Bull Terrier: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health


Among the characteristics of the English Bull Terrier, known as the Bull Terrier, the egg shape of its head stands out. Despite its reputation for being aggressive, its affectionate character is one of the reasons for its popularity, as it is sociable  and fun. At Petlifey, we explain everything about the Bull Terrier breed.


Bull terrier character

The bull terrier has a playful, affectionate, sincere and a little stubborn character. In addition, this fantastic pet has a brave behaviour, knows no fear, has great confidence in themselves, and has a personality very active, cheerful and comical.

In fact, for a terrier it is much more obedient than average and behaves very politely and correctly in almost any situation.

In addition, as with other dogs in the group, it shows an extraordinary attachment to its family and feels absolute devotion to the person whom it considers its leader, so it cannot be left alone for many hours a day, as it needs to maintain continuous contact with your reference persons.

The temperament of the English Bull Terrier is that of a true gladiator, brave, determined, full of fire and courage. But, although somewhat stubborn or stubborn, it is a very balanced and obedient dog.

Due to its origins, this dog is a strong, muscular and active athlete, who likes to do any task that involves a bit of action.

The ideal thing for them is to live with a dynamic family that goes out for long walks or that carries out some type of activity in which the dog can be enrolled.

If its needs can be satisfied and the necessary time is dedicated to it, it is an ideal companion dog, which few could match, but it cannot be said that it is the most recommended breed for any type of owner.

Their needs and demands are high, and if they are not met and the dog becomes bored or depressed, it can end up developing undesirable attitudes and becoming a problem animal.

For example, its relationship with children and the elderly is usually excellent, but if you are not mentally and physically balanced, you may be too energetic and impulsive, undoubtedly causing some unwanted conflict.

In the same way, it need to have a firm owner, capable of exercising its leadership with perseverance and energy, and without forcing the situation.

Well, before a cowardly owner, the bull terrier becomes overprotective, dominant, jealous, possessive and with a tendency to show its strength and character even when it is unnecessary.

Thus, despite all its virtues, this breed needs firm training, especially in relation to basic obedience and behaviour in society.

If the dog is going to live with children, the first thing to make sure is that the dog’s needs are perfectly covered and that it is a safe and balanced animal.

On the other hand, children should be taught and educated about what are the characteristics of this breed, their needs and their rights, since the ideal is that the relationship of children with their dog is based on knowledge, trust and I respect.

However, in any case, this relationship should always be supervised by a responsible adult in order to avoid unpleasant situations. On the other hand, this dog tends to be very possessive in relation to other specimens of its species, and may even show signs of aggression if extensive socialization work has not been carried out.

Thus, you must always be cautious when leaving it in the company of other animals, especially if both are male, as tense situations could occur.

And is that the bull terrier can become a friend or maintain a normal relationship with other dogs, but you must always be careful, perhaps above many other breeds.

And as for its relationship with other species of animals, although there are exceptional cases of peaceful coexistence with a cat or a hamster, it is best not to tempt luck, since it is very likely that there will be some traumatic reaction for the animal of smaller wingspan.

As seen, this is a unique breed for many reasons. On the one hand, its appearance is unmistakable, since there is no other that can physically resemble it.

And on the other, its character is very special, so, depending on who it is in, it can be a wonderful dog or become a nightmare for its owners and for all those who live in its environment.

Therefore, this breed must be in the hands of very responsible people, who are capable of understanding its idiosyncrasy, who know its history, its origins and its characteristics, and who are very aware of what it means to be involved with such a peculiar dog.

  • Energy: high level. It is a great athlete who needs to exercise daily.
  • Temperament: it is an active, lively, courageous, determined and full of spirit dog. It is also loyal, obedient and balanced, although a bit stubborn.
  • Adaptability: It loves to live inside the house with its masters and, in fact, it cannot be left alone for many hours a day, since it needs continuous contact with its family.
  • Sociability: It is affectionate, funny, cheerful and sociable with its family, especially with children. With other dogs clashes can occur.
  • Health: White specimens can develop deafness or skin problems.
  • Longevity: Live between 12 and 15 years.
  • Utility: company. Former hunter, today it dedicates themselves above all to company.
  • Use: company and guard.

Bull terrier characteristics

The bull terrier breed is characterized by its general appearance. Its physical appearance is muscular, well proportioned and of vigorous constitution, it is an active and courageous dog, and with a lively, intelligent and determined expression. Its head stands out, egg-shaped and lacking in frontal-frontal depression.

The body of this canine is vigorously built, well proportioned, compact, muscular and active, with a height at the withers not exceeding 35 cm in the miniature version.

Its head is robust and long, but it is never rough. Seen from the front it has a certain egg shape and is full, while in profile it draws a gentle downward curve to the nose.

The eyes of the English bull terrier are narrow and triangular, they are black or very dark brown and shiny, and they are set obliquely, at some distance from the nose.

