AKC Registrable
AKC Registrable
Family Dog
Family Dog

Bull Terrier

Among the most comical and mischievous citizens of dogdom, the Bull Terrier is playful and endearing, sometimes stubborn, but always devoted. These unique “eggheads” are exuberant, muscular companions who thrive on affection and exercise.

  • Size
  • Grooming
  • Energy
  • Trainability
  • Disposition

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Breed Info

Group

Terrier

Heritage

In 1860, James Hinks an English dog dealer, developed the first Bull Terrier (all white color) by crossing the Bull and Terriers breed with an English White Terrier. This breed, known as the White Cavalier, was later crossed with brindle Staffordshires to produce color variations in the breed, also breeding for the egg-shaped head. This breed has been used as a herding dog, watch dog, as well as hunting vermin.

Description

Medium, 20-24” at the shoulders, weighing anywhere from 45-80 pounds. The Bull Terrier has a powerful, muscular body with a short, dense, coarse coat in colors of white, black, brindle, red, fawn, and tri-color.

Health Awareness

The Bull Terrier Dog has a life expectancy of 10-12 years and is prone to slipped patella, kidney failure, skin and flea allergies, heart problems, deafness, and zinc deficiency.

Personality

The Bull Terrier is scrappy, independent, challenging, tireless, polite and often downright silly and clownish. They love to cuddle, spend every waking minute with their family, and are not the breed to leave alone while you work for 8 hours. This breed needs your companionship. They like stability and structure, and can become stressed and destructive without it. They are strong physically and strong-willed and you need to be a calm, knowledgeable and humane owner giving consistent and committed leadership to your Bull Terrier using only motivational training methods. Every Bull Terrier owner can tell you about “hucklebutting” where their dog will run in a choreographed full speed fashion, butt tucked under, bounding and bouncing in circles. Socialize well, train young and you’ll thoroughly enjoy living with this active snuggle bug.

Exercise/Energy Level

Very high energy and extremely active, the Bull Terrier needs plenty of daily exercise and requires a long, daily walk or jog with off-leash play in a safe area. This breed tends to easily become overweight.

Additional Information

 Grooming Requirements:   Requires regular brushing and bathe only when necessary.  Coat: Short and smooth  Shedding: Average shedding  Hypoallergenic: No  Apartment Living: Good for apartment living if given sufficient exercise  Lap Dog: No  Good With Children: Good with older children who understand how to respect a dog's boundaries; this breed can be too vigorous and powerful for small children.  Good With Other Pets: Socialize, socialize, and socialize this breed for they are generally not trustworthy with other pets; can be dog aggressive especially intact male dogs.

Breed Standard

General Appearance

The Bull Terrier must be strongly built, muscular, symmetrical and active, with a keen determined and intelligent expression, full of fire but of sweet disposition and amenable to discipline.

Head

Should be long, strong and deep right to the end of the muzzle, but not coarse. Full face it should be oval in outline and be filled completely up giving the impression of fullness with a surface devoid of hollows or indentations, i.e., egg shaped. In profile it should curve gently downwards from the top of the skull to the tip of the nose. The forehead should be flat across from ear to ear. The distance from the tip of the nose to the eyes should be perceptibly greater than that from the eyes to the top of the skull. The underjaw should be deep and well defined. Lips: Should be clean and tight. Teeth: Should meet in either a level or in a scissors bite. In the scissors bite the upper teeth should fit in front of and closely against the lower teeth, and they should be sound, strong and perfectly regular. Ears: Should be small, thin and placed close together. They should be capable of being held stiffly erect, when they should point upwards. Eyes: Should be well sunken and as dark as possible, with a piercing glint and they should be small, triangular and obliquely placed; set near together and high up on the dog's head. Blue eyesare a disqualification. Nose: Should be black, with well-developed nostrils bent downward at the tip.

Neck

Should be very muscular, long, arched and clean, tapering from the shoulders to the head and it should be free from loose skin.

Body

Should be well rounded with marked spring of rib, the back should be short and strong. The back ribs deep. Slightly arched over the loin. The shoulders should be strong and muscular but without heaviness. The shoulder blades should be wide and flat and there should be a very pronounced backward slope from the bottom edge of the blade to the top edge. Behind the shoulders there should be no slackness or dip at the withers. The underline from the brisket to the belly should form a graceful upward curve. Chest: Should be broad when viewed from in front, and there should be great depth from withers to brisket, so that the latter is nearer the ground than the belly.

Hindquarters

The hind legs should be parallel viewed from behind. The thighs very muscular with hocks well let down. Hind pasterns short and upright. The stifle joint should be well bent with a well-developed second thigh.

Feet

Round and compact with well-arched toes like a cat.

Coat

Should be short, flat, harsh to the touch and with a fine gloss. The dog's skin should fit tightly.

Tail

Should be short, set on low, fine, and ideally should be carried horizontally. It should be thick where it joins the body, and should taper to a fine point.

Faults

Any departure from the foregoing points shall be considered a fault and the seriousness of the fault shall be in exact proportion to its degree, i.e. a very crooked front is a very bad fault; a rather crooked front is a rather bad fault; and a slightly crooked front is a slight fault.

