- Breed name: Bull Terrier
- Country of Origin: UK
- Time of origin of the breed: XIX century
- Weight: 23-32 kg
- Height (height at the withers): 53-56 cm
- Life expectancy: 11-14 years
- Despite their intimidating appearance, bull terriers are very friendly and loyal if they are properly raised.
- These dogs are overly active and therefore need regular physical activity, where they can splash out their energy.
- Bull Terrier is not the best option for protection, because it rarely shows aggression even towards strangers.
- Representatives of the breed do not tolerate loneliness, so they do not get along with people who are often absent from home.
- They make wonderful babysitters for children, but it is recommended not to take your eyes off your pet during violent games with your child.
- It is not recommended to keep a bull terrier with other pets: this breed is very dominant and will not tolerate competition.
- The dog needs early socialization and upbringing, otherwise it will grow unmanageable and embittered.
- These English aristocrats are suitable only for experienced dog breeders who will take the position of leader and will not yield to her four-legged friend.
Bull Terrier is a breed that can be described in two words: "rattling mixture". With improper upbringing, the good-natured disposition of the animal will give way to ancient instincts of struggle, which, along with a developed intellect, will cause many troubles. Making a choice in favor of a bull terrier, you should soberly assess your strength and firmness of character – the necessary conditions for the competent socialization of a dog. However, taking the place of the alpha in the "pack", you will become the happy owner of a devoted pet who will fully bestow you with love and attention. This athlete will be happy to join a family morning jog or an active game of football.
History of the Bull Terrier breed
The history of bull terriers goes back to the Middle Ages and its "bloody sweepstakes" – merciless animal fights with each other. The thirst for easy money united the poor and the nobility: bets on the winner reached dizzying heights. This cruel entertainment gained particular popularity in England, where it was considered a national sport until the XIX century.
Bull-baiting by dogs was universally recognized. The first bloodthirsty show held in Stamford dates back to 1209. At the same time, the organizers realized that for a fight with a bull, stunted breeds that can imperceptibly circle around the animal and grab its unprotected nose with their fangs would be the best fit. The dogs did not unclench their jaws even at the moment when the bull, distraught with pain, threw his head up. The animals showed no less assertiveness in battles with wild boars and bears.
The popularity of violent entertainment has grown every year. Even the most run-down English village could boast of the presence of a fighting pit, in which the blood of more than one animal was shed daily. The most furious, fast and strong dogs were released into the arena, otherwise the show was not spectacular and bright. Many were willing to pay a tidy sum for a particularly embittered medium-sized specimen: his victory would more than pay off the costs and allow the owner to enrich himself. So, the ancestors were frequent "guests" of the fights american bulldogs , who were famous for their courage and strength atypical for dogs.
It is unknown what fate would have awaited the participants of the bloody performance if not for the law issued in 1835, which prohibited the opening of fighting pits and the exploitation of animals in such a perverted manner. However, human greed has found a loophole here too. Taking advantage of the fact that the law prohibited only fights between large animals, the organizers decided to switch to baiting dogs exclusively. Firstly, these performances required less effort, money and time. Secondly, the presence of fighting breeds was more easily concealed from the representatives of the law than the maintenance of cattle.
A wave of breeders' interest in compact animals has flared up again. Bulldogs, due to their sluggishness, could not provide onlookers with a spectacular fight, and the organizers of the entertainment program did not want to lose money. At that time, work began on breeding a new breed that would retain its former ferocity, but slightly decreased in size, becoming more quirky and agile. To do this, breeders enthusiasts crossed a terrier with an Old English bulldog. The first was valued for vigilance and dexterity, the second for endurance, perseverance and strength. As a result of breeding, a new breed appeared – the bull and Terrier, which was ideally suited to participate in underground battles. These dogs were called gladiators for their willingness to fight to the bitter end for the approval of the owner (and, of course, his arrival on an improvised sweepstake).
