Breed Information










Bull Terrier & Miniature Breed Standard

 Bull Terrier


The Bull Terrier must be strongly built, muscular, symmetrical and active, with a keen determined and intelligent expression, full of fire but of sweet disposition and amenable to discipline.

Should be long, strong and deep right to the end of the muzzle, but not coarse. Full face it should be oval in outline and be filled completely up giving the impression of fullness with a surface devoid of hollows or indentations, i.e., egg shaped. In profile it should curve gently downwards from the top of the skull to the tip of the nose. The forehead should be flat across from ear to ear. The distance from the tip of the nose to the eyes should be perceptibly greater than that from the eyes to the top of the skull. The underjaw should be deep and well defined.


Should be clean and tight.

Should meet in either a level or in a scissors bite. In the scissors bite the upper teeth should fit in front of and closely against the lower teeth, and they should be sound, strong and perfectly regular.

Should be small, thin and placed close together. They should be capable of being held stiffly erect, when they should point upwards.

Should be well sunken and as dark as possible, with a piercing glint and they should be small, triangular and obliquely placed; set near together and high up on the dog's head. Blue eyes are a disqualification.

Should be black, with well-developed nostrils bent downward at the tip.

Should be very muscular, long, arched and clean, tapering from the shoulders to the head and it should be free from loose skin.

Should be broad when viewed from in front, and there should be great depth from withers to brisket, so that the latter is nearer the ground than the belly.

Should be well rounded with marked spring of rib, the back should be short and strong. The back ribs deep. Slightly arched over the loin. The shoulders should be strong and muscular but without heaviness. The shoulder blades should be wide and flat and there should be a very pronounced backward slope from the bottom edge of the blade to the top edge. Behind the shoulders there should be no slackness or dip at the withers. The underline from the brisket to the belly should form a graceful upward curve.

Should be big boned but not to the point of coarseness; the forelegs should be of moderate length, perfectly straight, and the dog must stand firmly upon them. The elbows must turn neither in nor out, and the pasterns should be strong and upright. The hind legs should be parallel viewed from behind. The thighs very muscular with hocks well let down. Hind pasterns short and upright. The stifle joint should be well bent with a well-developed second thigh.

Round and compact with well-arched toes like a cat.

Should be short, set on low, fine, and ideally should be carried horizontally. It should be thick where it joins the body, and should taper to a fine point.

Should be short, flat, harsh to the touch and with a fine gloss. The dog's skin should fit tightly.

Is white though markings on the head are permissible. Any markings elsewhere on the coat are to be severely faulted. Skin pigmentation is not to be penalized.

The dog shall move smoothly, covering the ground with free, easy strides, fore and hind legs should move parallel each to each when viewed from in front or behind. The forelegs reaching out well and the hind legs moving smoothly at the hip and flexing well at the stifle and hock. The dog should move compactly and in one piece but with a typical jaunty air that suggests agility and power.

Any departure from the foregoing points shall be considered a fault and the seriousness of the fault shall be in exact proportion to its degree, i.e. a very crooked front is a very bad fault; a rather crooked front is a rather bad fault; and a slightly crooked front is a slight fault.

Blue eyes.



The Standard for the Colored Variety is the same as for the White except for the sub head "Color" which reads: Color. Any color other than white, or any color with white markings. Other things being equal, the preferred color is brindle. A dog which is predominantly white shall be disqualified.

Blue eyes.
Any dog which is predominantly white.



Height should not exceed 14inches at the shoulder




Black Brindle

Black Brindle & White


Black & Tan


Brindle & White


Red & White


Fawn & White

Fawn Smut

Fawn Smut & White

Red Smut

Red Smut & White


White & Black Brindle

White & Brindle

White & Red

White & Tricolour




In order to appreciate to the full every implication of the standard it is necessary to know a little about the background of a mixture of the old fashioned Bulldog, the White English Terrier (now extinct but resembling a Manchester Terrier in all but color), the Dalmatian and possibly one or two other breeds, with the Bulldog and Terrier characteristics predominating and still making their presence felt today.
We must thank the Bulldog for the Bull Terrier's courage and determination, his substance and heavy bone, his barrel ribs and deep brisket, the strong jaws and the fine close coat. Also for the brindle, red, fawn, and fawn smut and the black and tan colourings and possibly for obedience.
We must, however, blame the Bulldog for certain undesirable features of body, legs and feet that have
bedeviled the Bull Terrier throughout his history; for the over-broad skull, undershot jaw, round eyes and also for the Dudley nose and other faults of pigmentation.

