Bull Terrier is descended from the old White English Terrier. Crossed with the old English Bulldog, Spanish Pointer, and some say even Dalmatian, this Bull Terrier was a gentleman’s dog and was called the White Cavalier. The dog was friendly and mannerly but would not refuse if a challenge was thrown her way. The breed went through many changes during its development, and many people were instrumental in bringing these changes about. James Hicks is credited with producing all-white dogs, or dogs who were all white with a patch of colour on the head. Ted Lyon brought about the coloured Bull Terriers, especially the brindle. Harry Monk has been given credit for producing dogs with the preferred tulip ear. Monk also worked to produce the egg-shaped head for which the breed is now known. Billie Tuck worked to perfect that skull shape. The Bull Terrier today may not look like the dogs of 150 years ago, but the breed is unique and handsome.
The Bull Terrier today is a muscular, athletic dog standing between 21 and 22 inches tall and weighing between 45 and 65 pounds. (The Miniature Bull Terrier is a separate breed.) The distinguishing characteristic of this dog breed is the egg-shaped head. Seen in profile, the head curves downward from between the ears to the nose. The body is strong and fit, with a deep, broad chest and a short coat.
The white Bull Terrier variety is all white, although patches of colour on the head are allowed. The coloured Bull Terrier variety is predominantly another colour (brindle is preferred), with or without white markings. This breed should be brushed twice a week with a soft bristle brush.
Bull Terriers are quite playful. They love to play games, chase toys, and, as very social dogs, will encourage you to walk every day. The Bull Terrier dog breed is known for its ability to chew, however, so toys for their games must be chosen wisely. All exercise should be within a fenced yard or on leash. If a Bully takes off after a squirrel, she could easily run off, become lost, or be hit by a car.
Obedience and socialisation classes are a must for Bull Terriers. Proper training will provide good manners, socialisation skills, and bond the dog to you. The Bull Terrier must be handled firmly but with patience and positive reinforcement. Although the Bull Terrier has a much different look from most other terriers, she is still very much a terrier. She is active, intelligent, sometimes stubborn, and quite independent when she wants to be. Continued training into adulthood can help channel those characteristics.
This dog breed will thrive in a busy home where people will spend time with her. Although Bull Terrier puppies can be quite rough and rambunctious, adults are great with kids—playful and tolerant. When raised with them, she will be good with the family cat but will chase any stray cats who come into her yard. She may try to hunt smaller pets. Male Bull Terriers are often intolerant of other male dogs. Health concerns include deafness; kidney, heart, and knee problems; and allergies.