The Bull Terrier is a relatively new breed, the origins began in the 1800s. Animal blood sports were popular at the time and the aim of the breeders was to create a dog that had the tenacity of a bulldog with a bit more speed. The English White Terrier, which is now extinct, the Bulldog and the Dalmatian were the main breeds used to create the Bull Terrier. It is also thought that Greyhounds, Spanish Pointers, Collies, Borzoi, Foxhounds and Whippets may have also been used in creating the breed. James Hinks is considered the orginal breeder of the Bull Terrier and presented the ‘New Bull Terrier’ at a Birmingham show in 1862.
In the late 1800s, a white coated variety of the breed became popular as a pet among high class families. The Bull Terriers who had to work for their supper found employment as guard dogs and herders. As time went on some health problems were noticed in all white Bull Terriers, so colour was introduced. To begin with the coloured Bull Terriers were considered a separate breed, but today white and coloured Bull Terriers are mostly accepted as one breed.
The Bull Terrier is a compact dog with a whole lot of muscle! Their backs are short and strong, their shoulders are big, and their necks are long. They average about 51 to 61 cm in height and 20-38 kg in weight.
Their heads are particularly distinctive, taking on an egg shape when seen from the front, they have a sloping muzzle with no stop and small, triangular shaped eyes, giving off the appearance that they’re laughing (which is possibly part of the reason they’re called a “mischievous” breed).
There are two different colour varieties of this breed: the White Bull Terrier and the Coloured Bull Terrier. A White Bull Terrier might have some colour on his head, but no where else. Coloured Bull Terriers are usually red, brindle or tri-colour. Their coat is very short, and does not feel particularly soft.
Today the breed is seen as a comical, energetic pet best suited for owners who have experience in dog training. Bull Terriers have come a long way from their beginnings as fighting dogs. Today’s Bull Terriers are lively and fun loving, but not really fighters. If they sense that their owners are in some danger they will definitely step in, but chances are good they won’t start any fights.
This breed is most known for their energetic, clownish behaviour. They require a lot of time and attention to be happy. They do well with active families, but in many cases are a little too energetic for children to handle. The breed requires their owners to show a strong dominant attitude. If the dog senses that he has a meek and mild owner the dog will decide that he has to take over and pack leader and can become very protective, possessive and jealous.
The major health problem that the breed is subject to is deafness. Every puppy of this breed should be checked for this problem, as it can be difficult to diagnose without a vet’s assistance. 20% of White Bull Terriers are deaf. The coloured variety fares better, with only 1.3% having the problem. This breed is also prone to sensitive skin. Insect bites can cause allergic reactions and can be a very itchy and uncomfortable problem for a Bull Terrier, so preventative measures should be taken.
A Bull Terrier whose owner does not show a strong pack member mentality can end up being very aggressive towards other dogs. If the dog has been well socialized, however, they can usually get along just fine with other canines. However, it is not recommended that they mix with other mammal pets like cats and rabbits.