The glory of the creator of the first bull terriers belongs to James Hinks, an English breeder who began work on improving the breed in 1850. The man planned to improve the appearance of bull and Terriers by making them more refined. In 1862, at a dog show in Birmingham, Hinks presented the result of his fruitful breeding, which had an aristocratic appearance, but retained the fighting qualities of unsightly progenitors.
James' entrepreneurial streak led him to the idea that the public's interest in bloody dog fights is not eternal, and, therefore, unsightly fighting breeds are doomed to extinction. Only the noble exterior gave them a ghostly hope for further existence. Hinks, in the company of other breeders, decided to continue breeding dogs. This time bull-and-Terriers were crossed with several breeds at once: the white Old English terrier (now considered extinct), bulldog, greyhound, dalmatian and even scottish collie .
This is how an elegant and dynamic snow-white dog appeared, which was still distinguished by the strong physique of its ancestors, but had more refined features. To avoid confusion with stocky bull and Terriers, James Hinks gave the new breed a different name - bull terrier. These animals immediately earned the love of many English dog breeders. Since then, it has been considered fashionable to keep these four-legged aristocrats, who were famous for their developed intelligence and phenomenal endurance.
It is worth noting that the breeders of Bull and Terriers treated James' dogs with a degree of skepticism. In their opinion, the attractive appearance of the animals could not provide excellent fighting qualities. Hinks offered to make a bet and put one of his bull terriers – a bitch named Puss – against a bull and terrier. The latter suffered a crushing defeat, and Hinks received a case of champagne and a monetary reward.
In 1864, two bull terriers – James's beloved pets – made a splash at the next dog show. This played an important role in the further spread of the breed around the world. English colonists, military and migrants rarely left England without an escort of a snow-white friend. In 1885, the bull terrier was recognized by the American canine organization AKC, and thirteen years later, the first club of fans of this extravagant breed appeared in the United States. In 1917, the bull terrier of the modern type was recognized. He became a male named Lord Gladiator.
The history of the breed did not end there. Bull terrier breeders had to face a lot of new problems. So, in 1985, a bill was considered and signed, which forbade the cupping of dogs' ears. This almost affected the popularity of the breed: now its representatives did not look so attractive. Fortunately, breeders have found a way to breed bull terriers with naturally erect ears.
No less dangerous for the breed was the refusal to recognize colored dogs – the result of crossing bull terriers and amstaffs . The victory of spotted bulls at the exhibition in England became resonant: then many breeders grumbled against the unanimous decision of the judges. According to breeders, breeding bull terriers with points will negatively affect the line of white-colored animals. However, it was this unspoken protest that almost ruined the breed.
Since only individuals whose family did not have colored dogs were allowed to breed, the gene pool of bull terriers became impoverished over time. In addition, many animals began to show genetic defects of distant ancestors – Old English white terriers: deafness and inability to give offspring. By 1950, the number of sick dogs had reached a critical level. This was the impetus for the recognition of colored representatives of the breed.
Twenty years later, the first bull terriers appeared on the territory of Russia and by the 90s of the XX century had gained dizzying popularity. Unfortunately, due to the fault of inexperienced breeders, these dogs increasingly became a time bomb, ready at any moment to bare their fangs and cling to the throat of the offender.
Video: Bull Terrier
Bull terrier appearance
Bull Terrier belongs to medium breeds of dogs with a muscular and strong physique. At the same time, bitches look more refined than males. So, their height at the withers is 53 and 56 cm, respectively. A slight deviation to a smaller one (for bitches) or a larger one (for males) is acceptable sides.
As for the weight of the animal, on average it reaches 23-32 kg.
Head and skull
The bull terrier's head is set low and has an egg-shaped shape. This is noticeable when examining the dog from the front. It has a homogeneous structure without recesses and protrusions, rather elongated and powerful. The sloping skull is rounded, except for the space between the animal's ears.
The bull terrier's strong muzzle is lowered, its depth is in the ratio of 1:3 with the height of the dog at the withers. The stop is smoothed and creates a so-called Roman profile. The large nose lobe is slightly tilted down and pigmented in black. Dry lips fit snugly to the jaws, which is why the dog does not look flaky.
