The Bullterrier’s History and Appearance
As its name suggests, the English Bull Terrier stems from the times marked by cruel blood sports such as Bull- and Bear-baiting. Only the year 1835 finally saw these terrible practises banned – at least officially. The breed we know today as the English Bull Terrier was developed from various English Terriers and the famous Old English Bulldog. Crossing the two gave the new breed the speed and dexterity needed to fight smaller opponents. like rats and other dogs. The descendants from this cross of Bulldog and Terrier were developed into two different breeds: the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the English Bull Terrier.
In the 19th century, other breeds were introduced into the Bull Terrier, including sighthounds like the Whippet. In this way, their stop was gradually reduced, until the dog had the classical egg-shaped head which is its trademark feature today
Like other bully breeds, Bull Terriers are quite strongly-built, stocky and muscular. Adult males can reach heights between 45 and 55 cm at the wither. Their weight ranges between 22 and 38 kilos. Females are slightly smaller and lighter. The Bull Terrier’s very short and tight coat comes in a variety of colours, such as, Tricolour, White, Brindle, or combinations of Fawn, Red and Brindle with White.
What is their temperament like?
Even though Bull Terriers are sweet-tempered family companions, they remain Terriers at heart: These ancient bull fighters are very active and absolutely love to run, explore and play. Always eager for some fun and entertainment, they adore spending time with their favourite humans. They are very fond of children and make amazing playmates for them. Also, Bull Terriers are quite protective: Despite their medium size, they make decent guard dogs and come with a fairly high intimidation factor. When socialised from an early age onwards, Bull Terriers can get along well with other dogs. But because they have such a high prey drive (and were bred to fight rodents), it is best to exercise caution when it comes to introducing them to smaller pets in the household.
How intelligent and trainable are Bull Terriers?
Being typical Terriers, these fun-loving companions have a mind of their own, and they can be quite stubborn. However, getting your Bull Terrier to comply with your wishes is not as hard as you might think: You simply need to outsmart these smart canines. For example by starting to train them in obedience and house manners right from the first day you bring them home as puppies: In this way, you build up the relationship with your Bull Terrier right from the start. And this bond, based on trust, respect and love, will make any obedience or manners’ training far easier. Also, socialising your puppy with many different friendly dogs, other animals and people will make sure that they grow into well-rounded adults. Bull Terriers are highly intelligent, and if you establish that kind of trusted leadership first, they will be quite happy to follow your guidance and direction.
Are Bull Terriers healthy Dogs?
The Bull Terrier is a fairly healthy breed. However, approximately 20 % of purely white Bull Terriers suffer from deafness. Therefore, you want to make sure your potential Bull Terrier puppy has its hearing tested. Many Bull Terriers suffer from skin allergies, which are caused by insect bites and can result in hives, rashes and itching. The life-expectancy of this robust British breed usually ranges from 10 to 15 years.
Exercise and Grooming Needs of the Bull Terrier
These energetic Terriers love to play with pretty much any dog toy, and engaging them in games of fetch, chase, tug-of-war etc. is lots of fun for everyone involved. Their high prey drive is quite typical for bully breeds, and just like Pitbulls or Staffies, they absolutely love to engage with a spring pole or flirt-pole. Of course, no Bull Terrier will ever turn down a nice walk, and taking your dog outside for 1 – 2 hours each day will keep them happy and healthy.
Bull Terriers have very short coats that hardly accumulate any dust or dirt. Which makes grooming them a dream: A once-over with a soft bristle brush twice a week is usually enough to keep them tidy. However, if they do manage to get themselves seriously muddy, you might need to bathe them. For these instances, make sure to have a special shampoo ready that is suited for dogs with very sensitive skin. If in doubt, ask your vet about which products are best for your Bull Terrier.