Shorty Bull: The Compact Companion for Dog Lovers

close up of Shorty Bull white face

The Shorty Bull, a newer dog breed, has been gaining attention for its unique combination of tenacity, affection, and compact size. If you’re looking for a loyal companion that can fit comfortably into a variety of living situations, this breed might be what you’re searching for. Developed with the aim of creating a bulldog-type companion with fewer health issues and a more manageable size, Shorty Bulls have a robust appearance and a personality that’s both playful and determined.

Characterized by their muscular build and friendly demeanor, Shorty Bulls typically exhibit high levels of energy and require regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Despite their strong and tough exterior, they are known for being particularly good with children, making them a great addition to families. 

But before you start looking for Shorty Bull puppies for sale, let’s look at what breed experts like Jamie Sweet, the Shorty Bull breed founder, have to say about this adorable family dog.

So, What Is A Shorty Bull? Dog Breed Overview

You might be wondering, what exactly is a Shorty Bull? Well, this breed is relatively new to the dog world and might just steal your heart. Shorty Bulls are compact and muscular dogs known for their friendliness and courage.

According to Jamie Sweet, the founder of the Shorty Bull breed, the creation of this unique dog breed began as a personal challenge to test breeding theories and to create a custom-built bulldog. The Shorty Bull emerged as a distinct breed through a combination of desirable traits and the use of several established breeds. These dogs are characterized by their distinct traits and characteristics, setting them apart from the foundational breeds used in their development.

Sweet highlights the importance of stability and strong nerves in Shorties, noting that many have received Canine Good Citizen Certifications and some of her own Shorties have been certified by the American Temperament Testing Society. Emphasizing balance and adaptability, Sweet asserts that Shorty Bulls should not exhibit extreme shyness or aggression, though some may develop dominance issues with age.

Key Takeaways

  • Shorty Bulls are a compact, muscular breed known for their loyalty and suitability for various living situations.
  • They are energetic and require regular exercise, but are also known for being great with children.
  • With proper care, including diet, exercise, and training, Shorty Bulls make a rewarding companion.

Shorty Bull Dog History and Origin

Close up portrait of Shorty Bull dog

What breeds make a Shorty Bull dog?

Ancestral Breeds:

The Shorty Bull is a composite breed, primarily a mix of French Bulldog and English Bulldog. Over time, selective breeding introduced traits from the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and bits of the American Pitbull Terrier, contributing to a unique appearance. However, they are primarily a mix of English and French Bulldogs.

To understand the pedigree of a Shorty Bull, imagine the stoutness of an English Bulldog paired with the playful look of a French Bulldog. Some Shorty Bulls may even carry features reminiscent of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Historical Significance

Originally conceived as a more compact and agile bulldog type, the Shorty Bull was developed to offer the strength and tenacity of bulldogs with more athletic capability, credited to the inclusion of Pitbull Terrier lineage. The breed is considered a “breed in progress,” which means that breeders are still standardizing attributes like temperament and physical characteristics.

The Breed Today

Today’s Shorty Bull is an endearing, muscular canine with a friendly demeanor. They possess a charming mix of their ancestors’ best traits: the muscular frame of a bulldog and the athletic agility attributed to pitbull heritage. Their distinctive look often features the bat-like ears of a French Bulldog, however their ears are often cropped. 

The variances in appearance can be substantial, so you’ll find Shorty Bulls that resemble more a robust Frenchie or a diminutive English Bulldog. They are also sometimes a bit more athletic due to their Pitbull influence.

Kennel Club Recognition

Not yet widely recognized in major kennel clubs like the American Kennel Club (AKC) but the Shorty Bull is nonetheless acknowledged by specialty organizations like the Bull Breed Coalition Registry (BBCR) and American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC)

These bodies advocate for the breed’s standards and maintain breeding records to support the breed’s continued development. As the Shorty Bull gains popularity, it might secure broader recognition for its blend of congeniality and resilience.

For more details on the breed’s characteristics, you might want to read about the Shorty Bull standard or delve into the breed’s development at Bull Breed Coalition’s Shorty Bulls 101. If curious about the “Frenchie” side of the Shorty Bull, more information can be found on French Bulldogs. For those interested in the first generation original Shorty Bulls, the Free-Lance Bulldog offers further insights.

Physical Characteristics

Shorty Bull standing near water bi color

Shorty Bulls® stand out with their athletic and compact form. They are rugged little powerhouses with endearing looks and low-maintenance grooming needs.