White English Terriers were refined Terriers which gave many points indicative of quality, the small dark eyes, neat ears, varminty expression, the clean outline, with straight legs and cat feet, tight shoulders, well bent stifles, low set hocks and the whip tails, together with agility, intelligence, and the pure white coat. But from the Terrier the breed also derived a tendency for lightness of build, light bone and the excitability still sometimes encountered.
Conformation was improved by the use of the Dalmatian whose leggier type, good legs and feet and movement can still occasionally be recognized in the Bull Terriers of today. Here again there were disadvantages as no doubt the ticked coat came from this source and perhaps also the mild expressions still found in the breed.
Bull Terriers reminiscent of all these three types are still to be seen, all of them complying with the somewhat broadly based requirements of the Standard and all acceptable and useful for correcting exaggerations of type or deviations from the Standard.
Thus the Bulldog type will give substance, the Terrier type will add quality and agility and the Dalmatian type improve conformation and movement.
Excess of any of these types is undesirable, the ideal being a blend of the good points of all three.

Soundness as it refers to dogs has never been precisely defined. In Bull Terriers it refers to the general skeletal and muscular perfection as laid down in the Breed Standard

The BULL TERRIER is a English breed of dog. Its predecessors were developed for the purposes of pit fighting, in the middle of the 19th century. The "sporting enthusiasts" of that time loved to bet on dog fights, bull fights, bear fights, etc. Some of them decided to mate two formidable breeds of dog, the Bull Dog and the Black and Tan Terrier (which is now extinct). They wanted to combine the Bull Dog's tenacity, courage and high threshold of pain, with the terrier's lightening speed, agility and unsurpassed ratting (eg.,killing) instinct. What resulted was an extremely rugged dog, well suited for pit fighting, which is still popular in parts of the world to this day. It was not a pretty dog. It had bowed legs, and its colors have been described as "smutty". It was called the Bull and Terrier dog. On the other side of this not so pretty picture, is the fact that the dog had unfaltering devotion to its owner.

It got the reputation as "THE GLADIATOR OF THE CANINE RACE ", a juggernaut in a fight and would fight to the death for his master. Some of the owners of this breed found other uses for the dog as well. They used it for sheep herding and hunting, as well as vermin control. Mr. James Hinks, of Birmingham, England, decided to cross another dog into the gene pool of the Bull and Terrier, that of the White English Terrier. He thought that the gentlemen of the day would enjoy a distinctive looking and loyal companion as well as a bodyguard. The result was an all white Bull Terrier, refered to as "The White Cavalier". The White English Terrier is another distinct breed that is now extinct, but its genes are being carried by the Bull Terrier to this day. Other Bull and Terrier breeders also utilized the "White Cavalier" in their breeding in order that the colors of their dogs would become more defined. This also gave the Bull and Terrier a more elegant line, a little more graceful in bearing, and the legs were no longer bowed. It seemed that Mr. Hinks decided to add in few other ingredients into the genetic make up as well. The Dalmatian, Greyhound, the Spanish Pointer, Foxhound and the Borzoi were used. The Bull and Terrier went through many changes at the hands of Mr. Hinks and other breeders, on its way to become the Bull Terrier we know today.

In 1888 the Bull Terrier standard was published by the Bull Terrier Club in England. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1895. In 1992 the A.K.C. recognized that there were now two size differences, the Standard Bull Terrier - that measures more than 14 inches in height to the withers. And the Miniature Bull Terrier, that measures 10 to 14 inches in height to the withers. That is the only difference. The rest of the standard is the same for both.

