Performance events put the Miniature Bull Terrier’s intelligence, high energy level, and prey drive on excellent display. Unlike show dogs, performance dogs don’t have to conform to the breed standard and they can be spayed or neutered. That opens performance to any MBT owner who puts in the time and effort to train their dog.
Miniature Bull Terriers compete in a wide variety of canine sports:
- Obedience: Obedience is one of the oldest competitive dog sporting events. At increasingly difficult levels, it tests a dog’s trained skills in formal heeling, retrieving, scent discrimination. jumping, staying in position and more.
- Rally: In these events, dogs and their handlers navigate a course set with stations to perform specific exercises (such as Sit-Down-Sit) in a test of obedience and trust. A number of organizations offer Rally events, including the AKC, World Cynosport Rally Limited, and the UKC.
- AKC Earthdog: In these non-competitive events, small terriers and Dachshunds have a standardized gauge to measure their natural aptitude and trained hunting and working behaviors in an underground hunting situation.
- Tracking: AKC Tracking demonstrates a dog’s natural ability to recognize and follow a scent, and is the foundation of canine search and rescue work.
- Agility: In perhaps the most famous canine sport, Agility dogs and handlers must negotiate an obstacle course while racing against the clock. You can find Agility events all over North America sanctioned by the AKC, the UKC, the Canadian Kennel Club, the United States Dog Agility Association, Canine Performance Events, and the North American Dog Agility Council.
- Lure Coursing: Lure coursing uses a system of mechanized lures and pulleys that simulate the unpredictability of chasing live prey. Lure coursing is traditionally open only to sight hounds, but both the AKC and the UKC have introduced alternate coursing ability events for all breeds.
- Nose Work and Scent Work: In this event, dogs look for a specific scent and must find its source. It is akin to the work done by drug- and bomb-sniffing dogs. Events are sanctioned in the U.S. by United States Canine Scent Sports, the AKC, the UKC, and in Canada by the Sporting Detection Dogs Association. Events are sanctioned in the U.S. and Canada by the National Association of Canine Scent Work and K9 ABC Games. Other groups around the world also sanction events, including Australia Canine Scent Work.
- Dock Diving: Dogs compete in jumping for distance or height from a dock into a body of water. The registry sponsoring events and offering titles is called North America Diving Dogs (NADD). With proper application, titles may be recognized by the AKC as well.
- Barn Hunt: One of the newest canine sports is based on the traditional roles of many breeds in ridding farms, barns, crop storage areas, and homes of destructive vermin. Barn Hunt is governed by the Barn Hunt Association.
- Weight Pulling: Dogs in specially designed safety harnesses compete to see who can pull the most weight on a sled — with safety uppermost in mind at all times. The oldest sanctioning body is the International Weight Pull Association. Events also are organized and governed by the National Working Dog Association.
As a member club of the AKC, MBTCA sanctions performance events under AKC regulations.
Canine Citizenship and Service
Miniature Bull Terriers also make excellent candidates for training and socialization titles.
- AKC Canine Good Citizen: The gold standard for good dog behavior, a dog with the CGC title has passed a 10-step test of basic good manners.
- AKC Community Canine: The next step up from CGC, the Community Canine test evaluates the dog’s skills in a real-world setting (e.g., walking in a crowd).
- AKC Urban Canine Good Citizen: An advanced CGC title, the Urban CGC evaluates the dog’s skills in a busy street environment.
- Therapy Dogs: Many MBTs are certified therapy dogs who bring cheer to nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and other settings. The AKC awards titles to therapy dogs based on the number of visits completed. (Rufus, the Colored Bull Terrier who won Best in Show at Westminster in 2006, became a therapy dog in retirement.)
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Dogs who excel at Performance can achieve AKC-recognized titles. MBTCA members whose dogs title in multiple types of Performance are eligible for the Susan M. Hall Memorial Versatility Trophy, or “Hildie.”