in popularity on the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular breeds with about 200 dogs registered in a tyical year.

Breed History

The Miniature Bull Terrier is a small version of the full-sized Bull Terrier that resulted from cross-breeding bulldogs and terriers in England, primarily for the fighting arena. The Miniature Bull has a stronger heritage as a vermin hunter than a fighter.

Additional Information

The Miniature Bull Terrier barks slightly less and is a little bit more calm than his standard-size cousin. The National (US) Breed Club is the Miniature Bull Terrier Club of America.

Is A Miniature Bull Terrier THE BEST Dog For YOU?

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