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Bull Terrier

Bull-Terrier

A Loving Watchdog

Quirky, bold, playful

Bull Terriers are entertaining, lively, and loyal, large dogs. This comedic breed is a bit reserved with other animals, but affectionate and devoted to children and their family. Bull Terriers are active dogs, but can live in apartments and small homes as long as they aren’t left alone for long periods of time. These sturdy dogs make great companions for families, active individuals, and those who enjoy the outdoors. Sometimes known as Bullys, they make good hiking and jogging buddies to fulfill their daily exercise needs.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:21-22 in. Height:50-70 lb Lifespan:11-13 years

Size
3

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
1

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
4

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
1

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
3

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
3

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine care: They are smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. They have a high prey drive, so they need to be leash walked and a sturdy fence for them is a must. Terriers often don't get along well with other dogs; slow dog introductions are recommended.

Grooming: They have low grooming needs. Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Bull Terriers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how.

Tireless playmates, Bull Terriers love kids; however, their high energy and stocky build can be too much for small children.

Positive Traits:

  • Quirky, entertaining personality

  • Playful and energetic

  • Lively, with a friendly personality

  • Protective of family: good watch dog

  • Bold, steady, and fearless

  • Loving and loyal to his owners

Negative Traits:

  • Needs frequent attention from their family

  • Needs a lot of activity and mental stimulation to avoid boredom vices

  • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

  • Might be bossy and overprotective if not well socialized early

  • Strong prey drive—will chase and grab things that run, including cats and children

  • Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much

Whether you are considering adding a new Bull Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Bull Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Bull Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues a Bull Terrier could encounter:

  • Allergies

  • Dry Eye

The first examples of the Bull Terrier were all white and originated in Britain in the 1800's. The colored version was created by cross-breeding with a brindle Staffordshire in the early 1900's. They were created as pit fighters but are now bred for companionship. They are known for their large egg-shaped head and their tendency to grumble and groan when vocalizing. Bull Terriers are a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 11-13 years. They can suffer from some common conditions such as allergies and kidney disease. Early detection is the key to a long and happy life, so be sure to schedule routine checkups.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Bull Terrier shows signs of the following:

  • Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Redness, squinting or greenish eye discharge

  • Cloudiness to eye lens 

  • Red blob at the corner of the eye

  • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

  • Louder than normal panting, especially when hot or after exercise

  • Repetitive, compulsive whirling

  • Bruises easily or bleeds a lot from a small wound

  • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

  • Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

  • Stunted growth, reddened skin

  • Leg stiffness, reluctance to rise, sit, use stairs, run, jump, or “bunny hopping”

  • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

  • Dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairless patches on face or paws

  • Care

    Routine care: They are smart dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. They have a high prey drive, so they need to be leash walked and a sturdy fence for them is a must. Terriers often don't get along well with other dogs; slow dog introductions are recommended.

    Grooming: They have low grooming needs. Brush their coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Bull Terriers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how.

  • Characteristics

    Tireless playmates, Bull Terriers love kids; however, their high energy and stocky build can be too much for small children.

    Positive Traits:

    • Quirky, entertaining personality

    • Playful and energetic

    • Lively, with a friendly personality

    • Protective of family: good watch dog

    • Bold, steady, and fearless

    • Loving and loyal to his owners

    Negative Traits:

    • Needs frequent attention from their family

    • Needs a lot of activity and mental stimulation to avoid boredom vices

    • Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

    • Might be bossy and overprotective if not well socialized early

    • Strong prey drive—will chase and grab things that run, including cats and children

    • Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Bull Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Bull Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Bull Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues a Bull Terrier could encounter:

    • Allergies

    • Dry Eye

  • History

    The first examples of the Bull Terrier were all white and originated in Britain in the 1800's. The colored version was created by cross-breeding with a brindle Staffordshire in the early 1900's. They were created as pit fighters but are now bred for companionship. They are known for their large egg-shaped head and their tendency to grumble and groan when vocalizing. Bull Terriers are a generally healthy breed with an average lifespan of 11-13 years. They can suffer from some common conditions such as allergies and kidney disease. Early detection is the key to a long and happy life, so be sure to schedule routine checkups.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Bull Terrier shows signs of the following:

    • Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Redness, squinting or greenish eye discharge

    • Cloudiness to eye lens 

    • Red blob at the corner of the eye

    • Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    • Louder than normal panting, especially when hot or after exercise

    • Repetitive, compulsive whirling

    • Bruises easily or bleeds a lot from a small wound

    • Swollen lymph nodes or glands, unexplained weight loss

    • Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

    • Stunted growth, reddened skin

    • Leg stiffness, reluctance to rise, sit, use stairs, run, jump, or “bunny hopping”

    • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

    • Dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairless patches on face or paws

Bull Terrier Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Bull Terrier breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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