The colored Bull Terrier in the US ( Judged seperatly in the states !! ) gained recognition as an A.K.C. variety in 1936. The colored Bull Terrier was a result of the outcrossing of the Bull and Terrier breed with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. It may be important to realize that the white color is a dominant trait in this breed. White crossed to white produces white puppies.

In the US, in 1987, the Bull Terrier gained quite an audience when Spuds MacKenzie made "his" debut in the Bud Light commercials for Anheuser-Busch Beer Company. What some people didn't realize was that "Spuds" was a she. Mostly, these sets of commercials just showed that some people have no sense of humor.

More History

The breed dates back to about 1835. It is almost unanimously believed that it was established by mating a Bulldog to the now extinct white English Terrier. The results were known as the "bull and terrier." Some few years later, to gain size, this dog was crossed with the Spanish Pointer, and even to this day evidence of Pointer inheritance is seen occasionally.

Then about the year 1860 fanciers decided that an entirely white dog would be more attractive, so James Hinks produced an all white one which was taken up enthusiastically by young bloods of the day as the most fashionable dog.

It was a dog for sportsmen in times when life in general was more strenuous and of rougher, coarser fiber - when dog fights were allowed and well attended. As fighting dog or "gladiator" of the canine world, such a dog had to be of great strength, agility, and courage. Withal, he was bred by gentlemen for gentlemen, for those who had a great sense of fair play, and who scorned the liar and the deceiver in any game. The dog was taught to defend himself and his master courageously, yet he was to seek or provoke a fight - and so the white variety became known as "the white cavalier," a title which he bears with distinction to this day

Contrary to the opinion of those who do not know him, the Bull Terrier is an exceedingly friendly dog; he
thrives on affection, yet is always ready for a fight and a frolic. The preference in this country is for a well-balanced animal, not freaky in any particular, but well put together, active, and agile - a gladiator of perfect form.For many years now, the Bull Terrier has been subject of many stories passed down by generations.

As its very well known James Hinks back in the 1860’s born in Mullingar, Ireland in 1829 is responsible, for the creation of the Bull Terrier in the city of Birmingham. Many sources said that James Hinks created the Bull Terrier for dog fighting and not necessarily for dog shows. By putting effort and dedication into the Bull Terrier history we do believe and understand that the main purpose for James Hinks creation of this breed was actually for dog showing. The Bull Terrier is still sometimes being mistaken for a fighting dog. People who get to know and learn about the breed find out that it is actually a very trustworthy dog and loving to people.

Old Victor born 1869 his pedigree does not exist, but he is known to be the most important stud dog at the start of the 1870’s. Unfortunately in 1872 was found smothered to death in his bed at the Crystal Palace Show. Puss is the daughter of Hinks's most famous bitch and start of the Bull Terrier as we know it to day. Puss was born 1861 and Madman born 1863. It is from these dogs James Hinks went on to refine the Bull Terrier. His best known dogs were Madman, Puss, Wasp, Nettle and Truk. There is no record of James Hinks ever fighting his dogs.

James Hinks passed away at the age of forty nine years in 1878 of bronchitis which at the time was epidemic. James hinks exhibited his Bull Terriers more then eighty times in less then ten years and breed seventeen breeds. His sons James Hinks, Frederick Hinks and Clayton Hinks all followed their father’s foot steps, showing the bull terrier, which was what there father had created. Son James attended all seventy of the Birmingham shows and died in 1936. Clayton Hinks also attended the Birmingham shows with his bull terriers, his best known - White Surprise- and died in the 1960’s.

Remarkably, Mr Hinks son James continued to breed The Bull Terrier after his father's death, as did his son Carleton until his death in 1977.

