Miniature Bull Terrier Dog Breed

  • Other names:
  • Mini Bull Terrier
  • English Miniature Bull Terrier
  • Miniature Roman Nose Bull

Pronunciation: [ Mi-ni-chu̇r bull tare-ee-ur ]

The Miniature Bull Terrier (MBT) is a small, muscular and somewhat unique-looking dog. The Roman nose is what distinguishes them: the low, flat line with a strong bump in the middle—from the closely inset eyes all the way down to the nose—gives the impression of an armored vehicle on the move. Contrary to their look, they are clowns at heart.

Miniature Bull Terrier Breed Details

Breed Specs
Purebred10-14 yrs.10-13 in.25-33 lbs
  • Friendliness
  • Overall
  • Family Friendly
  • Kid Friendly
  • Pet Friendly
  • Stranger Friendly
  • Maintenance
  • Easy to Groom
  • Energy Level
  • Exercise Needs
  • General Health
  • Shedding Amount
  • Behavior
  • Barks / Howls
  • Easy to Train
  • Guard Dog
  • Playfulness
  • Watch Dog
  • Ownership
  • Apartment Friendly
  • Can Be Alone
  • Good for Busy Owners
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Intelligence
* The more green the stronger the trait.

Miniature Bull Terriers were bred for a purpose: to continue using Bulldog breeds for extermination purposes and to have them not be lost due to the laws forbidding bloodspot that had popularized Bulldogs and similarly large dog breeds. Ratting was the perfect job for these small, muscular and Roman-nosed dogs, and it's why they run, dig and get into every corner of the house. They prefer to be around people, they tend to have aggression toward other dogs (especially those of the same sex), but they are great for large families with lots of older kids. They don't need experienced dog owners but they do need people who are patient, especially with training.

Here are some Miniature Bull Terrier facts:


  • Clownish
  • Very strong
  • Highly active
  • Wonderfully small
  • Few health concerns
  • Low grooming needs
  • Not typically aggressive around strangers


  • Love to dig
  • May bark a lot
  • Constantly curious
  • Extremely stubborn
  • Compulsive tail-biting
  • Anxious when left alone
  • Not good with other pets
  • May be illegal to possess in some places
  • Will sometimes break out in a full-house run

Miniature Bull Terrier Breed Description

Miniature Bull Terriers are just as the name states: miniature versions of Bull Terriers. They have the same drive, clownishness and desires to run and dig as their larger versions. You'll find that most Miniature Bull Terrier information will refer you to Bull Terriers.

These dogs come from an independent heritage of ratting, but they are still remarkably prone to separation anxiety. Despite all that, they are very smart dogs, and this will be most obvious when they are active. They excel at agility sports and they will find ways to get away with things despite being well-trained.

Digging is perhaps one of their annoying habits. It's part of the desire to know their environment intimately, and they have a tendency to get into everything as well as bark a fair amount. You'll never really break them of this, and if you do, they may just find more ways to pester you even as they have fun. You are better off designating a specific digging area.

If you are highly active, be it running, biking or hiking, you'll find that these are great dogs to have alongside you. They can go all day and then some. Kids will love your Miniature Bull Terrier, but they may not be good for toddlers. They shouldn't be left alone with babies either, as they are rambunctious dogs who don't understand their strength around very small children.

Miniature Bull Terrier Breed History

The course of Miniature Bull Terrier history is a short one. This breed was first known in England around the 1850s, shortly after the Industrial Revolution was underway. Bull-baiting had been outlawed in the early prior century, and the explosion of factories required dogs that could be ratters. Bulldogs were too big, and crossing them with Terriers could capture their tenacity as well as down-size them.

The man recognized for producing these dogs, James Hinks, may not have been the first person to experiment in crossing terriers and Bulldogs. He was highly successful, however. Hinks didn't leave records of which breeds he used, but it is known that there were Bulldogs, Dalmatians, Terriers with smooth coats, and maybe even Greyhounds were part of the mix. There were also English White Terriers and English Toy Terriers used, both breeds of which are now extinct.

Many breeders continued to work at shrinking the size of the Miniature Bull Terrier. It was not uncommon to see some at dog shows such as the Islington-based International Dog Show, that weighed less than 10 pounds. Over the next several decades, from the 1860s until the 1930s, a good bit was argued regarding Bull Terriers, the miniature class of them, and weight limits defining them.

In 1938, the Miniature Bull Terrier Club (MBTC) was founded as part of the effort to petition The Kennel Club to formally recognize the breed. The Chairperson of the MBTC, Colonel Richard Glynn, successfully rallied other Bull Terrier enthusiasts, and the group was granted their wish in May, 1939.

