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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier

Origin: England

AKC Group: Terrier

Height: 20 inches (Male)

Weight: 45 pounds (Male)

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Male height: 
20 inches
Male weight: 
45 pounds
Smooth and short.
There are two color varieties of the Bull Terrier: colored and white. The colored Bull Terrier is any color other than white, such as black, brindle, red, fawn, or tricolor, or any color including white markings. The white is a solid white.

In the early 1800s, when dog fighting was legal and actually quite popular, breeders were always looking to produce dogs with tenacity, endurance and agility. Originally known as the "bull-and-terrier," the Bull Terrier is the result of crossing a Bulldog with the now-extinct white English Terrier. Englishman James Hinks first standardized the breed in the early 1850s. He bred only white dogs and called them "bull terriers" to distinguish them from the "bull-and-terriers" who were similar to today's Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

Hink's white dogs became known as "the White Cavalier." It is not known exactly what other breeds went into developing the modern Bull Terrier, but the Dalmatian, Spanish Pointer and Greyhound are all possibilities. The resulting breed soon became known as simply "Bull Terrier." When all-white Bull Terriers were crossed with Staffordshire Bull Terriers, the colored variety emerged. Today, thankfully, dog fighting of any kind is illegal, and these dogs are strictly companions. Their egg-shaped heads quickly distinguish them from all other breeds, and their looks and personality have endeared them to many.

Naturally gregarious and extremely loyal, the Bull Terrier is a charming, friendly, playful dog who is very attached to his family. Intelligent and active, he needs mental and physical stimulation - preferably in the form of fun play sessions - to keep him happy. For those who have the time and the leadership to give to a Bull Terrier, this dog can make a fine companion - his devotion is unwavering, and his personality never ceases to amuse and endear him to others.
At home: 
The Bull Terrier can do well in just about any living situation as long as all his needs are met - this is a breed that requires a lot of companionship and a good deal of supervision to make a good pet. A fenced yard is a must, and if allowed off leash, be sure that it is in an enclosed area and that your Bull Terrier is extremely well socialized.
Bull Terriers require regular exercise and plenty of it! Energetic dogs to begin with, without enough exercise, they may be compelled to release their energy in ways that aren't always desirable - such as through excessive chewing, self-destructive behaviors or even obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
Bull Terriers require a high-quality diet. They are prone to weight gain and should be monitored and have their daily food intake moderated accordingly.
The Bull Terrier's instincts are to both want to play and to protect, which isn't always a great combination when it comes to training. He is also a strong dog who needs an owner who understands him and can take an appropriate lead in his training, being firm when necessary but not harsh. It may be more challenging to train a Bull Terrier, but many have done it with great results. A critical component of training for any Bull Terrier is socialization. From early puppyhood, he must be introduced to all sorts of people, other dogs, other animals and environments.
Bull Terriers get along well with children and tend to be protective of them, but they do need a lot of socialization to coexist with other pets, especially other dogs.
The average life expectancy of the Bull Terrier is 10 to 12 years. Breed health concerns include allergies; deafness; familial nephropathy; mitral dysplasia; patellar luxation; and zinc deficiency.
Fun fact: 

The United States is the only country where Bull Terriers are registered and shown as two separate varieties. All other countries register and exhibit both colors as one breed.

Grooming blurb: 
The Bull Terrier is a moderate shedder who is easy to keep groomed. His short coat just needs a weekly going-over with a hound glove and a soft bristle brush.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.