Playful, robust, and funny looking, the Bull Terrier is a breed that has changed its’ preconceived notions throughout the ages. Hailing from England, the Bull Terrier has a dark past. Its’ ancestors, the Bulldogs, were originally bred to fight Bulls for spectator sports until England banned the blood sport. This sent the wicked people underground, looking for a new way to the entertain themselves. Thus the Bull Terrier was born of Bulldog and Terrier decent to fight each other. England banned dog fighting in the 1800s and Bull Terriers were finally free! James Hinks, a well-known breeder, set off to standardize the breed’s look and sweeten its’ temperament.
Bull Terrier Appearance
Bull Terriers are most well-known for their egg shaped heads, long muzzles, and pointy, upright ears. Also known as a “shark head,” their skull is flat on top with a long boned snout and their eyes are triangle shaped and deeply set back. These dogs are wide chested and muscular, with barrel shaped bodies and a straight tail. Most Bull Terriers are white or a combination of white, red, fawn, and/or brindle. Their coat is short and smooth. Males typical weight between 55 to 65 lbs. and stand at 22 inches tall. Females weight between 45 to 55 lbs. and stand at 21 inches tall. There is also a subset of Miniature Bull Terriers that weight up to 33 lbs. and stand at 14 inches tall. The most famous Bull Terriers are the Target mascot, Bullseye, and Spuds Mackenzie, a Bull Terrier featured in the Budweiser ads in the 1980s.
Bull Terriers are very active and playful dogs. Most are filled with energy that never ends and are considered braves dogs who are always curious. Due to their size and strength, they need lots of playtime. They would be best off in a family that likes to be outdoors and with older children who can roughhouse a bit. Bull Terriers are always up for a good time and are known as goofballs of the dog world. They love to chase their tails and play fetch. Some Bull Terriers might display a bit of OCD in their personality, especially if they take tail chasing and other repetitive tasks to a new level. Bull Terriers travel well, as they love to be with their family and go on adventures. They each have a big personality and love to be the center of attention. When left to their own deceives however, Bull Terriers can get into a bit of trouble and be destructive so they need a strong owner who can enforce household rules. They should not be left alone for long periods of time as they like to chew and at just about anything.
Bull Terriers are affectionate and loyal companions who are comfortable with other people and thrive off social situations. Like other Terriers, Bull Terriers need to be socialize early on with other animals so that they do not become aggressive. They are raised best in a single animal household and should not be with cats or other small animals. Bull Terriers have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years.
Caring for Bull Terrier Tips
Now we’ll show you how to care for a Bull Terrier.
Bull Terriers should be fed a nutritious dog food with high protein and added calcium rich foods such as yogurt or broccoli to help aid in bone density health. This is especially important when raising a Bull Terrier puppy, as their cross breeding has made their bone structure weak, so they need the added calcium during growth periods to make sure they are health and strong. Food is also the biggest cause of skin conditions in Bull Terriers so if you suspect that your dog is having an allergic reaction, talk to your vet about a plan to try different foods.
Bull Terriers need a lot of exercise as they are very energetic dogs. They would do best in an active family that has a big, fenced in yard. They should not be let off leash around dogs they do not know or at a dog park, as they may become aggressive. Taking your Bull Terrier on long walks or runs is highly recommended. They are very strong, so a leash made specifically for dogs who pull as well as a harness will help keep them under control on your walks. They love to play and be goofy as well as are known for being a little too rambunctious sometimes.
Bull Terriers are part Terrier, so they are independent dogs that have a mind of their own. They prefer to play and have fun over obeying tedious commands, so training will take some work. But if you make it fun with positive reinforcement (IE the use of treats and toys to reward the action that you want), you will be able to train your Bull Terrier. Due to their free-spirit, Bull Terriers may tend to wander, so you’ll want to make sure to keep away any distractions while training your dog. It can take 2-3 weeks for a new puppy to pick up on the command, so don’t give up.
Bull Terriers have a history of deafness in the breed, so you should make sure that your pup has its’ ears checked by a professional. White Bull Terriers are especially susceptible, so make sure that they are receive a BAER hearing test. They should also be tested for kidney and heart issues, although sometimes issues do not appear until the dog is older. Bull Terriers are also vulnerable to skin problems; due to their short hair, they can easily develop contact, airborne, or internal skin allergies. If you Bull Terrier develops a rash, consult your vet on how to narrow down the cause of the problem. It could be a wide range of things from food allergies to contact with cleaning supplies. In addition to allergies, all dogs should get monthly heart worm and flea protection. When an insect or flea bites a Bull Terrier, you can really see the bite and rash that develops. You can also use essential oils to protect your dog from fleas and mosquitos. Be wary of the cute “tail chasing” habit, as it could be a form of a seizure known as “spinning,” which can cause a Bull Terrier to obsessively spin for hours. It can cause Bullies to have no interest in food or water and needs to be treated with medication. Bull Terriers have an average lifespan of 10-12 years.