Size and Build

HeightUp to 38 cm (15 in)
WeightUp to 18 kg (40 lbs)

You’ll appreciate the Shorty Bull’s small stature, but don’t let their size fool you; their bodies are sturdy and well-proportioned. Remember, any height over 38 cm is out of the standard for the breed, and while a weight over 18 kg is acceptable, it should match their height.

Typical Features

Peering into a Shorty Bull’s face, you’ll notice their round head with eyes set wide apart – preferably brown – and their distinctive bulldog expression. Their nose may be black or liver colored, curving up ever so slightly. It’s also important that their bite is undershot. This breed’s ears can be cropped close to the head or left natural, as long as they’re symmetrical and not prick-eared.

Coat and Colors

The Shorty Bull can sport a coat of any color, except black and tan or merle. Whether it’s a swirl of beige, shades of gray, simple black, or a vibrant tawny, their coats are as diverse as their personalities. This dog’s short tail adds to the ease of grooming – a quick once-over is all they require. And you can forget about those lint rollers; these dogs won’t leave tufts of hair on your furniture, as they are not excessive shedders.

Temperament and Personality

Two Shorty Bull dogs running next to each other

So, what can you expect from the Shorty Bull Personality?

General Disposition

You’ll find that the Shorty Bull has a big personality packed into a smaller frame. These dogs are known for their happy and playful nature, which makes them great companions. With a loyal and affectionate streak, they bond closely with their families and make excellent pets. Despite their size, they have a moderate to high energy level, so regular play and exercise are musts to keep them satisfied.

Interaction with Children and Other Pets

Shorty Bulls can be wonderful around children, often showing a gentle and protective side with the little ones in your family. Their curious spirit means they’re usually keen to engage in play and are good-natured when doing so. When it comes to other pets, especially if raised together, Shorty Bulls can be loving members of the animal family. However, due to their high prey drive, care should be taken around much smaller animals.

Raised or introduced to other animals at a young age, Shorty Bulls typically coexist well, though challenges can occur when dominant individuals encounter other dominant animals of the same sex. Sweet describes the Shorty Bull as a companion animal, ideal for various living environments including cities and farms. 

Common Behavioral Traits

So you’re aware, Shorty Bulls have their share of natural instincts and behaviors. Sure, they’re alert and watchful, making them fine watchdogs at times. Remember, a well-trained Shorty Bull is typically calm and composed, but they can exhibit dominance issues if not properly socialized. The breed’s curiosity keeps them engaged and often eager to explore. Although most are affectionate and playful, they need consistent training to manage any natural inclination towards being headstrong or trying to assert dominance.

Health and Lifespan 

Shorty Bull dog leaping after a ball

Let’s look at if the Shorty Bull is a healthy breed.

Average Lifespan

Typically, a Shorty Bull has a zest for life and can live between 10 to 14 years. Keeping your Shorty Bull at a healthy weight is vital, as obesity can shorten their lifespan.

Common Health Issues

Shorty Bulls are sturdy, but like all breeds, they have potential health issues. They can suffer from Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), which makes it hard to breathe. Watch for signs of Patella Luxation, where the knee cap slips out of place. Hip Dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joints, could be a concern, as in larger breeds. Be mousey for signs of Eye Issues such as cherry eye or entropion. Their compact jaw can lead to dental issues without proper care. Moreover, they may experience Skin problems or Ear infections if not kept clean.

Preventative Care Tips

Make sure your dog gets regular exercise to prevent obesity. You need to brush their coat because despite the minimal grooming Shorty Bulls do shed. For their diet, feed high-quality food that fits their feeding needs. You should also ensure they receive regular veterinary checkups, which include keeping up-to-date with vaccinations, to protect them from health problems. Brushing their teeth can help keep dental issues at bay, and cleaning their ears will help prevent ear infections. Knowing when puppies get shots is important for your Shorty Bull’s early health. Keep an eye on their skin to catch any skin allergies early, and seek veterinary advice if they show any signs of health issues.

Exercise and Housing Needs

Shorty Bull Pied color sitting in window frame

So, how much do you need to exercise this adorable companion dog?

Daily Exercise Requirements

Shorty Bulls are sturdy and active, you’ll want to give them at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. A healthy mix of walks, playtime, and training activities is perfect for keeping them fit. Remember, fun games of fetch can also help meet their exercise needs!