It has small and thin ears that are placed very close to each other. The dog wears them upright, with the point pointing upwards.

Their round and compact feet are striking, and their toes are well arched. They have muscular, straight, strong legs with rounded bone.

This animal has a low set tail, it is short and the dog usually carries it in a horizontal position. It is thicker at the base and gradually tapers as it reaches the tip.

Regarding its coat, it is short, rough, tight and shiny.

As for the colors of the bull terrier, there are entirely white specimens and other brindle ones in black, but also in red or fawn, sometimes with combinations of three colors (tricolor).

Without a doubt, the physical characteristics of the bull terrier are impressive. Let’s now see in more detail what the bull terrier is like and how the breed standard should be.

Bull terrier breed standard

  • General appearance: it is muscular, compact, well proportioned and of vigorous constitution. Its head lacks stop and is egg-shaped.
  • Varieties: standard bull terrier and mini bull terrier.
  • Size: The standard English bull terrier variety is medium in size. The Miniature English Bull Terrier variety is small in size.
  • Height at the withers: the standard bull terrier more than 35 cm and without height limit as long as it gives an impression of solidity (up to approximately 56 cm). The miniature bull terrier less than 35 cm in both the male and the female.
  • Weight: no more than 9 kg in the miniature variety (mini) and unlimited in the standard variety (about 28 kg approximately), as long as the result is harmonious in both males and females.
  • Origin: United Kingdom.
  • Body: rounded and deep, it has a broad and muscular back. The lower line of the body, from the thorax to the abdomen, forms an elegant upward curve.
  • Head: it is robust, long and deep to the muzzle, but without being coarse. It is egg-shaped when viewed from the front, and in profile a slight downward curve can be seen from the top of the skull to the nose.
  • Skull: between the ears and on the upper part, it is flat.
  • Muzzle: robust, with well defined and close-fitting lips.
  • Nose: it is black in color, has well developed nostrils and is curved down at the tip.
  • Eyes: they are set obliquely, so that they are more distant from the nose than from the nape. They are triangular, narrow, and glossy black or very dark brown.
  • Ears: erect and directed forward, they are small and thin, and are placed close together.
  • Jaws: With a completely regular scissor bite, the lower jaw is solid and vigorous. It is endowed with healthy, strong, large and clean teeth.
  • Neck: should be long, arched and very muscular, gradually tapering from the shoulders to the head. Without presenting a double chin.
  • Chest: broad and deep seen from the front, with well sprung ribs.
  • Back: short and strong, with the dorsal line behind the withers slightly arched towards the loin.
  • Forelimbs: they must have strong and rounded bones, perfectly parallel and well poised. The shoulders are muscular and strong, but not heavy. The shoulder blades, broad and flat, remain close to the thorax and are oblique. Their are strong and straight, with perpendicular arms and forearms.
  • Hind limbs: seen from behind they are seen to be parallel. The legs should be well developed, with muscular thighs. Your knees should be well angulated and the hocks with short, strong bones, forming good angulation.
  • Feet: round and compact, with well arched toes.
  • Tail: set low and carried horizontally, it is short; thick at the base, gradually tapers towards the tip, which is fine.
  • Skin: it is well attached to the body.
  • Coat: the coat is short, tight, rough to the touch and with a fine sheen, in winter a layer of soft textured undercoat may grow.
  • Color: The specimens can be pure white , sometimes with spots on the head and ears, or colored, generally brindle, black brindle , red , fawn or tricolor .
  • Movement: The animal advances with well coordinated movements, covering terrain evenly with easy steps and a typically jovial air. The forelimbs extend well forward and the hindquarters flex at the knees and hocks with a lot of thrust. At trot, the movement is parallel in front and back, but at more speed it converges in a central point.
  • FCI Classification: FCI # 11 Group 3 – Terriers. Section 3 – Bull-type Terriers.

Bull terrier puppies

If you are reading this article with information about the English bull terrier, it is very possible that you are thinking about adopting or buying a bull terrier puppy. Perhaps you have already taken the step and just arrived home.

For this reason, we believe that there are a series of aspects and considerations that you should take into account so that you can fully enjoy the company of this fantastic dog pet.

It is very important to do a good job of socializing the puppy from the beginning. That is, always under the authorization of the veterinarian, the animal must know other dogs or even other pets from the first weeks. As well as experiencing other sounds and places different from those of your home.

Only in this way, you can have a fully balanced adult bull terrier, without fear of new experiences that come both from animals and from other people or places.

It is a breed that needs to exercise, you must be responsible that it can take walks, run and play. But without straining their anatomy when they are still small. Only a physically and mentally balanced dog will avoid possible problems or that it turns out to be aggressive.

For years this breed was used to hunt rodents and all kinds of vermin, and that hunting instinct has remained in its nature. For this reason, it loves to go and collect objects that have been thrown at them from a certain distance.

You should also make sure that you provide them with a dog food suitable for its breed, that is of good quality and in the right quantity. You can buy it without problems online.

