The Bull Terrier is an athletic, strong dog that makes an excellent guard dog and does well in events such a watchdogging, agility, and obedience. Correctly socialized and trained, the affectionate, entertaining Bull Terriers make wonderful family pets. Many people are attracted to the Bull Terriers unique head, fun-loving nature, and muscular build. The distinctive head of the Bull Terrier is oval shaped from the tip of the dogs’ nose to its skull with a full face and almond shaped, dark, tiny eyes set almost in the center of their head. Their pointed, thin ears sit close together and are normally relaxed but are completely erect when something has the dog’s attention.
A Bull Terrier has a long, somewhat arching, stocky neck, muscular, robust shoulders, a wide, deep chest, and short, stocky, front legs. The bottom of the terrier’s chest is much deeper than the abdomen. With its well-developed rib cage, powerful loins, and solid, short back, the muscular, thickset Bull Terrier should look well proportioned. The Bull Terrier’s legs are strong with great bone structure and arched, round feet. Although they might give the appearance of moving from side to side, the Bull Terrier should be light on its feet, have fluid movement, a long stride, and never drag or shuffle its feet.
The Bull Terrier’s tight skin has no detectable folds or wrinkles anywhere on the entire dog’s body. Its thick, long tail is set low on the dogs behind and carried horizontally.
The Bull Terriers coat is flat, very short with a hard texture and a natural shine. Both the white and colored Bull Terriers do shed especially when their coat changes during the spring and summer.
In the early 1800’s they crossed the Bulldog, Spanish Pointer breed and old English terrier with the hopes of developing the ideal bull-bating dog that was courageous, tenacious, agile, brave, fearless, and strong. The crossing resulting in a unique looking, usually white dog that was indeed strong but not idealistic in the ring.
The Bull Terrier became a great companion and watchdog because of their unusual appearance and temperament. Originally called the White Cavalier, these white terriers were one of royalty’s favorite watchdogs.
Bull Terriers are feisty, friendly, outgoing, gentle dogs that love to play and clown around. These dogs seem to have an uncanny ability to know what their human companion is thinking and going to do.
Innovative and intelligent, Bull Terriers are wonderful family dogs that need to be with their human companions, in the middle of all the action to be happy. Not suitable in a household where they will be alone much of the time or put in a kennel, Bull Terriers are an excellent choice for busy, active family’s with older children to provide the dog with lots of exercise. Although Bull Terriers adore children and make an excellent companion, it is very important to teach them never to tease the dog. Very alert, they are an excellent watchdog that will sound an alarm if anyone is on the property or at the door but are a little too friendly to make a good guard dog.
Male Bull Terriers that are not neutered are often aggressive towards other male dogs. Properly socialized, they usually get along with female dogs but should not be trusted with cats or small, furry pets unless raised together
Although a relatively healthy breed, Bull Terriers can have some health issues such as:
[-]Skin Problems – Bull Terriers may have sensitive skin prone to sores, rashes, and irritations.[/-]
[-]Deafness – White Bull Terriers are often deaf in one or both ears while some colored terriers are deaf only in one ear.[/-]
[-]Spinning – This is an obsessive/compulsive disorder where the Bull Terrier chases its tail, sometimes for hours at a time.[/-]
It is important for the Bull Terrier to have a regular annual checkup and vaccinations to keep the dog in excellent health.
It is very easy to groom a Bull Terrier because of their flat, short, shiny coat. They need a weekly brushing using a curry brush or rubber mitt and daily brushing during shedding season to remove any dead and loose hair. A wipe down with a chamois cloth adds a natural shine to the Bull Terriers hard coat. It is important to keep their nails clipped along with checking the dog’s ears, eyes, and skin for any signs of infection, discharge, or irritation.
Bull Terriers are high-energy dogs that require regular exercise as without it, they may become lazy or overweight. These dogs do require and enjoy a daily walk but must remain on a leash, as they are sometimes aggressive with other dogs or animals. Because they are so family orientated, Bull Terriers get a lot of exercise following their human companions around the house, playing games with them, or running in a fenced, secure yard. Terriers that do not receive enough exercise or are left on their own for long periods of time often show behavioral problems such as destroying property, barking continuously, or going to the bathroom in the house.
It is important to socialize and train Bull Terriers from a very young age to help minimize the chance of them becoming too possessive of their human family or home and highly aggressive towards other dogs and animals. By exposing the Bull Terrier to different environments, animals, and people, it helps the dog understand how to respond in different situations and develop confidence. Because these terriers are often dominant, they require consistent, positive training so they understand that their owner is in control. It is important to use only positive training methods such as praise, patience, and affection. Make training sessions interesting and fun for your Bull Terrier to get the best results.
Bull Terriers are extremely intelligent animals that quickly learn the members of their family they should listen to and those they can ignore. Although one person usually works with the dog on obedience training, it is important for the entire family to work with the Bull Terrier once it understands the commands.