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Bull Terrier
Characteristics, History, and Health

Bull Terrier

The Bull Terrier breed originated in Britain in the early 19th century. Initially bred for bull baiting, a popular form of entertainment in the 1800s, the breed was created by crossing the Old English Bulldog and the Old English Terrier. Once bull baiting was banned, breeders aimed to create a smaller, more agile, and sociable breed, which resulted in the creation of the modern Bull Terrier we know today.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Life Expectancy
12-13 years
Average Male Height
21-22 inches
Average Female Height
21-22 inches
Average Male Weight
50-70 pounds
Average Female Weight
50-70 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Coat Colors
Black Brindle & White, Black Tan & White, Brindle, Brindle & White, Fawn, Fawn & White, Red, Red & White, White, White & Brindle, White & Fawn, White & Red, White Black & Tan, Black Brindle, Red Smut, Red Smut & White, Fawn Smut, Fawn Smut & White, White & Red Smut, White & Fawn Smut, White & Black Brindle
Coat Pattern

Genetic Predispositions and Health

Bull Terriers may suffer from patellar luxation, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL-4A), primary lens luxation, and kidney and heart conditions. Nearly 21 percent of white-coated Bull Terriers are affected by deafness, which emphasizes the importance of hearing tests for this breed. Genetic testing can assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.

Personality and Behavior

Bull Terriers are energetic, brave, and playful. They are known for their unique "egg-shaped" head and small, pointed ears. As a breed, they are generally friendly and have a good-natured disposition. Bull Terriers are also known for their courage, intelligence, and unique personality.

They require regular mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom, as they can become destructive if not properly exercised or engaged. As a terrier, they have a high prey drive and may chase after small animals. They are also known to be stubborn at times, but they are very affectionate and form close bonds with their families.

Due to their energetic nature, they are not recommended for most first-time dog owners. They require a strong, consistent hand in training, and early socialization is critical to help them get along with other pets and people.

Fun Facts

The Bull Terrier was recognized by The Kennel Club (UK) in 1850, the American Kennel Club i(AKC) in 1885, and the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1948.

The AKC, identifies a couple of the famous Bullies of the world, which include General George Patton’s Willy Rufus, the 2006 Westminster winner, and Bullseye, the Target mascot.

They generally do not bark unless there is a good reason, so it's wise to pay attention when they do.