Miniature Bull Terrier
The Miniature Bull Terrier is a small, well built, and sturdy dog, but is not the most handsome of creatures in many people's eyes. This is a distinctive looking dog with an oval, sloping muzzle, and small eyes. The coat of the Miniature Bull Terrier is short, sleek, and close fitting, and the coloring can vary, including black and tan, brindle, fawn, and red, usually with white markings. The weight of the Miniature Bull Terrier is around 16-35 pounds, and the height is 10-13 inches for females, and 13-15 inches for males.
Miniature Bull Terrier Temperment
Determined, bold, and spirited, the Miniature Bull Terrier is an active and energetic dog with a stable temperament. These dogs can be amusing and entertaining, and they thrive on the attention and affection of their loved ones - a neglected Miniature Bull Terrier can become very destructive, so this is not a breed that is suited to those with little time to dedicate to a pet. The Miniature Bull Terrier is a good family pet, but does have certain traits that make him better suited to those with some experience of dog ownership and training. You need to be confident, assertive, yet positive in order to enjoy success with this breed, as training can be difficult. Some Miniature Bull Terriers may be overly aggressive or timid; some can be dominant, bossy, and possessive; and some can be very challenging.
Early socialization is essential in order to promote a stable and even temperament in this breed. These dogs need plenty of attention and exercise too, and will enjoy getting involved in family activities as well as enjoying daily walks. The Miniature Bull Terrier gets along well with most pets, but may be dangerous around cats, which means that you should socialize this breed very early to cats. These dogs will get along fine with considerate and gentle children, and many will welcome strangers. The protection level of the Miniature Bull Terrier is fairly low, although some may bark to raise an alarm if something is amiss.
The grooming requirements for the Miniature Bull Terrier are low, and an occasional brushing and wipe down with a damp cloth will help to keep the coat sleek and in good condition. This breed is an average shedder and may not be best suited to those with severe allergies.
The Miniature Bull Terrier's aggressiveness is unsurprising when you consider its origins. The breed arose during the early 1800s in professional dog fighting circles, when unscrupulous breeders decided to attempt the creation of a breed that would fight with all the aggressiveness of the Bulldog, but with the additional speed, reflexes, and intelligence of terrier breeds. The resulting cross of Bulldogs, English Terriers and other miscellaneous breeds resulted in the Standard Bull Terrier.
Despite the meticulous (and sinister) work put into its breeding, the Standard Bull Terrier was not as successful in the fighting ring as its creators had imagined. But later in the nineteenth century, the breed took out a new lease on life as excellent guard and watchdogs, as their aggressiveness and protective instincts made them ideal for attacking and frightening intruders without actually killing. Even in this capacity, however, the Standard Bull Terrier often proved too much for owners who didn't reckon on the breed's capacity for violence, and the Miniature Bull Terrier was created to retain all of the excellent watchdog capacities of the breed while at the same time reducing its size to make it more manageable for handlers and trainers.
Training a Miniature Bull Terrier requires commitment. The Miniature Bull Terrier combines two of the worst personality traits that dogs can have--all the aggressiveness of a mastiff with all the stubbornness and nervousness of a terrier--and both of these can easily lead to extreme problems with training your dog. But if left untrained, the Miniature Bull Terrier's personality issues make the dog not merely frustrating, but actually a potential danger to you, your friends, or other animals in your area. So training, although not a walk in the park, is also not an option.
The key to effective training for any dog is to start early, and the Bull Terrier is no exception to this pattern. The earlier you begin to socialize and train your dog, the fewer bad behavior patterns you have to eliminate and the more opportunity you have to get your dog used to proper behavior. With the Miniature Bull Terrier, early training is somewhat complicated by the dog's youthful exuberance, energy, and borderline destructiveness, which can make the Miniature Bull Terrier more interested in play than in the work of serious obedience training. Be patient, firm, and commanding and your efforts will eventually pay off--but not without a great deal of aggravation, most likely.
Positive training is usually a better method for dog training than negative training, but your options for rewarding a Miniature Bull Terrier are somewhat limited by the breed's tendency to overeat. You can't give food rewards very frequently, if at all, or else you run the risk of exposing your dog to some health problems. Since consistency is vital when training a Miniature Bull Terrier, it's best to use food rewards extremely sparingly. If you offer treats for every little piece of obedience, your dog will expect you to do this all the time, and your training program will run into a wall once it becomes a health risk to reward your dog with food. Instead, use praise, affection, and other methods to reward good behavior, and reserve food for only once or twice per training session, usually right at the end as a reward for exceptionally good progress.
Training should focus on socialization above all. The Miniature Bull Terrier's protectiveness and aggressiveness are the most likely problems the breed will face when encountering other people or other animals, and the earlier you start socialization training, the better equipped your dog will be to handle these unique situations (which invariably make his or her instinct for protection flare up.) Gradual introduction of other animals into the Miniature Bull Terrier's vicinity and frequent introduction of other people (to desensitize the dog to strangers) are both good policies to follow, and despite the problems you'll face along the way, both policies will eventually pay off.
The life expectancy of the Miniature Bull Terrier is around 11-14 years. There are a number of health problems associated with the breed, and this includes heart problems, kidney problems, paralysis of the larynx, luxating patella, eye problems, seizures, thyroid disorders, skin problems, and allergies. The parents of the Miniature Bull Terrier puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates. You should also ensure that your puppy has a BAER certificate, and ask about heart and kidney testing.