Gait

The dog shall move smoothly, covering the ground with free, easy strides, fore and hind legs should move parallel each to each when viewed from in front or behind. The forelegs reaching out well and the hind legs moving smoothly at the hip and flexing well at the stifle and hock. The dog should move compactly and in one piece but with a typical jaunty air that suggests agility and power.

Color

The Standard for the Colored Variety is the same as for the White except for the sub head"Color" which reads: Color. Any color other than white, or any color with white markings. Other things being equal, the preferred color is brindle. A dog which is predominantly white shall be disqualified. Disqualifications: Blue eyes. Any dog which is predominantly white.

Overview

Temperament

Playful, Charming, Mischievous

About

Bull Terriers are robust, big-boned terriers who move with a jaunty stride suggesting agility and power. The breed’s hallmark is a long, egg-shaped head with erect and pointed ears, and small, triangular eyes that glisten with good humor. Coats come in two types: white; and any other color (including an attractive brindle striping), either solid or with white markings. A well-made BT is the picture of muscular determination and balance. There are four keys to BT happiness: early socialization with dogs and people; firm but loving training; ample exercise; and lots of quality time with his adored humans. If these requirements are met, there is no more loyal, lovable, and entertaining companion. This is the ultimate “personality breed.”

History

It is an irony that some of the AKC’s most amiable breeds began their careers as ferocious gladiators in blood sports. Such is the case of the Bull Terrier. The pastime of bull-baiting, in which Bulldogs were turned lose on a staked bull as spectators bet on the outcome, was popular in Britain beginning in the 13th century. By the more enlightened 1830s, blood sports with animals were outlawed. This didn’t stop those with a taste for such gruesome spectacles. They simply went underground to evade the law. Bull-baiting was, of course, too conspicuous an activity to continue illegally. Instead, the blood sport of choice became dogfighting, with dogs mauling other dogs in indoor pits, often in the cellars of taverns. Bulldogs proved too slow and plodding to provide much entertainment in these gruesome affairs. Thus began the process of crossing Bulldogs with terriers to produce fighters with the power of a Bulldog and the animation and fiery spirit of terriers. Among the breeds created in this way was the Bull Terrier. Before long, the law caught up with pit fighting and this, too, was banned in Britain. Happily, the suddenly unemployed Bull Terrier became fashionable among young gentlemen of the mid-1800s. Breeders set to work on refining the breed’s looks and sweetening its temperament, better to play the role of an upper-crust companion dog. “Hinks found a Bull Terrier a battered old bum/And made him a dog for a gentleman’s chum.” So goes an old bit of doggerel. It was in the early 1860s that Englishman James Hinks took an old fighting breed, a Bulldog-terrier cross called the Bull-and-Terrier, and refined and standardized it as the modern Bull Terrier. Hinks’s dogs were white, but by the early 20th century colored specimens were seen. BTs came to the AKC in 1885 and have been American favorites ever since. Famous Bullies include General George Patton’s Willy; Rufus, the 2006 Westminster winner; and Bullseye, the Target mascot.

Standard

The Bull Terrier must be strongly built, muscular, symmetrical and active, with a keen determined and intelligent expression, full of fire but of sweet disposition and amenable to discipline.

Nutrition

The Bull Terrier should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Bull Terriers need a good diet that includes natural calcium, especially when they are youngsters. One expert breeder gives the dogs a little yogurt or whole milk in the morning and in the evening before bed. She also recommends adding some naturally high-calcium food like broccoli to their diet when they are going through periods of rapid growth and bone development.

Grooming

The Bull Terrier’s short, flat, harsh, and glossy coat requires minimal maintenance. A weekly brushing with a soft-bristle brush or a hound glove will help to remove dirt and loose hair and keep the dog looking his best. The ears should be regularly inspected and cleaned if needed. The nails should be trimmed often, as overly long nails can cause the dog discomfort and problems walking and running.

Exercise

Bull Terriers benefit from daily, moderate exercise that provides good mental and physical stimulation, such as nice, long walks with the family. The breed was developed for sport as well as to be a gentleman’s companion and possesses great strength and agility. Participation in canine sports such as obedience, tracking, agility, and coursing ability tests is an enjoyable way to channel the BT’s energy.

Training

Owners should remember that the breed exhibits the tenacity and courage of the Bulldog but is also a member of the Terrier Group. This is an independent free-thinker with a higher commitment to “fun and games” than to a work ethic. Bull Terriers operate on the principle that if it is fun, they will do it. If not, why bother? Make training fun, and they will excel. Positive reinforcement with food or toys is an excellent place to start. Bull Terriers can excel at a variety of dog sports (including agility, flyball, 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. There is no limit to what Bull Terriers can do if trained in a positive manner with patience and humor.

Health

Owners of potential sires and dams being bred should show proof of testing for kidney and heart issues, and pups should be tested for hearing before leaving the breeder. Dedicated breeders communicate with each other regularly and work together for breed health and the preservation of the breed’s best qualities. Bull Terriers from good breeders who health-test usually become healthy, happy, family members.