Bull Terriers: Explosive Combinations of Character Traits

Bull Terrier is a breed that can be described in two words: “explosive mix”. With the wrong upbringing, the good-natured nature of the animal will give way to the ancient instincts of struggle, which, along with a developed intellect, will cause many troubles. When making a choice in favor of a bull terrier, you should soberly assess your strength and strength of character – the necessary conditions for competent socialization of the dog. However, having taken the place of alpha in the “pack”, you will become the happy owner of a loyal pet, which will give you full love and attention. This athlete will happily join a family morning jog or an active game of football.

Brief Information

  • Breed Name: Bull Terrier
  • Country of origin: United Kingdom
  • Time of origin of the breed: XIX century
  • Weight: 23-32 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): 53-56 cm
  • Life span: 11-14 Years


  • Despite their intimidating appearance, Bull Terriers are very friendly and loyal if properly raised.
  • These dogs are overly active and therefore need regular physical activity, where they can throw out their energy.
  • The Bull Terrier is not the best option for protection, as it rarely shows aggression even towards strangers.
  • Representatives of the breed do not tolerate loneliness, therefore they do not get along with people who are often absent at home.
  • They make wonderful babysitters for children, but it is recommended to keep your eyes on the pet during violent games with your child.
  • It is not recommended to keep a bull terrier with other pets: this breed is very dominant and will not tolerate competition.
  • The dog needs early socialization and education, otherwise, it will grow up uncontrollable and embittered.
  • These English aristocrats are only suitable for experienced dog breeders who will take a leadership position and will not give it up.

History of the Bull Terrier Breed

The history of bull terriers goes back to the Middle Ages with its “bloody battles” – merciless battles of animals with each other. The thirst for easy money united the poor and the nobility: the bets on the winner reached dizzying heights. This cruel entertainment gained particular popularity in England, where until the 19th century it was considered a national sport.

The baiting of bulls by dogs was universally recognized. The first bloodthirsty show, held in Stamford, dates back to 1209. At the same time, the organizers realized: for a fight with a bull, undersized breeds are the best suited, which can imperceptibly go around the animal and grab its unprotected nose with fangs. The dogs did not open their jaws even at the moment when the bull, distraught with pain, threw his head up. Animals showed no less assertiveness in battles with wild boars and bears.

The popularity of violent entertainment grew every year. Even the seediest English village could boast of the presence of a fighting pit, in which the blood of more than one animal was shed every day. The most furious, fast, and strong dogs were released into the arena, otherwise, the show was not spectacular and bright. Many were ready to give a tidy sum for a particularly embittered medium-sized specimen: his victory would have more than recouped the costs and allowed the owner to enrich himself. Thus, the ancestors of American Bulldogs, who were famous for their courage and strength, atypical for dogs, were frequent “guests” of the battles.

It is not known what fate would have awaited the participants in the bloody performance if it had not been for a law issued in 1835 that prohibited the opening of fighting pits and the exploitation of animals in such a perverse manner. However, human greed has found a loophole here too. Taking advantage of the fact that the law prohibited only fights between large animals, the organizers decided to switch to hounding dogs exclusively. First, these performances required less effort, money, and time. Secondly, the presence of fighting breeds was easier to conceal from the representatives of the law than the keeping of cattle.

A wave of breeders’ interest in compact animals resumed. Bulldogs, due to their sluggishness, could not provide a spectacular battle for onlookers, and the organizers of the entertainment program did not want to lose money. At that time, work began on the development of a new breed, which would have retained the previous ferocity, but slightly decreased in size, becoming more resourceful and mobile. For this, enthusiastic breeders crossed the Terrier with an old English Bulldog. The former were valued for vigilance and dexterity, the latter for endurance, perseverance, and strength. As a result of selection, a new breed appeared – the Bull Terrier, which was ideal for participating in clandestine battles. These dogs were called gladiators for their willingness to fight to the bitter end for the approval of the owner (and, of course, he arrived on impromptu sweepstakes).

The glory of the creator of the first Bull Terriers belongs to James Hinks – an English breeder who, in 1850, began work on improving the breed. The man planned to improve the appearance of the Bull Terriers by making them more sophisticated. In 1862, at a dog show in Birmingham, Hinks presented the result of his fruitful selection, which had an aristocratic appearance, but retained the fighting qualities of the unprepossessing progenitors.

The entrepreneurial vein of James prompted him to think that the public’s interest in bloody dog ​​fights is not forever, and, therefore, unaesthetic fighting breeds are doomed to extinction. Only a noble exterior gave them a ghostly hope for further existence. Hinks, in the company of other breeders, decided to continue breeding dogs. This time, Bull Terriers were crossed with several breeds at once: the White Old English Terrier (now considered extinct), Bulldog, Greyhound, Dalmatian, and even Scottish Collie.

