Performance events put the Miniature Bull Terrier’s intelligence, high energy level, and prey drive on excellent display. Unlike show dogs, performance dogs don’t have to conform to the breed standard and they can be spayed or neutered. That opens performance to any MBT owner who puts in the time and effort to train their dog.
Miniature Bull Terriers compete in a wide variety of canine sports:
Obedience: Obedience is one of the oldest competitive dog sporting events. At increasingly difficult levels, it tests a dog’s trained skills in formal heeling, retrieving, scent discrimination. jumping, staying in position and more.
Rally: In these events, dogs and their handlers navigate a course set with stations to perform specific exercises (such as Sit-Down-Sit) in a test of obedience and trust. A number of organizations offer Rally events, including the AKC, World Cynosport Rally Limited, and the UKC.
AKC Earthdog: In these non-competitive events, small terriers and Dachshunds have a standardized gauge to measure their natural aptitude and trained hunting and working behaviors in an underground hunting situation.
Tracking: AKC Tracking demonstrates a dog’s natural ability to recognize and follow a scent, and is the foundation of canine search and rescue work.
Agility: In perhaps the most famous canine sport, Agility dogs and handlers must negotiate an obstacle course while racing against the clock. You can find Agility events all over North America sanctioned by the AKC, the UKC, the Canadian Kennel Club, the United States Dog Agility Association, Canine Performance Events, and the North American Dog Agility Council.
Lure Coursing: Lure coursing uses a system of mechanized lures and pulleys that simulate the unpredictability of chasing live prey. Lure coursing is traditionally open only to sight hounds, but both the AKC and the UKC have introduced alternate coursing ability events for all breeds.
Nose Work and Scent Work: In this event, dogs look for a specific scent and must find its source. It is akin to the work done by drug- and bomb-sniffing dogs. Events are sanctioned in the U.S. by United States Canine Scent Sports, the AKC, the UKC, and in Canada by the Sporting Detection Dogs Association. Events are sanctioned in the U.S. and Canada by the National Association of Canine Scent Work and K9 ABC Games. Other groups around the world also sanction events, including Australia Canine Scent Work.
Dock Diving: Dogs compete in jumping for distance or height from a dock into a body of water. The registry sponsoring events and offering titles is called North America Diving Dogs (NADD). With proper application, titles may be recognized by the AKC as well.
Barn Hunt: One of the newest canine sports is based on the traditional roles of many breeds in ridding farms, barns, crop storage areas, and homes of destructive vermin. Barn Hunt is governed by the Barn Hunt Association.
Weight Pulling: Dogs in specially designed safety harnesses compete to see who can pull the most weight on a sled — with safety uppermost in mind at all times. The oldest sanctioning body is the International Weight Pull Association. Events also are organized and governed by the National Working Dog Association.
As a member club of the AKC, MBTCA sanctions performance events under AKC regulations.
Miniature Bull Terriers also make excellent candidates for training and socialization titles.
AKC Canine Good Citizen: The gold standard for good dog behavior, a dog with the CGC title has passed a 10-step test of basic good manners.
AKC Community Canine: The next step up from CGC, the Community Canine test evaluates the dog’s skills in a real-world setting (e.g., walking in a crowd).
AKC Urban Canine Good Citizen: An advanced CGC title, the Urban CGC evaluates the dog’s skills in a busy street environment.
Therapy Dogs: Many MBTs are certified therapy dogs who bring cheer to nursing homes, hospitals, schools, and other settings. The AKC awards titles to therapy dogs based on the number of visits completed. (Rufus, the Colored Bull Terrier who won Best in Show at Westminster in 2006, became a therapy dog in retirement.)
AKC Temperament Test: Was developed to bring focus and provide a meaningful evaluation to assess the temperament of our canine companions
Click here to find a training class or test near you!
The MBTCA has developed a performance awards program to encourage the training of Miniature Bull Terriers and to recognize club members and their dogs who have achieved honors.
