Dog Breed Profile: Bull Terrier

Little Bull Terrier
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Bulldog/terrier crosses were popular sporting dogs during the 19th century. These "Bull-and-Terrier dogs" varied in appearance, but some of today's dog breeds were developed out of these crosses. The Bull Terrier was one of them.

Englishman James Hinks is credited with the development of the Bull Terrier. By crossing the Bulldog with the English White Terrier (now an extinct breed), he created a solid white dog that was referred to as the White Cavalier.

Over time, colored markings were permitted in the breed. Later, crossing with Staffordshire Bull Terriers created Bull Terriers with predominant colors other than white.

The Bull Terrier was brought to the US towards the end of the 19th century and was officially recognized by the AKC in 1885.


Weight: 50-70 pounds
Height: About 21-22 inches at the shoulder


Can be seen nearly any color including white, red, fawn, black, blue or brindle (or a combination of these). All colors may be with or without white markings. Predominantly white dogs may or may not have colored markings on the head.

Health Problems:

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to develop hereditary conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

About the Breed:

The Bull Terriers, sometimes called "Bullies," are medium to large sized dog with muscular, athletic bodies. One of the Bull Terrier's most memorable physical features is the rounded front of its head.

This breed was made especially back in the 1980s when a Bull Terrier named Spuds Mackenzie starred in Budweiser commercials. Some may feel that Bullies are tough-looking, but this breed is actually highly affectionate, playful and even goofy. In fact, the breed is often called a "kid in a dog suit."

The extremely short, smooth coat of the Bull Terrier requires very little maintenance. Only basic routine grooming is necessary. This breed tends to shed at a low to moderate rate, though shedding does increase seasonally.

Thorough obedience training is absolutely essential in order to manage your Bull Terrier. This dog breed can be stubborn and mischievous, sometimes even destructive. In addition to training, this breed needs a proper outlet for its high level of energy. The Bull Terrier is an athletic dog breed with plenty of energy, so routine exercise is very important.

Overall, Bull Terriers have friendly, playful dispositions and make lovely companions for many types of households. Bullies tend to get along remarkably well with children when properly trained and socialized. However it may take time for this breed to get along with other pets. If raised together, well-trained and closely supervised, they can learn to get along beautifully.

Bullies are very affectionate and tend to bond closely with their owners. If you are active, patient and able to provide plenty of one-on-one affection to your dog, the Bull Terrier could be the dog breed for you.

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