Space Requirements

Your Shorty Bull doesn’t need a mansion to be happy. A small yard where they can stretch their legs will do just fine. If you’re living in an apartment, just make sure your buddy gets those daily walks to burn off energy.

Shorty Bulls are known for their ability to adapt to both active and quieter lifestyles, requiring only short periods of daily exercise. They are particularly child-friendly, require minimal grooming, and respond well to housebreaking and crate training routines. Sweet concludes by describing the Shorty Bull as a “big dog in a small package,” possessing a comical personality and a zest for life that makes owning one a unique experience.

Suitable Living Conditions

It’s best if you keep your Shorty Bull indoors, where temperatures are controlled since they don’t handle extreme weather well. In summer, make sure they have plenty of shade and water, and in winter, a cozy bed away from drafts is a must. They crave human company, so a comfy spot in your home where they can hang out with family is wonderful for their social nature.

Training and Socialization


Training your Shorty Bull can be rewarding and fun! They are keen learners with energy to match, making them quick to pick up new tricks. Start with basic commands like sit, stay, and come. Remember to use lots of positive reinforcement like treats or praise — Shorty Bulls love that!

Socialization Needs

Your Shorty Bull needs to meet lots of people and other dogs to become well-rounded. This process helps your pup feel comfortable in different situations. Try to introduce them to new experiences regularly but in a way that doesn’t overwhelm them. For example, take them on walks in different neighborhoods or arrange playdates with other friendly dogs.

Behavioral Training Tips

Keep your training sessions short and sweet to hold your Shorty Bull’s attention. They can be a little stubborn, but with patience, you’ll get there. To prevent jumping or nipping, always discourage these behaviors from the start. And if your Shorty Bull gets too rowdy, a short time-out might help them calm down.

With consistent training and lots of socializing, your Shorty Bull will not only learn commands but will also understand how to behave around both people and other pups.

Diet and Nutrition

What is the best diet for a Shorty Bull?

Dietary Needs

Just like you, your Shorty Bull has specific dietary needs. They need a balanced diet that’s rich in proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Proteins help with muscle development, and good sources include chicken, beef, and fish. Fats provide energy, so things like fish oil are super for keeping their coat shiny too. Your Shorty Bull will also need some carbs for energy, like rice or vegetables.

Feeding Schedule

It’s important to have a regular feeding schedule. Puppies usually eat three to four times a day, while adults do well with two meals. Remember, consistent meal times help prevent overeating and weight gain. Always make sure fresh water is available!

Special Dietary Considerations

Some Shorty Bulls might have sensitive stomachs or allergies, so you need to keep an eye out for that. If they’re scratching a lot or have stomach issues, they might be allergic to certain foods. Also, these pups can easily gain weight, so watch their portion sizes and limit treats. Keep treats to less than 10% of their daily food intake, okay?

To keep your Shorty Bull fit and happy, a balanced diet is key. Protein-packed meals, a consistent feeding schedule, and watching out for any special dietary requirements will help your buddy thrive. Yay for healthy, happy dogs!

Grooming Needs

The Shorty Bull has quite low grooming needs but that doesn’t mean that they don’t still need care.

Grooming Frequency

Regular grooming is essential for a Shorty Bull’s health and hygiene. You should aim for a brushing routine a few times a week to help manage shedding. During shedding season, more frequent grooming might be needed to control the amount of fur they leave around your home.

Grooming Tools

For grooming tools, you’ll want a sturdy brush that reaches the undercoat, nail clippers for precise trimming, and a toothbrush designed for dogs. Investing in a pair of quality dog grooming scissors can also help with tidying up in between professional grooming sessions.

Grooming Tips

Begin with brushing your Shorty Bull to keep their coat sleek and to reduce shedding. This breed can have a short, dense coat that benefits from the use of a deshedding tool or brush, especially during peak shedding periods.

For nail clipping, it’s important to clip the nails regularly to prevent discomfort or damage to the paws. If you can hear the nails clicking on the floor, they’re too long. Be careful to avoid cutting into the quick, where nerves and blood vessels are.

Dental care is crucial. Brush your dog’s teeth several times a week to prevent tartar buildup and maintain oral health. Use toothpaste made specifically for dogs, as human toothpaste can be harmful to them.

Don’t overlook eye and ear care — gently wipe around your Shorty Bull’s eyes to remove any dirt or discharge. Clean their ears with a damp cloth, using a vet-approved solution to help prevent infection.

