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Miniature Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier puppy

 

General Description:

The BT is a funny and affectionate breed. I adore them for their good looks and happy enthusiasm. They want constant companionship and as much petting as they can get. They like to sit on your lap and will stand as close to you as possible when you’re in the kitchen. Some have a short, slightly bristly coat that may irritate people with sensitive skin. Coat care is easy – a quick brush with a medium to soft bristle brush is all it takes. Their coat repels dirt well. They have a thin coat and they suffer from the cold easily so they must be indoor dogs. They love to wrap themselves in blankets when on their beds inside the home.

They are energetic dogs when younger, say up to about 2 or 3 years old. Ball games, tug games, short runs of about ½ mile are great for calming them down. Surprisingly, using their minds can help tire them out: obedience, agility and trick training is satifying to them. They are highly trainable with fun, creative, reward based training, but tend to get bored easily when the training becomes repetitive. Jogging is not something they are built for due to the disproportionate weight they carry on their front end and their joints. Short runs about 1/2 mile might be enjoyed, but you will need to watch your Bull Terrier to see if she/he is still enjoying the run if you go longer than that. If you want to jog with your Bull Terrier, give them a joint supplement with MSM, glucosamine and something like a fish oil, and find a good orthopedic vet in your area to help guide you. If you really desire a jogging partner, I suggest you look at breeds designed for long distance running. Bull Terriers are more of sprinters.

They are strong chewers and any toys should be assessed for destructibility and also examined occasionally. Rawhide is not advised as they canunravel and swallow it which can result in emergency surgery. If started as puppies they can learn how to safelychew on raw bones and that’s satisfying for them. Smoked or cooked bones are too brittle to be safe. Check their teeth after chewing something hard to see whether they’ve broken or chipped teeth. Tennis balls need to bemonitored because they’re usually punctured immediately, split in two, then eaten, again potentially causing avisit to your emergency vet.

Bull Terriers are not known for being good with other animals, and we are not surprised when they are not. However the temperament varies from living happily with other animals, to being aggressive to a dog passing on the other side of the street. We encourage you to attend positive training classes so you can learn how to cultivate their tolerant aspect. Even so, it is not necessarily a ‘fixable’ thing and you should be prepared to manage it instead. They can harm another animal in a short amount of time so this is not an aspect to take lightly. Management means that you are responsible for keeping a bull terrier out of situations that are challenging for it: like a dog park. They require a fenced yard, and their activities should always be supervised.

Another reason to supervise them pretty closely is that this breed is targeted by thieves. Dogs have been taken out of locked yards. Make sure to leave your Bull Terrier inside when you leave the house.

Generally Bull Terriers are good with kids. The first issue that arises is that bull terriers are clumsy yet enthusiastic dogs and can inadvertently knock a small child down, especially if the dog is moving quickly for a toy on the other side of the child. Another issue is that if the children are not reliable about closing doors and gates, the Bull Terrier can find an open door to roam the neighborhood, which usually puts it in harms way.

Bull Terriers can suffer from allergies and several other medical issues. Concerning allergies, I recommend a low vaccination plan and either a raw diet or a high end kibble. I also recommend that at about 5 years old dogs have an eye exam and a complete blood panel. These should be repeated each year afterwards. The eye exam should especially check for tear production, lack of tears will lead to blindness. Other medical issues we watch for are heart murmurs, kidney failure, knee problems (often from fast turns when pursuing a ball), and feet problems. Most dogs suffer from none of these or if they have any of them they are mostly manageable with vet care and don’t impact daily life. Early detection is important to lessening these problems should they arise. Keep them in good health and you can expect enjoy 10-14 years of them by your side.

 

Further Information:

Further information about Miniature Bull Terriers can be found by contacting the SPDR Breed Rep.
Breed Details

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