(aka: English Bull Terrier)
A sturdy and muscular dog, the Bull Terrier is not classed as the most attractive of dogs, but does have an appearance that would most likely put off any intruders or aggressors! Although not a large dog, the Bull Terrier can be quite intimidating simply because of his appearance. The weight of the Bull Terrier is around 30-80 pounds, and the height is around 15-22 inches. The coat is short, flat, and close fitting, and the coloring of the Bull Terrier can be pure white, white with black patches, black and tan, fawn, and brindle. His ears stand erect, and his eyes look quite tiny in relation to the length of his muzzle.
Bull Terrier Temperament
The Bull Terrier is a determined and headstrong creature, with an outgoing personality. This is a breed that needs to be properly socialized early on, as they can otherwise have an aggressive nature. Instinctive fighters, the Bull Terrier is usually aggressive towards other dogs and can be a danger around smaller animals such as cats and rabbits, seeing them as prey. The Bull Terrier can be okay around children, but is not recommended with younger kids, and should definitely be socialized early on. Depending on the personality of the individual dog, strangers may be greeted with a huge welcome by the Bull Terrier, but others may not be quite as welcoming.
The Bull Terrier has a dominant personality, and for this reason is best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership. You will need to reinforce your leadership through assertive and confident training and handling. This breed has bags of energy, and likes to be a part of the family action. You should not neglect the Bull Terrier, as he will otherwise become bored and destructive. The Bull Terrier can make an effective watchdog, and will bark to raise the alarm. And when it comes to their food, these dogs can display real possessiveness.
The coat of the Bull Terrier is close fitting, flat, and short, and grooming requirements are not excessive. Occasional brushing of the coat will keep it in good condition, and you can keep the coat looking glossy and shiny with a rub down with a damp cloth.
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.
Training the Bull terrier is critical to ensuring that the dog is well behaved and well mannered both in and outside of the home. They do need regular interaction and socialization with other dogs and people to minimize the risk that they will become highly dog aggressive and overly possessive of their home and family. As a dominant breed of dog they need firm and consistent yet positive and loving training, especially as puppies. Establishing that the humans are in control with these dogs is critical, as they will quickly develop bad habits if they think that they are in control.
The Bull terrier is a very intelligent dog and will learn who he or she needs to listen to and which family members they can ignore or respond in a limited way too. One person should initially work with the puppy until the commands are understood, then the others in the family should also work with the dog. The Bull terrier often will simply ignore the commands of those it seems as "below" it on the family hierarchy, so everyone must work with the dog.
As an energetic and active dog, especially as a puppy, the Bull terrier should never be engaged in games that pit strength of people against the strength of the dog. Wrestling or tug-of-war type games are likely to increase dominance type behaviors as well as possessiveness and territoriality. In addition they are often prone to jumping up with their front feet on people, something which is often frightening to kids and adults alike, so teaching them to sit for attention is important.
Lead or leash training is essential for the breed at an early age. A Bull terrier should always be controlled when outside of the yard, particularly intact males. Early leash training through an obedience program is important as with proper socialization these dogs can be taught to be off the leash.
Many people choose to use their Bull terriers in obedience and agility type events. This breed can excel at these competitions and are eager and willing to perform in front of crowds or groups. Their natural fearlessness and good humor is evident in their attitude towards the competition.
The life expectancy of the Bull Terrier is around 11-14 years, and there are a number of health problems that are associated with this breed, which include deafness, heart problems, renal cortical hypoplasia, luxating patella, lens luxation, thyroid problems, seizures, allergies, and skin conditions. Parents of the Bull Terrier puppy should have OFA certificates.