The history of the Bull Terrier goes back to the 1850's in merry old England.  It is to James Hinks of Birmingham that we are mainly indebted for the production of the modern white Bull Terrier.  We don't know exactly which breeds he bred together, but he probably included his white Bulldogs, the now-extinct White English Terriers, and the older heavy type of Bull-and-Terrier dogs.  His son James Hinks Jr. writes:
        "Around the end of the 1850's a great change came about.  My father who had previously owned some of the gamest of the old stock which he had been experimenting with and crossing with the White English Terrier and Dalmatian, bred a strain of all-white dogs, which he called Bull Terriers, by which name they became duly recognized.  These dogs were refined and their Bulldog appearance being further bred out, they were longer and cleaner in head, longer in foreface, free from lippiness and throatiness and necks were longer; they became more active; in short, they became the old fighting dog civilized, with all of his rough edges smoothed down without being softened; alert, active, plucky, muscular, and a real gentleman.  Naturally, this change brought the Bull Terrier many admirers, and the milk-white dog became the fashion."
The colored variety was controversial in the early years of the breed.  It was not until 1907 that Edward Lyon set about bringing them up to the standard of the whites.  The first colored champion was "Lady Winifred" in 1931.  In America they are still exhibited as two varieties of the breed and meet only in the Terrier Group ring.
The downfaced egg-shaped head we know today developed in the 1920's and advanced in the 1930's and continues to evolve.
Their personality remains-loyal, brave, clownish, intelligent, protective and loving, a wonderful companion.  There's nothing quite like sharing your life with a Bull Terrier.





In Australia the first Miniature Bull Terriers were imported into NSW in the latter part of 1965 by the then Vice President of The Bull Terrier Club, Mr Wally Webster in partnership with Mr John Peek. They were both brindle and white. The dog, Jetom Jasper (by Kirbeon Jaganath ex Sejainus Jannetta) was 10 months old and a bitch Jetom Jubiliant Tigress (by Regans Red Velvet ex Sejainus Juanita) was 18 months old. They were both of standard weight and height The standard at the time required the weight to be no more than 20lbs and the height 14 ins. Both were later to become Australian champions.

Messrs Webster and Peek first presented the two Miniatures at the Bull Terrier Club show held at Fairfield on the 12th September 1965. Their appearance created a tremendous amount of interest. Just out of quarantine, all were impressed by the temperament of these dogs. They were exhibited at the Royal Easter Show the following year where they both received a lot of attention from dog exhibitors and the general public alike.

Miniatures were shown at the Royal from 1966 through to 1968. There is no record of any after that till 1987 when Aust. Ch Erenden Roxana (imp UK) was exhibited and awarded BOB. They were exhibited at the Bull terrier Club shows in NSW from September 1965 through to September 1974. Judge for the September show was Mr George Holloway, this was to be the last appearance by the Miniatures, they were Earlwood Juvenile and Earlwood Jane both owned by Mr Wally Webster. It was not until 1987, some 13 years later, that the Miniature was to reappear at a Bull Terrier Club show where four were exhibited. Aust. Ch Jetom Jubiliant Tigress produced at total of 13 pups from six litters. The last registered litter was in February 1971 - a dog by Juvenile.

Unfortunately no more were imported and interbreeding of the Miniature and their bigger brethren was not allowed. This, together with a tragic kennel fire resulted in the breed in Australia dying out. In September / December 1986 the Bull Terrier (Miniature) was reintroduced to Australia with 2 imports from the UK, the first in 20 odd years. The first being Aust. Ch Grandopera Ottello of Warbonnet a tricolour dog (by Beewau Enterprise ex Knipes Arnebia) to Victoria by Prior & Georgina Oldridge (Minibull Kennels). He gained his Aust Championship title easily in June the following year.

The first to arrive on the NSW scene was Aust Ch Erenden Roxana JW, a black brindle bitch imported by Schardale kennels. Roxana was bred by Eric and Valerie Allenden and was already well performed in the UK, having won her Junior Warrant, one CC and one reserve CC by the age of10 months. She was exhibited for the first time here at Blacktown KC on the 8th March 1987 where her bouncy personality (both in and out of the ring) attracted quite a lot of attention, most could not believe she had been out of quarantine only three weeks. On the 7th June that year she gained the final points for her Australian title, winning several classes in group awards along the way. One of the highlights of her career was her Best Exhibit in Show award at the British Terrier Club show in May 1987 under well known Terrier personality, Mr Adrian Walmsley. She made Australian history, being the first and only Mini at that time to ever to win Best in Show. She proved to be a great ambassador for the breed making friends wherever she went.

