Bull Terrier | Information & Dog Breed Facts


9 min read

The Bull Terrier is an incredibly cute and funny dog, but only if he is properly raised and socialized early. This dog needs a steady hand and an active lifestyle. If you do not pay due attention to this moment, then the dog may show aggressiveness in the future. But if you can give it, you are guaranteed a devoted friend for life!

Bull Terrier
Bull Terrier

The English Bull Terrier is a breed of dog known for its unique head shape and small triangular-shaped ears. There are two variants of the breed: the Bull Terrier and the Miniature Bull Terrier. It was developed in Britain as a show and fight dog by James Hinks. He is recognized as the White Knight.

Breed history

A bull terrier is a breed of dog that appeared in the second half of the 19th century in Great Britain by crossing two other breeds – a bulldog and a white terrier. The name of the breed itself is taken from the English language and consists of two words – bull (bull) and terrier (terrier).

Breeders aimed to create a special breed, whose representatives would have the fearlessness and resourcefulness of the terrier, combined with the power, stamina and grip of the bulldog. And they succeeded, albeit not immediately.

The first representatives of the breed were much smaller than modern bull terriers. The weight of some individuals did not exceed 2-4 kg. However, over time, breeders bred animals whose weight was already more impressive – 22-30 kg. They can be considered the closest to modern bull terriers. Dog breeders have achieved their goal – they got a breed that combines the best physiological qualities and properties of the characters of a terrier and a bulldog.

It is an English breeder named James Hinks who should be thanked for his special contribution to the breed, which he brought to perfection. In order to get hardy, powerful and quick-witted dogs, Hinks used representatives of the dog breed that has disappeared to date – white English terriers, as well as white bulldogs.

Having arisen in the nineteenth century, the breed quickly gained popularity, especially among urban men. Soon, Americans became interested in bull terriers. At the beginning of the last century, it was they who contributed to the recognition of bull terriers independently as a breed of dogs.

Then some breeders wanted to breed colored animals. And they did it. In 1936, multi-colored bull terriers were recognized by the World Cynological Association as a separate breed. However, today in certain circles these dogs are no less popular than in England of the nineteenth century.

Bull Terrier
Bull Terrier

Physical characteristics of the Bull Terrier

The Bull terrier dog is characterized by a powerful complexion with well-developed muscles, this dog is also flexible and easy to move.

According to the adopted standard, bull terrier dogs are as follows:

The head is long, powerful and deep, but devoid of excessive rudeness. If you look at the dog from the front, the shape of its head will resemble an egg. The top of the skull is almost flat from ear to ear. In profile, the shape of the head is a curved line from the forehead to the nose. The nose is black, the nostrils are well developed.

The lower jaw is strong enough. The teeth are large, strong, the bite is correct, scissor-like. The upper jaw is in close contact with the lower. The lips are quite tight.

Ears are small, closely set. They stand upright, do not hang.

The eyes are slanting, the narrow section of the eyes, set diagonally. Eye color – black or dark brown so much that it looks almost black, with a piercing shine. Blue eyes are not desirable. The gap from the eyes to the nose is much longer than from the top of the skull to the eyes.

Bull Terrier
Bull Terrier Pupppy

The neck is quite powerful, long, curved.

The Bull terrier dog’s body is round, the chest is deep, the chest is wide. The loin is quite powerful, short.

The shoulders are strong, short, muscular, wide, and fit snugly to the sternum. The angles are pronounced. The elbows are straight. Forefeet of medium length, strong, strong and straight. Located in parallel. In mature individuals, the length of the paws is approximately equal to the depth of the chest.

The hind legs are parallel, the hips are very powerful, well developed. Knees have good angles.

The fingers of the front and hind limbs are well bent, fit snugly together, and form round paws.

The tail is set low, not very long, thick at the base, tapering to the tip.

The movements are plastic, light, free, parallel.

The coat is short, smooth, stiff with a slight sheen. In winter, a small undercoat may be present.

Color – white, black, brindle, fawn, tri-color. White bull terrier dogs may have pigmentation cakes and dark markings on their heads. In “colored” dogs, the primary color should prevail (compared to white).

Restrictions on height and weight for bull terrier dogs are not specified in the standard, the main thing is that the dog is harmoniously folded and does not look fat. In this case, for reference, the average male growth is 45-55 centimeters, and the average weight is from 22 to 38 kg.

It should also be noted that there is a separate breed – a miniature bull terrier, the main feature of which is that dogs should not exceed 35.5 centimeters in height.

Bull Terrier
Bull Terrier

Character and temperament of the Bull Terrier

People who are not familiar with the Bull Terrier often imagine these dogs to be aggressive, and sometimes uncontrollable, because breeders did not breed this breed as a companion dog.

Nevertheless, you only need to get to know this breed better and you will never again turn your tongue to call bull terriers evil. These are absolutely gentle and funny creatures, very open towards people, at least if the dogs are properly raised and well socialized.

Representatives of this breed are very loyal and madly attached to the owner. They need the attention and care of the owner, active pastime, energetic games. Only in this way will the bull terrier feel necessary and useful. Otherwise, the dog may begin to search for completely different ways to prove to the owner its “usefulness”

If a bull terrier is brought up correctly, it can be a great friend for a child, regardless of age. However, remember that dogs can be very jealous and selfish, choosing only one owner in the family. In some cases, dogs are able to demonstrate aggressive attitude towards other people’s children (most often this is due to the sudden movements and high sounds that children make). To avoid such situations, the pet needs to teach them not only their own, but also other children from an early age.

In addition, if you still take the bull terrier to a family with children, remember that this is still a dog with a serious character and you should not let the child offend the dog and hurt her, because then she can fend for herself!

