Hellion Mini Bull Terriers
welcome to Hellion Mini Bull Terriers

The following information is offered to answer some basic questions about buying a Miniature Bull Terrier puppy.

Mini Bull Terriers are high-maintenance dogs and while many people are attracted to the look of these dogs they find that it is a lot of work to live with one.

Begin your search by looking for a responsible Mini breeder:

Look at www.minibull.com - the national club Web site.

You may also want to consider a rescue Miniature Bull Terrier
While we only have a very few Minis in Rescue each year we are always on the look out for a forever home for them. You can get a wonderful, loving pet through Rescue. You skip the puppy misbehaviors, and spend much less money for your Mini, all the while providing a home for a dog in need.

Most Rescue dogs are in Rescue because of inadequate research done by prospective owners, inadequate training (or none at all) and those sad excuses: ”We’re moving/divorcing/having a baby…can’t cope with the dog.” Sadly, there are also those dogs who were never properly tattooed or micro chipped, and have either wandered off, or been stolen and can’t be traced back to their owners or breeder. I encourage you to seek out as much information about the breed and its unique personality as possible.

Mini Bull Terriers are bright, inquisitive and motivated by the desire to please their humans. ALL Mini Bull Terrier puppies, and many adults, should be crated when they are not being supervised. If not, you may spend a small fortune having indigestible items surgically removed from your dog’s stomach, or replacing chewed furniture and other belongings. Mini Bull Terriers are very bright, and very nosey. Do not expect your Mini to lie in the corner like a throw rug. You’d better have a plan for giving your dog adequate exercise, both physically and mentally. Agility training and competition is becoming more and more popular in this breed, as is “Rally Obedience”.

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The book “All About the Bull Terrier and Miniature Bull Terrier
( published by Alpine Press) is a wealth of information about these Bull Terriers, large and small. It is written by Marilyn Drewes who is an experienced Bull Terrier and Miniature Bull Terrier breeder and AKC judge.

Some Minis grow up to be intolerant of other animals, especially those that resemble the prey they were originally bred to hunt.
Cats, rabbits and ferrets are often viewed with great excitement by Minis, especially if they weren’t brought up with other animals. Some minis are very sharp with other dogs too; Be aware of your limits and don’t take on a dog if you aren’t ready and able to deal with any behavioral issues that may arise during adolescence and beyond. Think of Minis as children with “poor impulse control” … they have a strong tendency to be impetuous!

The price of a puppy will vary by region and breeder, and so will the contracts offered.
Please be aware that higher prices are not an indication of “better breeders” or “better puppies”. In the US, you should expect to pay anywhere between $2,000-$2,500 for a puppy. Pet stores may ask much more than this with none of the health testing or early socialization offered by a reputable breeder.

Every breeder sets their own prices, and the breeders you would want to buy a puppy from will not be willing to ship a puppy to someone they don’t know. Be very cautious concerning over (or under) inflated prices and people who are willing to ship out of state or out of country with no questions asked.

Mini breeders are very careful about where they place their puppies, so you can also expect to go through a thorough screening. Please do not be offended by questions. This is how good, reputable breeders protect their dogs and the breed, and make sure a Mini is a suitable match for your family and lifestyle. If puppies are properly placed, breeders don’t end up having to re-home them later.

Do not agree to conditions that you will later resent in order to get a puppy.
If the idea of showing and breeding is horrifying to you, wait for a pet quality puppy with a limited registration and spay/neuter contract to be available. Don’t rush blindly ahead in the fear that you’ll “NEVER” get a puppy if you let this one go.” If a Mini is right for you, then the right Mini will come along if you are patient.

Breeding Minis is NOT something you should attempt just because you feel pressured.
It is exhausting, often frustrating and without an experienced mentor to provide you with back up help you may easily find yourself in real trouble. Miniature Bull Terrier bitches are often careless and rough mothers. Puppies are at risk of being stepped on and squashed for at least the first 2 weeks of life. Many bitches also suffer from a condition called “pseudo-eclampsia” which takes the form of manic behavior, very risky for the pups and mother alike, generally in the first week to 10 days after the birth. Caesarian sections are common; unfortunately the stress of a C-section adds to the risk of pseudoeclampsia. Breeding Minis should be attempted only with experienced guidance and a true passion for the breed…(as well as the ability to go without 4 hours of consecutive sleep for two weeks!)

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Here are some of the questions that you should be asking to find out if the breeder you are speaking with is truly dedicated and responsible:

1) Are the parents good representatives of the breed physically?
Do they conform to the Standard of the Miniature Bull Terrier? You should be able to see the mother on the premises; ask to see a photo of the father.

2) Have the parents of the litter been tested for every one of the health problems that they can be tested for?
Complete testing of both parents doesn’t mean that your dog will be free of all health issues. It means that the breeder has made every effort possible to eliminate animals affected by genetic disease from their breeding program. This is the only way to reduce the incidence of puppies born with genetic defects, but even the most responsible breeder cannot play God. Puppies can still develop problems. Every puppy should be BAER tested before being placed and be free of audible heart murmurs on auscultation. Equally important, both parents should be free of heart murmurs and clear of functional and structural abnormalities of the heart (preferable echocardiogrammed). They should be BAER tested bilaterally normal, have a Urine protein/Urine Crcatinine ration of .3 or less and have patellae (knees) that are free of laxity or luxation. Parents with chronic atopy (allergy/skin problems) or obsessive compulsive behavior disorders are very likely to pass the problem on to a significant percentage of their offspring.