Every fall at the National Specialty show, Minis who have earned their first performance titles are awarded club plaques to which engraved title plates may be added as the dog’s performance career progresses. Individuals who have gained titles in three or more different areas of endeavor (which for the purpose of the versatility awards may include a breed championship) are awarded the club’s highest performance honors, the Susan M. Hall Memorial Versatility Award, (the “Hildie") or the Susan M. Hall Memorial Versatility Excellent Award (the “Trevor") . The dog’s and owner’s/trainer’s names are engraved on a large trophy owned by the club, and the dog’s owner receives a beautiful handmade ceramic plate as a souvenir trophy.
To encourage the breeding of Miniature Bull Terriers that are of correct temperament and , per the breed standard, “full of fire, having a courageous, even temperament” and
“amenable to discipline,” and to honor their owners who carefully cultivate that temperament in the pursuit of performance sports, the MBTCA established a Versatility Award at its National Specialty in the fall of 1998.
The Susan M. Hall Memorial Versatility Trophy, the “Hildie,” (named after the first qualifier, Susan’s dog Hildie) is offered annually by the MBTCA to honor those dogs winning three titles, one in three different areas of endeavor. In response to the increasing number of Miniature Bull Terriers achieving titles in a growing field of dog sports, the Susan M. Hall Memorial Versatility Excellent Award, the “Trevor”(named after the first winner, Andrea Johnson’s dog Trevor), was later added for dogs earning titles in at least four different performance categories.
Both the Hildie and Trevor trophies are perpetual trophies and their possession remains with the club. Each winner’s name (both dog and trainer/owner) will be engraved on the trophies, which will be displayed at the National Specialty. A souvenir trophy will be given to the winner(s).
Versatility Eligibility and Guidelines
There may be more than one winner in a year and the qualifying titles need not have been gained in the year of application.
It is the owner’s responsibility to notify the Performance Committee of their dog’s eligibility for awards and to provide verification. By July 1, copies of the official records of achievement must be sent to the Performance Committee Records Clerk for recognition that fall at the National Specialty. The dog’s owner of record who is also the dog’s trainer must be a member of the MBTCA at the time of application. The following performance categories include a point system in an attempt to recognize the difference in relative difficulty in training for and achieving the various titles and also to recognize the historical uses of the breed, e.g. rodent hunt titles are more heavily weighted than herding or coursing titles.
For the Hildie Versatility Award, a dog must earn three titles in three different categories with a total of at least 6 points. “Miscellaneous Sports” constitutes one category; no more than one title in a sport from this category may be used to satisfy requirements for the award. It is also required that the dog have one additional title or certification from the Citizenship category (with no points assigned to this achievement) and that one of the three performance titles must be at the minimum an AKC PCD, a CD, an AKC Rally Advanced, an off-leash Freestyle title, or an AKC Novice-level agility title. (These off-leash titles may be from various registries if the achievement is equivalent to the AKC titles.)
For the Trevor Versatility Excellent Award, a dog must earn four titles in four different categories with a total of at least 12 points. “Miscellaneous Sports” constitutes one category; no more than one title in a sport from this category may be used to satisfy requirements for the award. Additionally, any qualifying achievement in the Miscellaneous category must be at the Excellent/Elite/Expert level. It is also required that the dog have two titles or certifications from the Citizenship category*(with no points assigned to this achievement) and that one of the four performance titles must be at least an AKC PCDX, a CDX, an AKC Rally Excellent, an advanced level Freestyle title, or an AKC Open level agility title (or an equivalent title from various registries).
To calculate the points for either versatility award, only the points of the most advanced title earned in any one sport are to be counted. Titles listed here or titles equivalent to those listed here but earned with registries not specifically named or implied in this point system will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
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* NOTE: Only one of the sports from Miscellaneous Sports category may be used to meet the requirements of either level of the Versatility Awards.