Dog Breed profiles
Bull Terrier Breed Profile
Bull Terrier fact file
KC Group: Terrier
There are no height or weight limits specified in the breed standard, but on average;
Height: 53 - 56cm
Weight: 23.5 - 28kg
Average lifespan: 12 years
Temperament: Loyal and affectionate, but can be stubborn
Good with children?: Seek breeder advice
Exercise requirement: Moderate
Good guard dogs?: Yes
Moulting level: Low
Colours: White, black, brindle, red, and tricoloured
Jogging partner: Short runs
Bull Terriers are relatively hardy. However, they have been known to suffer from:
- Kidney disease.
- Heart disease.
- Skin problems.
- Deafness, particularly in white dogs.
It is strongly recommended that parent dogs are heart tested, kidney tested, and BAER (brain auditory evoked response) tested — an electronic hearing test which can be carried out from five weeks old. A breeder should be able to provide documentation proving that this has been done. It is advised that you do not buy from a breeder who can’t do this.
- A unique character who loves to act the clown.
- Has a great sense of humour — and you’ll need one too.
- Determined and stubborn.
- The Bull Terrier is adaptable and will be happy with whatever exercise you can offer.
- Can get on well with children if brought up around them. However, he is a strong and powerful breed and must be taught to respect others. Any show of dominance should be checked before his sheer bulk becomes a problem.
- Despite his hardy appearance he doesn’t do well outdoors and would much rather live inside with his family.
- Remember that he is a terrier and may not always be tolerant of other animals. If a Bull Terrier is challenged he will not back down.
- He shouldn’t be left alone for long periods. A bored Bull Terrier will occupy himself in ways that may not please you.
- You will need strong and secure fencing in your garden as the Bull Terrier is a regular Houdini.
- Lead training is essential.
- The Bull Terrier has a mind of his own and a well-developed stubborn streak.
- You need to be willing to put time into training right from day one.
- Keep training sessions fun and interesting as he will become bored easily.
- Like an elephant, he will never forget — bad habits as well as good.
- The Bull Terrier has a short, harsh coat which needs minimal brushing.
- That short coat, however, means that he also needs warmth and comfort.
- He can be prone to bed sores so his bed needs to be soft and supportive.
- Watch his weight — he will happily become a couch potato if you let him.
- He loves attention and will demand it. Do not pander to him — he needs to know his place in the family pecking order.
- The Bull Terrier is a notorious chewer and will chew anything. Make sure that he has plenty of specialist hard-wearing toys or you can say goodbye to your furniture, and hello to a trip to the vet’s because he’s swallowed something he shouldn’t.
- Minimal grooming.
- Good temperament.
- Stubborn — can make training difficult.
- Deafness is known in the breed.
Did you know?
- The Bull Terrier hasn’t always had erect ears — his ancestors’ ears dropped forward.
- Bull Terrier Abraxas Audacity won Best in Show at Crufts in 1972.
- The breed was developed in the 1800s by crossing the Bulldog with the now extinct White English Terrier.