Known as the gladiator of the canine race, the Bull Terrier is full of fire and courage but is of even temperament and is responsive to positive training techniques. The breed came about in the late 1800's by crossing fighting dogs compromised of Bulldogs, Dalmatians, and various terrier breeds. Bull terriers are strong and muscular and can be identified by their unique, egg-shaped head. Bull terriers should never be encouraged to fight, as their terrier nature gives them unlimited energy and their jaw structure allows them unrelenting strength. While the Bull Terrier requires firm handling and training, it is extremely friendly, affectionate, and good with children. They are the clowns of the terrier world, willing to do anything for a laugh from their owner.
About the Breed
Bull Terriers come in various colors. They can be white, solid fawn/red, solid brindle, tri-color (black, red, and white), or colored with white markings. They have black eyes, deep set into their egg-shaped head. Their ears stand erect; they grow into them as puppies. They have a long tail that can knock anything and everything off of a coffee table. So watch out, because Bull Terriers wag their tails often! Standard Bull Terriers, when full grown, weigh between 45-75 lbs. They are the perfect height for sticking their heads in the refrigerator and grabbing anything within reach!
Bull Terriers require little grooming. Naturally, the white variety might need cleaning more often to keep up appearances, but a weekly swab of the ears, inspection of the teeth and gums, and monthly nail trim is all they need. Frequency of bathing depends on how active your bull terrier is! While both varieties shed hair year round, during the summer and winter they require a frequent rubdown with a grooming mitt. (Rubdowns also allow for 'bully time' and your bull terrier will love you for it!)
A Bull Terriers emotional maintenance is just as important as the physical. Their activity level ranges from the high-strung, active runner to the laid-back couch potato. Choose a dog that will be conducive to your lifestyle. If you have a puppy, he must be crated when you are not home. Bull Terriers of any age are prone to chewing and getting into mischief, so crating is for his well-being and your peace of mind. It hurts when you lose your favorite pair of shoes, the power cord to your new television, or a ton of money on having an obstruction removed from your bully's stomach. Why take that chance? Never, ever leave a Bull Terrier outdoors if you are not around to supervise. Not only can they dig out of almost any yard (they're terriers, after all) but they are also a high-theft animal. It is not recommended to have your Bull Terrier off leash when not in a fenced area, as the sight of a leaf falling from the sky can send them into a sprint. Bull Terriers generally, are not good guard dogs. While they have an intimidating appearance, they are most likely to show an intruder where you hide your valuables in exchange for a rub-down.
Bull Terriers are not without their problems. Many people buy Bull Terriers and don't realize the time and dedication that a young Bull Terrier demands. Some people prefer to keep their homes intact and adopt a Bull Terrier through Bull Terrier Rescue, giving a loving home to a dog that is ready for a place to call his own. If you do decide to purchase a Bull Terrier, make sure to inspect the breeder carefully. Bull Terriers from poor breeding are prone to skin allergies, mange, kidney disease, luxating patella, heart murmurs, and most importantly temperament concerns, including obsessive-compulsive disorder. It should be more important to you and your family to have a happy, healthy Bull Terrier than to save a few dollars through the newspaper. It will cost you much, much more in the long run. Remember, with a little care and lots of love, your new family member will be with you a long time.