Erenden Roxana

Early in 1987 three more minis were imported from the UK. In February, a white bitch, Graymor Greasepaint (Ch zedbees Zaristrocrat ex Graymore Guildenhall) to Victoria, by the Oldridges. A first cousin to Greasepaint, Graymor Grimshore ( Graymor Gandolf ex Graymor Gamebridge) was to join her in the following year. Following her in March came Erenden Upright Urlicia a white bitch carrying brindle imported by Schardale and Erenden Unctious Ullock a super headed solid coloured brindle male imported by Dr Warwick Mackay and his wife Anne. They, too, gained their Australian titles in a short time.

More English imports were to follow, all to NSW. Erenden Vodkatini (Erenden Gin Rickey ex Erenden Olivia) in 1988 again to Dr Mackay and his wife (Gloswaen Kennels), Erenden Boot Black (Ch Erenden Leopold ex Erenden Hammonds Ona) late in 1989 to Jessie Barrett's well established Faringdon Kennels and English Champion Erenden Whisky Sangaree JW (Erenden Gin Rickey ex Erenden Tiny Tuggem) to join Roxana at Schardale in early 1990. Sangaree had been Res CC at Crufts in 1989 and gained her Australian Title with ease.

There have been 16 imports in all - ten from the UK and six from New Zealand. These being NZ/Aust.ChLester Iti Mussy Muzpie (Schardale Master Erenden ex Gloswaen Mini Ariadne imp. Aust) in 1990 and Aust. ChLester Iti Pepper n Pepe (Ch.Coldstream Statesman imp.UK. ex Gloswaen Mini Bree imp.Aust.) in 1992. Both were bred by Julie Clark (Lester Kennels) and imported by Jim and Ann Gorman (Argshiel Kennels) of South Australia.

Later, in 1993 two more imports were to arrive at Faringdon Kennels, NSW - Litter brother and sister from NZ - ChLester Mini Man Faringdon (NZ.Ch.Lester Iti Woodstock ex Lester Iti Sasha) & Lester Mini Dot n Dotty.

The first Miniature imported to New Zealand was from Australia being NZ Ch.Schardale Mini Maroi Ch.Erenden Unctious Ullock imp.UK. ex Ch.Schardale Showpiece ) with NZ.Ch.Coldstream Statesman (Esse Little John at Coldstream ex Erenden Gin n it at Coldstream ) to follow soon after from the UK. More Imports were soon to follow from Australia. The most recent import from the UK is Aust Ch Admirari Aerodynamic also going to Faringdon Kennels in NSW.

August 1997 saw the passing of NSW's original import, Aust.Ch Erenden Roxana J.W, ROM (U.K) just before her 12th birthday, in April 1998, Victoria's frst import, Aust Ch Grandopera Otello of Warbonnet (UK) died at just a little over 12 years old. Roxana - commanded attention from her first outing to her last, which was in the veteran class at the BTC Inc. (NSW) show in April 1996 where she pranced around the ring like a two year old, it was fitting that on her last outing she was handled by her breeder Mrs Valerie Allenden, out here on holiday at the time.

At the meeting of the ANKC (Australian National Kennel Council) held in March 1986 the interbreeding of size type to develop the Miniature Bull Terrier was approved as per the English policy (ie: All progeny of Mini / Bull Terrier matings must be registered as MINIATURES regardless of size). This only gave breeders in Australia 12 months in which to breed foundation stock. An application to extend the interbreeding was lodged to the ANKC by the Northern Districts BTC of NSW. This was approved and a further 5 years was granted - which finished on 1st January 1992. It was decided at the ANKC conference (October 1993 ) that a further 3 year period was necessary for the Breed's development. This commenced on the 1st . January 1994 and was due to end 1st January 1997. However, at the ANKC conference, in October 1996, the interbreeding was once again discussed and it was decided that another 3 years be granted, commencing January 1997 and finishing on 1st January 2000. The issue was raised again in 1999 and it was resolved once again to continue for a further 5 years, and is now scheduled to finish on 1st January 2005. In 1999 The Miniature Bull Terrier Club U.K. applied to The Kennel Club to re-open interbreeding once again, due to increasing eye problems they are experiencing in the Breed at present.This was granted but with many new conditions to be adhered to. Interbreeding with the Bull Terrier (which does not carry this problem) reduces the chances of passing on an hereditary eye condition, by diluting the gene/genes responsible.