So an elegant and dynamic dog of snow-white color appeared, which was still distinguished by the strong constitution of its ancestors but had more refined features. These animals immediately earned the love of many English dog breeders. Since then, it was considered fashionable to contain these four-legged aristocrats, who were famous for their developed intellect and phenomenal endurance.

Bull Terrier – a Symbol of Great Britain

In squares and parks, on a bench next to respectable gentlemen sat snow-white bull terriers, decorated with bows and expensive leather collars. It was a very common picture of English life – pets are in high esteem there to this day. It was a real symbol of Great Britain, a powerful country. A dog with perfect proportions, great physical strength, and natural delicacy has become the true pride of the nation. Subsequently, colored Bull Terriers joined the ranks of white representatives of the breed. Both those and others are highly popular today in England and the United States.


The Bull Terrier is a medium-sized dog with a muscular and strong build. At the same time, females look more refined than males. So, their height at the withers is 53 and 56 cm, respectively. A slight deviation in the smaller (for females) or larger (for males) side is acceptable.

As for the weight of the animal, on average it reaches 23-32 kg.

Coat and Color

The straight and short coat of the dog has a healthy sheen. Very hard to the touch; “Softens” only in winter, when animals have a small undercoat. The breed standard provides for several color options for the Bull Terrier:

  • white;
  • redhead;
  • black;
  • brindle;
  • tricolor.

Bull Terrier Personality

Representatives of the breed are distinguished by a very good-natured disposition. However, in conditions of illiterate socialization and all kinds of encouragement of aggression, the Bull Terrier will certainly show its instincts. In this case, you will become the owner of “cold steel” – an incredibly smart and hardy dog ​​with a strong grip and strong muscles.

Fortunately, studies by the American organization ATTS indicate that only 10% of Bull Terriers are potentially dangerous to humans. The rest of the dogs no longer resemble their distant ancestors – bloodthirsty gladiators of fighting pits. Well-bred Bull Terriers are the embodiment of friendliness and indomitable cheerfulness.

These dogs want to play and frolic for days on end. Taking a fidget into the house, get ready for regular and long walks. Otherwise, the pet will feel unhappy and independently find a way to have fun. If you don’t want to sacrifice slippers or sofa upholstery, take your Bull Terrier to a nearby park. Favorite toys of the animal will brighten up joint leisure.

From this, it follows that the representatives of the breed feel great in a private house, where they can stretch their paws at any time and at the same time not cause indignation of others. Living in an apartment for a Bull Terrier is only permissible if you can provide your pet with a variety of physical exercises. Morning jogging, playing with the frisbee, cycling – in all cases, the animal will be a great company!

Check out other dog breeds if you plan on spending a significant portion of your day at work. Bull Terriers do not tolerate loneliness. If you decide to leave your pet behind a locked door, prepare to return home and find it completely gnawed. In addition, the neighbors clearly will not be delighted with the nervous howl that will not subside for several hours.

Despite their excellent instincts, Bull Terriers rarely make good watchmen. Dogs do not have innate aggression towards humans, so you will wait for an alarming bark when a stranger approaches only as a last resort. Even to strangers, animals are very friendly. However, if the matter takes an unexpected and dangerous turn, the snow-white aristocrat will instantly forget about his manners and rush to defend the owner from the offender.

Representatives of this breed are distinguished by a developed pursuit instinct, so they can chase a dog or cat that comes into view. For the same reason, Bull Terriers do not always get along with other animals. Some dogs are tolerant of four-legged brethren but do not tempt fate. It is better to refuse the maintenance of decorative birds and rodents.

The Bull Terrier breed is very capricious, but will gladly accept your care and affection. Establish a friendly contact with your pet – and you will never find a friend more devoted than your dog!


Since Bull Terriers are distinguished by their independent (even stubborn) disposition and developed intellect, raising and training a pet will require a lot of strength and patience from you. In this case, steps should be taken from the first day the dog appears in the house. Timely and competent socialization is a guarantee that you will get a manageable and friendly pet. Introduce your Bull Terrier to new places, people, things, smells, sensations – and in the future, he will not react aggressively to a change of scenery.

Your task is to take the position of the leader in an impromptu pack and adhere to it every minute. The inquisitive mind of the dog wants to expand the boundaries of what is permitted, and if he finds a weakness in your “armor”, he will certainly take advantage of the omission. React firmly to the bull terrier’s violent behavior, but at the same time, do not be cruel towards the pet. Screams, rudeness, and beatings will make the dog withdrawn and embittered, and you will soon not be considered the owner and best friend. Speak about your dissatisfaction in a strict tone, but be sincere: the animal perfectly picks up fake notes and in this case, simply does not take your words seriously.

