The Shorty Bull may be one of the newest hybrid dogs in the canine kingdom, but these dogs have already skyrocketed in popularity. Recently developed in a small Kansas town by two devoted dog breeders, the Shorty Bull has become one of the most popular Bulldog types for families with children and other pets.
Laid back, good-natured, and friendly to boot, the Shorty Bull is sure to make an excellent companion dog for the right family or owner.
Of course, not everyone will make the right family or have the right home type for a Shorty Bull. Are you considering investing in this unique crossbreed? If so, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s article, we are covering everything you need to know about this incredible canine.
Let’s get started!
Meet The Shorty Bull
The Shorty Bull is a new type of Bulldog mix created in Kansas.
Height: 15 Inches
Weight: 40 Pounds
Temperament: Friendly, Playful, Devoted, Eager To Please
Best Suited For: Families, First Time Dog Owners
Lifespan: 10 to 12 Years
Health Issues: Cherry Eye, Obesity, Cardiac Issues, Respiratory Issues, Hip Dysplasia, Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, Sensitivity to Heat, Skin Fold Dermatitis, Skin Allergies, and Dental Disease
The Shorty Bull is a very new type of Bulldog specifically bred down in size for their working and physical qualities.
Shorty Bulls are compact, muscular, and designed to be healthier than other purebred Bulldogs. Because of their friendly temperament and unique appearance, Shorty Bull dogs make popular family companions.
They do well with children and other pets and are eager to please, quick to learn, and gregarious in temperament.
Unfortunately, like most dogs with flattened faces and similar body structures, Shorty Bulls can be prone to some unique health issues. They do best in homes with owners who are prepared for the health issues they may contend with and are ideally suited for owners with flexible schedules and those who can be home with them often.
Are you trying to decide if a Shorty Bull would be right for you? Keep reading to learn more.
Where Did The Shorty Bull Come From?
The Shorty Bull was created to be a more compact version of the Bulldog.
The Shorty Bull is a unique type of crossbreed dog whose origins place him in rural Kansas. The dog was created by founders Jamie Sweet and Amy Krogman, two devoted women who were eager to create a Bulldog type that was healthier, smaller, and more suitable for families.
Bred specifically for his working qualities and smaller size, the Shorty Bull can range in appearance and physical characteristics. However, this dog is considered a “breed in process”, and as such there are certain breed characteristics that make the Shorty Bull what he is.
His specific size is one of the most important aspects of this hybrid dog, with Shorty Bulldogs not growing to be more than 15 inches in height and weighing less than 40 pounds.
They maintain the typical Bulldog appearance, with skin folds around their faces and short, stocky, muscular bodies.
One of the reasons for this may be due to whelping issues. Dogs like pugs have especially large heads and small hips, making for difficult births that almost always need to be aided.
One of the key traits to the Shorty Bull, sometimes simply known simply as the Shorty, is that this dog can birth three to five puppies unaided in most normal circumstances.
Their snouts are also a bit more protruding than some of their other bulldog counterparts, helping to reduce some of the problems associated with Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome. But we will talk about this in more detail further down. For now, let’s take a moment to discuss crossbreed dogs and the pros and cons that may come with investing in a hybrid like the Shorty Bull.
The Pros and Cons Of Crossbreed Dogs Like The Shorty Bull
Though Shorty Bulls make wonderful companions, they may also have a good list of health issues.
All dogs can come with their fair share of pros and cons, and the Shorty Bull is no exception.
Though described as excellent family companions, the Shorty Bull may not make the ideal dog for every owner.
Before we dive in to discuss specific traits of the Shorty Bull that may be less than ideal, let’s first take a moment to talk bout the crossbreed controversy.
What Is A Crossbreed?
A crossbreed like the Shorty Bull is a dog that mixes two specific purebred parents in an effort to combine the best traits of both. While some people may consider a crossbreed and a mutt to be one and the same, others point out that crossbreed dogs are specifically bred and are “designed” for lack of a better word, to look or behave a specific way.
For this reason, many crossbreed dogs also go by other names like designer dogs, hybrid dogs, or mixed breeds.
Crossbreeding dogs are somewhat controversial for a few reasons, in spite of the fact that crossbreeding dogs has been an ongoing practice since the beginning of the canine-human relationship.
Originally, crossbreeding dogs was a practice used to create specific breed types, often for work purposes. In fact, we wouldn’t have most purebred dogs we know and love today without the careful and strategic efforts of breeders who implemented crossbreeding early on.
With that being said, modern-day crossbreed dogs are now being bred and sold under the term “designer dog”, often costing owners just as much and sometimes more than purebred dogs.
