All about the bull terrier

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  • The bull terrier is a big-boned, muscular and well-balanced terrier, known for its distinctive egg-shaped head and pointy ears. They are typically playful, endearing and devoted, with fun, loveable personalities, which thrive on exercise and affection.

    The bull terrier was originally bred in the 19th century as a fighting dog, and was a cross between the bulldog and the English White Terrier, a now-extinct breed due to deafness issues. Since dog-fighting was banned, this terrier breed has developed into a wonderful companion dog and are not typically aggressive.

    A breeder from Birmingham, James Hinks, is credited with refining the breed – he is thought to have added in other breeds, such as the collie and Dalmatian. While bull terriers were traditionally all-white in the breed’s infancy, more colours came in and were valued as it helped to counter the genetic deafness in the all-white dogs.

    Brindle bull terrier

    Although white is the most traditional colour for a bull terrier, the appealing brindle coat is popular

    Bull terrier: fact file

    Kennel Club breed group: terrier

    Size: medium

    Daily exercise: an hour a day

    Coat: short, closely fitting and glossy coat; shedding. Eyes are narrow and triangular, very dark or black, with a piercing glint.

    Colours: bull terriers come in a wide range of colours, originally white but also typically black, brindle, fawn and red with various markings.

    Lifespan: more than 10 years.

    Bark: typically bark less than most terriers, though they will bark for specific reasons.

    Distinctive features: the down-faced, egg-shaped head, and erect pointy ears. A short, low-set tail which tapers to a point.

    Temperament: great dogs with people, they are typically devoted, fun and packed with personality. They are also amenable to discipline – an all-round excellent family dog.

    Things to consider: thanks to their short, glossy coat, this is a low-maintenance dog from a grooming perspective. A once-over with a soft bristle brush (like this bamboo brush on Amazon) or a hound glove, (like this grooming mitt on Amazon), once a week should suffice.

    Training: bull terriers are amenable and while they’re full of fun, they respond well to consistent training and discipline. They can have an obstinate side! They need plenty of mental and physical stimulation, so stock up with best dog puzzle toys, and high-value training treats for games like hide and seek.

    Complete Bull Terrier Training Book | Amazon
    This book covers everything you need to know about this dog breed, from puppy years to old age.

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