Temperament: Playful, Charming, Mischievous
- Height: 21-22 inches
- Weight: 50-70 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 12-13 years
- Group: Terrier Group
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.
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.
About the Bull Terrier
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 colour (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 socialisation 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.”
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. Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
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, fly-ball, 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.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:
- Cardiac Exam
- Kidney-urine Analysis
- Patella Evaluation
- BAER Testing