Lastly, remember to keep your Shorty Bull calm and comfortable during grooming. Consistent grooming is key to keeping your best friend happy and healthy.

Cost of Ownership

Initial Cost (Shorty Bull Puppy Price)

When you’re looking to add a Shorty Bull to your family, the initial price tag for a puppy might catch you by surprise. As a breed in progress, resembling a miniature version of the English Bulldog or a smaller, more muscular French Bulldog, these little dogs can come with a big cost. The price varies, but expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for a Shorty Bull from a reputable breeder. This cost often reflects the pedigree, breeder’s reputation, and the care invested in the breed by organizations like the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) or consult BBC-registered breeders of the National Shorty Bull Coalition.

Ongoing Costs

After bringing your Shorty Bull puppy home, you’ll have regular expenses to ensure your pet stays happy and healthy. Here’s a breakdown to help you budget:

  • Food and Treats: Quality kibble and occasional treats can run about $30-$50 per month.
  • Routine Veterinary Care: Including vaccinations and check-ups, you might spend around $100-$300 annually.
  • Preventative Medications: Things like flea and heartworm prevention can add another $100-$200 yearly.
  • Training: If you decide on professional training, this could be $50-$100 per session.
  • Pet Insurance: To cover unexpected health issues, insurance might be $20-$40 monthly.
  • Grooming: Although they have short coats, regular grooming is still necessary, potentially costing $30-$60 per visit.

Remember, the Dog Registry of America (DRA) and the Bull Breed Coalition Registry (BBCR) might have resources or recommendations to help manage these costs. Owning a Shorty Bull, like any pet, requires a commitment not just of love and time, but also of money. These dogs are a mix of breeds like the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Bully, and while they’re not recognized by the AKC, their charm and personality can make every penny spent feel like a good investment in a furry friend.

Adoption and Buying Tips

When you’re looking to welcome a Shorty Bull into your home, whether through adoption or purchasing from a breeder, there are several important factors to consider to ensure that you make an ethical and informed decision.

Where to Adopt/Buy

First off, adoption is a great way to give a Shorty Bull a second chance at life. Look for reputable animal shelters or rescue organizations specializing in bull breeds. Check out this resource: shorty bulls for adoption. When opting for a breeder, research is key. Aim for breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs and can provide a full history of the puppy.

What to Look for in a Breeder

An ethical breeder will:

  • Be transparent about the puppy’s medical records.
  • Allow you to visit and show where the puppies are raised.
  • Discuss their breeding practices and the health of the parents.
  • Never rush you into a decision.

Choosing the Right Puppy/Dog

When selecting your Shorty Bull, observe the puppy’s behavior. A healthy puppy typically is:

  • Alert and playful.
  • Has clear eyes and a clean coat.
  • Shows no signs of distress or aggression.

Ethical Breeding Practices

Before committing to a Shorty Bull, educate yourself on ethical breeding practices. This ensures that your puppy comes from a breeder who does not contribute to overbreeding and maintains a high standard of care. It’s important to avoid supporting breeders who are in it just for profit.

Breed-Specific Considerations

When considering a Shorty Bull as your new companion, it’s crucial to bear in mind several breed-specific factors that could influence your decision. Understanding these characteristics will help ensure that you and your Shorty Bull enjoy a happy, fulfilling life together.

Climate Suitability

Shorty Bulls are sturdy and adaptable but do have a short coat and can be sensitive to extreme temperatures. In cold climates, they may need extra warmth, like a doggy sweater. In hot weather, keep them cool to prevent overheating.

Compatibility with Lifestyle

Lifestyle fit is essential. Shorty Bulls are energetic and thrive on interaction and play. If you lead an active life, your Shorty Bull will be a joyful participant in your adventures. They’re also content to cuddle up after a day of play, making them quite versatile.

Special Needs

Every breed has its quirks, and for Shorty Bulls, it’s their diet and exercise. They’ll need a diet that supports their muscular build and sufficient exercise to keep them trim and healthy. Regular vet check-ups are a must to monitor their well-being.

Breed-specific Legislation

Be aware that breed-specific legislation (BSL) may affect your life with a Shorty Bull. Certain areas have restrictions on owning specific breeds, sometimes including dogs that resemble pit bulls. Always check your local laws to ensure you’re in compliance and that your Shorty Bull is welcome in your community.

Keep these considerations in mind to ensure your home is the perfect fit for a Shorty Bull, setting the stage for a mutually rewarding relationship with your new four-legged friend.

