Bull Terrier Dog Breed
Aliases: English Bull Terrier, Standard Bull Terrier
|Life Span:||10-14 years|
|Litter Size:||1-9 puppies per litter with 4-5 the average|
|Group:||Mastiff, AKC Terrier|
|Recognized By:||CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR|
|Color:||white or any color with white markings. Brindle, fawn, brown and tan are common colors with or without white markings.|
|Male Height:||20-24 inches (51-61 cm)|
|Male Weight:||45-80 pounds (20-36 kg)|
|Female Height:||20-24 inches (51-61 cm)|
|Female Weight:||45-80 pounds (20-36 kg)|
|General info courtesy of terrificpets.com. Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.|
|Living Area:||The Bull terrier can live in small spaces such as an apartment with enough exercise. They will do well with a small, fenced yard and regular walks. As a short haired dog they prefer being indoors than outside and cannot tolerate extreme cold.|
The Bull terrier is a strong, athletic and energetic dog that is capable of doing a multitude of tasks including watch dogging and protecting as well as agility and obedience events. They are also ideal family dogs with clownish personalities and a loving temperament when properly trained and socialized.
The Bull terrier has a very distinctive head and is rarely mistaken for any other breed by those that are familiar with their characteristics. The head is almost totally oval in profile from the skull through to the tip of the nose. The shape of the face should be full without any hollow areas or concavity to the profile. The eyes are very small and almond shaped, centered towards the middle of the head for a distinct appearance. In some literature the eyes are described as triangular in shape, and in some Bull terriers this is a very accurate description. The eyes should be located closer to the ears than to the nose, adding to the appearance of length on the face below the eyes. The ears are very pointed and rather thin, placed close together on the top of the skull. They should be relaxed most of the time but can be held absolutely erect with the dog is attending to something.
The neck is thick and slightly arching and longer than that of most mastiff or bulldog types. The shoulders are heavy set and well developed with a very deep and wide chest. The front legs are stocky and short, well set to the outside of the deep chest. The brisket or bottom of the chest should be significantly deeper than the abdomen area. The back is short and strong looking with muscular loins and a well developed rib cage. Although the appearance is solid the body should not look overly heavy or disproportionate to the rest of the dog.
The legs of the Bull terrier should be strong with good bones and excellent conformation. They should neither turn out or in at the knees or hocks or at the feet. The feet are round and arched, similar to that of a cat. The dog should be light on his or her feet, and should not shuffle or drag the feet in any gait, although they do often appear to almost roll from side to side when in movement. The movement should appear smooth and fluid with a good length to the strides and a typical "I am in control" attitude present in the movement.
The tail of the Bull terrier is moderately long and set low on the hindquarters. It is usually carried horizontal with the ground and is tapered from the thick base to the tip at the end. The skin of the Bull terrier should be tight against the body without noticeable wrinkles or folds anywhere on the body.
The coat of the Bull terrier is extremely short, fine and harsh in texture and is very flat against the body. It is prone to shedding throughout the year with heavier shedding in the spring and summer as the coat changes. The Bull terrier should have a natural sheen to the coat regardless of the coloration.
The Bull terrier was originally developed in the early 1800\'s when bull baiting was considered a sport. The goal of the early breeders was to create the ideal bull baiting dog that would be strong, fearless and brave. They crossed the Old English Terrier with the Bulldog as well as a Spanish Pointer breed. The resulting typically white dog was unique in appearance as well as very strong, but was not ideal in the brutal bull baiting ring.
The temperament and unique appearance of the Bull terrier attracted many individuals at that time and they where quickly selected as a watchdog and companion breed of dog. At this time the breeders began to breed out the aggressive tendencies and this has continued.
The all white Bull terrier was originally known as the White Cavalier and was a favorite watchdog of royalty. It continues to be the most commonly known color of the Bull terrier although several other color varieties are common and desirable.
The Bull terrier is a fun loving, people loving and highly attentive type of dog. Their unique face shape often makes them appear very focused and attentive to their owners, and they are known to seem to understand what the owner is thinking and planning to do. As a breed they are often described as clownish despite their rather aggressive start in the dog world. Now the breed is known as a gentle, kind dog rather than the fighting dog it originally was intended as.
The Bull terrier requires human attention and interaction to be happy and secure. They absolutely love children and are energetic and sturdy enough to be wonderful companions for kids of all ages. Younger children may need time to get used to the affectionate and somewhat energetic play of the Bull terrier. The Bull terrier, as with many terrier breeds, becomes rather possessive and jealous of both people and objects so needs to be taught to share. Teasing is also a problem with this breed and children and adults must learn not to engage in any type of play the dog may misinterpret as teasing. They are not considered appropriate for a home where they would be alone more than they are in the presence of the family or where they would be kept in a kennel. The Bull terrier is a good watchdog and will bark to notify the family when a stranger approaches, however they are not likely to be highly protective or be an effective guard dog, it is simply not in their nature to be aggressive towards people.
With other dogs however the Bull terrier can be very dog aggressive if not socialized at a young age. Male Bull terriers that are intact are the most aggressive and are not recommended for homes with other intact males or even neutered males of dominant types of breeds. Males and females that are spayed and neutered can become good companions for each other, but slow introductions or raising them together from puppies is recommended.
The Bull terrier has a high prey drive and is not appropriate for homes with other pets. Sometimes, when raised together from a very young age, the Bull terrier will get along well with cats, however this does require a lot of care and supervision by the owner.
Thyroid Disease - Medium Risk
The Bull Terrier ranks #61 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. While this is not a high risk breed, there is still a good chance of disease transmission through breeding. Therefore, all dogs intended for breeding should be tested first.
|Rank Among Breeds||Number of Dogs Tested||Percent of Dogs With Disease|
You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here
Other Health Problems
Like all dogs there are genetic and health problems found in the Bull terrier breed. Buying from a reputable breeder and checking the history of the bloodlines for any possible health problems is also advisable. The most common health conditions include:
- Patellar Luxation - dislocated kneecaps, common in most medium to small breeds.
- Skin Allergies - this breed is prone to flea and environmental allergies
- Zinc Deficiency - Lethal Acrodermatitis, seen by small birth weights and sizes, skeletal deformities, sores, fading of the coat and failure to grow. There are various treatments but most are unsuccessful.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - prone to activities such as chronic tail chasing, scratching, chewing, anxiety type behaviors. Can be treated somewhat effectively with medications.
- Deafness - all white Bull terriers are prone to either being born deaf or going deaf very shortly after birth.
As with all breeds the Bull terrier will require regular health check ups and worming and flea treatments. Regular yearly vaccinations will also be essential for good health.