The Bull Terrier has a grim background as a dog developed for bull baiting and dog fighting. It was crossed over the years with breeds such as Spanish Pointer, English Terrier, and Dalmation. The 'All-White Terrier' was popular with young English gentlemen in the 19th century. Its bullish background made it a rather macho dog in the eyes of its owners. In the early 1900s, Bull Terriers were crossed with Staffordshire Bull Terriers to introduce colour back into the breed.
Bull Terriers are the clowns of the canine world. Their personalities are in contrast to the macho bull-baiting of yesteryear, as they are playful, foolish, comical and love getting up to no good. They thrive on human contact and will happily sit on your lap, forgetting how big and bulky they are. They have an almost cat-like purr when you cuddle them and are just great fun to have around the house.
Bull Terriers make wonderful family pets and are good with children. They don't settle down into maturity until they are at least 3 years old. They have a habit of giving in to explosive bursts of energy, sprinting around the house, knocking over anything in their way. Even with their silly, sweet nature, like most terriers they can be stubborn. They will destroy furniture, cushions, and children's toys if not kept mentally and physically active. Long walks and plenty of playtime are a must. However, their prey instinct will take over outdoors, so walking them in a secure area is important. They have a cat radar, and will show no mercy if they catch one. Training needs to be very firm and constant. You cannot train a Bull Terrier on an 8 week crash course and think you're done. The breed will push your boundaries, so a daily training session on walks is vital to prevent this fun loving, independent dog from taking over or becoming a nuisance.
Generally a healthy breed, deafness is common in the white variety and kidney problems seem to be associated with the breed. With short fur, grooming is minimal, apart from claw clipping, as Terriers' claws grow quickly.
Bull terriers are assertive and playful. It is important to show them who is boss through regular training well into adulthood, otherwise they will cause trouble. These dogs are cheeky and comical but show absolute devotion to their family.
Some Bull terriers are naturally aggressive to other dogs of the same sex, and it some individuals can definitely not be kept safely with cats.
Bull Terriers are prone to patellar luxation (dislocation of the kneecap), kidney problems, heart problems, and in the white varieties deafness can be a problem.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years
- Weight: 44 - 84 lb
- Height: 21 - 22"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Short
- Grooming Requirements: Once a week
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Small House
- Minimum Garden Size: Small to Medium Garden
- Breed Type: Pest Control Dog
- Size: Medium
- Energy Level: High
- Exercise Required: Up to 1 hour
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