50 Best Names For A Shorty Bull Dog

When you’re picking out a name for your Shorty Bull, you want something that reflects their strong, yet charming personality. Here are 50 top-notch names to consider:

For the Gentlemen:

  1. Tank
  2. Brutus
  3. Spike
  4. Buster
  5. Rex
  6. Thor
  7. Maverick
  8. Ace
  9. King
  10. Rocky

For the Ladies:

  1. Bella
  2. Daisy
  3. Luna
  4. Sadie
  5. Ruby
  6. Rosie
  7. Zoe
  8. Lady
  9. Coco
  10. Jewel

Fun & Quirky Picks:

  1. Nacho
  2. Waffles
  3. Gizmo
  4. Biscuit
  5. Pickles
  6. Ziggy
  7. Tater
  8. Mojo
  9. Nugget
  10. Fudge

Cool & Edgy Names:

  1. Blaze
  2. Rogue
  3. Hawk
  4. Diesel
  5. Rascal
  6. Viper
  7. Flash
  8. Ghost
  9. Blade
  10. Storm

Names That Play Off Their Size:

  1. Peanut
  2. Shorty
  3. Tiny
  4. Button
  5. Tot
  6. Mini
  7. Little
  8. Pint
  9. Bean
  10. Smalls

Remember, when choosing a name for your Shorty Bull, think about their unique characteristics, perhaps their playful yips or tough-looking exterior. A name can be a great conversation starter at the dog park, so pick something that you’ll be proud to call out!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When learning about the Shorty Bull, you likely have questions about cost, where to find one, temperament, and its breed specifics. Let’s answer some common queries.

How much does a Shorty Bull usually cost?

Shorty Bulls can vary in price, but typically, you might expect to invest anywhere from $1,000 to $3,500. Prices can change based on lineage, breeder reputation, and location.

Where can I find Shorty Bull puppies available for purchase?

You can find Shorty Bull puppies through reputable breeders who specialize in this breed. Sometimes, breed-specific rescue organizations may also have Shorty Bulls for adoption.

Can you explain the typical temperament of a Shorty Bull?

A Shorty Bull is known for its playful and loving nature. They are intelligent dogs that thrive on human companionship, making them great family pets.

How are Shorty Bulls different from French Bulldogs?

Shorty Bulls are often more muscular and have a more athletic build compared to French Bulldogs, which tend to have a squattier appearance and heavier bone structure.

Do Shorty Bulls generally have a friendly nature, or are they known to be aggressive?

Shorty Bulls are generally known for being friendly and sociable. They are not typically aggressive and do well with children and other pets when properly socialized.

Who is credited with the development of the Shorty Bull breed?

The Shorty Bull breed was developed by breeders Jamie Sweet and Amy Krogman, who aimed to create a compact, muscular bulldog with a great disposition and fewer health issues.

Final Thoughts

When you’re considering a Shorty Bull as your new pal, you’ve got a few fun things to look forward to. They are compact powerhouses, kind of like little bulldozer pups with hearts of gold, perfect for your home, big or small.

Here’s what’s cool about them:

  • Friendly: They are super chummy and get along with people and pets.
  • Adaptive: Whether you’re in a tiny apartment or a big house with a yard, these buddies can fit right in.
  • Low-maintenance: Their short coat means you don’t have to spend hours grooming.
  • Energetic and playful: Get ready for fetch, walks, and playtime – they’re all in!

Before making your decision, remember:

  • Exercise: They need it, so be ready to stay active.
  • Training: It’s important. Start early to make the most of their smarts.

Getting a Shorty Bull can be super rewarding. They’re not just pets; they’re family members who will stick by you. Just make sure you’re all set for:

  • Time commitment: They love attention, so be ready to give it.
  • Health checks: Regular vet visits keep them happy and healthy.

You’ll have a blast, and they will too! It’s not just a pet choice; it’s bringing home a new best friend. Are you ready for the adventure?

Tamsin de la Harpe

Tamsin de la Harpe, with a lively spirit and 15 years of experience in dog training and behavior, brings a unique flair to the team. Based in South Africa, she is deeply engaged in rehabilitating dogs, focusing on their mental and nutritional health. Tamsin's approach to dog behavior is hands-on and heartfelt, shaped by her life with her own dogs and horses. Her journey in canine behavior is ongoing, as she continues advanced studies in this field.

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