Best described as a three-year-old toddler dressed in a dog suit, the Bull Terrier is well-known for being an exceedingly friendly breed with a playful and clownish disposition. As popular sporting dogs in obedience, agility, and show ring competitions, Bull Terriers also make for wonderful companions that become very attached and loyal to their human families. If you are interested in adopting a Bull Terrier into your family environment, read on to find a complete breed description and determine whether this playful pooch is the right match for you.
|Other Name||English Bull Terrier, Bully, Gladiator|
|Size Type||Medium Dog Breeds|
|Breed Group||Terrier Dog Breeds|
|Life Span||11 - 14 years|
|Temperament||Keen, Protective, Trainable, Active, Sweet-Tempered|
|Colors||White, Red & White, Tri-color, White & Black Brindle, Fawn & White, Brindle & White|
|Puppy Price||Average $1000 - $1500 USD|
Strongly built with a muscular and well-rounded robust body, the Bull Terrier has a long head that is nearly flat on top and is shaped similarly to an egg. With the muzzle sloping evenly down to the tip of the nose with no pronounced stop, the dogs have a long neck that is strong with tough broad shoulders. While the small ears are thin and positioned close together, the triangular-shaped small eyes are deep-set with a slanted appearance. The breed has a short tail that is typically set low on the hindquarters and carried horizontally off the back. While the standard Bull Terrier is usually between 20 to 24 inches at the shoulder height with a weight ranging from 45 to 80 pounds, there is a Miniature Bull Terrier that is significantly smaller at 10 to 14 inches and weighing from 24 to 33 pounds.
According to the breed standard, there are two distinct color varieties, which are the White Bull Terrier and the Colored Bull Terrier. Although the white are allowed to have scattered color markings over the head, the remainder of the body must remain white to avoid disqualification. On the other hand, the Colored Bull Terriers can come in shades of brindle, black-brindle, black, fawn, red, or tri-color with white markings on the forehead, muzzle, neck, chests, or legs.
Rather harsh to the touch, the Bull Terrier possesses a thick, dense, and flat coat that consists of short, coarse hairs. Although the breed is classified as an average shedder throughout the year, the coat will shed heavily twice each year in the fall and spring months.
|Good with Kids|
As a short-haired breed, the grooming requirements for the Bull Terrier are minimal and relatively low-maintenance. While some owners prefer to remove all loose hairs by a daily rubdown with a special rubber grooming glove, it is recommended that the dogs are brushed or combed at least once a week to keep the coat shiny. Since the dogs do not require frequent baths, many owners use dry shampoo or a damp cloth with water to keep their Bull Terrier looking and smelling fresh in between bathing adventures. As with other dog breeds, it is essential that owners check the ears weekly for any signs of infection and brush the teeth weekly to keep the teeth and gums healthy. If the nails do not wear down naturally from exercise, it will also be necessary to trim the toenails on a monthly basis.
Popularly known as the “gladiator of the canine race,” the Bull Terrier was developed in the mid-19th century through a cross of the Bulldog with the Old English Terrier to satisfy the needs for vermin control and blood sports based on baiting animals. Designed to combine the speed of terriers with the tenacity of bulldogs, the Bull Terrier grew in popular in combat situations having been bred almost exclusively for fighting bulls, lions, or bears tethered to a post. However, they soon found out that the breed was not the most successful at fighting and selective changes were made to create a more refined version.
Around 1860, English dog handler James Hinks established the new breed that was distinguished for its all white coat. Nicknamed the “White Cavalier,” the Bull Terrier quickly became a fashionable companion dog among the nobility in Europe that could be also used as a ratter, herder, protector, and watchdog. Not yet having the familiar “egg-shaped face,” the breed grew in popularity for breeding with Dalmatian, Spanish Pointer, Whippet, Foxhound, Collie, and Greyhound to create the modern-day Bull Terrier look. While the Standard Bull Terrier was first recognized in 1885 by the American Kennel Club, it was not until 1991 that the Miniature Bull Terrier was accepted into the club and prized for its manageable size.
Although once a fierce gladiator with an intimidating appearance, the Bull Terrier is now much gentler with an exuberant personality that charms its owners. This good-looking tough character is actually often described as being comical, assertive, playful, loyal, trustworthy, obedient, affectionate, mischievous, courageous, and fun-loving. Known for becoming attached to their owners, Bull Terriers thrive with firm, consistent leadership from active families where they can receive plenty of supervision and companionship. Since the dogs may join into family roughhousing or quarrel with protective or jealous behaviors without firm training and structure, the breed is often recommended for families without young children or non-canine pets.
Bustling with seemingly endless amounts of energy, the Bull Terrier needs to receive vigorous daily exercise, which includes a daily long walk and plenty of playtime. Although they are fairly active indoors, the dogs thrive when given a large, fenced-in yard to romp around in safely. With a tendency to become overweight, lazy, or overly rambunctious when not properly exercised, it is essential that those living in apartments are sufficiently exercised as much as possible.