Breed Spotlight: Bull Terrier - Simply For Dogs
Bull Terrier

Breed Spotlight: Bull Terrier

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

If you’ve been following along on the series about pit bull dogs that I’ve posted lately, you’ll know that “pit bull” is not a breed, but rather a group of breeds that share similar ancestry. We talked about the American Pit Bull Terrier, the dog that most people picture when they hear the term pit bull. But the unique-looking Bull Terrier is also part of this family of dogs, and deserves a spotlight this week!

If you’ve seen any Target ad or commercial in the past decade, you’ll probably recognize the Bull Terrier as the all-white dog with the red “bullseye” markings that act as the company’s mascot. This dog is actually a female, but the character is a male dog named “Bullseye”, and the unique looks of the Bull Terrier aren’t the only reason Target chose this dog as their mascot. Bull Terriers are known for being fun-loving, energetic, clownish extroverts. They are complete sweethearts around people, which makes them easy to train for things like photo shoots and commercials. This dog also makes a good family pet, if you have the time to pay close attention to training. Here’s what you need to know about this adorable breed.

Dog’s Products On Amazon

Rabbitgoo  Dog Harness No-Pull Pet Harness Adjustable Outdoor Pet Vest 3M Reflective Oxford Material Vest for Dogs Easy Control for Small Medium Large Dogs (Black, L)
Diamond Naturals ADULT Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food with Real Pasture Raised Beef Protein 40lb
Underwater Dogs Cologne Spray & Silky Gloss Shine for Dogs - 4.2 Fluid Ounces of Show Dog Finishing Spray
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Salmon 24-lb
Rabbitgoo Dog Harness No-Pull Pet Harness Adjustable Outdoor Pet Vest 3M Reflective Oxford Material Vest for Dogs Easy Control for Small Medium Large Dogs (Black, L)
Diamond Naturals ADULT Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food with Real Pasture Raised Beef Protein 40lb
Underwater Dogs Cologne Spray & Silky Gloss Shine for Dogs - 4.2 Fluid Ounces of Show Dog Finishing Spray
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Salmon 24-lb
$18.99
$31.99
$18.99
$55.99
-
-
-
-
Rabbitgoo  Dog Harness No-Pull Pet Harness Adjustable Outdoor Pet Vest 3M Reflective Oxford Material Vest for Dogs Easy Control for Small Medium Large Dogs (Black, L)
Rabbitgoo Dog Harness No-Pull Pet Harness Adjustable Outdoor Pet Vest 3M Reflective Oxford Material Vest for Dogs Easy Control for Small Medium Large Dogs (Black, L)
$18.99
-
Diamond Naturals ADULT Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food with Real Pasture Raised Beef Protein 40lb
Diamond Naturals ADULT Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food with Real Pasture Raised Beef Protein 40lb
$31.99
-
Underwater Dogs Cologne Spray & Silky Gloss Shine for Dogs - 4.2 Fluid Ounces of Show Dog Finishing Spray
Underwater Dogs Cologne Spray & Silky Gloss Shine for Dogs - 4.2 Fluid Ounces of Show Dog Finishing Spray
$18.99
-
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Salmon 24-lb
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Salmon 24-lb
$55.99
-

Last update on 2018-08-20 at 15:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

History of the Bull Terrier

In the 18th century, dog enthusiasts started to cross the strong, tenacious bulldog, with the intense, agile terrier. They did this with a variety of terrier breeds, each producing a unique version of what was eventually called the “pit bull terrier”. While many were used for gaming, like bull and bear baiting, many were also used for farming assistance. The pit bull breeds ranged from nearly toy sized, to nearly giant sized, and everything in between.

The Bull Terrier specifically was refined in the 1860s, by a man named James Hinks. He had white English Terriers, an extinct breed today, that he bred with a white bulldog, creating the mostly-white dog with the longer, more egg-shaped head that we know of today as the Bull Terrier. (There is also speculation that he mixed a few Dalmatians into this breeding group as well.) For a time, they were called White Cavaliers, and they were an accessory dog for fancy Victorian-era gentlemen. They would ride around in carriages looking very cool and unique, and keeping active young men busy with their energy.

The breed was adopted into the AKC in 1885, and in the mid-1930s, another variety of Bull Terrier, called the “Colored Bull Terrier”, came onto the scene when breeders started crossing Bull Terriers with Staffordshire Bull Terriers to get more coat colors. But for the most part, the all-white or nearly-white version is the one we recognize the most today. This dog is somewhere in the middle of the popularity ranking in the AKC – neither very rare nor super common.

