Bull Terrier (Miniature)
The Bull Terrier (Miniature) is a breed with origins in the extinct English White Terrier, the Dalmatian and the Bull Dog. The first existence was recorded as in 1872 in The Dogs of British Island. When the Standard breed was first created in 19th century England, it was about the same size as Miniature Bull Terriers. These dogs were granted membership in the American Kennel Club (AKC) on May 14, 1991.
They are generally quite healthy, but there may be some problems associated with ear, eye, skin, kidney, heart and knee in some dogs. Deafness can occur in both coloured and white Miniatures. Puppies can be born unilaterally or bilaterally deaf.
They may also suffer from a common knee problem of having luxating patella. Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and Bull Terrier hereditary nephritis (BTHN) are also autosomal dominant diseases.
PKD is diagnosed by Ultrasonic scan by a veterinarian and BTHN by a UPC test. Dogs with a score of .3 or below are considered clear of the disease. They are also susceptible to eye problems such as Primary Lens Luxation (PLL). PLL is a late onset disease which typically affects dogs between the ages of 3 and 7. Aortic valve stenosis and Mitral valve dysplasia are heart diseases which are diagnosed by colour Doppler echocardiography scanning by a specialist veterinarian.
The skin of a Miniature can also have few problems like Pyotraumatic dermatitis (hot spots), allergic reactions and hives . UK and US breed surveys show an average lifespan of 10-14 years.
Miniature Bull Terriers have short, fine and glossy coats close to their skin, like the Bull Terriers. They are accepted in the ring to be white, white with another colour or fully coloured. But, like the Standards, any blue or liver coloured coats are undesirable.
In the early 1900s, the difference between the breeds was determined by the weight of the dog. This led to Miniature Bull Terriers becoming so small and fine that they looked more like a Chihuahua. So, in the 1970s, the criterion to determine the breed of the dogs was shifted from weight to height. The height limit was set of about less than fourteen inches. They are usually no smaller than ten inches and weigh anywhere around 20-35 lbs.
The Miniature Bull Terriers have a very bold build with muscular shoulders. They have an “egg-shaped” head which is flat on top with a Roman nose. The eyes are triangular and closely set. The ears are carried erect and are not cropped. The tail is also carried horizontally.
Like the Bull Terriers, Minis are loving and like many terrier breeds, they can be stubborn at times, but despite this they make great dogs for people with limited space.
They are also known to be courageous. They do not seem to realise their size, still will never back down if confronting an enormous dog. The confrontations can be avoided with the right training. They are very energetic and playful.
Miniature Bull Terriers require little grooming. A quick brushing once a day or a few times a week is sufficient to keep their fur in order. Sunscreen must be used on any sparse white sections of fur around the face, ears, hindquarters or stomach when outdoors to avoid sunburn and cancer.
These dogs are independent and stubborn and so require a lot of training. They must be heavily socialized at a young age and trained to obey early in their lives. They are very much energetic as puppies but as they grow up, they become less energetic. They must be carefully exercised and dieted to avoid obesity.
Interbreeding, the process of mating together a Bull Terrier (Miniature) and a Bull Terrier is allowed only for a short time, in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Interbreeding is undertaken to reduce the incidence of Primary Lens Luxation in the Miniature.