Focus on the Standard

The materials, photos, and illustrations were developed and approved by a committee appointed by the MBTCA. Special thanks to Donly Chorn, Marilyn Drewes, Dennis Harris, Patti Holt and Trudy Pizer for their contributions, insights and devotion to the breed. The illustrations were created by multi-group judge Stephen J. Hubbell. (Excerpted from A LITTLE BULL ©1998-2000 Miniature Bull Terrier Club of America.)

1 generalGeneral Appearance & Size, Proportion, Substance

The Miniature Bull Terrier must be strongly built symmetrical and active, with a keen, determined and intelligent expression. He should be full of fire, having a courageous, even temperament and be amenable to discipline.

General Appearance

“A scaled down version of the Bull Terrier,” maintaining the physical and temperamental qualities of the standard size In a more compact convenient size. Strongly built, ample muscle and bone, well sprung ribs and deep brisket symmetrical and active, with a keen, determined and intelligent expression are key components of this breed also referred to some as the “little clown.”

Size, Proportion, Substance

Height 10 inches to 14 inches. Dogs outside these limits should be faulted. Weight in proportion to height.

In proportion, the Miniature Bull Terrier should give the appearance of being square.

This is a “Miniature Bull Terrier.” Height measurement of 10 inches to 14 inches reflects the concept of a miniature of the original breed, not a toy or just a small standard. The miniature is a distinct breed unto itself.

The Square proportion refers to the measurement of sternum to buttocks as compared to withers to ground. The breed should be of sturdy build in proportion to the size, not too fine of bone or too heavy boned.

Head, Skull, and Muzzle

3 headsThe head should be long, strong deep, right to the end of the muzzle, but not coarse. The full face should be an oval in outline and be filled completely up giving the impression of fullness with a surface devoid of hollows or indentations, i.e., egg shaped.

The profile should curve gently downwards from the top of the skull to the tip of the nose. The forehead should be flat across from ear to ear.

The head being the hallmark of the breed, to resemble an egg in shape. In observing the head in profile it is important to look for a gentle curve downwards, no apparent stop. The full face of the dog should be oval in appearance. There should be no evidence of any indentations chiseling or stop.4 muzzle jaw Nor should the head appear “Cheeky,” the sides should be smooth. A well filled oval or complete egg. The muzzle should be deep and broad, not snipy.

The distance from the tip of the nose to the eyes should be perceptibly greater than that from the eyes to the skull. The underjaw should be deep and well defined.

Unlike many other terriers, the distance from nose to eyes does not equal the distance from eyes to occiput. The muzzle should be apparently longer than the skull.

To achieve a keen, determined and intelligent expression, the eyes should be well sunken and as dark as possible with a piercing glint. They should be small, triangular and obliquely placed, set near together and high up on the dog’s head.

3 eye“The Triangular shape, unique to the Bull Terrier Breed, oblique placement and dark color all contribute to the keen, determined and intelligent expression. The eyes are set noticeably closer to the ears than to the nose. The breed historically was a fighter, and ratter, therefore to protect the eyes they needed to be sunken.”

Head Faults

3 head faults

The Ears and Nose

5 earsThe ears should be small, thin and placed together, capable of being held stiffly erect when they point upwards. The nose should be black with well-developed nostril bent downward at the tip.

Size, shape placement of the ears influence the overall expression To achieve the determined intelligent expression, the combination of correct eye shape & placement as well as ear size, shape and set needs to be present. The development of small, thin ears held erectly was for protection when ratting.

Neck, Topline, Body, and Tail

6 neck7 back 1Neck

The neck should be very muscular, long and arched; tapering from the shoulders to the head, it should be free from loose skin.

Topline and Body

The back should be short and strong with a slight arch over the loin. Behind the shoulders there should be no slackness or dip at the withers.

The body should be well rounded with marked spring of rib. The back ribs deep. The chest should be broad when viewed from in front There should be great depth from withers to brisket so that the latter is nearer to the ground than the belly. The underline from the brisket to the belly, should form a graceful upward curve. The Miniature Bull Terrier should have a strongly developed muscular neck.7 back 2


The tail should be short set on low, fine and should be carried horizontally. It should be thick where it joins the body, and should taper to a fine point.8 tail set


9 forequartThe strong muscular development of the shoulder and front assembly should be obvious without being overdone or looking muscle bound. The Miniature Bull Terrier should have a pronounced layback of the shoulder. The strong, straight sturdy front legs should be in line with the correct shoulder layback resulting in a developed fore chest. Pasterns should be strong and upright.

11 forequartersThe shoulders should be strong and muscular, but without heaviness. The shoulder blades should be wide and flat and there should be a very pronounced backward slope from the bottom edge of the blade to the top edge. The legs should be of moderate length, perfectly straight and the dog must stand firmly up on them. The elbows must turn neither in nor out and the pasterns should be strong and upright.

Front Faults10 front faults