The distinctive shape of the Bull Terrier's egg-like head and robust body makes this breed one of the most recognized in the world. Playful and entertaining, this breed is a family favorite.
Resembling a cavalier gladiator, the Bull Terrier is a good-looking but tough dog. Its immense and powerful jaws are only matched by its unusual head shape and keen expression. But it is actually the Bull Terrier's low center of gravity (it is longer than it is tall) and muscle mass that made this breed so formidable as a dog fighter. The Bull Terrier also has a short, flat coat and an easy, smooth gait. Its skin, meanwhile, is taut.
Personality and Temperament
The Bull Terrier is a playful, comical, and exuberant. But beware: this affectionate, sweet-natured, and devoted breed can be mischievous or even aggressive to small animals and other dogs. To avoid behavioral problems with the Bull Terrier, provide it mental and physical exercise daily.
Being an active dog, the Bull Terrier loves to run, but should only be allowed to do so in a secure place. It can remain outdoors in temperate weather, but does best as a housedog and when given easy access to the yard. Minimal coat care is needed.
The Bull Terrier, which has an average lifespan of 11 to 14 years, may suffer from patellar luxation. It is also prone to minor health problems like heart complication, allergies and compulsive behavior, and more serious conditions such as kidney failure and deafness. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may run cardiac, thyroid, hearing and urine protein:urine creatinine ratio (which quantifies the urine's protein loss) tests on the dog.
History and Background
The Bull and Terrier, a pit dog, was originally produced in the early 1800s by crossing the old English Terrier and the Bulldog. At the time, patrons of dog fighting and bull baiting -- two established forms of entertainment in Europe -- were always trying to perfect the fighting dog breeds. The early Bull Terriers ranged in size and color -- some featuring terrier-like features, while others exuded the Bulldog heritage.
Eventually, interbreeding other breeds such as the Spanish Pointer produced a strong, tenacious, and agile dog that ruled the pits. Even still, the vast majority of popularity was bestowed upon the English exhibition dogs. When dog fighting became illegal in Britain, many began producing strains of Bull Terriers that would win competitions more for their looks and less for their bite.
Over the years, it has been the white strain that has been the most famous Bull Terrier variety, both as a pet and show dog. So popular, in fact, that many Bull Terriers are featured in advertising campaigns and movies for their comical expression and nature.