Bull Terrier Appearance

Of each of the types of bulldogs out there, the Bull Terrier is the one least likely to be confused with any others. Their bodies do have the same muscular, stocky appearance as other pit bull types, but their unique head shape sets them apart. They have a very oval, egg-shaped head, with a nose that lacks the dip between the top of the skull and where the snout starts. They have thin ears that point straight up at all times, similar to a bat’s ears, and their eyes tend to be small and triangular in shape – in fact, this is the only AKC-recognized dog breed with triangular eyes. Their tail is carrot-shaped and does not curl.

The white variety can have a few spots here and there, especially on the face, but is mostly white. The colored variety can be brindled or spotted with lots of other colors. The very first Bull Terrier to ever win Best in Show at Westminster was a Colored Bull Terrier. The AKC recognizes 13 coat or markings colors for this breed.

Related Content:

Breed Spotlight: The American Pit Bull Terrier
10 Dog Breeds Mistaken for Pit Bulls
16 Best Small Guard Dogs for Apartments
5 Types of Pit Bulls and How to Tell the Difference
A Look at Chihuahua Terrier Mixes

One other thing to note about this dog is his size. There are two variations of the Bull Terrier – standard, and miniature. Bullseye of Target fame is actually a miniature Bull Terrier. The standard size grows to about 22 inches tall and can weigh up to 70 pounds. The miniature version looks identical but is about half the height and weight of a standard Bull Terrier.

Bull Terrier Personality

Bull Terriers are often referred to as “kids in dog suits” because they have such fun, child-like enthusiasm for the world. They are extremely smart dogs,and they love to play and goof around. If you are laughing at some silly antics, the Bull Terrier is happy. They are total extroverts and need to be around people all the time. They don’t make for very good outdoor pets, because they’ll get bored and destructive quite fast.

Bull Terriers do like to be outside – it’s just that they want you with them. They adore long walks exploring the neighborhood. This dog’s enthusiasm and curiosity does tend to make him a leash-tugger, so you’ll need to spend plenty of time training him to walk on a leash properly. I’d recommend starting out with a harness so that this dog is a bit easier to guide.

 

Despite having such a clownish personality, the Bull Terrier does have another side to him. This breed can be very protective of their family, and if they aren’t trained and socialized properly, they can lean towards the aggressive side. This is not to say that they are aggressive dogs – as we’ve discussed in several recent articles, pit bulls are not bad dogs, and shouldn’t be banned. But the Bull Terrier, in particular, has a strong guarding instinct, and if he isn’t taught how to behave around strangers, he could take that instinct a little too far. He can also translate that guarding behavior into guarding toys, food, and other resources, so consistency will be key.

In other words, the Bull Terrier personality could be summed up by the word “passionate”. He’s passionate about making you laugh, he’s passionate about being with you, and he’s passionate about keeping you safe. That extreme energy is what defines him, so you’ll definitely have your hands full with this breed.

Bull Terrier Grooming and Care

Luckily, grooming pit bulls is not very hard, and the Bull Terrier is no exception. Their short coats are very sleek and don’t pick up a lot of dirt. They are also not very smelly and tend to keep themselves clean. They’ll need a bath about once every season (seriously), and a once-per-week brush down with a rubber mitt to keep their short hairs from shedding all over the house. You can use a bit of dog-safe conditioning spray if you want to make your Bull Terrier look shiny, but otherwise, they don’t need any special grooming.

When you brush them, be sure to check their nails, and trim them if needed. You’ll usually find that with active dogs like this only need a trim about once a month. Finally, it’s a good idea to brush your dog’s teeth once per week, just to keep their oral health in great shape. Pit bull type dogs do tend to have healthy teeth, but it does not hurt to keep a close eye on this, because oral disease can be life-threatening in some cases. To do this, get a dog toothbrush and some meat-flavored toothpaste and brush your dog’s teeth like you would your own. You can teach a young puppy to allow this if you get started with them very young, which will also make it easier to inspect their mouth if they ever have an injury.

 

Bull Terriers do need a quality dog food that provides tons of protein for energy. They burn through a lot of calories being as energetic as they are, so they need something to replace that. They will also need a lot of exercise to help maintain all that energy. If you don’t want to come home to a disaster where a bored Bull Terrier destroyed the furniture, it’s a good idea to have a routine of lots of exercise and play.

Walks will be important for your Bull Terrier, and they need to learn not to pull. A fully grown Bull Terrier can be pretty hefty and very strong, so make sure you teach this before they get out of hand. You can help them work out their energy with a good game of fetch (get yourself a launcher to make the game even more of a workout), or with some good old fashioned tug of war. However, if you want to avoid games that may encourage a Bull Terrier’s guarding instinct, try getting some treat-dispensing toys to keep their mind busy.

The Bull Terrier is also a great buddy for sports. You can try getting involved with dog sports, like lure coursing or obedience trials, or you can train your Bull Terrier to run, hike, or play a game with you. They’d be naturals at football or disc golf. If you do head out with your Bull Terrier for a run or a hike, be sure to bring along a water bottle with an attached bowl so they can stay hydrated too.

