Bull Terrier

Type: Terrier

Height: 21 - 22 inches.

Weight: Females: 45 - 60 lbs.; Males: 60 - 70 lbs.

Life Span: 11 - 14 years.

Litter Size: 4 - 8 puppies. Some puppies may be born deaf due to hereditary genes, usually the white ones.

Country of Origin: Great Britain

Activity: High. This is a high energy breed who can play for a long time.

Watch-dog: Very High, looks are a tremendous deterrent. Bull Terriers are also alert.

Guard-dog: High. Bull Terriers know when to fight, and do not let go easily when they bite.

Description: The Bull Terrier tends to be friendly and have a good temperament, known for its ability to distinguish when and when it should not fight. Known for their sense of humor, they are an outgoing dog with a dominant nature who needs firm handling by their owner. Bull Terriers are tenacious fighters. They are generally not as nippy as other terriers, but when they do bite they don't like to let go. They are sometimes aggressive towards other dogs, and should be socialized early on. Although males generally do not get along with other males, the breed is usually good with other pets as long as they are socialized and introduced properly. Bull Terriers are short and well muscled, resembling both the physical characteristics of a Bulldog and the personality of a Terrier. They can be feisty in the fighting ring, but have been known to avoid a fight when out on the street. Bull Terriers are also known for their affection and playfulness. Puppies love to play and will be entertained with children non-stop. Adult Bullies are also very good with children and have been known to be completely devoted and faithful. Fierce in appearance and history, this breed's reputation does not give credit to the loving heart behind the brawn.

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Other Names: English Bull Terrier, Bull and Terrier, Bullies

Colors: he originally preferred color was pure white, although when color was introduced to the breed the preferred color became brindle. Bull Terriers can also be black, red, fawn and tri-colored.

Coat: Short, flat, and dense.

Temperament: Bull Terriers are fearless, determined, bold, but recognize when not to fight. One Bullie who was confronted with a frustrated Pekingese picked up the little dog and dropped it in a trash can to avoid a fight. Bull Terriers are good with children, and puppies are a useful playmate. This breed is tough, loyal and can be stubborn. They love to be around people and follow them, but can occasionally have an independent mind. They are generally friendly and affectionate with people, although males do not usually get along with other males. They can guard, are lively, inquisitive and busy. They are also largely comical, assertive, exuberant and can also be mischievous.

With Children: Yes, if properly socialized and supervised. Bull Terriers are known to be faithful, devoted and excellent with children as long as they are socialized. If not properly socialized, they may become snappy and food and toy possessive.

With Pets: English Bull Terriers are good with other pets as long as it is not another male dog, and they are properly socialized as pups. Dog-aggressiveness is apparent in some lines, but Bullies can be trained.

Special Skills: Family pet, ratting, fighting - when commanded.

Care and Training: A Bull Terrier's coat should be brushed with a firm bristle brush. They should be brushed once a week, and bathed only when necessary. Rubbing of their coat will keep it shiny and clean. Bull Terriers need plenty of exercise, as well as mental stimulation. They should be walked and given a mental work out as well. They should also be kept on a leash when in public. Puppies need early socialization to prevent them from becoming dominant or possessive.

Learning Rate: Medium. Smart, independent thinker. But Bullies can be stubborn as well.

Special Needs: Attention, socialization, supervision around water, and training.

Living Environment: Indoor - outdoor dog that does best with a fenced yard and plenty of play outlets. Bull Terriers are medium sized dogs and therefore need according space. They need an area to run and play in order to exercise. The best owner for this breed would be an active, dog-experienced person or family with time to socialize it and play with it, in a rural, suburban or city home. They adapt well to different living environments.

Health Issues: Because of the original attention to breeding the dogs who had white fur, hereditary deafness, heart disease, kidney failure and skin allergies may occur. Dogs with colors are less likely to receive these genes. Other health concerns include hereditary zinc deficiency, renal problems, and spinning disorder.

History: Bull Terriers were crossed with the old English Bulldog and English White Terrier (now extinct) in the early 19th century. James Hinks, from Birmingham in Great Britain, originally developed the breed between the 1830s and the 1860s. They are also most certainly mixed with Dalmatian, and are thought to have converged with the Spanish Pointer, Greyhounds and Whippets. White being Hinks' favorite color for the breed, the dogs were originally all white. The characteristics chosen from this mixing of the breeds was the egg shape of the head, the white color, and the small triangular eyes. Along with these preferred attributes came frequent deafness, heart disease and skin problems. At this time they were a lighter more agile dog who was used to bait bulls, dog fighting and to tackle vermin. Color was only added later on in the 1900s when crosses were made with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Added as an AKC variety of Bull Terrier, the coloreds were not originally well-received, but soon found their place. The white Bullies were nicknamed the "white Cavalier" because of their ability to discern pit fighting from confrontations outside of work. Some Bull Terriers were known to avoid a fight when they weren't in the pit, and were bred for the ability of not provoking a fight. Bull Terriers were prized for their courage, agility and tenacity. They were rated as the third most suitable breed in wartime achievements by Colonelt James Y. Baldwin, Commander of the War Dogs Training Establishment. President Theodore Roosevelt also owned one of these lovable dogs. Originally, the ears had to be cropped, but since 1895 when cropping was outlawed the breed has since been fixed to have naturally cropped ears. Sometimes a defender and sometimes a clown, this uniquely shaped breed has since become a popular sight among Americans.

First Registered by the AKC: 1885

AKC Group: Terrier

Class: Terrier

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 3), KC (GB), UKC