The Bull Terrier is NOT a breed for just anyone! Bully breeds need a family that understands them as a whole, as they may have issues with other dogs. They need strict structure and plenty of exercise. Find out more about this strong-willed, on-the-go, affectionate dog!
The two most famous recognized Bull Terriers are Spud McKenzie during the 1980's (a mascot for the Anheuser-Busch company) and Bullseye, the mascot for Target! Like many Bull Terriers, both dogs are white in color.
Zip Here, Zip There, Zipping Everywhere!
This spirited breed is extremely busy! Not for the quiet, laid back, hate-to-exercise pet-parent, Bull Terriers are high energy and require playful activities all day long. If properly socialized at a young age, they may do well in a Doggy Daycare setting or a playdate at your local dog park.
Bull Terriers don't do well in a family environment that leaves them alone for more than 8 hours at a time. They become very attached to their family and can suffer from separation anxiety. The Bull Terrier is loyal, loving, and enjoys being around their humans. They are known to be extremely protective of their family members.
A fenced in-yard is best, as they are not an apartment/condo breed. Walking, running, or hiking will help keep the Bull Terrier physically and mentally happy. Without proper exercise, this breed can be destructive and develop severe behavioral issues like counter-surfing, jumping, excessive barking, digging, chewing, dog-to-dog aggression, and several others.
Bull Terriers LOVE kids! They enjoy romping around with children and tolerate rambunctious play very well. Small children may get knocked over from the playfulness of the Bull Terrier, but this is purely accidental.
This breed will take advantage and try to dominate a shy or meek child. Consider taking your kids with your Bull Terrier to an obedience class to help them build an appropriate relationship with each other.
They can be “bull-headed” when it comes to training, and a pet-parent will need to stay firm and consistent. For best results, establish rules and boundaries and set a tight schedule.
Not So Much Dog Approved
The Bull Terrier was originally bred to bait bulls and for dog fighting in the 1800's. Sadly, many bully breeds were bred for the sole purpose of pitting them against one another in a dog fighting ring purely for human entertainment. Today, this barbaric practice is against the law, however many bully breeds, like the Bull Terrier, can struggle having good manners around other dogs due to their traditional breeding.
They typically do best as the only pet in a household and should be spayed or neutered to help prevent dominant, over-bearing, and bossy behavior. Because of their "terrier" trait, they typically are not good around other smaller animals such as cats, rabbits, or guinea pigs.
There are no guarantees with a bully breed that they won't grow up having dog-to-dog issues - even when properly socialized with other dogs at a young age. It's important for pet-parents to be mindful of this, demonstrate strong leadership, and continue working with their dog on a weekly basis with other dogs. When a young puppy has consistent positive experiences with different dogs, they tend to do much better as they get older.
With their very short fur, a daily brushing is all that is needed to help maintain and control shedding. Bathing is only needed if they have the normal doggy-odor.
Although white is the most common color (sometimes with dark markings on the face area), they also can be any color with or without white markings - including brindle.
Nail trimmings should be done every 6-10 weeks.
Health concerns for the Bull Terrier include luxating patella, heart defects, kidney issues, and severe skin and flea allergies. They are obsessed with food and can easily gain weight. They also have a tendency to suffer from zinc deficiency. Occasionally, White Bull Terriers are born with a genetic predisposition to deafness. The average lifespan of a Bull Terrier is 10 - 12 years.
As you begin looking for a Bull Terrier, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized - not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescue agencies. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!
At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.
On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!
Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe