Bull Terrier Breed - Dog & Puppy Information & Characteristics

The Bull Terrier is a medium-sized dog also known as the gladiator of the canine race. It is one of the oldest terrier breeds native to England. Owning a dog from this breed is a big responsibility. A Bull Terrier dog can be wonderful with children if handled wisely. It will tolerate a range of common behavior expected from children, but will not like being teased and can be rough if constantly provoked.

Despite being high on energy, Bull Terriers can adapt well to life  in an apartment. Many Bull Terriers can and do enjoy the company of other dogs – with certain exceptions. Male Bull Terriers that have not been desexed do not get along with other males. A male and female Bull Terrier can live together quite happily, and two females can often share the same home. Again, care must be taken that jealousies do not arise. The Bull Terrier dog breed does not do well in cold weather and thrives in warmer climates.

Key specifications of a Bull Terrier

There are some details you should be aware of if you intend to adopt a dog from this breed. It helps to know a Bull Terrier’s lifespan and other physical characteristics.

Weight15 to 34 kg
Height21 to 22 inches
Lifespan10 to 15 years
CoatShort, flat, and hard to the touch

Physical appearance of Bull Terriers

Bull Terriers are medium-sized dogs that have short and flat coats which are hard to the touch. Their coats can have a myriad of colors and color combinations, including: 

  • White
  • White and brindle
  • White and fawn
  • White and red
  • White, black, and tan
  • White and red smut
  • White and fawn smut
  • White and black brindle
  • Brindle
  • Brindle and white
  • Red
  • Red smut
  • Red and white
  • Red smut and white
  • Fawn
  • Fawn smut
  • Fawn and white
  • Fawn smut and white
  • Black, brindle, and white
  • Black, tan, and white

If you’re planning on getting a Bull Terrier, you can identify a purebred pup by the following physical traits:

  • An egg-shaped head, which is considered so because of the flat top
  • Pointed ears, standing erect
  • Small eyes
  • Muscular build 

Bull Terrier personality traits

The Bull Terrier dog breed is a combination of balanced power, grace, and agility. These dogs desire human companionship, and their character and individuality win them lifelong friends. They are very devoted to their family. The Bull Terrier has an innate sense of humor, brains, imagination, personality, and beauty. Their appearance and character are complex and quite unique in the spectrum of dogs. A Bull Terrier is very active and often acts like a child, so you must be prepared for anything and supervise them. These dogs will not do well in a situation where they are expected to remain alone in the home or yard for long periods of time. They require a considerable amount of human companionship.

Do Bull Terriers need training?

You will need to train Bull Terriers in basic obedience, and you will need to do so with patience. This breed is stubborn, so you will need to use positive reinforcement when training them. A reward-based training system with dog treats can work well. Since they are also naturally humorous and playful, they will do better if they are trained with a similar temperament.

How to care for a Bull Terrier?

If you are planning on adopting a Bull Terrier, here are a few important points you must know about their care:

  • Health issues

Although generally healthy, Bull Terriers can be prone to skin allergies, particularly those caused by insect bites. The pups of this breed should be checked for deafness.

  • Grooming

A Bull Terrier sheds its coat twice a year. Loose hair can be removed with a daily rub-down using a special glove or brush. Nails and dewclaws should be checked monthly and clipped with dog nail clippers. Bull Terriers cannot handle too much of heat and may need sunscreen. 

  • Physical activity

Bull Terrier dogs, especially the pups, are physically very active. Bull Terriers remain active and playful until well into middle age (5 to 6 years). They also love going on daily walks with their family, but care must be taken when they are taken outdoors as they tend to run away. Also, ensure you have an average to a large-sized backyard that is securely fenced before letting your Bull Terrier play there.

  • Nutritional requirements

Ensure that you feed your Bull Terriers the right kind of dog food which has proper amounts of protein, healthy fats, calcium, and other minerals. Bull Terriers are prone to obesity, so be careful to avoid overfeeding them. A vet can help you with proper proportions of food through a Bull terrier feeding guide. 

A brief history of Bull Terriers

The Bull Terrier was originally bred for combat with dogs and other animals, a sport that was permissible in England in the 1800s. This is why they came to be known as gladiators of the canine world. The breed emerged when a Bulldog was cross-bred with an English Terrier. The dogs that were born of this crossbreeding were termed ‘bull and terrier.’ A lot of breeders later crossbred these ‘bull and terrier’ dogs with other breeds to get an even more powerful dog for the combats. A popular dog breeder of the time, James Hinks, further crossbred the ‘bull and terriers’ with white English Terriers to get fully white offspring. It was in the late 1800s that the American Kennel Club first registered the breed. Around the same time, the Bull Terrier began being bred as a companion dog.

Not sure which dog breed is right for you? Browse through our breeds category page to read more about popular dog breeds and understand which one is right for you.

FAQs on Bull Terrier dog breed

Bull Terriers do not get along well with other pets, especially male ones. A male and female Bull Terrier can live together and so can two female Bull Terriers. However, owners may need to supervise two females of this breed that share the same home. 

Bull Terriers are good family dogs, as they are very affectionate towards their owners. They also like being kept in the presence of their family and are very devoted to them.

Bull Terriers cannot stay home alone for long periods. They need a considerable amount of human companionship almost all the time.

Bull Terriers are easy to groom, as they have coats that are short and flat. So, loose hair and dirt can be easily removed with a brush.

Bull Terriers are generally not very vocal, and do not bark unless they are feeling extremely anxious or alarmed.

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