Have you ever heard of a toy or miniature Bulldog? Bulldogs are loved for their funny looks and adorable personalities. While Bulldogs are a total package for many dog lovers, some people cannot help but look for smaller versions of the breed.
There are three known smaller versions of Bulldogs – the miniature Bulldog, the miniature English Bulldog, and the toy Bulldog – and each one is different from the other. None of these four “Bulldogs” are recognized by the American Kennel Club as a separate breed. To put it simply, these dogs cannot perform in show rings.
Here’s what you need to know about these smaller English Bulldogs.
The Miniature English Bulldog
Miniature English Bulldogs are purebred Bulldogs that suffer from achondroplasia or dwarfism. Sometimes called teacup Bulldogs, these dogs are produced by breeding English Bulldogs who have retained their puppy-like appearances and whose adult sizes are smaller than the breed standard.
Normal English Bulldogs weigh 40 to 50 pounds. Miniature English Bulldogs, on the other hand, weigh between 25 and 40 pounds. Mini English Bulldogs are also 1 to 5 inches shorter than normal Bulldogs. For these reasons, mini English Bulldogs are not allowed to perform in show rings.
Unfortunately, there is another problem about miniature English Bulldogs. As a breed, English Bulldogs come with an array of health issues because of their limited gene pool. Because miniature English Bulldogs are produced via selective breeding, their gene pool is smaller than normal English Bulldogs. This makes them more prone to developing genetic disorders, such as hip dysplasia, dry eyes, cystinuria, cardiovascular problems, skin issues, and more.
Because dwarfism is genetic, some Bulldog owners may not realize that their pet is considered a mini until the pup has fully grown. But since the term “miniature English Bulldog” is not an official breed name, it should not be an issue. Owners simply accept their pets as English Bulldogs that are smaller and lighter than the breed standard. In the same way, some miniature English Bulldogs may grow as big as normal English Bulldogs despite being sold or labeled as miniature English Bulldogs.
The Miniature Bulldog
The Miniature Bulldog is a mix of the English Bulldog and the Pug. These bulldogs should not be confused with the miniature English Bulldog. These dogs weigh between 30 and 40 pounds and are about 12 to 14 inches tall. Despite existing for many years, the exact origin of the miniature Bulldog remains unknown.
However, their average lifespan is 9 to 13 years, which is 1 to 3 years longer than the average lifespan of an English Bulldog. Despite the increase in the lifespan, miniature Bulldogs can still suffer from genetic disorders, such as brachycephalic syndrome and hip dysplasia. They are also very sensitive to heat.
Because the miniature Bulldog is a mixed breed, the dog does not really have a specific standard. These dogs may grow as big as normal English Bulldogs – yet breeders call them miniature Bulldogs. They also cost cheaper than English Bulldogs.
The Toy Bulldog
The toy Bulldog existed in England in the 18th to 19th century. This extinct dog breed is a mix of the English Bulldog and the French Bulldog. They weigh less than 20 pounds. Despite numerous attempts, the breeding program for toy Bulldogs did not succeed as many of the offspring showed health complications and were even infertile.
Should You Get One?
The miniature Bulldog and the miniature English Bulldog are very adorable dogs. They retain the personality of normal English Bulldogs and are relatively easier to carry around because of their size and weight.
Whether you should intentionally get a miniature Bulldog or miniature English Bulldog is up to you. However, it is still best to know the risk and problems you may face when you get one, and here are some.
Normal English Bulldogs are already prone to many genetic and health issues. They are even considered as one of the most expensive breeds to take care of because of health-related expenses that come with having one. The miniature English Bulldog and the miniature Bulldog are prone to bone diseases, hypoglycemia, constricted windpipe, blindness, heart defects, and periodontal diseases.
Supporting Unethical Breeders
Responsible and ethical Bulldog breeders aim to improve the breed, maintain its temperament, and get rid of potential health defects in future litters. Sadly, many – if not the most – breeders of mini Bulldogs do not have the same purpose. They wanted to satisfy the demand for smaller Bulldogs regardless of health problems the puppies may have or develop.
If you decide to get a mini despite these issues, consult a veterinarian to learn how you can properly take care of your pet to prevent potential health issues.