Bull terrier ears are characterized by an average size and a close fit in relation to each other. At the same time, the "triangles" themselves are thin and standing. The animal holds them upright – especially if alarmed.
Narrow eyes are set high and obliquely, due to which their shape seems triangular. The pigmentation of the iris should be black, and a dark brown shade is allowed. Please note that the distance from the eyes to the back of the head is much smaller than to the nose lobe. The eyelids are dry and pigmented in black.
Jaws and teeth
Bull terrier – the owner of the correct scissor bite. The standard provides for a close bite or a direct bite after the age of three years of the animal. The lower jaw is more developed and strong. Even and strong teeth sit tightly in the gums.
The dog's muscular neck is quite long, expanding from the head to the withers. It is curved in an arc, the nape line is pronounced. The skin does not form folds, which makes the neck look dry.
Representatives of this breed are built very compactly. The wide chest has rounded and elastic ribs. A strong withers smoothly turns into a short and straight back with defined muscles. The abdomen is tightened and forms an upward curve along with the chest line. The dog's croup is moderately sloped at an angle of 30-35 degrees. The loin is shortened, has a square section.
The bull terrier's short tail is planted in the hollow of the croup. Tapers from the base to the tip. The dog always holds it horizontally.
The length of the limbs of an adult animal corresponds to the depth of the chest. They look parallel and straight when viewed from the front of the bull terrier. Flat and wide shoulder blades together with strong shoulders form an angle of 90 degrees. The elbows are turned strictly back and fit snugly to the chest. The short pasterns are arranged vertically and turn into compact rounded paws with bent fingers.
Like the forelegs, the hind limbs are straight and parallel to each other. Thighs are muscular and wide. The angle of the knees is pronounced. Strong shins are well developed. The dry hocks of the bull terrier are distinguished by well-defined angles. Short and massive metatarsals end in small paws with tightly crowded fingers.
Manner of movement
Representatives of the breed walk easily and freely, every step of the dogs is flexible and self-confident. The limbs move parallel to each other, but shift to the center line when the animal is running. The front paws of the bull terrier capture a considerable space, while the hind legs move more freely.
The dog's straight and short coat has a healthy shine. It is very hard to the touch; it "softens" only in winter, when the animals have a small undercoat.
The breed standard provides several options for the color of the bull terrier:
Sand or blue coat colors are highly undesirable.
The slightest deviation from the standard is considered a defect. The most common are:
- high-set and/or long tail;
- incomplete pigmentation of the lips and nose lobe;
- excitability and timidity;
- poorly developed musculature;
- pronounced cheekbones;
- convex back line;
- direct bite.
The disqualifying vices of the bull terrier include:
- sandy, flesh or pink pigmentation of the nose;
- predominance of white shade in colored dogs;
- non-omission of one or two testicles;
- points on white wool;
- height at the withers less than 35.5 cm;
- overbite and underbite;
- blue eye color;
Photo of an adult bull terrier
Bull Terrier character
Representatives of the breed are distinguished by a very good-natured disposition. However, in the conditions of illiterate socialization and all kinds of encouragement of aggression, the bull terrier will definitely show its instincts. In this case, you will become the owner of a "cold weapon" – an incredibly smart and hardy dog with a strong grip and strong muscles.
Fortunately, studies by the American organization ATTS indicate that only 10% of bull terriers are potentially dangerous to humans. The rest of the dogs no longer resemble their distant ancestors – bloodthirsty gladiators of fighting pits. Properly educated bull Terriers are the epitome of friendliness and indomitable cheerfulness.
These dogs want to play and frolic all day long. Taking a fidget into the house, get ready for regular and long walks. Otherwise, the pet will feel unhappy and will find a way to have fun on its own. If you don't want to sacrifice indoor slippers or sofa upholstery, go with the bull terrier to the nearest park. Favorite animal toys will brighten up joint leisure.
It follows from this that representatives of the breed feel great in a private home, where they can stretch their paws at any time and at the same time not cause outrage to others. A bull terrier can stay in an apartment only if you can provide the pet with a variety of physical exercises. Morning jogging, playing with frisbee, cycling – in all cases, the animal will make a great company!
