The Bull Terrier originated in Great Britain. This breed was used for bull baiting. The Bulldog was crossed with the now extinct English Terrier. The mix was then crossed again with the Spanish Pointer to get the Bull Terrier dog breed.
The Bull Terrier was bred in 1860s by James Hinks who bred the Bulldog with the English Terrier. This mixed breed was then bred with the Spanish Pointer. These dogs were not bred to provoke a fight, although they were known as aggressive dog fighters, and were mostly white in color. This breed became very popular when dog fighting was banned in the U.K. Breeders worked on refining the breed, and softening the temperament.
The goofy Bull Terrier is playful and sensitive to family and humans. That said, this dog breed may be aggressive toward other dogs and animals. The Bull Terrier is of outstanding character when socialized. A playful, loyal and intelligent dog breed that adores family and friends! This breed is even- tempered, and loves to socialize. In fact, the Bull Terrier is passionate about all canine sporting activities, most especially long walks and Frisbee, just as long as he is with family.
The Bull Terrier needs to be positively trained starting at puppyhood. Puppy dog training classes are extremely beneficial for this wonderful dog breed, so that it does not become reactive to other dogs. If this breed is not well socialized, it may become food and toy aggressive. The Bull Terrier needs to be handled by people and children during the first 4 weeks of puppyhood. This breed needs to be taken everywhere, and introduced to as many dogs and people during puppyhood. Additionally, being around children that are taught to be gentle and kind, is equally as important. Male Bull Terriers tend to not get along.
The Bull Terrier requires daily exercise, socialization, and positive dog training. This dog breed is a sweet family dog with lots of personality. This breed is a hardy dog breed that needs to be around active pet parents that have an active lifestyle. Dog parents should consider interactive dog toys for the Bull Terrier. This breed does best with experienced pet parents that are active and outgoing. The Bull Terrier needs consistent positive dog training throughout its lifetime, as well as socialization. This breed does not do well being alone all day.
Mental stimulation needs to be combined with daily exercise to get the best out of this breed. Because this breed has stamina and agility, it’s best to try coursing ability tests, tracking, and obedience as well. Long hikes, trips to the dog beach and park with lots of Frisbee make for a fun family outing with children. The Bull Terrier thrives on being included in family activities!
Possible Health Concerns
The Bull Terrier is a healthy dog breed, yet may be susceptible to the following health problems:
- Deafness: Inherited deafness in both white and colored Bull Terriers is common. Deafness can occur in one or both ears. A unilaterally deaf dog is deaf in one ear. Symptoms include running in the opposite direction when called. Totally deaf dogs have a hard time, and are difficult to train. Consult with your veterinarian for a B.A.E.R test.
- Heart Problems: Bull Terriers are susceptible to heart disease affecting the heart valves. Symptoms include heart attacks and shortness of breath. Heart murmurs are common, and some dogs may live with an undetected heart murmur their entire lives.
- Renal Problems: Kidney failure in Bull Terriers is a common health problem. This can occur at any stage during a dog’s life. There is no cure, and your veterinarian will recommend a special diet to prolong quality of life.
- Patella Luxation: This is where the groove in the knee joint is not deep enough to hold the patella in place, resulting in the patella slipping out on either side. This painful condition can be corrected with surgery.
The Bull Terrier thrives on a consistent exercise schedule. This breed needs to run off leash, swim, play Frisbee, and partake in as many canine sports possible. The Bull Terrier thrives on being around people. This super friendly dog breed is extremely sociable, and will become depressed if isolated and left alone at home for long periods of time. This dog breed does well with apartment living, but has to have consistent socialization and exercise.
The Bull Terrier has to start with positive dog training during puppyhood, since this breed can become aggressive with other dogs. This breed is a comforting, friendly, and active dog breed that is very intelligent. That said, give the Bull Terrier as many outdoor activities to enjoy.