Furthermore, crossbreed dogs are considered less predictable than their purebred counterparts, especially when it comes to newer generation crossbreed dogs like the Shorty Bull.
Unpredictable qualities can range from traits like health, lifespan, temperament, and appearance.
With all that noted, there are some pros to investing in a crossbreed dog like the Shorty Bull. One pro is that you may have a dog that has the benefit of hybrid vigor.
Hybrid vigor is the idea that crossbreed dogs may be healthier than their purebred counterparts as they have a widened gene poll and therefore may struggle less with the same genetic health issues common in their family line.
However, while hybrid vigor does sound promising, others point out that it is still important to have a good idea of what your dog could be susceptible to. This means that just because your dog is a crossbreed, he could still develop the same genetic health issues that are common for his purebred parent breeds.
In fact, you might argue that a crossbreed dog even has more potential health issues to contend with as he now has a larger gene pool.
How To Train And Socialize A Shorty Bull
Though eager to please and quick to learn, Shorty Bulls can be willful at times.
The Shorty Bull is a small dog with a big personality, and one of his topmost winning qualities is the fact that he is eager to please and quick to learn.
Shorty Bulls even fit into the working dog category, which just goes to show how work-oriented and job-loving this enthusiastic dog can be.
Still, without proper training and socializing beginning at an early age, a Shorty Bull can develop some unwanted behavioral issues.
When it comes to training your Shorty Bull, it’s best to use positive reinforcement methods that utilize treats and praise. Avoid using aversive training methods like punishment, fear, or scolding. The Shorty Bull is a people-oriented dog who enjoys being with his humans, and he will quickly shut down if he feels he has displeased you.
Instead, be patient and consistent with your Shorty Bull when it comes to training. Use quality training treats to help hold his attention, like the Zuke’s training treats listed below.
Zuke’s Training Treats
Most dogs are highly food motivated, and this works to our advantage when it comes to successful training. However, there is a trick that comes with picking the right training treats, especially when it comes to a dog that could potentially develop willful personality traits like the Shorty Bull.
A quality training treat that will work to hold a dog’s attention should be small, pea-sized, chewy, and very smelly. This combination is what makes training treats considered “high value” and what will help ensure your Shorty Bull is working for a reward he’ll keep coming back for.
The above training treats by Zukes Training Treats are specifically designed to be high-value training treats for dogs. They are made with quality ingredients that are healthy for your dog, and they come in different recipe options depending on your dog’s taste or if he has any food sensitivities.
It’s never too early to begin training your Shorty Bull. In fact, most experts agree you can and should begin training as early as puppyhood. Training should be repetitive and kept in short five-minute sessions with breaks in between to help hold your dog’s attention.
We also recommend keeping training sessions fun and game-like. This will help encourage your dog to learn and even help enhance the bond built between the two of you.
As with training, socialization is also key to ensuring you raise a happy and healthy Shorty bull. Socialization should begin early during puppyhood and be an ongoing practice throughout your dog’s life.
Socialization of any dog includes exposing that dog to new sights, sounds, experiences, environments, and people. Get your Shorty Bull used to loud noises like trucks or thunder, and help get him used to being handled by children or being around other animals in the home.
As with training, socialization should continue throughout your dog’s lifetime to ensure he is happy, healthy, and well-rounded.
The Best Way To Keep Your Shorty Bull Exercised
Though they are small, Shorty Bulls are athletic and active.
Exercise is another key factor to ensuring your dog is healthy and happy, and though small, the Shorty Bull does require his fair share of exercise and mental stimulation each and every day.
The good news is that the Shorty Bull is an active and athletic little dog who will have most of his exercise needs met on his own just by his daily activities. Shorty Bulls are quite playful and enjoy playing with toys and chasing balls.
Though they are energetic, they do not have the stamina to run long distances. In fact, because of the Shorty Bull’s stature and flattened face, they could be susceptible to exercise exhaustion and heat intolerance.
If you live in regions where the weather is particularly warm, it is best to exercise your Shorty Bull either early in the morning or later in the evening and to avoid the heat of the mid-day.
When it comes to exercise, the Shorty Bull will do well with a good walk once a day. Walks can be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on your unique Shorty Bull and his energy.
Shorty Bulls may also enjoy free playtime at a dog park or a moderate hike or jog.
Avoid letting your Shorty Bull swim as a form of exercise, as these dogs can be prone to drowning and are not the best swimmers thanks to their specific body shape.
When you are walking your Shorty Bull, be sure to use the proper walking equipment. Avoid using choke chains or prong collars on a Shorty Bull, as these types of walking equipment can be dangerous and even harm your dog. Instead, use a front clip dog harness that clips at the chest to help feel more natural for your dog.
