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Adopt a Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen


terrier, mastiff (bull)

Area of origin:


Original function:

dog fighting

Average size of male:

Ht: 21-22, Wt: 55-65

Average size of female:

Ht: 21-22, Wt: 45-55

Other names:

English bull terrier

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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

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Bull Terrier Dog Temperament

Exuberant, comical, playful, assertive and very mischievous describes the bull terrier. He is an imaginative breed that often sees things his own way and is stubborn to the end. He needs daily physical and mental exercise lest he exercise his powerful jaws on your home. For all his tough bravado, this is an extremely sweet-natured, affectionate and devoted breed.

Bull Terrier Dog Care

The bull terrier needs to be entertained, either with a good exercise session or mental stimulation every day, preferably both. This is an active breed that enjoys a good run, but he is best to run only in a safe area. He should not stay outdoors, but he should live primarily as a house dog with access to a yard. Coat care is minimal.

Bull Terrier Dog Health

Major concerns: deafness (whites), kidney problems
Minor concerns: heart problems, patellar luxation
Occasionally seen: lens luxation
Suggested tests: hearing (whites), UP:UC ratio for kidney function, cardiac, (eye)
Life span: 11-14 years

Interested in the history of the Bull Terrier dog breed?

Bull-baiting and dog fighting were long considered great entertainment by many Europeans, and patrons were constantly trying crosses to achieve the ultimate fighting dog. Around 1835, a cross between a bulldog and the old English terrier produced a particularly adept pit dog known as the "bull and terrier." A later cross to the Spanish pointer added needed size, and the result was a tenacious, strong, yet agile dog that came to dominate the pits. As interest in the exhibition of dogs grew in England, little attention was paid to these dogs so long associated with the lower echelons of society. With the abolition of dog fighting, however, some bull terrier patrons turned to this new venue to compete with their dogs, and they began to breed for appearance. Around 1860 James Hinks crossed the bull and terrier with the White English terrier and the Dalmatian, producing an all-white strain he called bull terriers. The new all-white strain immediately succeeded in the ring and captured the attention of the public; they became a fashionable companion for young gentlemen who wanted a good-looking masculine dog at their sides. The dogs gained the reputation for defending themselves, but not provoking a fight, and were thus dubbed "the white cavalier." The dogs gradually became more streamlined, and the bull terrier's distinctive head evolved. Around 1900, crosses with Staffordshire bull terriers reintroduced color into the breed. He was not well-accepted at first, but he finally gained equal status as a separate AKC variety in 1936. The white variety still continues as the more popular variety, but both colors have enjoyed great popularity as show dogs and pets. Their comical nature and expression wins them many friends, and they have proven to be very successful in movies and advertising.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

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Some animal welfare organizations with Bull Terriers ready for adoption:

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