Miniature Bull Terrier

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2010 Westminster

Frequently Asked Questions:

1.  What were these dogs bred for?
Miniature Bull Terriers were bred down from smaller standard Bull Terriers, who were originally used for dog fighting. Most likely some fox terrier or Jack Russell terrier (both small-game hunters) was mixed in to reduce size.

2.  What are their personalities like?
MBT's are typically intense, smart, loyal, persistent, clownish, pushy and comfort-loving. Some are good watch dogs; others are everyone's best friend. Most are very busy, especially as young active dogs, while others are more relaxed.

3.  Are they easy to train?
In a word, no. To successfully train a MBT, one must be more persistent, bright and creative than the dog, which is not always easy. Mini's are smart and learn quickly with positive training methods that use toys, food and play as rewards. They need a great deal of patient reinforcement to perform well, and yet do not accept drilling for long periods and shut down altogether in the face of heavy-handed methods.

While they can be a challenge to train, their unpredictable goofiness can be incredibly entertaining, and their eventual cooperation especially heartwarming. MBT's do best with owners who are not push-overs, who have a good sense of humor and can accept slightly less than perfect obedience. MBT's are not Shelties or Golden Retrievers, but will try hard if you do, too.

4.  Are they good with kids?
Mini-bulls at play can be quite rowdy. If your children are very young or quite sensitive, the breed might not be the best for you at this time. However, there are individual differences of temperament often in the same litter and some dogs may be softer or less boisterous than others. It goes without saying children should be well-trained to never abuse or tease any dogs. For older, hardier children, MBT's can be great companions who will play ball, chase sticks or play hide-and-seek games endlessly, and also don't seem to mind being dressed-up. It is best to have the breeder meet your children, if possible, and select the appropriate puppy for you.

5.  Are they a healthy breed?
MBTs, like all purebreds, have some genetic problems to be guarded against, the most serious being hearing defects, juvenile kidney problems and lens luxation of the eyes, which can result in blindness. Of a less serious nature, but still a vexation, are allergy-related skin problems.

Of course, the majority of MBT's live 10-12 years of healthy lives. Bonsai puppies have come from parents who have been tested and cleared for heart and kidney health, eye health and bilateral hearing, and for normal patellas and thyroid function. The gene pool of the breed is small and it is not possible to guarantee that no problems will occur, but all that is possible to be done through research and testing has been done to produce healthy Bonsai MBT pups.

6.  How much do they cost? Yikes! Why so much?
Prices for Bonsai MBTs are $3,500 for both pet and show prospects. All come with the same health and temperament assurances.

There are very few MBTs in the country and they are difficult dogs to breed. Because there are so few dogs, a bitch may need to cross the continent to meet her best possible mate. Small litters of 2-4 are the norm and unfortunately many bitches require caesareans to deliver their puppies. Some are not good mothers and need time-consuming intervention to properly rear the litter. The health testing which responsible breeders require is quite expensive, as is competing with dogs that may have to travel long distances to find majors to complete their championships. (Completing a championship, thus establishing a dog's comparative good breed type and trainability in competition before breeding, is important).

7.  At least grooming looks easy, right?
It is, with the exception of nail trimming which should be done with a special canine pedicure-grinder every 2 weeks (or weekly for show dogs). Their nails are very heavy for their size and tend to curl around the pads making regular attention from puppyhood onwards mandatory.

    In some parts of the U.S., the Miniature Bull Terrier is truly a rare breed. Seventeen states have not registered a single Mini.
California has, by far, the largest population 

2014 Bonsai Miniature Bull Terrier Club
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