Front clip dog harnesses reduce pulling because they fit your dog more naturally and do not put pressure on their backs, which can actually encourage dogs to pull forward. Front clip harnesses also redirect pulling dogs back to their owner’s side, helping to correct mishaps and encourage proper walking manners
Leashboss Pattern No-Pull Dog Harness
The Leashboss Pattern No-Pull Dog Harness is a wonderful harness for smaller dogs like Shorty Bulldogs, Pugs, Bulldogs, etcetera.
The no-pull dog harness has a stretchy back handle and allows you to clip the leash both in the front and in the back, helping to reduce the pressure put on your dog’s neck or trachea, which can be dangerous.
We also like that this harness comes in four sizes including small, medium, large, and even extra-large and that it is available in four colors and patterns.
When it comes to mental stimulation, remember that the Shorty Bull is a bred working dog at heart. As such, this little dog is bred for his intelligence and also for his ability to pick up and learn quickly.
Shorty Bulldogs could be prone to boredom if they are not kept mentally stimulated, and a bored Shorty Bull could result in destructive behaviors like barking, marking, pulling, or chewing.
To help keep your Shorty Bull’s mind active, we encourage owners to invest in puzzle toys and KONG toys for small breed dogs.
KONG Toy For Small Dogs
KONGS are a widely available and common addition to most doggy toy boxes in the United States. While KONGS can be available in different shapes and sizes, it’s important to look for KONG products that are small and ideally suited for your Shorty Bull.
We like that you can fill KONG toys with your dog’s favorite treat or dog-safe peanut butter to help keep your dog’s mind active while you are away.
Along with KONGS, the Shorty Bull might also appreciate some puzzle toys, which can help hold his attention using treats and challenge him to think while he is also playing.
How To Groom A Shorty Bull
Shorty Bulls have short, sleek coats that are easy to groom.
Shorty Bull dogs are smaller dogs that shed moderately throughout the year. They can shed heavier during shedding season, which is in spring and fall. As such, the Shorty Bull may not be the ideal dog for those who struggle with allergies.
Luckily, their coats are short and relatively easy to care for, and they don’t collect too much dander and debris when outside.
Still, brushing your Shorty Bull is going to be important, especially when it comes to keeping his coat and skin healthy.
We recommend investing in a quality deshedding comb like the Furminator Deshedding Tool listed below.
Furminator Deshedding Tool
The Furminator Deshedding Brush is a great brush for dogs with smooth, short coats like the Shorty Bull. The fine-toothed brush helps to collect any loose hairs on the coat, helping to reduce doggy odor and shed dog hair from building up on your dog and around your home.
We also like that the Furmanator brush is made with quality materials and that each blade is bent so as to provide more comfort when brushing.
On average, a Shorty Bull should be brushed once or twice a week. During shedding season, you may want to brush your Shorty Bull at least two to three times a week to help keep on top of loose hair.
Along with brushing, your Shorty Bull could be predisposed to dental disease. In fact, studies suggest that dental disease is one of the top diseases all dogs are prone to developing in their lifetime, regardless of breed.
As such, oral care is highly important for your Shorty Bull. We suggest investing in a dog toothbrushing kit that includes a dog-safe toothbrush and dog-safe toothpaste.
Last, be aware that the Shorty Bull can have sensitive skin and may be prone to developing skin fold dermatitis if proper grooming methods are not utilized.
Take care to wipe beneath your dog’s skin folds and to invest in products that will keep his skin healthy.
Bathing your dog with a proper shampoo can help reduce skin fold dermatitis, as can keeping your Shorty Bull on a proper bathing schedule. On average, these dogs should have a bath once every three to four weeks.
Be sure to use a shampoo specified for canine use, and avoid dog shampoos that contain additives like dyes, alcohols, parabens, or other ingredients that could be harmful to your dog’s coat. We recommend a sensitive skin formula for your Shorty Bull that includes quality ingredients like aloe, chamomile, and oatmeal.
What Are The Health Issues Of A Shorty Bull?
The Shorty Bull has a lifespan of between 10 and 12 years.
Like all Bulldogs, the Shorty Bull can be prone to a number of unique health issues related to his specific body type and skull shape. These health issues can be compounded by poor breeding practices, making it incredibly important for anyone looking to invest in a Shorty Bull to go through proper channels.
Some common health issues you should look out for in your Shorty Bull include but may not be limited to:
- Cherry Eye
- Cardiac Issues
- Respiratory Issues
- Hip Dysplasia
- Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
- Sensitivity to Heat
- Skin Fold Dermatitis
- Skin Allergies
- And Dental Disease
Though small, the Shorty Bull has a shorter lifespan than many other toy breeds of his similar stature, with an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
While it can be difficult to determine which health issues your particular Shorty Bull could be most susceptible to, it is possible to enhance your dog’s quality of life by staying ahead of potential health issues.