If you have the miniature variety of bull terrier, you should know that it is practically a smaller copy of the standard variety of this breed. The mini version does not show symptoms of dwarfism, but is the result of a precise selection of the smallest puppies in each litter.

Its characteristics are the same as those of the standard bull terrier: an active, jovial and energetic dog that moves with well coordinated and easy movements, and with a typically jovial air.


Education and training of the English Bull Terrier

Regarding how to educate a bull terrier, it is an easy dog ​​to care for and have at home, long ago the bull terrier had a reputation for quarrelling, rude and even aggressive, especially with other dogs, but the different selections that have Bull terrier breeders have gradually been able to erase those “undesirable” characteristics of their temperament.

Therefore, at present almost all the specimens of this breed, if they are in the hands of a responsible owner who has known how to socialize them properly, they are wonderful companion animals, full of energy and very balanced.

However, neither of these two attitudes is justified, since in reality it is one of the most affectionate and sociable canine breeds that exist.

In fact, at present it is not advisable to use the bull terrier as a guard dog, and it can only attack someone if it is in dire need or if it sees its owner in serious danger, but usually shows a great affection for everyone, especially children.

In case you have difficulty with the education and / or training of an English bull terrier, it is highly recommended to go or consult a specialist or a club or association of this breed.

This dog has been the protagonist on many occasions in news of attacks on people or children (like other breeds such as the Doberman or the American Stanford ).

But this reputation as an aggressive dog is unjustified, since it is due more to irresponsible owners who have not had them in the right conditions or who have not bothered to educate them properly.


Bull terrier feeding

As for how to feed a Bull Terrier, being a breed prone to gaining weight, the best way to prevent obesity is to combine a proper exercise routine with a balanced diet, very rich in animal protein, clean and guaranteeing muscle development and maintenance.

In addition, bull terrier dog food must have a good supply of quality fats that facilitate an adequate condition of the skin and coat.

In this sense, it must be taken into account that this dog is an insatiable and compulsive eater, so it is advisable to always divide the daily ration into two intakes in order to avoid unpleasant episodes, such as vomiting, diarrhea or the dreaded twisting of stomach.

Fortunately, today you can buy food for dogs of the bull terrier breed in specialized pet stores or online. So you can provide your pet with the diet that best suits them for its health.


English Bull Terrier health and diseases

Like all dog breeds, the Bull Terrier is prone to certain diseases or specific health problems. But this dog is basically healthy and is not usually affected by serious diseases.

But as with other breeds in which the white color is predominant, it must be controlled when it is a puppy to detect early if there is a case of deafness, in addition to continuously monitoring that neither allergies nor skin problems develop , something common in animals with this pigmentation.

Another characteristic of this breed, in its two varieties, is its tendency to suffer sudden lameness repeatedly, especially during its development stage. These developmental lameness occurs because of its special conformation, its accelerated development and its extraordinary musculature, which causes certain imbalances to occur during growth.

But well managed, they do not pose any problem, since they are passengers, but if they are warned in time it is advisable to go to the veterinarian as soon as possible so that it can decide how to act in this regard. Although it is usually somewhat benign, it is best to make sure of it.

On the other hand, it is very important not to be fooled by the physical appearance of this dog, because despite the fact that from a very young age it has a well-formed body and a fairly developed musculature, the ligaments and tendons are not able to support this structure in stress conditions. Therefore, it is necessary to limit the exercise during its development and always do it with moderation, without abusing activities that require sudden and intense movements.

Another of the great problems to which the bull terrier is exposed, perhaps above the average of other breeds, is obesity. If it does not receive enough stimuli and does not do the proper exercise, it becomes a lazy and gluttonous animal, which , together with its body structure, makes it become a perfect candidate to look more like a pig than a dog the first time of change.

In addition, obesity can cause, in a secondary way, many other conditions and also aggravate the incidence of those that are more frequent in the breed, such as skin diseases and joint problems .

For the rest, the health of the bull terrier must be constantly monitored by the veterinarian through periodic visits in which the established vaccination program must be completed , the pertinent internal and external deworming must be carried out.

In addition, a microchip must be implanted under the skin of the animal to facilitate its recognition at all times (something that is especially useful in the case of loss or theft of the animal) and control the general condition of the dog: mouth, eyes, ears, weight and especially your skin, in order to detect any signs of allergies or dermatitis.


Specific care of the Bull terrier breed

In terms of hygiene and grooming, the maintenance of this breed is extremely easy.

Sheds her hair once or twice a year, but it hardly requires a weekly brushing, which can be done with a soft brush with natural bristles or with a special rubber or suede glove.

Regarding how often the bull terrier should be bathed, saying that bathing it is just as simple, and it should only be done when the animal is really dirty.

In addition, due to the sensitivity of your skin, it is important to rinse off any soap residue well to avoid dermatitis or other related problems.


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