Common Health Concerns

In a previous article, I discussed seven of the biggest health concerns that pit bull types are prone to. Those include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Allergies
  • Heart disease
  • Infections
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cleft lip (The Bull Terrier, in particular, does not have a big problem with this because of the shape if his head.)

Heart disease, as well as cases of deafness and certain eye conditions, tend to be the biggest problems that Bull Terriers face. The best way to avoid these is to make sure you buy a purebred Bull Terrier from a breeder that participates in hearing and eye health tests, and that you know any health issues the parents and grandparents of the dog have.

If you adopt a Bull Terrier from a shelter, the best thing to do is to head to your vet and have your new pal checked out for any signs of deafness, heart issues, or eye problems.

Bull Terrier

Bull Terriers with Kids and Other Pets

Unfortunately, Bull Terriers aren’t known for being great around other pets. Primarily, this is because they don’t like to share food or other resources. They can be taught to get along with other animals, but it’s best to start training and socializing young with this breed.They aren’t known for being friendly with cats, even with proper training, so keep that in mind.

With children in the family, the Bull Terrier will be an amazing friend and companion. With children they don’t know, the Bull Terrier may be friendly unless he thinks there is a threat to his family. Again, early socialization and training is the key. This dog needs consistent training and a firm hand for his whole life to keep him from giving in to those guarding instincts.

Dog’s Products On Amazon

Rabbitgoo  Dog Harness No-Pull Pet Harness Adjustable Outdoor Pet Vest 3M Reflective Oxford Material Vest for Dogs Easy Control for Small Medium Large Dogs (Black, L)
Diamond Naturals ADULT Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food with Real Pasture Raised Beef Protein 40lb
Underwater Dogs Cologne Spray & Silky Gloss Shine for Dogs - 4.2 Fluid Ounces of Show Dog Finishing Spray
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Salmon 24-lb
Rabbitgoo Dog Harness No-Pull Pet Harness Adjustable Outdoor Pet Vest 3M Reflective Oxford Material Vest for Dogs Easy Control for Small Medium Large Dogs (Black, L)
Diamond Naturals ADULT Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food with Real Pasture Raised Beef Protein 40lb
Underwater Dogs Cologne Spray & Silky Gloss Shine for Dogs - 4.2 Fluid Ounces of Show Dog Finishing Spray
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Salmon 24-lb
$18.99
$31.99
$18.99
$55.99
-
-
-
-
Rabbitgoo  Dog Harness No-Pull Pet Harness Adjustable Outdoor Pet Vest 3M Reflective Oxford Material Vest for Dogs Easy Control for Small Medium Large Dogs (Black, L)
Rabbitgoo Dog Harness No-Pull Pet Harness Adjustable Outdoor Pet Vest 3M Reflective Oxford Material Vest for Dogs Easy Control for Small Medium Large Dogs (Black, L)
$18.99
-
Diamond Naturals ADULT Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food with Real Pasture Raised Beef Protein 40lb
Diamond Naturals ADULT Real Meat Recipe Natural Dry Dog Food with Real Pasture Raised Beef Protein 40lb
$31.99
-
Underwater Dogs Cologne Spray & Silky Gloss Shine for Dogs - 4.2 Fluid Ounces of Show Dog Finishing Spray
Underwater Dogs Cologne Spray & Silky Gloss Shine for Dogs - 4.2 Fluid Ounces of Show Dog Finishing Spray
$18.99
-
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Salmon 24-lb
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food, Salmon 24-lb
$55.99
-

Last update on 2018-08-20 at 15:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Final Word

Overall, I would say that this is a pit bull type that is best suited for a single person or a small family that has tons of time to give, and no other pets. That isn’t to say you can’t have other pets, just that this dog needs so much of your attention that you may have a hard time juggling more. He’s a sweet guy with such a funny attitude that you probably won’t even miss having a whole pack!

The Bull Terrier is definitely a dog for an extrovert. This breed is spunky and fun and always wanting to be on the go, exploring new things. If you are also an energetic person that likes to laugh and explore, you’ll get along great. I wouldn’t recommend this dog to a beginner, just because they do need expert training to keep them in check.

Be ready to spend your days laughing at this breed’s playfulness, and stay consistent with your training, and you’ll have a blast together.

Related Content:

Breed Spotlight: The American Pit Bull Terrier
10 Dog Breeds Mistaken for Pit Bulls
16 Best Small Guard Dogs for Apartments
5 Types of Pit Bulls and How to Tell the Difference
A Look at Chihuahua Terrier Mixes

Sources:

http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/bull-terrier

https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/bull-terrier/

 

About the Author Ash