The Bull Terrier is a fun-loving, affectionate, occasionally stubborn breed that wants constant companionship and as much petting as they can get.
(Excerpted from the Bull Terrier Club): The ‘New Bull Terrier’ first appeared in its present form at a Birmingham show in May 1862. It was shown by James Hinks, a dog dealer, who is generally accepted as the original breeder of the Bull Terrier, whose family has being associated with Bull Terriers until the present day.
Hinks would no doubt have used many breeds and types of dog in his quest to breed his “Gentleman’s Companion”, but it seems likely that the Bulldog, the (now extinct) English White Terrier, and the Dalmatian. were the main contributors. His preference was for a white animal and it seems that the dog fancy of that time were in agreement, as his “White Cavalier” quickly gained popularity, and was successful at the early dog shows which were rapidly becoming popular at that time.
The Bull Terrier is a handsome dog with happy enthusiasm. He is extremely affectionate with people, and is particularly noted for a fondness towards young children. They love to sit on laps and will stand as close to you as possible when you’re in the kitchen.
Bull Terriers love to wrap themselves in blankets when on their beds inside the home, most likely because they have a thin coat and suffer from cold easily.
This breed is highly trainable with fun, creative, reward-based training, but tend to get bored easily when the training becomes repetitive.
Bull Terriers are strong chewers—any toys should be assessed for destructibility and also examined occasionally. Rawhide is not advised as they can unravel and swallow it which can result in emergency surgery. If started as puppies, they can learn how to safely chew on raw bones, and that’s satisfying for them. Smoked or cooked bones are too brittle to be safe. Check their teeth after chewing something hard to see whether they’ve broken or chipped teeth. Tennis balls need to be monitored because they’re usually punctured immediately, split in two, then eaten, again potentially causing a visit to your emergency vet.
- Confident, experienced owners.
- Fenced yards; however this breed is also suitable for apartment or condo dwellers, if the adopter has lived there for more than 2 years.
- People willing to provide early socialization.
- People willing to make sure the Bulldog has a big soft pillow.
- Active families.
- Those who expect perfect obedience.
- People who don’t appreciate independence and self-thinking in a dog.
Great companions, quiet (except for occasional gas), love to be with their people.
High Maintenance breed, health issues.
On average, Bull Terriers stand 21 to 22 inches at the shoulder, and weigh between 50 and 70 pounds.
Just about any color, from a pure white coat, black, brindle, red, and fawn, to two-colors and tri-colors.
Bull Terriers are energetic dogs when younger, until about 2 or 3 years old. Using their minds can help tire them out, via obedience, agility and trick training. Ball games, tug games, and short runs of about ½ mile are great for calming them down (jogging is not something they are built for, due to the disproportionate weight they carry on their front end and joints).
Between 10 to 14 years.
Generally speaking, Bull Terriers are good with kids. The first issue that arises is that Bull Terriers are clumsy yet enthusiastic dogs, and can inadvertently knock a small child down, especially if the dog is moving quickly for a toy on the other side of the child.
Another issue is that if the children are not reliable about closing doors and gates, the Bull Terrier can find an open door to roam the neighborhood, which usually puts it in harm’s way.
Bull Terriers are not known for being good with other animals, so we are not surprised when they are not. However, the temperament can vary—from living happily with other animals, to being aggressive to a dog passing on the other side of the street.
We encourage you to attend positive training classes so you can learn how to cultivate your Bull Terrier’s more tolerant aspect. Even so, their behavior is not necessarily a ‘fixable’ thing and you should be prepared to manage it, rather than change it.
A Bull Terrier can harm another animal in a short amount of time, so this is not an aspect to take lightly. Management means that you are responsible for keeping a Bull Terrier out of situations that are challenging, such as a dog park. They require a fenced yard, and their activities should always be supervised.
Another reason to supervise them closely is that this breed is targeted by thieves. Dogs have been taken out of locked yards. Make sure to leave your Bull Terrier inside when you leave the house.
Loyal companion, first and foremost. They can also excel at obedience, agility, and tricks, using fun, creative, reward-based training. Short runs of about 1/2 mile might be enjoyed, but Bull Terriers are not jogging partners. If you really must jog with your Bull Terrier, give them a joint supplement with MSM, glucosamine and fish oil, and find a good orthopedic vet in your area to help guide you. Better yet, look at other breeds designed for long distance running.
Coat care is easy – a quick brush with a medium to soft bristle brush is all it takes. Their coat repels dirt well. However it is thin, which is why Bull Terriers must be indoor dogs. Some have a short, slightly bristly coat that may irritate people with sensitive skin.
Bull Terriers can suffer from allergies and several other medical issues. Concerning allergies, we recommend a low vaccination plan, and either a raw diet, or a high end kibble.
We also recommend that at about 5 years old, Bull Terriers have an eye exam and a complete blood panel. These should be repeated each year afterwards. The eye exam should especially check for tear production—lack of tears will lead to blindness.
Other medical issues we watch for are heart murmurs, kidney failure, knee problems (often from fast turns when pursuing a ball), and feet problems. However most dogs show no sign of these issues, or if they have any of them, they are mostly manageable with vet care and won’t impact daily life.
Early detection is important to lessening these problems should they arise. Keep them in good health and you can expect enjoy a long life with them by your side.