Bull Terrier: All You Need to Know

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Bull TerrierThe big American Staffordshire Terrier may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re looking for something similar but smaller at the same time, you may want to look into the Bull Terrier. These cute, yet odd-looking dogs are both endearing and playful — they’re known to be big-boned and robust despite their small frame but are also loving companions to the right family. In this article, we discuss all you need to know about the Bull Terrier and how you can care for them in your home.  

What is the Bull Terrier? 

The Bull Terrier is among the most mischievous and comical members of the dog world; they’re known to be endearing and playful, at times stubborn but always dedicated to their families. These dogs are muscular and exuberant companions who love exercising and sharing affection. They are easily recognizable thanks to their egg-shaped heads — because they’re such easy-going, entertaining, and loyal dogs, they’re beloved by many dog lovers all over the world. 

This lively breed may surprise you with their power and agility; they’re also the perfect example of balance and determination in dogs. However, they will need a firm but loving owner who will provide them with plenty of exercise and quality time with the humans they adore. The Bull Terrier breed can be a loyal, entertaining, and affectionate companion who will protect the family wholeheartedly.      

Bull Terrier History

The English Bull Terrier dates back to the early 1800’s and was first created by crossing the English Bulldog with the now-extinct white English Terrier. Known as “Bull and Terrier” dogs, they were later mixed with the Spanish Pointer to make them bigger; they served as gladiators in dog fighting rings. By 1860, Bull and Terrier enthusiast James Hinks created a white colored strain that later became known as the “White Cavalier” because of its courteousness with people and courage inside the ring.  

In 1885, Bull Terriers were recognized as purebred dogs by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and in 1897, the Bull Terrier Club of America was formed. Decades after their introduction, colored Bull Terriers were categorized as a separate variety, and in 1992, the Miniature Bull Terrier was classified as a separate breed. One of the most famous Bull Terriers is Patsy Ann, who would greet all the ships that docked around Juneau, Alaska, back in the 1930s. 

Other popular Bull Terriers include Spuds Mackenzie, which was used for a 1980s-era Budweiser commercial, which skyrocketed the breed’s popularity. History was made in 2006 during the Westminster Kennel Club dog show when a colored Bull Terrier named Ch. Rocky Top’s Sundance Kid won Best in Show. Furthermore, a white Bull Terrier by the name of Ch. Haymarket Faultless also won the prestigious award back in 1918 but the breed’s appearance has since changed.     

Bull Terrier Appearance

This medium-sized dog breed is known for its egg-shaped head that comes with small and pointed ears along with tiny, deep-set eyes that are triangular. Their skulls are nearly flat between their ears, which gives them a comical appearance. They have a robust and muscular build with broad shoulders and a deep chest, growing up to 22 inches tall and weighing between 50 to 85 pounds.

This kind of dog sports a smooth and short coat that can come in various colors but the most common type will be white with colored markings around their eyes and ears. However, today’s Bull Terriers can be found in black and tan, fawn, and brindled colors. Some will be born with white markings, others may come with black patches of fur that surround the eyes or the ears, but all will share the same egg-like head that makes them so unique.

Bull Terrier Temperament 

Prospective owners will be happy to know that white Bull Terriers are loving dogs with a friendly nature; they’re always ready for fun times and will be always happy to see their humans. They’re described as feisty extroverts that are full of fire and courageous, but they’re also playful, mischievous, and intelligent while being high energy dogs, which means they may not always be aware of their own strength, especially around young children and small animals. 

While they possess many good qualities, they can also become jealous and possessive; without training and socialization at an early age, they can be aggressive towards other animals. Moreover, they can be barkers, tail chasers, and chewers, and their stubbornness can make it difficult to housetrain them. There may be times when they consider pets like cats to be prey and they may not always get along with Bull Terriers the same sex as them, which is especially true for males. 

Caring for Your Bull Terrier

Thanks to their low-maintenance coat, Bull Terriers will need minimal grooming, but they will need a moderate amount of exercise every day. Be sure to follow the guide below to ensure your Bull Terrier puppies get the best care possible. 

Bull Terrier Nutrition

Dog owners must feed their Bull Terriers with a high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet specifically formulated for their canine buddies. These dogs will need to be given enough calcium to support bone development, which is especially important during their early stages. It’s standard to feed adult Bull Terriers two meals of dry food each day that’s appropriately portioned according to their size and activity level.