Additionally, the Bull Terriers needs to be indoors during the hot summer months, and should only exercise during the early morning or evening hours, so as to keep cool and comfortable. All white Bull Terriers need to be protected with sunscreen during the summers.
Every dog is different, some will suffer from serious allergies, others will have digestive issues. Some brands are better suited for certain dogs. When it comes to dog foods, understanding your pet’s current health and nutritional needs is paramount. And always remember to ask your veterinarian for advice before changing your dog’s diet.
- Look for dog food formulas that contain ingredients like duck, eggs, chicken, lamb and Wisconsin cheese, fruits and vegetables! Another huge factor that comes into play is that the dog food formula does not contribute to plaque buildup. It should not contain sugars, salt, or added preservatives.
- Some dog food formulas contain probiotics, salmon oil, and have guaranteed calcium and phosphorus levels to help support healthy development of your pup’s teeth and bones, and are made with gluten- free ingredients.
- Feed a complete and balanced food for the appropriate life stage of your dog. Always consult with your veterinarian if your dog develops food allergies, and needs a change of diet.
- Some Bull Terriers may have special needs like a weakened immune system. Adding supplements is always a good idea. Consult with your veterinarian for the best nutritional advice, most especially if your Bull Terrier has health issues.
The Bull Terrier has a short coat that needs little maintenance. Daily grooming with a hound glove is always necessary to remove dead hair, and keep the skin and coat healthy. Ears need to be checked every day for sensitivity, and wiped clean. Daily brushing of teeth with a canine toothbrush and canine tooth paste will keep teeth and gums healthy. Nails need to be trimmed when needed. Twice yearly dental cleanings are necessary for this dog breed.
Adopting a Bull Terrier
This is a super dog breed to adopt that is feisty, quirky, and good to have around as your furry best friend. Additionally, this breed enjoys being around people. The Bull Terrier thrives on going out with his family. This is a very sporty dog breed that enjoys hiking trips, and going camping with the family. Biking, agility, and obedience classes will bring out the best in the Bull Terrier.
Potential pet parents to the Bull Terrier should be active, and love the outdoors come rain or shine. These gentle and wonderful dogs are so easygoing. By providing positive puppy training classes and early socialization skills, you can teach your Bull Terrier not to chase small animals, or go after other dogs.
Always opt for dog adoption as opposed to purchasing from a pet store or online. Do your research on your dog breed, and as usual spend time with your potential Bull Terrier prior to adopting and bringing him home. If you have other dogs, try introducing them first to see if they get along before adopting.
The Bull Terrier is a goofy and outgoing dog breed that makes for one of the best adoptions in the right environment with expert pet parents. As with any dog adoption, make sure that you have the time and resources to take good care of your Bull Terrier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this breed for me?
If you are looking for a good family dog and have the time to positively train and socialize your puppy, then the Bull Terrier is for you. That said, this breed may be difficult for novice pet parents. The first 3-4 years of your life with your Bully will be filled with lots of love, fun, and great companionship – but also some challenges.
Bullies can be good “family dogs,” but they need owners who understand their needs and with whom they feel safe! They love humans – but they love their space even more. A lonely Bully is a stressed and frustrated Bull terrier.
How much exercise does a Bull Terrier need?
Bullies are usually very active dogs – but they can become too high-strung if they don’t get enough out-of-the-house activity or daily walks. But this doesn’t mean they need hours and hours of running every day…
Bull terriers should be given a daily walk. If you live in the city, choose a neighborhood where your dog will exercise by going to the dog park and having some off-leash fun. Living in the city does not automatically mean that your pup gets enough exercise even if you walk around the block for 30 minutes.
Living in the suburbs doesn’t guarantee that your Bully will get enough exercise either. If you take a walk around the block and back, it will be better than nothing, but if possible, try to vary it and go for long walks or different kinds of activity: jogging, cycling, hiking – anything physical that will tire out your pup.
