The Shorty Bull is a short, compact, musclebound working bulldog. Blessed with cute good looks and a comical disposition, it’s rapidly becoming one of the most popular designer breeds around. The Shorty Bull can trace its origins back to the early 2000s, when a couple of breeders from Kansas set out to create a healthy, ‘functional’ dog that had all the qualities you’d want from a family pet. They succeeded. Find out more about this cute little breed as we run through ten things you didn’t know about the Shorty Bull.
1. They were developed in Kansas
The Shorty Bull is one of the newest designer breeds to hit the scene. As ebknows explains, they were developed in the early 2000s in Kansas by Bull Breed Coalition Registry founders, Army Krogman and Jaime Sweet of Blue River Bullies. Unlike some designer breeds that are created to suit a certain aesthetic, the Shorty Bull was intended to be functional. If it looked cute, great. But that wasn’t the primary aim. Using established breeds like the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, English Bulldog, and the French Bulldog, Krogman and Sweet developed a small, ‘functional’ dog with nerves of steel, a calm, stable disposition, and a clean bill of health. Judging from the results, they succeeded. Thanks to its loyal, affectionate nature, its low maintenance needs, and its child-friendly appeal, the Shorty Bull has since become a popular and much-loved family pet.
2. They need short bouts of regular exercise
As 101dogbreeds.com (www.101dogbreeds.com/shorty-bull.asp) says, the Shorty Bull is an energetic breed that’s constantly on the move. But while they’re more athletic than the English Bulldog, they specialize in short, intense bouts of activity rather than endurance work. These are sprinters, not marathon runners. Rather than taking them for one long walk a day, break up their exercise requirements (which equate to around an hour of structured activity a day) over several sessions. 3 x 20 minute walks a day are ideal. If you have an enclosed space that they can run around in as well, all the better.
3. They’re a healthy breed
When Krogman and Sweet set out to create the Shorty Bull, they didn’t really care what the end result would look like. What mattered to them most was that the breed was healthy, vigorous, and free of the health complaints that so often plague pedigree dogs. Their plan worked. Although you’ll need to keep an eye out for any health conditions they may have inherited from their parent breeds (bloat, obesity, hip dysplasia, and skin allergies being the most common), they’re generally considered a remarkably healthy little dog. That doesn’t mean you can afford to be lax, however. To give your dog the best chance of a long and healthy life, keep up to date with the recommended vaccines (Rabies, Canine Distemper, Canine Coronavirus, Canine Parvovirus, Canine Parainfluenza, Leptospirosis, and Kennel Cough) and watch out for any signs of pain or injury.
4. They’re expensive
Like most designer breeds, the Shorty Bull isn’t cheap. Buy from a reputable breeder (and unless you want to invite a world of trouble into your life, you really should) and you can expect to pay anything from $1000-$2000. Adoption will obviously make the process less taxing on your wallet, but due to their relative scarcity, you might have to wait a while for one to turn up at your local shelter.
5. They’re easy to train
If you’re looking for a dog that’s easy to train, look no further than the Shorty Bull. These bright, eager to please dogs make excellent students. Like most dogs, they benefit from early socialization, so be sure to expose them to plenty of new people, places and things from as young an age as possible. Use positive reinforcement methods to encourage good behavior, and avoid any techniques that utilize punishment – using harsh behavior won’t correct bad behavior and may lead to aggression.
6. They’re great with kids
If you’ve got kids, you’ll be pleased to know the Shorty Bull is great around children. Their comical nature goes down a treat with youngsters, while their affectionate and loyal natures make them loving, friendly companions. However, due to their muscular stature, you’ll need to be careful they don’t accidentally knock over or injure small children during play. Make sure to supervise any interactions and to teach your kids how to behave respectfully around dogs.
7. They have a strong prey drive
Shorty Bulls might love kids, but they’re not so fond of small pets. Or rather, small pets aren’t so fond of the Shorty Bull. Due to a strong prey instinct, the breed has a habit of chasing any small animal it sees. If you want to keep the family cat out of trouble, you’ll need to invest plenty of time and energy into training your pooch in how to behave around other animals.
8. They make great watchdogs
Shorty Bulls are incredibly friendly, affectionate, and comical. They love being around people and like nothing more than to trot along by your side, helping out with your regular activities. They’re also hyper-aware of their surroundings, with a curious, alert nature that makes them great little watchdogs. If anyone is acting suspiciously around the house, be sure your Shorty Bull will let you know about it.
9. They’re small but stocky
Shorty Bulls might be small, but no one would ever accuse them of being delicate. These are heavy-boned, well-muscled dogs with the English Bulldog’s low slung body and broad, impressive chest. Facially, they have most in common with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, with droopy eyes and short ears. Although sizes vary, most Shorty Bulls stand at around 15 inches at the shoulder and weigh around 40 lbs. Their coats are short and dense. Standard coat colors include tan, merle, black, white, gray, and brown.
10. They haven’t been officially recognized
So far, the Shorty Bull hasn’t been officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. Considering they’ve been around for less than 20 years (not to mention how notoriously exacting the AKC is about who it does and doesn’t extend recognition too), it’s not too surprising. But as the breed becomes ever more established, it can only be a matter of time before it earns official breed status.