If you're an English Bulldog lover, but need a dog in a smaller size, you might be interested in a Miniature English Bulldog. While there's no doubt these dogs are adorable, they come with a lot of health problems and questionable breeding.
Origin of the Miniature English Bulldog
The Miniature English Bulldog was created by breeding a smaller version of the English Bulldog. They were developed during the 1980s by breeders who were looking to create a dog like the English Bulldog but in a smaller and healthier package. Some breeders breed the Miniature English Bulldog with Pug. Others bred only smaller English Bulldogs to each other in order to create a smaller purebred version. They are not recognized as a distinct breed by the largest organization, the American Kennel Club. They are, however, recognized by smaller registries like the American Canine Association and the Dog Registry of America.
Difference Between the English Bulldog, Miniature English Bulldog, Toy Bulldog and the Mini Bulldog
Miniature English Bulldogs are also known as Teacup Bulldogs and are a smaller version of the English Bulldog from which they are descended. There is also a Mini Bulldog and a Toy Bulldog that are often confused with the Miniature English Bulldog. For comparison's sake:
- The English Bulldog has an average weight of 40 to 55 pounds.
- The Miniature English Bulldog has an average weight of 20 to 40 pounds and can contain some Pug or Boston Terrier, depending on the breeder.
- The Mini Bulldog is a hybrid of an English Bulldog mixed with a Pug and they weigh on average 30 to 40 pounds.
- The Toy Bulldog was bred in England and no longer exists. These dogs were mixes of French and English Bulldogs and weighed about 20 pounds.
Miniature English Bulldog Physical Characteristics
A Miniature English Bulldog looks almost exactly like their English Bulldog ancestors, other than their smaller size. They can weigh between 20 to 40 pounds and are between 13 to 14 inches high, with males larger than females. They have a brachycephalic face and a low-slung and muscular body.
The Miniature English Bulldog's Coat
The Miniature English Bulldog has the short and glossy coat of the English Bulldog. It comes in brindle, brown, fawn, red, white or patched. They require a weekly brushing to keep their skin healthy and from shedding. They also need the folds of their skin cleaned regularly to keep skin conditions from developing. Along with their coat and skin needs, be prepared to deal with lots of drool.
Personality of the Miniature English Bulldog
Like the English Bulldog, Miniature English Bulldog is known for being a friendly and outgoing dog. They are affectionate dogs who do well with children and love to cuddle. Since they're so people-focused, they do not enjoy being left alone for long periods of time. They can also show some protective tendencies around their home and family and are loyal to their families. They also can be difficult with some other dogs due to their bulldog heritage.
Training a Miniature English Bulldog
Although they're known for being "stubborn", this is just a sign that they're intelligent and respond best to positive reinforcement training. They also have a reputation for being difficult to house train, which is common with smaller dogs.
Miniature English Bulldog Exercise Needs
The exercise needs of the Miniature English Bulldog needs to be handled with care. Because of their physical condition and the ease at which their sensitivity to extreme temperatures, they should not be over-exercised. While some of these dogs are playful and will enjoy a good walk, others are pure couch potatoes who don't want to be bothered. Since they're prone to obesity, it's important to make sure they get some daily exercise.
Miniature English Bulldog Health Concerns
The Miniature English Bulldog has a lifespan of about eight to 12 years. One of the biggest problems with this breed is that they are prone to a long list of health problems. In addition to having difficulty giving birth and requiring cesarean sections, they can suffer from the following:
- Aortic stenosis is a heart disease involving narrowing of the aortic valve.
- Brachycephalic syndrome cause respiratory problems with symptoms as mild as snoring and as serious as passing out after physical exertion.
- Canine follicular dysplasia is a problem with a dog's hair follicles that leads to hair loss and flaky skin.
- Cleft palate is caused by the sides of the roof of a dog's mouth not closing and can cause respiratory problems and difficulty eating.
- Cryptorchidism occurs when a dog's testicle has not descended and may require surgery.
- Deafness occurs with these dogs at birth in either one or both ears.
- Dwarfism, or achondroplasia, occurs when a dog's skeletal system does not develop at a normal rate and leads to smaller dogs with limbs that may be out of proportion to the rest of the body.
- Ectopic ureter causes urinary bladder problems and can lead to urinary incontinence. It may require surgery to treat.
- Eye problems, including cherry eye, dry eye, trichiasis and entropion, which can all lead to difficulties with vision and even blindness, as well as eye irritation.
- Head shakes which can be caused by irritations and inflammation in the ears.
- Heat stroke can lead to dehydration and even death if not treated quickly enough.
- Hemivertebrae is a deformity of the dog's spine that causes "screw tail."
- Hip dysplasia is a painful condition involving a dog's bones and joints in the hips.
- Hypoplastic trachea is a genetic condition where a dog's trachea is too narrow and can cause breathing problems and coughing.
- Hypothyroidism is a disorder of the endocrine system which can lead to weight gain, skin and coat problems and lethargy.
- Patellar and elbow luxation is an orthopedic condition where the dog's knee and elbow caps are out of place and require surgical correction.
- Pododermatitis occurs when a dog's feet and paws become irritated due to allergies, infections, tumors or other diseases.
- Pulmonary edema involves fluid in the dog's lungs and can be associated with heart failure.
- Pulmonic stenosis is a congenital problem with a dog's heart. The dog's pulmonary valve is too narrow and it can lead to heart failure.
- Sacrocaudal dysgenesis is a congenital defect of the dog's spine that causes a dog to be born without a tail.
- Skin conditions including demodectic mange, furunculosis, and muzzle folliculitis which can lead to severe skin irritation and discomfort for the dog.
- Tetralogy of Fallot involves defects in the heart present at birth that can cause seizures, collapsing, inability to exercise and problems growing properly.
- Tumors including mast cell tumors, brain tumors and lymphosarcoma which can be benign to cancerous.
- Urate urolithiasis is when stones are formed with uric acid and can cause pain and blockages in the dog's liver and kidneys.
- Urethrorectal fistula is a condition present at birth where the dog's urethra is too narrow.
- Ventricular septal defect is a "hole" in a dog's heart that is a congenital condition.
Where Can You Get a Miniature English Bulldog?
A Miniature English Bulldog puppy from a breeder can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,500. Since they're not recognized by the AKC, you can find them by researching breeders on the internet as well as the directory on English Bulldog Miniature Association website. Because of the health problems and unethical breeding practices that abound with this breed, research your breeder very carefully before getting one of their dogs. If you decide to rescue a dog, you can try the Bulldog Club of America which may have listings of these smaller versions of their breed, as well as the Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet websites.
Is the Miniature English Bulldog the Right Dog For You?
The Miniature English Bulldog is a dog that is definitely cute and friendly but comes with a lot of health problems. If you have a limited budget for pet care, this is not the dog for you. It also may be harder to find a well-bred dog and realize there are many concerns in the dog fancy about breeding these dogs with such poor physical health prospects. Still, if you're willing to deal with all of these medical issues and have the funds, they can be engaging, affectionate family companions.