The Comical Bull Terrier

descriptive textDog breed info
Bull Terrier
Weight: 50 — 70 lbs
Height: 21” — 22”
AKC Rank 2007 #55
Lifespan: 11—14 yrs
Group Terrier
Origin England

Dog Breed Info - The Bull Terrier

Classic, playful Bull Terrier with toy.
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Breed Overview

Origin: 1800’s Original function: Companion. Today, Companion.

Around 1835, a cross between the Bulldog and the old English Terrier produced a particularly adept dog known as the Bull and Terrier which was suppose to be the great “fighting dog.”. Around 1860, crosses of the Bull and Terrier with the White English Terrier were made in an attempt at getting an all-white specimen. They produced an all-white strain they called Bull Terriers. A new all-white strain immediately succeeded and caught the attention of the public. However, there was tendency for the all-white breed to be born deaf. Crosses with the Staffordshire Bull Terriers produced color in the breed. It was not well accepted at first but finally gained equal status as a separate AKC breed in 1936. The white variety still continues to be more popular, but both varieties are still used as show dogs and pets. The comical nature and expression gets them a lot of friends.


Very independent and stubborn. Difficult to train. Use clicker training and positive reinforcement for this dog. He will learn basics, but it may take a professional to do it. This is not a dog for a first time owner.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Bull Terrier puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Bull Terrier puppies can sometimes be difficult to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


The Bull Terrier is exuberant, comical, playful, assertive, and a bit mischievous. This is an imaginative breed that tends to see the world his own way and is stubborn. He needs daily physical and mental exercise, otherwise he will use his powerful jaws in his own creative ways. For all this toughness, this is an extremely sweet natured, affectionate and devoted dog. However, he can be aggressive with other dogs and small animals.

If you happen to get a Bull Terrier with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

No. There can be problems with other dogs. Be careful. It can become aggressive.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Maybe. If the Bull Terrier grows up with other pets, okay.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Maybe. Be careful when around strangers. The Bull Terrier is wary but can adapt so strangers if not thrust upon them.


Very playful. One of the Bull Terrier’s strong points!



Good with children

Older children, 7 and up. No tolerance for little kids.

Good with Seniors over 65?

No. Needs too much exercise.

Living environment

Farm. City OK. Can’t take too much sun (especially the white) or cold, humid climates. Needs to be indoors where it’s warm. Best if this dog has a house with access to a small yard and a doggie door for in-out access.

Energy level

High energy. Rate 8 bars out of 10.

Exercise needs, daily

Lots. Needs two walks or jogging daily plus play time. The Bull Terrier needs good stimulation every day from playing ball, running and so on. This is an active breed.


Excellent. One of this breeds high points.

Guard dog

Very good. Highly protective of family and property.


Yes, some.


Very little care needed. Brush occasionally to clean out dead hair. She’ll love the extra attention.

Bull Terrier Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Bull Terrier puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been VERY well socialized and started in obedience training.
Bull Terrier Breeders with puppies for sale.

Bull Terrier Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Bull Terrier Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Bull Terrier Rescue - (Nationwide) NOTE - At time of this writing, Petfinder is showing only 211 Bull Terriers for adoption in the entire country. You may need to go online and search for Bull Terrier Rescue groups and look for rescue kennels too.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but you may have to do some web surfing and look for local newspaper classified ads. The Bull Terrier Rescue groups are probably the best answer.

Health Issues For The Bull Terrier
Below are potential illnesses or medical problems for the Bull Terrier as provided by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Deafness (especially in white dogs) Hereditary or caused by: Excessive loud noise, Intolerance to anesthesia, drug toxicity, and Otitis (middle ear infection), In some cases, one ear can have no hearing from birth and the other ear can be losing the ability to hear over time, undetected, then suddenly one morning the hearing is totally gone. There is no reversing once that happens.

  • Polycystic kidney disease—Chronic renal (kidney) failure. Caused by a number of things such as parasites like kidney worms, infections, and toxins like vehicle anti-freeze. Symptoms are depression, vomiting, loss of appetite and less (or more) urinating than usual. Because the symptoms are so common, many pet owners tend to overlook the problem and let the illness go too long before seeing the vet when it’s too late to save the dog. It is normally irreversible. Depending on the cause, it may be treatable with medication, liquid therapy, diet, and possibly dialysis. In very rare cases, some vet clinics have done kidney transplants.

  • Lens luxation—Hereditary. Weak fibers holding the lens of the eye allow the lens to dislocate. The eye can not focus. This leads to painful, red eyes that tear a lot and can lead to Uveitis or Glaucoma if not treated right away. If detected early, surgery and medication might solve the problem.

