Over recent years, miniature versions of already popular purebred breeds have been seeing more and more attention, and the mini Bulldog is no exception.
Aiming to condense everything that is loved about the full-sized English Bulldog into a smaller package, this breed is an alluring concept to many!
However, a cute appearance isn’t everything.
There is much more to a dog, and this article will take you through all the miniature Bulldog information you need to know.
Why Are Miniature Breeds So Popular?
Simply put, humans tend to find childlike characteristics in an animal cute.
For dogs, this means that puppies generally get a whole lot more squealing and pats than their adult counterparts!
The appeal of a miniature dog is that it stays puppy-sized for its entire life.
It retains that cute and innocent draw that many puppy-lovers cannot get enough of.
Many find smaller-breeds inherently cuter than bigger breeds, and miniature versions of larger dogs can perhaps be a way to bring the personality and behavior of a large dog into a smaller, cuter package.
Miniature Bulldog – Their Larger Brothers
The Bulldog is already a well-loved breed, so it’s no surprise miniature versions have started to make an appearance.
Their stocky, low to the ground body and flat face already hold a lot of appeal to many dog-lovers, despite the health issues such characteristics bring.
Add to that a generally gentle and calm temperament, and you have a very popular breed.
A mini Bulldog aims to retain all these characteristics in a puppy size, to further increase the cute appeal of the breed.
Mini Bulldog Full Grown Size
The miniature Bulldog, while not recognized by the American Kennel Club, has been recognized by various societies and registries such as the American Canine Association.
The ACA states that an adult miniature Bulldog should be around 10–14 inches in height and 25–40 pounds in weight.
This is just under the specifications for a normal Bulldog set by the AKC, so it can be said that any Bulldog that does not reach the AKC specifications could be categorized as miniature.
However, it is possible for adult mini Bulldogs to be even smaller than this, though not recommended.
There is such a thing as too small, with breeds such as teacup Chihuahuas being an example of going too far.
Being too tiny can lead to a wealth of health issues and has a significant impact on the dog’s quality of life.
How Much Is a Mini Bulldog?
Miniature Bulldogs usually go for around $500 to $2000, depending on the puppy’s conformation to the breed standard.
There are a few ads floating around for ridiculous amounts of money, however, of up to $20,000.
These ones claim to be from “champion bloodlines” and to be of fantastic show quality.
However, many of these same breeders have received complaints of being unethical, and there are stories of customers receiving miniature Bulldog puppies with health concerns.
Always tread lightly when searching for a breeder, and look for one with recognition from a breeding society and positive feedback from previous customers.
Mini Bulldogs – How Are They Bred?
There are three methods in which one can achieve miniaturization with any given breed, each with their drawbacks.
The first method is to crossbreed with a smaller breed.
Puppies of crosses such as these will end up shrinking down, due to the smaller parent within the cross.
However, this sometimes is not desirable, as crossbreeds have a unpredictable appearance and temperament.
Crossbreed puppies can take after any aspect of either parent.
Therefore they could lose traits intrinsic to the Bulldog breed, becoming an entirely different dog for all intents and purposes.
Basically, dogs of this method will not be 100% Bulldog anymore.
Crossbreeds also run the risk of introducing new health issues or worsening current ones if they are not planned wisely.
Another method is to introduce the dwarfism gene to the breed.
Rather than shrinking the dog’s size as a whole, this introduces the gene that creates short and stumpy legs.
Think Dachshunds or Corgis.
The shorter legs will make the original breed a lot lower to the ground, so they appear smaller.
Dogs with this trait are known as chondrodysplastic.
This method is generally not desirable, as it brings with it a lot of potential joint and back issues.
You will be adding a lot of stress to the joints of the dog, which can lead to early onset of arthritis and other painful conditions.
Dogs with this trait need special care to prevent wear and tear to their overworked joints and to prevent injury.
The final method of miniaturization is to selectively breed the smallest members of the dog breed with each other.
There will always be runts within litters who are smaller than the rest, and this method breeds those dogs together to start a genetic line of smaller and smaller dogs.
As you are only breeding members of the original breed, this way is the safest to ensure that no traits of the original breed are lost.
However, this can take many generations of dogs to achieve a significant size difference from the original breed.
Runts can often suffer health problems as a result of their size and status as well. Breeders must be very careful not to unintentionally propagate these.
It requires a lot of work and intelligent breeding to pull this off and have healthy puppies by the end of it.
How Are Mini Bulldogs Made?
As for the mini Bulldog, in particular, they are usually created by either crossbreeding with a Pug or breeding the smallest members of the breed with each other.
It’s important to note that the Bulldog already has the gene for dwarfism as part of the conformation of the breed.
This is why they have stumpy front legs.
Therefore, miniaturization of this breed is technically a combination of the 2nd method with either the 1st or the 3rd.
When purchasing a mini Bulldog, be wary of how the miniaturization was achieved.
If it was via crossbreeding with a Pug, traits of the original Bulldog may have been lost and replaced with traits of the Pug.
Trustworthy breeders of the mini Bulldog will be able to show how the miniaturization was achieved.
They should also let you see the parent dogs so you know exactly where the puppy has come from.
Health Issues of the Mini Bulldog
The main health concern surrounding Bulldogs is the fact that they are brachycephalic.
A brachycephalic breed is one that has a flat-face, like the Bulldog.
While this is a cute and appealing characteristic to many, it brings with it a wealth of potential health issues that range from mild to life-threatening.
The flat face seen within certain dog breeds is a characteristic that has been bred into them over time by us.
