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.