3) Is the breeder willing to take back the puppy?
They should do this NO MATTER how old and NO MATTER what the circumstances? Responsible breeders insist that any dog be returned to them if things don’t work out. Divorce/ job changes or moves are very common reasons that people give up dogs. It is hard on the family and even harder on the dog, especially if it ends up in a shelter. Responsible breeders will take any Mini in need and either place it, or get it into a Club sponsored Rescue program.

4) Is there a contract to sign when you purchase the puppy?
Reputable breeders often use contracts. “So what’s wrong with no contract?” you may ask. Without a contract you won’t have anyone ‘checking up’ on you and your dog BUT you will have no one to call if you have problems, and no one to help you if your dog dies. Additionally, the contract ensures that both parties are aware of, and agree upon, their responsibilities and rights to the dog, and to each other.

5) Is there some sort of guarantee on the health/temperament of your Mini Bull Terrier?
A reputable breeder will provide some type of reasonable guarantee on the heath of your new puppy. Look for a contract that specifies something similar to a “refund of the purchase price” if your Mini becomes affected by a lethal or crippling genetic disease by a specified age.

6) Is the breeder a member of The Miniature Bull Terrier Club?
Reputable breeders should be in communication with each other. By joining national breed clubs we can learn from each other and our experiences. In this way, clubs offer support and guidance.

7) How man breeds of dogs does the breeder offer for sale?
Don’t be fooled into thinking that more breeds mean more knowledge. Raising dogs is a full time job and requires dedication and a true passion for your breed. A lot of time, effort and devotion must go into studying pedigrees, screening breeding stock for specific genetic problems, planning optimum breedings, caring for new babies, weaning, training, socialization, showing, etc. This is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year job. Do you know many people that could hold down two or three full-time jobs and really be efficient at any of them? Most truly dedicated breeders have no more than two or three breeds that they concentrate on. Anyone who offers “Cocka-poos”, “Labra-doodles” or “Peke-a-Tzus” is NOT a reputable breeder!

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8) How many litters a year does this breeder have?
Be patient. Breeders who ALWAYS have puppies for sale might be more interested in their bank balance than the betterment of the breed. Responsible breeders strive to produce the best that they can and hope to improve their dogs with each generation. They will generally produce just a litter each year or two. They will rarely sell every pup in the litter or offer up the “pick of the litter” to a pet puppy buyer. They will usually keep the most promising pups to show and breed, or place them in homes that will make them available to be shown and bred. Many breeders have people who will wait months or years for their pups, and most pups have new owners anxiously waiting for their arrival long before they are born.

9) Will the breeder provide registration papers, a contract, a five generation pedigree, health records, and microchip or tattoo information?
Don’t forget to ask about these things; this information is important to you and should be furnished by the breeder. Make sure you clearly understand the registration status of your puppy. It may be offered with either a non-breeding or full registration. In the US, a non- breeding registration is called a limited registration, and means that the breeder intends the puppy to be spayed or neutered. No offspring of a dog on limited registration may be registered, although the puppy is recognized as a purebred Mini Bull Terrier.

Limited registration dogs may not compete in Confirmation events, although they are eligible for Performance such as Obedience and Agility. Be sure you get a pedigree on your puppy. The breeder should have an up-to-date health record for each dog they sell with details about vaccinations and worming s as well as a veterinary health certification. Many breeders will have micro-chipped or tattooed the puppy. Be sure to ask what type of identification the dog has and the number. If the breeder has not already identified your dog, you should have your vet do this for you or ask about upcoming clinics where microchipping or tattooing is being offered.

10) Will this breeder give you references?
Don’t be embarrassed to ask the breeder for references; a list of other owners that have purchased dogs from them, their vet, and other Mini Bull Terrier club members. A responsible breeder is not going to hesitate to ask you for references, and will not think twice about checking you out with your vet. A good breeder’s best advertising is their satisfied puppy owners and most will offer references before you’ve had time to think about asking for them,

*These questions should help you narrow down your list of responsible breeders. Be aware that there are people who sell puppies with profit as their sole motivation. Also there are those with all the best intentions in the world but inadequate knowledge to be able to carefully screen their breeding stock.

ASK QUESTIONS and be aware of the answers that you should be getting. The better breeders will answer many of these questions before you can even ask them.

A little hint…If the breeder advertises in the Want Ads, requires a deposit for an unborn puppy, charges more money for puppies with eye patches, or takes Credit Cards, you may want to reconsider buying a puppy from them.

I wish you luck in your search and please feel free to contact me at Hellion Kennels if you need any further help locating a breeder in your area.

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kathy brosnan

© 2008 Hellion Miniature Bull Terriers | Website: Mary Bean