Observing how much they eat and how much energy they spend can help to prevent overeating. However, it’s a good idea to speak to your vet about how much you should feed your pooch, and they should be able to advise on how you can meet your dog’s nutritional needs. 

Bull Terrier Grooming

The smooth and short coat of the Bull Terrier needs little maintenance and only basic grooming is required. You can get started with regular grooming given every week using a grooming mitt or soft-bristle brush to evenly distribute skin oils and remove loose fur. However, there might be times when your pooch will shed more during the spring and fall, so you’ll need to brush it more to maintain a healthy coat. 

It’s also important to bathe them every month or two, depending on their activity and how dirty they get. Be sure to check your dog’s nails monthly, and trim them whenever they get too long; be sure to check their teeth every day and brush them several times a week. Finally, check their ears each week at a minimum to prevent the buildup of wax and debris. 

Bull Terrier Exercise

These energetic dogs will need a minimum of 2 hours of regular exercise each day; doing this will help to burn their high levels of physical and mental energy. Giving them multiple walks every day is the best way to tire them out, along with games of fetch, jogging, and hiking. Puzzle toys are also a great way to challenge your dog mentally; other options also include dog sports such as tracking and agility training.  

Make sure that you keep your pup on a leash or inside a fenced area whenever they go outside since they may not always be friendly when they meet a strange dog. Similarly, their short coats won’t offer a lot of protection against cold weather, so make sure to limit their time in the cold. 

Bull Terrier Training

When it comes to these dogs, consistent training and early socialization are a must; it’s crucial to start while they’re young to help stop the development of bad habits. Unfortunately, Bull Terriers are prone to being stubborn when training but they are intelligent dogs. It’s essential to use positive reinforcement when training them since they respond to this the best and make sure that you make their training sessions feel like a game instead of work. 

Furthermore, it’s best to socialize your pup with many different dogs and people starting at a young age to increase your dog’s confidence and comfort when they’re with others. Ensuring that your dog takes away positive experiences from training will help to mold it into a well-mannered dog. Keep in mind that due to their history as fighting dogs, they may have a hard time getting comfortable around other dogs, and there may be a potential for aggression; be sure to consult a professional if needed.    

Bull Terrier Health Problems

When given proper care, the Bull Terrier can live between 12 to 14 years and will live generally healthy lives, but they can be prone to a few genetic diseases and health conditions which include the following: 

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a common condition that’s present in all dogs; it occurs when the hip joints don’t properly fit into their sockets. Such health issues may lead to discomfort, pain, and arthritis, which can eventually limit their mobility. 
  • Deafness: Many Bull Terriers are prone to deafness, and hearing loss can affect one or both of their ears.
  • Kidney Disease: This can be commonly found in Bull Terriers which can cause renal failure in different stages. 
  • Heart Problems: A common condition in these dogs is mitral valve disease, which occurs when the valve becomes so enlarged that it begins to leak. 
  • Patellar Luxation: This happens when your dog’s knees slip out of place which can be painful. Luckily, in mild cases, a dog can still live a relatively normal life. 
  • Skin Problems: This can take the form of allergies and skin issues such as atopic dermatitis which is common in these pups.  

Bull Terrier Costs 

If you’re thinking about getting a Bull Terrier from your local shelter or rescue organizations, then you may not have to pay an upfront fee but this isn’t common. Not many purebred dogs end up inside a shelter, and when they do, they will often come with adoption fees. The initial setup for these dogs can cost between $200 to $600 which will include basics such as their collar, leash, dog bowls, dog beds, and food and water. 

Purchasing a Bull Terrier

However, if you decide to look for a reputable breeder who can guarantee your dog’s pedigree, the average price for one of these dogs is around $700 to $2,000. This will depend on your breeder’s reputation, where you live, and the parent dogs; the more reputable the breeder, the more expensive the puppy will be. When buying from a reputable breeder, the average cost for these dogs will be around $1,200 and $2,000, while a top-quality dog can cost as much as $4,500.   


While the Bull Terrier price might be a bit steep for an initial purchase, they have plenty to offer to families with older children and can be the right dog for those who can fulfill its daily needs. When it comes to this breed of dogs, pet insurance can help a long way since they can be prone to certain health problems. The best way to raise them is to introduce them to new dogs and people as much as possible while they’re young to ensure they grow into well-rounded adult dogs.