 Health & health testing information

There are 5 common health problems that should be tested for and cleared of before each animal is bred from.




1. Hearing Problems Hereditary Conditions:
Unilateral and Bilateral deafness Mode of Inheritance:
Undetermined, but suspected polygenic recessive with incomplete penetrance. Unilaterally and bilaterally deaf dogs are considered to be equivalent genetically. There is a higher incidence of deafness in the offspring of affected animals.

BAER -- Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response
Results & Interpretation: The BAER test detects electrical activity in the auditory pathway in response to specific stimuli applied to one ear at a time. Both ears are tested separately. Diagnosis of normal bilateral hearing, unilateral (right or left) deafness can be made based on the data.
Screening Age & Frequency:
BAER testing may be done on puppies as early as 6 weeks of age. These puppies can either hear or not hear in both ears, there is NO evidence of partial hearing in one or both ears at this young age. Older animals can suffer from partial hearing loss in one or both ears. Only one test should be needed for verification of hearing status. Owner Concerns:
Test is not painful to the dog. Tranquilization or general anesthesia is necessary to be sure that the dog is perfectly still during the test. Deafness from injury, infection or old age give different results from hereditary deafness.

2/3 Kidney Problems Hereditary Conditions:
Hereditary Nephritis Renal Dysplasia and Polycystic Kidney Disease
Mode of Inheritance: AUSTRALIAN research on hereditary nephritis has found (initiated by the BULL TERRIER CLUB OF QUEENSLAND Inc. 97) it is caused by an autosomal dominant gene. There is a high incidence in the offspring of affected animals. There is a variability in the age of onset and progression of the disease.. It is invariably fatal. 

Test: UP/C Ratio -- Urine Protein:
Urine Creatinine Ratio This test evaluates the level of protein in the urine, a sensitive indicator of kidney disease. Most laboratories run this test, though not all veterinarians are familiar with it. The test should be carried out on a "mid-stream free catch" sample of urine and should be run concurrently with a standard urinalysis.

Test Results & Interpretation:
Most authorities accept a ratio of 0.5 - 1.0, in Australia a ratio of below 0.3 is normal. It was found many Bullies that tested between .3 amd 1.0 (the "Grey Area") actualy showed signs of HN at a later date. This is why a ratio of under 0.3 is considered "Normal". Testing MUST continue up to the age of 5 years old to rule out "late onset" of this disease. Elevated values should be evaluated more specifically. DIET can lower the up/c ratio, but not enough to make a big difference overall. Non-kidney sources of elevated protein must be ruled out and persistent proteinuria established by retesting in one to three months. An animal with kidney-source persistent proteinuria may require a BIOPSY (Nephritis) or Ultra sound for a definitive diagnosis. These animals should not be bred from, but can be treated to maintain their kidney function -- for a time,especialy Nephritis.
Bull Terriers with PKD can be diagnosed using ultrasound as early as six weeks old! Bull Terriers with PKD commonly also have heart defects and can have loose bowel movement - Squirters.

Recommended Screening Age & Frequency:
Dogs and bitches used for breeding should be checked every six months, or at least yearly. The interval between evidence of proteinuria and full blown renal failure is unknown Owner Concerns:
The UP/c test is only a screening or test on a "free-catch" urine sample to find indication of kidney malfunction. There are a number of problems causing elevated protein in urine. Other more specific tests, some requiring hospitalization, are needed to pinpoint precise diagnosis in some instances. Dogs sicken and die of kidney disease because they cannot clear poisons or retain vital body substances properly. As the disease gets worse, treatment becomes progressively more costly and more unpleasant for both dog and owner.

4. Patella Problems Hereditary Condition:
Patella Luxation Mode of Inheritance:
Undetermined, suspected polygenic, possibly recessive .

