The distinctive egg-shaped head and brave, joyful nature make the Bull Terrier a popular companion dog. The original dog of the English middle class in the Victorian era is now actually a great family dog that has to contend with some prejudices. Here you will learn everything about the history, character, and attitude of a Bull Terrier.
History of the Bull Terrier
The original ancestor of the Bull Terrier was bred from a cross between the English bulldog and terriers in the early 19th century. The dog served as a bull and badger biter and was also sometimes used in dog fights. Although the use of a fighting dog was banned as early as 1835, the breed still struggles with its image as a fighting dog. Contrary to popular belief, the bull terrier developed into a popular family dog for middle-class English people in the course of the 19th century. The bully, with strong nerves and friendly, lived in close quarters with large families and served as a guard dog and for hunting vermin.
In 1850, pet dealer James Hinks officially recognized the breed. For a time at the end of the 19th century, the white bull terrier was the status symbol of the English nobility. In order to give them a more elegant appearance and a less quick-tempered character, Dalmatians and Pointers were crossed. Only after the end of the Second World War did the British breed Bullies in a different color again.
The breed was bred in different sizes right from the start and today a distinction is made between the Standard and the Miniature Bull Terrier as independent breeds. Recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, the Bull Terrier belongs to FCI Group 3, the Terrier. Here he is assigned to section 3, the bull-like terrier.
Essence and Character
The Bull Terrier is a brave and self-confident dog that is not fazed by anything. With a consistent upbringing and a strong reference person, he fits harmoniously into the family. A particularly loving contact with children is one of his great strengths. When dealing with people, the bully is generally playful and prefers to be near his family.
The dog is always up for a joke and knows how to amuse the whole family. While he can be a bit boisterous at times, he never acts maliciously or aggressively. With good socialization, he gets along well with other dogs and pets. He can be a little stubborn at times but is easily changed. Nervousness and aggression are absolutely undesirable when breeding the Bull Terrier.
Getting a Bull Terrier
What do I need to pay attention to when purchasing?
Before you bring a Bully home with you, you should know that the keeping conditions for Bull Terriers have been heavily regulated throughout Europe since the 1990s. The import to Germany is completely forbidden. Due to its bad reputation, it is on the list of dangerous dog breeds in some countries. The Bull Terrier can cause fearful reactions in people around him and will not be greeted with joy by everyone. If you still want a Bully, you should try to improve the image of the breed through good training and correct husbandry. According to studies, the breed is by no means more aggressive than other dog breeds and resolves conflict situations peacefully.
Finding the right breeder is often a difficult undertaking. It is best to look for a breeder who is registered with the VDH and who pays close attention to the health of their puppies. For a purebred puppy, you can calculate up to 1500€. You can choose between pure white, brindle, black, red, fawn, and tricolor for the Bull Terrier puppies.
Puppy development and education
As a Bull Terrier owner, you should have good nerves and a lot of patience, as the smart dog can be very stubborn at times. He is by no means suitable for beginners, as he tries to become the pack leader himself at the first sign of uncertainty. He responds to harsh parenting with stubbornness and is best educated with praise and tasty rewards. Training this breed requires a lot of consistency and a strong hand. When rearing, you should also pay particular attention to good socialization, otherwise, the dog can react very quickly to strange animals. Visiting a puppy and dog school is recommended for this.
How to Keep a Bull Terrier
Activities with the Bull Terrier
The Bull Terrier is an agile and playful dog that loves long walks. You don’t need to worry that the dog will run away, as it has no interest in hunting and willingly stays close to humans. Due to its fearless and self-confident nature and pronounced protective instinct, the Bully is also well suited as a guard dog. The sporty dogs need a lot of exercises, but you don’t have to keep them busy all the time. If you notice that the dog is under-challenged, you can do dog sports such as agility with it. But he also likes to be involved in simple outdoor games, bike rides, or jogging.