Take a closer look at other dog breeds if you plan to spend a significant part of the day at work. Bull Terriers do not tolerate loneliness. If you decide to leave your pet behind a locked door, get ready to return home and find it completely gnawed. In addition, the neighbors obviously will not be happy with the nervous howling, which will not stop for several hours.
Despite great instincts, bull terriers rarely make good watchmen. Dogs do not have innate aggression towards humans, so you will wait for an alarm barking when a stranger approaches only as a last resort. Even to strangers, animals are very friendly. However, if the matter takes an unexpected and dangerous turn, the snow-white aristocrat will instantly forget about his manners and rush to protect the owner from the offender.
The bull Terrier gets along well with all family members, and there is no better babysitter for children at all. The dog is happy to take an active part in all games and pranks, but do not take your eyes off the pet: he may not calculate his strength and accidentally push the child. Given the bull terrier's mass and powerful musculature, even a slight push can have unpleasant consequences. In addition, do not forget that animals do not like it when someone teases them, provokes them or takes away toys. Teach your pet to be more tolerant and "share" – so you will save yourself from unnecessary problems.
Representatives of this breed are distinguished by a developed instinct of pursuit, so they can chase a dog or cat that came into view. For the same reason, bull terriers do not always get along with other animals. Some dogs are tolerant of four-legged brothers, but do not push your luck. It is better to abandon the maintenance of ornamental birds and rodents altogether.
The bull Terrier breed is very wayward, but will gladly accept your care and affection. Establish friendly contact with your pet – and you will never find a friend more loyal than your dog!
Education and training
Since bull terriers are distinguished by an independent (even stubborn) disposition and developed intelligence, raising and training a pet will require a lot of strength and patience from you. At the same time, steps should be taken from the first day of the dog's appearance in the house. Timely and competent socialization is a guarantee that you will get a manageable and friendly pet. Introduce your bull terrier to new places, people, things, smells, sensations – and in the future he will not react aggressively to a change of situation.
Your task is to take the position of leader in an improvised pack and stick to it every minute. The inquisitive mind of the dog will want to expand the boundaries of what is allowed, and if he finds a slack in your "armor", he will certainly take advantage of the omission. React to the bull terrier's violent behavior firmly, but at the same time do not show cruelty towards the pet. Shouting, rudeness and beatings will make the dog withdrawn and embittered, and you will soon not be considered the owner and the best friend. Tell about your dissatisfaction with a strict tone, but be sincere: the animal perfectly catches false notes and in this case simply does not take your words seriously.
Bull terrier training will take more than one month. Representatives of this breed have very scattered attention, so you will have to constantly maintain interest. Classes should not be monotonous and lengthy, otherwise the pet will get bored and will think about anything except executing commands. Have you noticed that the dog's attention has switched to something else? A favorite treat will force the bull terrier to stop soaring in the clouds and return to the training process.
Practice with the animal in a firm and calm manner, while not forgetting to praise him for his obedience. Timely intervention and correction of behavior will make a bull terrier a devoted companion. People with a gentle nature are better off choosing another, less dominant breed of dog.
Care and maintenance
Bull Terrier refers to breeds of dogs that are very unpretentious in care. The short coat of the animal needs weekly combing (no more than three times). To remove the hairs, use a brush with stiff bristles, but it is better to get a special grooming glove for the molting period. It will greatly facilitate the care of your pet's fur. Representatives of the breed shed twice a year: in autumn and spring.
Forget about regular water treatments: bull terriers don't need them. Bathe your pet as the coat gets dirty, using a shampoo for dogs with a mild formula. However, wiping the bull terrier's torso with a sponge or towel is quite enough. Do you want to give your fur a healthy shine? Arm yourself with suede and walk it through the hairs. The effect will not take long to wait!
