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Pet Breed Information for most breeds of dogs and cats
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Bull Terrier Dog Breed Information

Bull TerrierThe Bull Terrier is a breed of dog in the terrier family.


Bull Terriers are thick-set and muscular with a short, dense coat. Acceptable colours are pure white (a dog that is mostly white must be disqualified in the show ring, although dark markings on the head only are permissible) and coloured, which is any colour other than white or any colour with white markings. The AKC specifies that if all other things are equal, the brindle coat is preferred.

This terrier's most distinctive feature is its head, described as 'egg shaped' when viewed from the front, almost flat at the top, with a Roman muzzle sloping evenly down to the end of the nose with no stop. The unique triangular eyes are small, dark, and closely set. The body is full and round, while the shoulders are robust and muscular and the tail is carried horizontally. It walks with a jaunty gait, and is popularly known as the 'gladiator of the canine race'.


Typically the Bull Terrier is an active, interesting, playful, and clownish breed. It can also become very attached to certain family members. The breed is usually amenable for obedience training but can be stubborn and hard to train.


Bull Terriers are generally free of disabling genetic diseases. All puppies should be checked for deafness, as this sometimes occurs and is difficult to notice, especially in a relatively young puppy. A common problem to many Bull Terriers is a tendency to develop skin allergies. Insect bites, such as fleas, and sometimes mosquitoes and mites, can produce a generalized allergic response of hives, rash, and itching. This condition can be stopped by keeping the dog free of contact from these insects, but this is definitely a consideration in climates or circumstances where exposure to these insects is inevitable. Their lifespan is somewhere between 11 and 14 years.


Bull Terriers arose from the old-fashioned Bulldog, crossed with the now extinct Old English Terrier, during the 19th century. Crosses with other breeds doubtless could have occurred.

Pedigrees of Bull Terriers date from the period during which the English Stud books were first written (circa 1874-6). Although the breed was developed from fighting dogs, the Bull Terrier was intended to be a showdog and companion.


  • Although the name causes confusion, Bull Terriers are not related to American Pit Bull Terriers.
  • There is also a miniature version of this breed; this distinct breed is officially known as the Bull Terrier (Miniature).
  • Bull Terriers feature in several movies, including "Oliver!", "The Incredible Journey", "Patton", and Babe: Pig in the City
  • Bull Terriers have also featured in television shows such as the 1970s television show "Baa Baa Black Sheep", in the opening credits of the British television show "Barking Mad", and in the short lived Fox series "Keen Eddie".
  • The Bull Terrier is the only recognized breed with triangular eyes.
  • The Bull Terrier is one of several breeds in which the dog (male) and bitch (female) must have distinctly different appearances.

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