If you have a yard, it doesn’t mean that your pup will get enough exercise by himself. If there is no fence around the yard – it’s not safe for a Bull Terrier to be left alone in it without human supervision.
They might dig their way out and wander off or even play with the “real life” dangers in your yard like the pool, lawnmower, or even cars.
What is their “temperament”?
A Bull Terrier’s temperament varies from dog to dog. In general, it is a lively, affectionate breed that can be described as “softhearted,” but there are some lines that have been bred for their aggression and mean temperaments – the so-called ‘game-bred’ Bully Lines.
The modern Bully breeders in USA and UK strictly follow a code of conduct by which they “do not condone the use of any linebreeding techniques that may create aggression or fearfulness.” Today’s UK Kennel Club Standard states: “The essential characteristics of the breed are perfect temperament is of course somewhere in between – very affectionate, playful and with a strong work ethic.
How easy is it to train a Bull Terrier?
The AKC adds that ” Bull Terriers can excel at a variety of dog sports (including agility, fly ball, freestyle, weight pull, and carting) as well as in roles such as bomb detection, search-and-rescue and as service, assistance, health-alert, and therapy dogs.”
All puppies are very easy to train at first, but they become more stubborn and complex as they grow up – even Bullies. This breed is known for its intelligence, but like all terriers, they can become bored with the repetitiveness of training. They are both physical and intelligent breeds – make sure your Bullie gets enough exercise, or you will find yourself having a hard time.
Bull Terriers are keen on pleasing their owners, but they also need mental stimulation like games, obedience training, and agility courses. Try to vary your daily activities with your pup. Visit new places – both inside and outside the house so that they get lots of mental stimulation and physical exercise!
How big will my Bull Terrier become?
A male bully should be around 19-21 inches at the shoulder and weigh about 35-55 pounds. Females are usually smaller, with a height between 17-20 inches at the shoulders and weighing 25-45 pounds. These are essential size differences, so it’s best to choose the gender which suits you better.
Is my Bull Terrier a “real” Bulldog?
This is the most frequently asked question, but it is equally difficult to answer. Bull Terriers were bred in the 19 century due to breeding Old English Bulldogs with terriers. However, even though their appearance has kept some of the Bulldog features – they are not the same breed!
Some people call them “miniature Bulldogs” because they share many of the same traits, but physically they are quite different. Some people call them “Bulldogs with short legs” because of their shorter muzzle and stockier appearance – this is probably the most accurate description!
Are they good with children?
They are known to be very patient and tolerant of children, primarily if raised together with them. They are very playful dogs that can entertain kids for hours on end!
However, no dog should ever be left alone with young kids because even the gentlest breeds may cause serious injury when mishandled. Kids should be taught how to behave around dogs, especially if they want to continue having one as a pet.
Are Bullies good watchdogs?
Not really, but they will bark at anything that moves! If you are looking for an aggressive dog that will attack anyone who tries to break into your house – this is NOT the breed for you!
A Bull Terrier will bark at anyone who comes near your property, and it may even try to chase them away, but unless the person is attacking you, they should be perfectly safe. If you want a dog that will attack on sight – look somewhere else!
How much exercise does my Bull Terrier require?
They are very energetic dogs, and they need a lot of exercise! If you work all day or can’t provide them with enough activity – it’s best to reconsider having one. You should take your dog out for daily walks and try some dog sports out with him.
If you have a Bull Terrier, at least one hour of activity should be more than enough to keep them happy and healthy.
What is the life expectancy of the Bull Terrier?
The Bull Terrier are healthy and happy dogs, yet you should look out for heart and kidney issues. The recommended health test from the National Breed Club advises that breeders of potential sires and dams test do a cardiac and patella evaluation as well as kidney-urine analysis. BAER testing is also recommended. This breed has a lifespan of around 12-13 years.
Bull Terrier Breeders in the USA
Breeders in the Canada
- Mission, British Columbia
- (604) 8203655