This shortening of the skull compresses the nasal cavity, causing the dog to have significant breathing problems.
This is known as brachycephalic airway syndrome.
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
These breathing issues can eventually lead to Laryngeal Collapse, a condition where the dog’s breathing can suddenly worsen.
Immediate vet attention is necessary for the dog to survive, as this condition can quickly be fatal.
Other health issues brought upon by being a brachycephalic breed include:
- skin infection and irritation
- problems giving birth
- debilitating spinal conditions
- easily irritated and injured eyes
On top of this, Bulldogs are chondrodysplastic – another structural issue that we mentioned earlier.
This can increase the risk of joint problems such as hip dysplasia and patellar luxation.
Both of these issues will be present within the mini Bulldog.
As to whether these conditions will be any worse in mini Bulldogs due to the smaller size, it can be hard to say.
The condition may not be inherently worse, but due to the smaller mini Bulldog size, they may have a harder time dealing with them than their larger brethren, and will therefore require more care.
Pug Health Issues
It’s worth noting the common health conditions of the Pug, as one of the methods in creating a mini Bulldog involves crossbreeding with one.
Pugs are also brachycephalic and chondrodysplastic.
Therefore, they face many of the similar health issues of the Bulldog.
Hip dysplasia and patellar luxation are also prevalent within both breeds.
Therefore, even via the crossbreeding method, it is certain that the mini Bulldog will suffer from brachycephalic airway syndrome.
They will also have the health issues that come from being a chondrodysplastic breed.
Caring for a Mini Bulldog
The first thing to be aware of when living with a mini Bulldog is to not treat them like you would their larger cousins.
This is doubly important when you take into consideration their breathing issues.
Remember Their Size
Being smaller, what might be a moderate walk for a normal Bulldog may be quite intense for the mini Bulldog.
Likewise, some furniture may be a bit more dangerous for them to jump down from.
As the miniaturization of this breed is less extreme than it is with others, this is less of a problem.
But it is still worth considering.
A short walk daily will do for the mini Bulldog.
However, due to brachycephalic airway syndrome being exacerbated by hot weather, do not take them outside on a hot day.
Find some fun exercise indoors during this time.
It’s also a good idea to use a harness as opposed to a collar with this breed.
A collar can further impede the dog’s breathing.
They Need Training
Another important point is that it’s imperative that the mini Bulldog is trained from a young age in both obedience and socialization.
The mini Bulldog has a reputation for being a bit stubborn, which can make training difficult.
If you are having issues, always hire a professional.
Skipping training is not an option and leads to negative and undesirable behaviors forming.
The mini Bulldog’s short coat should be easy to care for, requiring a weekly brush to remove any dead hairs.
However, they will also require regular cleaning of their skin folds and wrinkles.
These areas are prone to infection and irritation.
As with every dog breed, regular nail trimmings and teeth brushing are necessary.
Ideal Home for a Mini Bulldog
A mini Bulldog makes for a good apartment dog, since they don’t take up much space at all.
What is very necessary within a home for this breed is good air-conditioning for the summer and good heating during the winter.
This breed struggles to regulate their body temperature, and therefore extreme heat and cold temperatures will greatly affect them.
They tend to be good with children and other pets.
However, they must have been socialized well from a young age.
Separation anxiety could be an issue within this breed.
Therefore they prefer to live with a family where there is always someone around in the home to keep them company.
Finding and Purchasing Mini Bulldog Puppies
Mini Bulldogs are becoming increasingly popular, so you shouldn’t be hard-pressed to find a breeder.
However, there unfortunately are a lot of bad breeders out there, especially those involved in creating miniature breeds.
Therefore, try to find a breeder who can be trusted.
Those with recognition from breeding societies and positive feedback from previous customers are worth looking into.
Check the puppy’s breathing.
Are they breathing loudly, snorting and sniffling?
Are their nostrils wide and free-flowing, or are they pinched shut?
If the puppy is exerting significant effort to breathe, it is likely suffering from a severe form of brachycephalic airway syndrome and should be avoided.
Also be sure to check the parent dogs too.
Check their breathing as you did for the puppy.
Also see if they can move without any signs of pain or lameness.
Good health in the parents can be indicative of good puppy health.
Is the Mini Bulldog Right For Me?
Ultimately, whether this breed is right for you or not lies with you and your family situation.
We can only give you all the mini Bulldog information.
But it is hard to recommend this breed, due to the structural health issues present.
Miniaturization may only further exacerbate the issues, especially the breathing problems.
Therefore, you should take a look at other small breeds first before making any decisions.
There are many similar small breeds who do not suffer from the structural issues present in the mini Bulldog and live much healthier lives.
However, if your heart is set on this breed, be sure that you can provide the special care and comfortable home environment for them to be happy.
What do you think about mini Bulldogs?
Have you ever owned one?
Let us know below!
American Canine Association
American Kennel Club
The Kennel Club UK
Monnet, E, Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome World Small Animal Veterinary Association, 2015
Karabagli, M, Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome in Dogs Istanbul University, 2012
Bright, RM, Laryngeal Collapse in Dogs, 2011
Jezyk, PF, Constitutional Disorders of the Skeleton in Dogs and Cats Textbook of Small Animal Orthopaedics, 1985
Farese, JP, et al, Diagnostic method and apparatus for assessing canine hip dysplasia Cornell Research Foundation Inc, 1997
O’Neill, DG, et al, The epidemiology of patellar luxation in dogs attending primary-care veterinary practices in England Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 2016
Mason, TA, A Review Of Recent Developments In Hip Dysplasia Australian Veterinary Journal, 1976