By the 1940s, these dogs had become very popular in America. This may have been sparked by a 1946 photo in Life Magazine of Willie, a Miniature Bull Terrier owned by General George S. Patton. The dog, who had accompanied Patton through horrifying battles during World War II, was recorded while resting alongside his late master's belongings.

Miniature Bull Terrier Coloring

There are two basic groups of MBT colorings: the white Miniature Bull Terrier and those with colors including tri-color MBTs. White MBTs can be completely white or have markings on their head but nowhere else. White MBTs can be prone to higher risk of skin conditions such as allergies or a sensitivity to parasites like fleas and ticks.

As for the other Miniature Bull Terrier colors, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes a total of 16, including white. The other 15 colors are:

  • Red
  • Fawn
  • Brindle
  • Red and white
  • White and red
  • Black and tan
  • Fawn and white
  • White and fawn
  • Brindle and white
  • White and brindle
  • Black and brindle
  • Black, tan, and white
  • White, black, and tan
  • Black, brindle, and white
  • White, black, and brindle

Miniature Bull Terrier Size

Over time, the Miniature Bull Terrier has grown a bit. The original intent was to make them Toys that were as small as possible, and there were many that weighed less than 10 pounds. Decades of argument and attempts to get this variety recognized as a breed, as well as to stabilize the dog's general health, has led to today's standard MBT size and weight. If you are curious to know how big do Miniature Bull Terriers get, be sure that you research the MBT Clubs first. Below are just the average weights and heights.

These days, the Miniature Bull Terrier size comparison is separate for males and females. Fully grown males stand about 13 inches and weigh 28 to 33 pounds. Mature females are only slightly less in both ways: 12 inches high and weighing 25-30 pounds.

Average Adult Height

10-13 in
*Height is measured in inches from the front paws to the top of the shoulder while the dog is standing on all four legs.

Average Adult Weight

25-33 lbs

Miniature Bull Terrier Variations

There are no real varieties of the Miniature Bull Terrier (MBT). Originally, these dogs were a variation of the Bull Terrier. It took many decades, starting in the late 19th century to nearly the middle of the 20th century, to get the Miniature type recognized as a separate breed. The basic variety is in coat color, and that is discussed under the Coloring section in Appearances.

These days, many BackYard Breeders (BYBs) will advertise Miniature Roman-nose Bull Terriers for sale. All Mini Bull Terriers have Roman noses, however, and this is believed by many reputable MBT Clubs to be a sales gimmick.

There are also continued attempts to make the MBT ever-smaller too. The result, sadly, tends to be apple-shaped heads and eyes that pop out far too much as well as significant health problems.

Miniature Bull Terrier Temperament

The typical Miniature Bull Terrier temperament is highly playful, a bit goofy and almost always hyperactive. They are not lapdogs, and you would do well to always have something to do with or for them. They are loyal dogs who will always be up for a walk, a romp in the backyard, or a visit to the dog park. The Miniature Bull Terrier personality is one that may at times be trying, especially during one of his "Bully runs" when he rips through the house and you are just dog-tired. This is because he loves you, however, and just wants to get you on your feet to have some fun!

Training tends to be difficult. They have a habit of testing you and pushing their boundaries. You can't let them get away with much as that will just be a jumping point to push further. Still, you should always be patient and anticipate a long training period.

Living Requirements

Miniature Bull Terriers are not for households where quiet, calm and laid-back are desired. They also need nearly constant human contact. They love to run, dig, bark and worry, and they will quickly get separation anxiety in the absence of humans they love. This will lead to even more barking, digging and intrusive behavior.

These are dogs that need to live indoors but require a lot of outdoor time. They are fine for most any size place, from apartment living to massive ranches, from high-density urban areas to rural areas where you drive to your mailbox. No matter the type of residence, however, they will get into everything that is not strongly locked against their curiosity.

These are hypoallergenic dogs with "wash and wear" coats. They should cause few allergy concerns and are low-maintenance when it comes to shedding and grooming. This will be a relief despite their tendency to dig up flower gardens with all those pollens released!

Miniature Bull Terrier Health

All dogs are susceptible to a wide range of health issues, but the concerns that Miniature Bull Terriers tend to face specifically are eye and ear problems and kidney disease. The white-coated MBTs are at far higher risk of the deafness and eye issues, however, and there are many health tests that should be done on any dog you want to adopt.

Here is a list of some of the health problems that can affect Miniature Bull Terriers:

  • Allergies
  • Entropion
  • Glaucoma
  • Blindness
  • Lens luxation
  • Kidney disease
  • Lens dislocation
  • Subaortic stenosis
  • Congenital deafness
  • Mitral valve dysplasia
  • Compulsive tail chasing

The average lifespan for a Miniature Bull Terrier is 10 to 14 years.