It is not necessary to bathe the bull terrier after a walk (of course, if you did not go to study a country road during a downpour). It is enough to wash the paws under running water in winter. To avoid the appearance of cracks on the dry surface of the pads, lubricate them with vegetable oil. This rule of bull terrier care is especially relevant in the winter season, when the sidewalks are sprinkled with salt and reagents.
Check your pet's eyes and ears regularly: this will help prevent the development of infectious diseases in time. To remove accumulated secretions in the corners of the eyes, it is recommended to use a special liquid that can be found in pet stores. As for the care of the auricles, wipe them once a week with a damp cotton pad.
Since bull terriers are very active dogs that need regular and long walks, their claws are usually worn off on their own. However, it is still recommended to purchase a claw cutter and trim the claws once a month to relieve your pet from uncomfortable sensations.
The care of the bull terrier's mouth is no less important. It is necessary to allocate time once a week to clean the teeth of the animal using dog paste. As for the devices, you can buy a finger attachment or do with the usual toothbrush.
Please note that representatives of the breed are prone to allergies from insect bites. For the same reason, it is recommended to treat bull terrier wool with special means against ectoparasites. You can use tablets, spray or drops. As a "heavy artillery", a collar is suitable, the effect of which is noticeable only when worn for a long time.
It is customary to build a bull terrier's diet in two directions: premium dry food or natural food. The combination of the two options is fraught with problems with the dog's digestive system. Choose food based on the age and weight of your pet. So, a puppy needs more minerals and vitamins than an adult.
When feeding an animal with natural food, you will have to think over a balanced diet yourself. It is recommended to contact a veterinary clinic for advice on vitamins for your bull terrier.
Among the mandatory products are:
- raw lean meat (pre-pour boiling water);
- quail eggs (no more than one per week);
- vegetable oil (1 tsp daily);
- beef or chicken offal;
- boiled sea fish without bones;
- buckwheat and rice cereals;
- kefir and low-fat cottage cheese;
- seasonal vegetables.
It is forbidden to include in the diet:
- river fish in any form;
- spicy and salty food;
- smoked products;
- fatty meat;
Try to stick to the feeding schedule. Fill the bowl after a walk and leave it for 10-15 minutes: during this time, the bull terrier will eat exactly as much as he needs. The pet must have constant access to fresh water. It is recommended to use bottled or flowing water (after it has settled for 7-8 hours).
Health and diseases of the bull terrier
Representatives of the breed do not have specific genetic defects, but dogs are most often exposed to certain diseases. Among them:
- dislocation of kneecaps and elbows;
- eversion or inversion of the eyelids;
- laryngeal hypoplasia;
- joint dysplasia;
- aortic stenosis;
- skin rash;
An adult pet has a high risk of developing cancer. Puppies can also suffer from a rare disease – lethal acrodermatitis.
When buying a bull terrier, do not forget that the dog's thin skin is very sensitive, so a walk in the summer heat is fraught with sunburn. Carefully drive away mosquitoes from your pet: even one bite can provoke hives and severe itching.
How to choose a puppy
The best place to purchase a bull terrier is a kennel that specializes in breeding this breed. Only here you will get a vaccinated baby with a good pedigree. Do not miss the chance to get to know the parents of the future pet better: their behavior will allow you to understand what to expect from your bull terrier in the future.
Pay attention to the conditions of keeping puppies. The place should be well heated, and the kids should be away from possible drafts. Choose the most playful and active pet and examine it carefully. First of all, it is recommended to check your hearing: due to the structure of the head and ears, bull terriers often suffer from deafness. The toddler should be moderately well-fed and well-groomed.
The optimal age for buying a bull terrier puppy is 2.5-3 months. In this case, you will get a balanced and healthy baby who no longer depends on his mother and is ready to explore the world under your strict guidance.
Photos of bull terrier puppies
Bull Terrier Price
The price of a bull terrier depends on what class the puppy will be. To participate in exhibitions, you need to purchase a show-class pet. The breed category is suitable for breeding. If you are looking for a friend for the soul, then it is enough to buy a pet-class dog. On average, an English aristocrat costs $500 – $600. Offspring from repeated winners of exhibitions costs $800 and above.