Miniature Bull Terriers: Characteristics and Trainability

The Miniature Bull Terrier is a small dog with a heart larger than a Great Dane.

Updated April 26, 2023
Bull Terrier

If a Standard Bull Terrier seems like a bit much for you to handle, why not give the Miniature Bull Terrier breed a try? The Miniature Bull Terrier is similar to the standard, but is significantly smaller than their larger counterpart. They are also a better choice for those who want a dog, but live in an apartment.

Mini Bull Terrier Quick Overview

  • Personality: Clever, independent, confident
  • Average weight: 20 to 35 pounds
  • Average height: 10 to 14 inches
  • Lifespan: 11 to 14 years
  • Coat Length: Short
  • Coat Colors: Solid white with head markings that are black, red, or fawn
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Group: Terrier
  • Origins: England

Miniature Bull Terrier Characteristics

The Miniature Bull Terrier was developed in England as a companion for children and families. It is also known as the Mini Bull or Toy Bull Terrier. They love their family and will do anything to please them. They can be trained to do almost anything and they are very obedient.

  • Affection Level: High
  • Friendliness: High with socialization
  • Kid-Friendly: High
  • Pet-Friendly: Medium
  • Exercise Needs: High
  • Playfulness: High
  • Energy Level: High
  • Trainability: Medium
  • Intelligence: High
  • Barking Level: High


Size issues aside, mini bulls are compact and muscular, with unusual heads that are somewhat egg-shaped. In addition, these dogs have slit-shaped eyes that make them look even more unusual amongst other dog breeds.

The ears on these dogs should be held completely erect, and the entire head is set upon a strong neck that is nearly indiscernible from their broad shoulders and deep chest. These dogs have muscular bodies that are slightly longer than they are tall, making them rectangular in appearance. The tail is moderately long and usually held outward from the rear.

White mini bull terrier walking

The coat of this breed should be short and closely fitted to the body, and it should feel coarse to the touch. Miniature Bull Terrier colors include:

  • Solid white, with some head markings permissible
  • Any color permitted in colored varieties


Luckily, their short coats are quite easy to manage. One or two baths per month will keep a Mini Bull in good shape, but you can just as easily substitute pet wipes for a full bath most of the time. Shedding occurs in the spring and fall. While a weekly brushing suffices most of the time, you might prefer to remove loose hairs with a grooming glove during heavy shedding periods.


A Mini Bull Terrier can make a fine family pet if you are able to establish and maintain your position as trainer and leader right from the start. These dogs are strong and can be quite stubborn, as well, which can be a bad combination without proper training. If given a choice between following your directions or choosing their own course of action, a bully will take the lead every time. It is up to you to keep this behavior in check.

Sadly, these dogs don't usually get along well with other pets, and they can be quite aggressive and territorial without proper socialization. For these reasons, they are generally best kept in single-pet homes. However, they do require a good deal of companionship from their humans, and could resort to destructive behavior when bored or frustrated. Bullies like to be in on the action, so try to include your pet in family activities whenever possible.

Exercise Requirements

The puppy of a bull terrier runs on the grass in the park

The Miniature Bull Terrier needs regular exercise and activity to keep them fit and healthy. This breed can live in an apartment if they get enough exercise each day, but they also do well in a house with a yard. Generally, between 30 minutes and an hour is necessary each day to keep them out of trouble, though more activity is better.

Quick Tip

If you're searching for a small dog that also loves to jog, this could be the breed for you. Although they may become tired during long jogs, they are more than happy to go on short jogs with their human.


These dogs need a good deal of socialization as well as obedience training to make them the best companions they can possibly be. You will be well rewarded for your efforts with a loving and strongly devoted companion that also makes an excellent watchdog against intruders. When aroused, the Mini Bull is every bit as intimidating as the Standard Bull Terrier.

Health Issues

A well cared for Mini Bull can live to around 12 years old. However, there are a few prevalent health problems with this breed.

  • Deafness: This malady is more prevalent in white dogs than in colored specimens.
  • Slipping knee caps: This might be attributed to the breed's propensity toward obesity.
  • Glaucoma: A disease caused by increased pressure within the eye often resulting in blindness.
  • Kidney disease: A progressive disease that affects the kidneys and can lead to kidney failure.
  • Heart disease: This breed is prone to two types of heart disease, known as mitral valve dysplasia and aortic stenosis. Their heart should be checked for murmurs at 12 months old.
Quick Tip

When adopting a puppy, ask the breeder if their litter has health clearances prior to purchase.

History and Origin

The Bull Terrier breed was basically established by breeding the more cumbersome English Bulldog with the English Terrier. This resulted in the slightly more streamlined breed known today. The larger variety was bred down to create a Miniature Bull Terrier that would be easier to manage as a pet.

Fast Facts About the Mini Bull Terrier

Here are some interesting facts you may want to know:

  • Miniature Bull Terriers can become possessive of one or more owners.
  • Their confidence can get them into trouble at times. They are more than willing to try to dominate a larger dog.
  • They can give birth to up to nine puppies.
  • Mini bulls have a high prey drive, so keeping them on a leash is recommended when they're not fenced in.
  • They can easily become overweight if you provide too much food on a regular basis.

Where to Buy or Adopt a Miniature Bull Terrier

If you're looking to adopt a Miniature Bull Terrier, the first place to look is the local shelter or on PetFinder. You can also search for reputable breeders using the AKC Puppyfinder tool. The next place to look would be the Miniature Bull Terrier Club. The club takes pride in its reputation, and may have contacts to reach out to regarding healthy puppies for sale.

Bull terrier puppies in a basket

The price of Miniature Bull Terrier puppies can vary, but you should expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 from a breeder. Or, if you can find a puppy at a shelter or rescue, the cost could drop significantly, ranging from $100 to $500. Whether you choose to go with a rescue, shelter, or breeder, explain the type of puppy you are looking for so they can choose a puppy based on what you're looking for.

Quick Tip

Puppy mills are a concern with standard breeds, but miniature breeders are of even more concern. You want to make sure miniature dogs were bred properly so you purchase a healthy pup.

FAQs About the Miniature Bull Terrier

Here are the most commonly asked questions about the mini bull:

  • What's the difference between the standard and mini? The Standard variety can reach up to 24 inches tall, and an average weight of about 60 pounds, with some specimens weighing even more. Although the Mini Bull is still a substantial dog, it generally tops out at 14 inches tall, and weighs roughly half as much as its larger relative.
  • What exercises can this breed do if they live in an apartment? A long walk or two through the day, aside from potty breaks, is usually sufficient for this breed.
  • What's their most common health problem? Heart murmurs and problems with their vision are most common in this breed.
  • Are they hypoallergenic? No, they are not hypoallergenic, but they don't shed as much as other breeds.

Pros and Cons of the Miniature Bull Terrier

The Mini Bull stands out for a number of characteristics. They're great pets, but they do best with an experienced dog owner.

Pros Cons
Gets along well with children when socialized If not socialized properly, this breed may not get along with strangers, children, or other pets
Low grooming requirements Not as intimidating as their larger counterpart if you're looking for a dog to protect you
Good guard dog May not get along with other pets, especially if adopted as an adult

Is the Miniature Bull Terrier Right for You?

Like many strong breeds, the Mini Bull Terrier is not the ideal pet for every home, and although their smaller size does make these dogs slightly more manageable, they can still be a handful. It takes a strong and attentive owner to handle these dogs and encourage the best they have to offer.

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Miniature Bull Terriers: Characteristics and Trainability