Bull Terrier

A Fun, Sweet-Tempered Terrier

Bull Terrier

By Barry Gray - Last updated on March 17th, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About the Bull Terrier

The Bull Terrier is an often misunderstood dog breed. Viewed as being aggressive and confrontational, it is also highly loving and loyal to its owners. 

Its unique appearance makes it stand out, but this dog is not suitable for every owner. Indeed, being aware of its natural strength and power will eliminate some people from owning this breed.

So, are you intrigued by the Bull Terrier and want to know if they are suitable for you and your family? Well, read on to learn everything that you need to know before making your decision.

Fast Facts

Group - Terrier 

Height - 20-24 Inches (male) 20-24 Inches (female)

Weight - 45-80 Pounds (male) 45-80 Pounds (female)

Hair Length - Short

Shedding - Moderate

Lifespan - 12-13 Years

The Unusual Appearance of Bull Terrier

The first thing to strike you with any Bull Terrier picture is their unusual appearance. Muscular and strong in body, their head is described as ‘egg-shaped’ with this being their unique feature.

The Bull Terrier skull remains relatively flat on top, followed by a continuous line dropping down, ending at their nose. There, the nose is black while it also points downward. Also, their nostrils tend to be relatively large.

The lower jaw is strong and set back, which counteracts the angle of the top of their head. Overall, it adds to the egg-shaped idea.

This elongated head is accompanied by pointy ears that remain erect while their relatively small eyes are triangular, and they are the only breed with this feature! The eyes are deep-set but always with a glimpse of mischief.

For their body, they are stocky, broad, well-built, and powerful. Their tail tends to hang horizontally and is of a medium length. Their coat is short, stiff to the touch, and tends to be shiny. 

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What Colors Do Bull Terriers Come In?

It’s no surprise to discover that there are several options with coat colors. The main ones to look out for include:

  • White
  • Brindle
  • Red
  • Fawn
  • Black

The colors can either be solid in nature or contain white markings over and above the other colors. However, it’s the white coat color that is predominant and most popular.

Colors aside, what about that aggressive nature we keep hearing about? Is their temperament better than we imagined, or is it accurate?

The Nature and Temperament of Your Bull Terrier

The sad fact is that Bull Terrier tends to have the label as an aggressive, unpredictable dog. However, that’s not an accurate reflection of the breed.

Instead, they are playful, surprisingly gentle, and affectionate to their family. They love to be near their owner and will snuggle up to you at any opportunity. 

This dog is also loyal. They will seek to protect their family, and with their strength, it does mean they can cause harm. In saying that, they don’t go looking for trouble and love meeting new people that are nice to them.

When it comes to social interaction, they have moderate needs. When properly trained, they do often get on well with other dogs. But don’t be fooled at their lack of barking as a sign of them being content. This breed doesn’t bark a lot, so check for tensing in their shoulders to see if they are unhappy in a situation.

The only other problem with their temperament is if they are bored. If this happens, you can perhaps expect some destructive behavior in your home. Your favorite shoes might end becoming a snack!

So, their temperament is better than what people believe, but are they easy to train? 

Training Your Bull Terrier

Training your Bull Terrier won’t be as straightforward as other breeds. They tend to be strong-willed and stubborn even from an early age. That leads to them being reluctant to pick up new commands.

This breed has the idea that if they believe something is fun, then they will do it. If they feel it’s boring, then there’s little chance of them following your commands. 

To correctly train your Bull Terrier, make it interesting, and they will take part. They also do well with rewards, so incorporate them into training to speed up their willingness to learn. 

Your focus should be on obedience training to eliminate any destructive behavior at an early age due to their strength. 

However, be patient. You may think your dog is making progress, but they can switch off when they decide they have had enough. That is the problem of having a breed that is very much a free spirit and an independent thinker. As such, this breed is not for a novice dog owner.

Training is tough, but is grooming going to be easier with this breed?

Grooming your Bull Terrier

Here’s the good news. From a grooming perspective, your Bull Terrier must be one of the easiest breeds to look after! Bull Terrier shedding is not a problem. Although they are not hypoallergenic, their lack of shedding does mean a lower risk of an owner being allergic.

Use a short-bristle brush or perhaps a grooming glove. This is enough to remove any loose hair or dirt built up over the week. Apart from that, keep checking their ears for cleaning and trim their nails regularly. Long nails are highly problematic for them.

We are talking about grooming them once a week and perhaps wiping their coats down for them twice a week. Apart from that, you have nothing else to do with grooming.

The Health of a Bull Terrier

No dog is immune from health and fitness issues, and the Bull Terrier is no different. However, if health were on a sliding scale, then the breed would certainly be on the healthier side of things.

In saying that, some genetic issues could crop up with your pet. We aren’t saying they are all serious, but keeping an eye out for them is best for your dog’s health.

So, pay attention to any possible problems with their eyes, luxating patellas, heart disease, and check their hearing as deafness is a health concern associated with this breed. Before buying your dog, the breeder should have had them checked for kidney disease, heart disease, their knees, and hearing. Oh, and the white Bull Terrier is the breed most likely to be deaf.

The Bull Terrier can also be prone to allergies. This can lead to them suffering from skin issues and ear infections. 

Also, there’s exercise, and this breed tends to require around 40 minutes of exercise per day. It tends to have high energy levels, so while a walk is perfect, it also means they are better suited to having outdoor space at home to explore. 

Clearly, what I give my Bull Terrier to eat is important, so what’s best from a nutritional perspective?

The Right Nutrition for Your Bull Terrier

A Bull Terrier puppy does require a diet to be higher in calcium to help build those strong bones. This also applies when they are going through a growth spurt.

Their diet should be balanced between protein, carbohydrates, and fats. You can either purchase commercially produced food or make your own at home. If interested, there are countless recipes out there for you to check out.

One potential problem with the Bull Terrier is their tendency to put on weight. Be careful with treats and portion sizes, or they will keep on eating, and this leads to all kinds of health problems. 

History of the Breed

The Bull Terrier history dates back to 1835 when an Old English Terrier was bred with a Bulldog. The breed quickly became a favorite in England, but additional crossovers took place, leading to the variety of mixes we see today.

Crosses with the Spanish Pointer as well as the Dalmatian and White English Terrier have all contributed to the various coat colors. However, these additional crossovers with different breeds have reduced the Bull Terrier’s aggression today compared to over a century ago.

The white breed, also known as the ‘White Cavalier’ became a favorite with the landed gentry in the 19th Century. This was a change considering the breed was initially created to be an agile fighting dog. In saying that, the gentry contributed to the dog we all know and love today.

Bull Terrier Mixes you would like to know about*

Dog crossbreeds or mixes are sometimes called designer dogs. The name fits since you are “designing” a new dog by mating two purebred dogs. It has become popular in recent times, and more and more breeds have several noteworthy crosses we could write about.

The thing with mixed puppies is that it is hard to know which characteristics they will inherit from their parents. You should research as much info as possible on the parent breeds to understand what you can expect. This way, you will find a mix that has all of the characteristics you want and love.

Read on to see the most popular Bull Terrier mixes:

*Not all breed mixes are equal in quality! neither condones nor endorses any example of unethical and unhealthy crossbreeding. We encourage everyone to research in detail before they choose to get a crossbreed. 

Questions people often ask about Bull Terrier

  • +Are Bull Terriers Dangerous?

  • +Are Bull Terriers Good Dogs?

  • +Are Bull Terriers Mean?

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