Palpation of patellas by a veterinarian. Test Results & Interpretation:
Grade 1 - intermittent, limb carried occasionally, patella easily luxates at full extension of the stifle joint, but returns to position when released.
Grade 2 - frequent luxation, which in some cases, becomes more or less permanent. The limb is sometimes carried. Weight bearing routinely occurs with stifle remaining slightly flexed.
Grade 3 - permanent luxation with torsion of the tibia and deviation of the tibial crest. Animal may use the limb with stifle semi-flexed.
Grade 4 - permanent luxation (resulting from trauma). The limb is carried or the animal moves in a crouched position with the limb partly flexed.

Recommended Screening Age & Frequency:
Certify at 12 months, but Specialist Vets will recommended that the dogs be periodically re-examined as some luxations will not occur until later in life. Yearly testing of patellas is recommended; they can be checked during a regular office visit, which renders yearly evaluation practical as well as highly desirable. Animals should be tested before breeding. Owner Concerns: Feeling the stifle for the location and looseness of the "knee-cap" is a skill. A veterinarian regularly conducting such examinations can usually be very specific about the absence, presence and degree of dislocating knee-cap. The test may cause some discomfort to puppies, as the hind legs must be held tightly in specific positions for evaluation. Grades 2 - 4 can involve discomfort and disability for he dog. Grades 2 - 4 can be treated surgically.

5. Heart Diseases Hereditary Conditions:
NOTE: It was found early in the study by Dr. Mackay that Bull Terrier Hearts are quite UNIQUE and should not be compared to a "Normal" K9 heart ! (Greyhound Heart)
Aortic Stenosis Mitral Stenosis Ventricular Septal Defects Dilated Cardiomyopathy (suspected) Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (suspected) Mode of Inheritance:
Complex; assumed to be polygenic.

Ascultation by a veterinarian with expertise in cardiology or board certified cardiologist. Echocardiogram including Doppler studies.
Interpretation of Test Results:
A phenotypically normal dog is: one without a cardiac murmur, or one with an innocent cardiac murmur that is found to be otherwise normal by virtue of an echocardiograph, including Doppler studies.

Recommended Screening Age & Frequency:
Minimum age of one year for certification and that testing be done on a "mature" animal. Breeding animals should be checked before breeding and yearly thereafter. Some hereditary murmurs will be detected at a later age but generally by full maturity. Owner Concerns: Heart problems may give very little external warning of their presence until very late in their course, so testing of all breeding stock is a kindness well worth the cost and trouble. Sedation may be required for the rambunctious, as a quiet resting patient is necessary for good reliable readings. Some atypical heart sounds can occur in healthy hearts. Specific diagnosis can require extensive testing and consultation.





The lens of the eye is the clear structure which focuses the image onto the retina. When the lens pathologically loses it's clarity, we call it a cataract.

A clear understanding of the anatomy of the eye will help with your comprehension of the changes which occur in lens luxation.

The lens is located behind the iris, the central portion being exposed by the pupillary opening. The lens is normally held in position by small fibers called zonules, or the suspensory ligaments. The zonules are attached to the equatorial perimeter of the lens and to the ciliary body to keep it in position. Aqueous fluid (aqueous humor) fills the anterior chamber of the eye, and the vitreous, a jelly like material fills the vitreous chamber behind the lens. The aqueous fluid is manufactured in the ciliary body and flows through the pupil into the anterior chamber and exits the eye through the ciliary cleft or drainage angle where the cornea and the root of the iris meet in the periphery of the anterior chamber. Here, the aqueous fluid re-enters the general circulation of the body. The aqueous humor maintains the normal pressure of the eye known as intraocular pressure (IOP). A disruption or blockage of the flow of the aqueous fluid often results in glaucoma.

What is a luxated lens?

Should the zonules break the lens can either become loosened (subluxated) or completely detached (luxated). When the lens completely tears free of its zonular attachments and falls forward into the anterior chamber, we call this an anterior luxation. It is also possible for the lens to luxate posteriorly into the vitreous body

a) normal lens position
b) anterior luxation forcing the iris forward. This results in a very shallow anterior chamber
c) lens is partially through the pupil. If the lens touches the cornea, edema of the cornea will result
d) complete anterior luxation. The anterior chamber is very deep as it contain the whole lens. Pupillary block is present.