One way to do this is to ensure you go through responsible breeders. Choose breeders who have a background in breeding dogs like Shorty Bulls, and breeders who can provide you with paperwork proving your dog has been screened and cleared of specific health issues.
You also have the option of going through a rescue, although coming across a Sorthy Bull available in a shelter could be hit or miss.
When going through a breeder, the average Shorty Bull can cost owners between $1,000 to $2,000.
While this is a hefty price to pay for a puppy, it’s best to not try and cut corners by going through backyard breeders, online sellers, or those looking to sell Shorty Bull puppies for much more or much less than their average value.
You can also help ensure your Shorty Bull has a healthy life by keeping him on a quality dog food specified for his age, weight, and activity level.
As you may have noticed, Shorty Bull dogs can be prone to obesity, as well as skin allergies and digestive issues.
A quality dog food can help reduce some of these problems for your Shorty Bull. Choose a dog food that is hypoallergenic and made with real meat protein, carbs, fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals your dog needs to thrive.
Avoid dog foods that contain fillers, additives, byproducts, corn, soy, wheat, or gluten. You do have the option of choosing between wet dog food or dry dog food, or even raw dog food or homemade dog food for your Shorty Bull.
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Dog Food
One brand of dog food we recommend is Blue Buffalo. Blue Buffalo dog food is made with quality ingredients like real meat proteins that include fish, lamb, beef, or chicken.
When it comes to your specific Shorty Bull, we suggest choosing a recipe that is made with fish or lamb, as these protein sources are less likely to induce allergies.
We also like that this dog food is made with brown rice and other quality ingredients that your dog needs in order to thrive. A good amount of DHA in the dog food, especially when going with the fish recipe, can even help to alleviate skin issues and allergies on your dog’s skin and coat.
Of course, a quality diet isn’t the only way to ensure your Shorty Bull lives his healthiest life. It’s also important to keep up with routine veterinarian visits.
Like people, dogs should be seen at least once a year by a trusted Veterinarian, and twice a year for dogs who are over the age of seven.
Because the Shorty Bull can be prone to some serious health issues, you might consider investing in pet health insurance.
For a better idea of what your Shorty Bull could be susceptible to, we suggest having your dog’s health screened using a standard doggy DNA Kit. These kits are widely available, affordable, and easy to use.
Plus, they will not only help to tell you more about your dog’s background and potential health issues, but they can also shed some light on your dog’s genetics as a whole.
The Best Home Type For A Shorty Bull
Shorty Bulls make great dogs for a number of different owners.
The Shorty Bull is a versatile companion dog who can do well in a number of home types and with different owners.
Of course, this is a very people-oriented dog who will thrive in homes with owners who are able to be around him often and provide him with lots of time, attention, love, and affection.
Shorty Bulls can do well with children and other pets, and their smaller stature makes them wonderful apartment dogs or dogs for smaller spaces.
Because they require only moderate amounts of exercise, a Shorty Bull can do well in a home without a yard so long as he is taken on routine walks each day.
Although Shorty Bulls are relatively easy to care for, simple to groom, and mild-mannered, they can be prone to a number of health issues, and many of these health issues can be costly.
We recommend that owners of a Shorty Bull invest in quality pet health insurance so that they can easily afford to keep up with their pet’s medical expenses and health care needs.
The Shorty Bull – Is This The Right Dog For You?
Deciding if the Shorty Bull is right for you takes time and research.
Have you decided that the Shorty Bull is the right dog for you? If so, you’re not alone. As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, the Shorty Bull is quickly becoming incredibly popular throughout the United States.
However, remember that there are pros and cons to investing in a Shorty Bull, and while this dog is not a purebred dog, he is considered a breed in process. This means that your Shorty Bull could be more unpredictable than some of his purebred counterparts when it comes to his appearance, health, and temperament.
The good news is that reputable breeders who have experience with the Shorty Bull should be able to help you choose the puppy of your dreams.
Remember, avoid going through breeders or sellers who do not have certification or cannot provide you with the proper paperwork to show your dog has been screened and cleared of serious health issues.
If you prefer to rescue your Shorty Bull, you might consider looking into breed-specific rescue organizations or shelters that specialize in Bulldogs and Bulldog mixes. With that said, because the Shorty Bull is such a specific type of crossbreed and because he is fairly popular, it may be difficult to find him through a rescue.
Of course, it’s not impossible so we certainly encourage you to look!
We hope this has been a helpful guide on the Shorty Bull! Now we want to hear from you. Do you think the Shorty Bull is your ideal companion? Tell us in the comment section!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.