Bull Terriers were developed at the height of dog fighting in the 1830s, fanciers of this sport wanted to breed a dog that was able to attack in a more agile fashion than the typical Bulldog. This breed is a cross between Bulldog and Old English White Terrier (now extinct) with a bit of Spanish Pointer. It turned out that the Bull Terriers were not actually very skilled or agile fighters and around the mid to late 1800s they became a fashionable pet for the upper class. They have been used for guarding, herding, ratting and show competitions.
Bull Terriers are very warm, loving, loyal and affectionate dogs when placed with the right owner. They are very strong willed, due mostly in part to their strong terrier heritage, and require an owner that will be firm in training. This is not a good choice of dog for the first time owner or shy pack leader, and they do best in active family with older, respectful children where they are able to engage in horseplay, racing and frisbee. These dogs become very attached to their owners and do not fare well in situations where they are left alone for the majority of the day. While Bull Terriers would defend their owners in threatening situations they are not guard dogs. Bull Terriers are known for high levels of aggression with other dogs, and they are not recommended with other pets.
Bull Terriers are very fun-loving, active, determined and fearless, which can make them difficult to train for an inexperienced owner. They tend to be very loyal and obedient to owners that establish strong pack leadership early on in the relationship, which also helps to curb some of their tendencies for dog aggression. They require a lot of affection and companionship from their family, always needing to be involved in what ever activities are going on – this is not a good dog for someone that is away from home the majority of the day. Bull Terriers have a low tolerance for the poking and prodding of children and kids should be taught to respect the dog. Dog aggression is very real in Bull Terriers, and while early socialization helps the dog to be more well-rounded, unaltered males usually do not get along with other male dogs. Female-female and male-female combinations work best if you want to have a multiple Bull Terrier household, but the owner needs to be vigilant to watch for any signs of dog aggression, especially considering this breed does not fully mature until 2-3 years of age.
Bull Terriers need plenty of exercise and enjoy engaging in a wide variety of activities such as jogging, fetch and running alongside a bike. If not properly exercised this breed will have a tendency to become overweight and lazy, leading to health problems. Brush their short coat with a firm bristle brush and bathe only when necessary. Rubbing the coat will help to keep it shiny.
While generally healthy, some Bull Terriers are prone to zinc deficiency as well as deafness (especially in white Bull Terriers). Slipped patellas and obsessive compulsive behaviors, such as tail chasing, are also more prevalent in this breed.
Average Height: 20 to 24 inches
Average Weight: 50 to 80 pounds
Colors: White, fawn, black, red and brindle.
Category: Terrier, Mastiff