The Bull terrier is a quite active dog and loneliness can tolerate quite negatively. It needs a human society, and a long stay alone with himself can push the dog to not very good deeds. Therefore, do not leave this dog alone for a long time.

They are good Watchdog as well: when strangers approach, they will notify family members with their bark. But the guards from them are not very good, because, contrary to popular belief, the bull terrier does not have aggression towards people. It is simply not inherent in them by nature.

The truth of this cannot be said about aggression towards other dogs. Here you need to remember that the bull terrier is a fighter and a jealous dog. It is very unlikely that the owner of the bull terrier will walk in a large company of other dog lovers. Most likely – it will be walks alone with each other.

In order to avoid unpleasant conflicts with other dogs, a bull terrier puppy must be socialized from a very young age.

In some cases, these animals can get along well with other pets in the family, including cats. This usually happens if the dog grew up with them. But, all the same, the owner needs to be on the alert to prevent excesses.

Bull Terrier
Bull Terrier


On average, bull terrier dogs live for 10-12 years. In general, these dogs are quite strong, hardy and healthy, but there are diseases that are characteristic of bull terriers:

  • Mitral dysplasia;
  • Tendency to allergies;
  • Deafness of a congenital nature;
  • Dysplasia of the elbow and hip joint;
  • Dislocation of patella (patella);
  • Malignant tumors;
  • Lack of zinc.

The Bull terrier is are also prone to eye problems and diseases (inversion and eversion of the eyelid), skin diseases (for example, subdermatitis – interdigital dermatitis), demodecosis. In addition, white dogs can easily get a sunburn if they stay too much under scorching ultraviolet light.

Bull Terrier puppies
Bull Terrier puppies

Basic care

Having a bull terrier in a small apartment does not present any difficulties, because bull terrier dogs are quite unpretentious animals. In order for the pet’s coat to look healthy and shiny, it is enough to comb out and wipe it with a damp cloth weekly. Due to this, it will be shiny, smooth and clean, which is very important.

It must be remembered that, like any smooth-haired dogs, a bull terrier molts twice a year — in spring and autumn —. During molting periods, grooming the dog’s coat is recommended daily. This will protect your home from wool in every secluded corner and greatly simplify this process for the pet.

As for bathing, there is nothing special in this matter. Often organize water procedures for the bull terrier is not necessary. Most owners of large smooth-haired dogs use specialized dry shampoos or wet wipes familiar to everyone to wash their pets.

Do not forget about the condition of the ears. They should be cleaned with special solutions weekly. These solutions are sold at any veterinary pharmacy or pet store.

To avoid unpleasant odors from the oral cavity and to maintain healthy teeth, you should brush them every few weeks. Nature endowed the bull terriers with strong teeth, so the owner’s task is to monitor their condition.

The claws are sheared when the need arises.

Bull Terrier
Bull Terrier


The Bull Terrier is an active breed that requires a fair amount of exercise, both in free running and jogging.

One hour of daily exercise should be considered the minimum required, although these dogs accept a higher level of activity.


Your dog’s diet should contain the proper proportion of all major nutrient groups, including a continuous supply of fresh water.

It is also important to carry out regular checks with the fitness tool to make sure you keep your dog in perfect condition and to think about feeding him twice a day by following the recommendations of his specific food.

Bull Terrier
Bull Terrier

Training and education

Bull Terrier dogs are extremely smart and resourceful. If you decide to engage in their training and education from early puppyhood, then they can easily be your reliable companions or even watchdogs.

As soon as you took the puppy into the house, made the necessary vaccinations and went through quarantine – go to socialize. First in his own yard, and then in the “dog school”. Do not start the process of raising a dog, it can cost you dearly in the future!

The training process should be built in such a way that the dog is always in business and does not have time to get bored. It is unlikely that the bull terrier will repeat the same actions for a long time if it becomes uninteresting to him (even if he is offered his favorite treat). All classes should take place in a relaxed environment.

Systematic training needs to be planned. At the same time, a dog trainer must be demanding, persistent, but not overly strict. Bull Terrier dogs can be stubborn, which is why, even after excellent training results, they will refuse to follow the owner’s commands. This behavior must be stopped in the bud.

In general, a well-mannered Bull Terrier diligently fulfilling commands is an early socialized Bull Terrier who received enough attention and was trained by an experienced trainer.

Bull Terrier
Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier Dog Breed Highlights

Each bull terrier is an individual with its own character traits. And even skillful training is not a guarantee that the dog will always be diligent and obedient. But, investing your love in it and devoting enough time to it, you will be convinced that a happy pet will answer you the same. Bull terrier dogs are real good-natured pets who are able to become a favorite of the whole family from small to large.

Positive points

  • The Bull Terrier is incredibly loyal and dedicated to its family.
  • This dog likes to have fun and energetic by nature.
  • Ideal choice for homeworkers who lead an active outdoor lifestyle.
  • The Bull Terrier is good with kids of all ages.
  • Excellent guard dogs.
  • Little maintenance on the grooming front.
  • Known to be moderate.
  • The Bull Terrier is very adaptable, always as happy to live in town as in the countryside.
  • Very sensitive to the mood of its owner.

Negative points

  • The Bull Terrier matures slowly and remains turbulent for a long time.
  • Puppies can be very destructive at home.
  • It is incredibly people-oriented and hates being alone.
  • This dog breed is suffering from separation anxiety.
  • The Bull Terrier is known to be stubborn.
  • Some Bull Terrier dogs are likely to suffer from some health problems, so veterinary bills can be high.
  • Not the best choice for dog owners for the first time because the Bull Terrier can be difficult to train.
  • It is an expensive dog to buy and to insure.

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