Bull Terrier training will take more than one month. This breed has very scattered attention, so you will have to constantly maintain interest. Classes should not be monotonous and lengthy, otherwise, the pet will get bored and think about anything other than executing commands. Notice that the dog’s attention has shifted to something else? Favorite delicacy will force the Bull Terrier to stop hovering in the clouds and return to the training process.

Practice with the animal in a firm and calm manner, while making sure to praise it for its obedience. Timely intervention and behavior correction will make the Bull Terrier a loyal companion. People with a gentle disposition are better off choosing a different, less dominant breed of dog.

Conditions of Detention and Care

Bull Terrier belongs to dog breeds that are very unpretentious in care. The short hair of the animal needs to be brushed weekly (no more than three times). Use a stiff-bristled brush to remove hairs, but it is best to have a grooming glove for the shedding period. It will greatly facilitate the care of your pet’s coat. The breed sheds twice a year: in autumn and spring.

Forget about regular water treatments: Bull Terriers don’t need them. Bathe your pet as soon as it gets dirty with a mild formula for dogs. However, wiping the Bull Terrier’s body with a sponge or towel is quite enough. Want to give your coat a healthy shine? Arm yourself with suede and run it through the hairs. The effect will not belong to coming!

You should not bathe the Bull Terrier after the walk (of course, unless you went to explore the country road during a downpour). It is enough to rinse the paws under the flowing winter. To avoid cracks on the dry surface of the pads, lubricate them with vegetable oil. This rule of Bull Terrier care is especially important in the winter season when the sidewalks are sprinkled with salt and reagents.

Check your pet’s eyes and ears regularly: this will help prevent the development of infectious diseases in time. To remove accumulated secretions in the corners of the eyes, it is recommended to use a special liquid, which can be found in pet stores. As for caring for your ears, wipe them once a week with a damp cotton pad.

Caring for the Bull Terrier’s mouth is no less important. Allocate time once a week to brush your pet’s teeth using dog paste. As for the accessories, you can buy a nozzle for your finger or get by with your usual toothbrush.

Note that the breed is prone to allergies from insect bites. For the same reason, it is recommended to treat the Bull Terrier’s wool with special parasitic agents. You can use tablets, spray, or drops. A collar is suitable as a “heavy artillery”, the effect of which is noticeable only with prolonged wear.


It is customary to build the Bull Terrier’s diet in two directions: premium dry food or natural food. The combination of the two is fraught with problems with the dog’s digestive system. Choose food based on the age and weight of your pet. Thus, a puppy needs more minerals and vitamins than an adult.

When feeding an animal with natural food, you will have to think over a balanced diet yourself. It is recommended that you contact your veterinarian for advice on vitamins for your Bull Terrier.

Try to stick to your feeding schedule. Fill the bowl after the walk and leave it for 10-15 minutes: during this time the Bull Terrier will eat exactly as much as it needs. The pet must have constant access to freshwater. It is recommended to use bottled or flowing (after it has settled for 7-8 hours).


The representatives of the breed do not have specific genetic defects, however, dogs are most often exposed to certain diseases. Among them:

  • dislocation of the kneecaps and elbows;
  • eversion or inversion of the eyelids;
  • hypoplasia of the larynx;
  • dysplasia of the joints;
  • aortic stenosis;
  • skin rash;
  • epilepsy;
  • deafness.

An adult pet has a high risk of developing cancer. Puppies can suffer from a rare disease – fatal acrodermatitis.

When purchasing a Bull Terrier, do not forget that the thin skin of the dog is very sensitive, so a walk in the summer heat is fraught with sunburn. Carefully drive away mosquitoes from your pet: even one bite can provoke hives and severe itching.

How to Choose a Puppy

The best place to buy a Bull Terrier is a kennel that specializes in breeding this breed. Only here you will get a vaccinated baby with a good pedigree. Don’t miss the chance to get to know the parents of your future pet better: their behavior will allow you to understand what to expect from your Bull Terrier in the future.

Pay attention to the conditions of keeping the puppies. The place should be well heated, and the kids should be away from possible drafts. Pick the most playful and active pet and examine it closely. First of all, it is recommended to test hearing: due to the structure of the head and ears, Bull Terriers often suffer from deafness. The toddler should be well-fed and well-groomed.

The optimal age for buying a Bull Terrier puppy is 2.5-3 months. In this case, you will receive a balanced and healthy baby who is no longer dependent on the mother and is ready to explore the world under your careful guidance.

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