- AKC recognized in 1885
- Lifespan: 12 – 13 years
- Size: Medium
- Energy: High
- Recommended Crate Size: 36" dog crate*
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Clownish and playful are good descriptions of the Bull Terrier. Given its muscular build, the Bull Terrier may appear unapproachable, but it is an exceedingly friendly dog, with a sweet and fun-loving disposition that is known for its obedience and agility.
The Bull Terrier can be all white or colored. At the start of the 19th century, Bull Terriers were developed to satisfy the needs of controlling vermin and animal-based blood sports.
The Bull and Terriers were based on the Old English Bulldog (now extinct) and Old English Terriers. This new breed combined the speed and dexterity of lightly built terriers with the dour tenacity of the Bulldog, which was a poor performer in most combat situations.
The breeders argued that such a mixture enhanced the quality of fighter and with early successes, many began to breed Bulldogs with Terriers.
Despite these early successful crosses between Bulldogs and Terriers, very little was done to preserve the breed in its original form.
Due to the lack of early breed standards, the "Bull and Terrier" eventually divided into "Bull Terriers" and "Staffordshire Bull Terriers," both of which are smaller and easier to handle than their progenitor.
The American Kennel Club formally recognized the Bull Terrier in 1885. These high energy dogs are known as a fairly child-friendly dog and a great family member. That said, it is still better to supervise this breed with children.
It is also known as an independent and stubborn dog and for this reason, it is not recommended for the inexperienced dog owner.
A Bull Terrier has an even temperament and is amenable to discipline. Although obstinate, they are good with people.
Early socialization will ensure that the dog will get along with other dogs and animals, but their energy also requires supervision around other dogs. Their personality is described as full of spirit, with a courageous and fun-loving attitude.
The Bull Terrier has a long, strong and deep face right to the end of its muzzle. Its face is relatively oval in outline, giving the impression of fullness with a surface devoid of hollows or indentations.
Its most recognizable feature is its head, described as 'egg-shaped' when viewed from the front, but almost flat when viewed from the top. The under-jaw is deep and strong. The unique triangular eyes are small, deep-set, and dark.
Bull Terriers are the only dogs that have triangular eyes. The profile curves gently downwards from the top of the skull to the tip of the nose, which is black and bent downwards at the tip, with well-developed nostrils.
The body is full and round, with strong, muscular shoulders. The tail is carried horizontally. They are either white, red, fawn, black, brindle or a combination of these colors.
It is recommended to provide feed formulated to medium-sized breeds. It is highly recommended to discuss your dog’s feed with your veterinarian and/or breeder in order to determine the size and frequency of meals in order to ensure a healthy, long life. It is also important to ensure that clean, fresh water is always available.
Regular brushing is needed to clean the Bull Terrier's coat. A nice rub down with a soft bristle brush or hound glove will keep their coats free from dirt, loosen dead hair during shedding season and keep them healthy. An occasional bath when warranted will also keep the coat clean and in good condition.
Their strong nails should be trimmed regularly with a nail clipper or grinder to avoid overgrowth, cracking and splitting. Teeth should be brushed regularly. Also, their erect, pricked ears should be checked regularly to avoid a buildup of wax and debris which can result in an infection.
Exercise for the Bull Terrier is really quite simple. Daily exercise should be at least 45-60 minutes of activity per day. There are four keys to making this Bully happy:
- firm but loving training;
- socialization with dogs and people early on and often;
- ample exercise; and,
- plenty of quality time with its adored humans.
If these conditions are met, you’ll never have a more loyal, endearing, and entertaining pal. If you don’t have the time or patience, you should keep looking for a dog who’s content to be something less than a Bull Terrier.
Pet Crate Size
Pet Crates Direct recommends 36" dog crates* for most adult Bull Terrier.
* Links for crate sizes will bring you to the most appropriate Amazon page.