Several causes of zonular rupture are recognized.

Primary (heritable) lens luxation seen in many Terrier breeds.
Secondary to trauma
Secondary to inflammation (uveitis)
Secondary to glaucoma
Congenital due to abnormal development

Breeds with heritable Lens Luxation

Border Collie, Cattle dog, Whippet, Shar-Pei, West Highland Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Brittany Spaniel, Fox Terrier, jack Russell, Manchester Terrier , Scottish Terrier, Norwegian Elkhound, Tibetan Terrier, Welsh Terrier

Since lens luxation may cause glaucoma, and since glaucoma may cause lens luxation it is important to determine which disease came first. When lens luxation occurs secondarily to glaucoma, it usually occurs late in the disease once the elevated pressure within the eye has caused the sclera to stretch, and the zonular ligaments to tear. This does not occur until long after vision has been lost. In such a case, attention must be given to resolving the pain associated with glaucoma.

What happens when the lens luxates?

An anteriorly luxated lens is extremely serious, because it blocks the flow of the aqueous fluid in the eye. This often results in the acute onset of glaucoma. We often use the term pupillary block glaucoma since the luxated lens itself and some displaced vitreous obstructs the flow of aqueous through the pupil. There are, however, other causes of pupillary block glaucoma. In dogs, it is generally accepted that within 72 hours, the elevated pressure in the eye will cause irreversible damage to the optic nerve and retina. In addition, the anteriorly luxated lens may cause corneal damage by injuring the endothelial layer of cells which help keep the cornea clear. Corneal edema of varying severity may be the result.

A posteriorly luxated lens can also cause glaucoma since the vitreous is displaced forward and can block the drainage angle.


The first step in planning treatment for a dog or cat with a lens luxation is a careful assessment of the prospect for vision in the eye. If the lens luxation is longstanding and if there is glaucoma greater than 72 hours in duration, or if there is hemorrhage in the eye the chances of saving vision is reduced. If the lens luxation is recent, and if the glaucoma is not severe, and the retina and optic disc still look healthy, then there may be a reasonable chance of saving vision with surgery. In this case the surgery done is called an intracapsular lens extraction where the lens is removed with its capsule or covering intact. This requires a larger incision into the eye than traditional cataract surgery, and since the lens capsule is being removed, it is difficult, but not impossible, to replace the lens with an artificial lens (IOL). In many cases, it is also necessary to remove some of the vitreous which has also herniated forward. This is called a vitrectomy.

In some cases the patient is presented with the lens subluxated (partially luxated). If there is no pupillary block or glaucoma present, then medications may be used in an effort to keep the pressure low, and to keep the pupil relatively constricted to reduce the chance of anterior luxation. In some cases, where mild or intermittent glaucoma is present, laser surgery may help stabilize the intraocular pressure. Frequent re-examinations are required as the situation may change to true luxation in some cases.

If the eye has been blinded as a result of the glaucoma caused by the lens luxation, then emergency lens removal surgery will not benefit the situation. If the eye is painful, something must be done to relieve the pain. The two main solutions (also discussed on the glaucoma page), are enucleation (removal) of the eye, or an intrascleral prosthesis procedure where the contents of the eye are removed and replaced with a silicon ball, in many cases resulting in a comfortable blind eye with a very reasonable cosmetic appearance.

What about the other eye?

Examination of the fellow eye, especially in the terrier breeds predisposed to lens luxation may reveal a looseness or wobble to the lens as the head moves. This is due to weakness in the zonular ligaments and in such a case future luxation is likely. In these cases, preventative lens removal may be best, in an effort to prevent a crisis. Medical management by an observant owner is also an option, but should lens luxation occur, emergency surgery will be required.


 The information on this page has been compiled from a number of different websites to give the general public a better understanding of the Bull Terrier and miniature without having to visit alot of different websites for all the information.



Contact Details

Scarlettoro Kennels
Mid North, VIC, Australia
Email : [email protected]