  • Elbow Dysplasia—Dislocated elbow joint. This, as with hip dysplasia, is something the dog is born with. Wear and time in the front legs (elbow joints) cause lameness by the time the Bull Terrier is roughly a year old. If you have a dog prone to this disease, have an early x-ray to see if surgery to the joints will stave off further damage to the joints. Typically, there has been no cure, but recently doctors have come up with some ideas. 1) Keep the weight of your dog down. 2) Use anti-inflammatory medication. 3) Look into injections of stem-cells to help regenerate bone-covering cartilage to cause the bones to line up properly again. (This is new research and some vets may not know about it so ask around.)

  • Mast Cell Tumors—Mast cells are found throughout the body and help maintain the Bull Terrier’s normal immune response, health and body functions. The tumors in question are CANCEROUS and spread through the body. There is no known cause for mast cell cancer and no cure, other than surgery for early-detected, low degree tumors that haven't spread too far. The best formula is to keep the dog as healthy as possible and be aware of any signs of tumors or poor health. Whether the dog survives or not depends on how advanced and fast moving the malignant tumor is.

  • Interdigital dermatitis - An infection occurs between the "toes" of the dog and sacs fill with pus which bothers the dog. She licks and bites at the bothersome infections and after a few days, they break open and drain, giving relief to the dog. All you will see is the dog limping around. Clean and cleanse the infected feet well, see a vet for medication to prevent returning infections and that should do it.

  • Aortic stenosis—Hereditary heart defect. A narrowing of the aorta inhibiting blood flow in the heart, causing the heart to work harder in the Bull Terrier. If the condition is mild, the dog may never show symptoms and live a long life. If severe, the dog will object to exercise, possibly faint at times or experience sudden death. In 90% of the affected dogs, the condition of the heart would not change from around 1 to 2 years on through it’s life.

  • Entropion—Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young, adult dogs. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.

  • Nasal depigmentation - "Pink nose." Cause unknown. The nose and sometimes other areas like around the eyelids turn from normal black to a pinkish color. There are many theories but no answers. It can affect Siberian Huskies. Use protective sun screen cream on the nose and keep the dog out of the direct sun if you can.

  • Ectropion—A hereditary medical problem. The lower eyelid grows outward leaving a gap between the eye and the eyelid. Excessive tearing and conjunctivitis are common signs of the disease but some dogs will have no symptoms. Blunt trauma and/or nerve damage can also cause the problem. If the cornea becomes damaged or if the conjunctivitis becomes chronic, surgery will be necessary.

  • Renal dysplasia—Disease of the kidney. Improper function of the kidney. If you own a Shih Tzu, or other breed prone to this, check twice a year with your vet for kidney function or.... sooner if you observe any unusual symptoms such as... increased drinking, increased or decreased urination, very little color to the urine, depression, loss of appetite, bad odor in breath plus any other unusual behaviors. See vet immediately!

  • Nephritis—Hereditary in the Bull Terrier. Renal or kidney failure. Talk to your vet about this condition.

  • Subvalvular aortic stenosis—Hereditary, possibly a congenital heart disease. An obstruction in the heart causing a murmur. Has been detected at 4 weeks and up to 4 years of age. Newfoundlands Rotties, Goldens, Bull Terriers are named among others. Treatment for very mild cases is do nothing as the dog will live a normal life EXCEPT for accidents and dental work where the heart will be stressed and then antibiotics will be given. For more moderate to severe cases, medication is given but there is a chance of sudden death.

  • Interdigital dermatitis - An infection occurs between the "toes" of the dog and sacs fill with pus which bothers the dog. She licks and bites at the bothersome infections and after a few days, they break open and drain, giving relief to the dog. All you will see is the dog limping around. Clean and cleanse the infected feet well, see a vet for medication to prevent returning infections and that should do it.

  • Mitral stenosis (Mitral valve insufficiency)—Hereditary heart problem. A weak mitral valve allows blood to flow backwards and to simplify this, the net result is an enlarged heart and when the heart can no longer compensate, look for a loss of desire for exercise, trouble breathing, coughing at night and liquid in the lungs. As this progresses, the dog may collapse. There is no cure... but if you act quickly, the vet may be able to make the dog more comfortable with medication and diet.

  • Demodicosis—Demodectic mange—A skin disease known as “Red Mange.” Loss of hair, itching, reddening of skin and areas can become crusty. Sometimes cured with topical creams. May spread. Treatment is in the form of medications.

Other health problems could occur with your Bull Terrier. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.

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