Living with a Mini-Bull Terrier

 

For the past 14 years I’ve been lucky to be owned by a Miniature Bull Terrier.  

Considered rarer than the Giant Panda, the Mini-Bull is one of the Kennel Club’s 23 vulnerable British breeds.  

Barbara Woodhouse famously deemed them the only breed that could not be trained. Over 13 years that I shared with my first Mini-Bull, Molly, we dined out on this statement again and again.

 

Little Devil

 

It’s true to say that a Mini Bull isn’t an ‘easy’ dog to own, or train,  and isn’t necessarily the right dog for a first time owner. If you’re used to a ‘biddable’ breed like a Labrador, you’ll find owning a Mini-Bull very difficult.

Mini Bulls need heaps of time, energy and patience. I build at least three training sessions into our daily routine. Playtime is especially important. They’re natural born comics and cannot cope with boredom.

The key to success is to turn your Mini-Bull’s world into a game based on teamwork, rules, and a good time. One thing’s for sure, there’s never a dull moment living with a Mini-Bull.

Often described as:the friendly, feisty extrovert who is always ready for a good time”.  I’d quite like to be described like that! 

 

Piazza shot

 

It’s so important to match your energy levels with your choice of dog, and of course your lifestyle and home environment.

The American Kennel Club coins a Mini-Bull as : “A toddler in a dog suit”. Unlike other breeds, they never grow up. They also have firm opinions of their own.  They can be scheming and often plan mischief.

The first two years with your puppy that are the most challenging.

They’re naturally accident prone and clumsy. Like a bull in a china shop, they act first and think later! It’s this zest for life in a bombastic way that gives them their charm. If anything owning a Mini-Bull keeps you young at heart.

Molly my first Mini-Bull was best known for her TV and radio appearances. She was a natural and loved the camera lens.

Never once letting me down, even on live TV, we had years of training and socialisation under our belt:  on London Buses, trains, black cabs, in cafes, hotels, restaurants, TV sets and radio studios.

Molly loved radio studios and could ‘bark’ on command providing real life sound FX! Helping to launch The Barking Hour, now in its seventh year, it’s still one of the most popular slots on BBC Radio London.

 

Showring stand

 

 

Molly also starred every week on The Titchmarsh Show as part of the ‘Barking Blonde’ team. But I’d forgotten just how much time Molly and I spent perfecting our ‘double’ act.

Little Miss Prudence, Molly’s successor, has just celebrated her first birthday. She’s a live wire!  Putting me through my paces and pushing me to my limits, I musn’t give her an inch, or she takes a mile.

Unlike Molly, Prudence doesn’t seem to have inherited the lazy gene that many Mini-Bulls have. On a rainy day Molly wouldn’t leave the sofa, preferring to watch daytime TV than venture out into a downpour.

Prudence is typically stubborn as mule and brave as a lion, but with a heart of gold. Weighing in at 12 kilos, she’s all muscle and very strong – she’s a pocket rocket.

Without a strong personality and a huge sense of humour owning a Mini Bull might be difficult. Contrary to popular belief they are so smart, and can cleverly manipulate you to get their own way.

 

Water Bottle

 

 

Prudence was born with advanced attention seeking capabilities.

Daily I have to remind myself who’s in charge!! I have to be a rock, a mountain, for Prudence to respect my opinions.

The trick is to get your Mini-Bull to think they’re getting their own way all the time, when actually everything is done on your terms.

A Mini Bull is like marmite, you either like them or you don’t! It’s the Bull Terrier effect. I couldn’t imagine how boring life would be without  a Mini Bull by my side.  

 

anna webb

 

 

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www.annawebb.co.uk

Anna believes that all animals, but particularly dogs make us human.

One half of the Barking Blondes with Jo Good, Anna co-presents the only radio show dedicated to dogs in Europe, BBC Radio London's 'The Barking Hour'.

Anna has contributed weekly to The Titchmarsh show, the Gabby Logan Show, co-authored Barking Blondes – the book, and regularly contributes as a canine spokesperson on national and local radio.

Anna is a columnist for a host of canine and health magazines, including Your Dog, The Good Vet & Pet Guide, The Independent and Animal Therapy Magazine.

Anna is passionate about holistic healthcare and studied with the College of Integrated Veterinary Studies. Combining her Psychology degree, Anna offers a holistic view to help dogs and their owners, fusing training and behaviour, environmental factors and natural nutrition.

Believing you are what you eat, Anna has always fed her dogs a raw diet, and is an Ambassador for Natural Instinct.

The thirteen years Anna shared with her beloved Mini Bull Terrier, Molly, best represents her lifelong passion for dogs.

Training the only breed deemed impossible by Barbara Woodhouse, Anna and Molly broke boundaries competing at Canine Freestyle (doggy dancing); agility and showed Molly at Crufts. Molly will be best remembered for her TV and Radio appearances and as an ambassador for her breed globally.

Anna is now owned by Prudence her Mini Bull puppy and Mr Binks her re-homed English Toy Terrier. Perhaps a surprise is that the pack leader is Gremlin, Anna’s stray street-cat, who’s learnt some tricks and thinks he’s a dog!