Facts about Bull Terrier Puppies

Did you just bring home a new Bull Terrier puppy and want to learn more about the breed?

Maybe you are thinking about buying a puppy and want to know if this is the right breed of dog for you and your family?

No matter what your situation may be, you will find the answers to your questions right here!



Breed History

The breed as we know it today began emerging in the early 1800s from crosses between the Bulldog and various terriers. Early Bull and Terrier breeds were very popular, especially among bullfighting crowds, but didn't look anything like the modern Bull Terrier.

These early crosses combined natural agility and intensity of the terrier with strength, courage, and tenacity of the Bulldog. Depending on how they were bred, some dogs were more Bulldog-like while others were more terrier-like. There was also great range in size and color.

The modern breed, also referred to as the English Bull Terrier, was developed in the early 1860s by James Hinks of Birmingham, England. He used existing Bull and Terriers, his own white Bulldog, and the now extinct White English Terriers to create the modern Bull Terrier.

Early Bull Terriers were characterized by their pure white coats and were referred to as White Cavaliers. These white Bull Terriers became quite popular not only as show dogs but also as exceptional pets and companions.

Colored Bull Terriers were created in the early 1900s by crossing White Cavaliers with colored Staffordshire Bull Terriers. The colored variety is exactly the same as the white except for coat color, which can't be pure white and if white is present, it can't be the dominant color.

The Bull Terrier has been used as a herder, guard, and watchdog. Early crosses were also used in bull and dog fighting, but these activities were outlawed a long time ago.

Another version of the breed, the Miniature Bull Terrier, is exactly like the standard Bull Terrier but much smaller.

While the AKC treats the standard and Miniature Bull Terriers as two distinct breeds, other clubs treat them as different varieties of the same breed. Again, the only difference between the two is their size.

The standard Bull Terrier was recognized by AKC in 1885 while the miniature version was recognized in 1991.

The breed shares a common ancestor -- the Bulldog -- with the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Physical Characteristics of Bull Terrier Puppies

The Bull Terrier is a strongly built, powerful, and muscular dog.

It has a well rounded body with short but strong back, broad chest, and strong, muscular shoulders. The neck is long and muscular, tapering from the shoulders. The tail is short and should be carried horizontally. It's thick at the base and tapers to a fine point.

Both the front and back legs are big boned. The front legs are of moderate length and straight. The back legs should look parallel when viewed from behind. The feet are round, with cat-like arched toes.

The head is long, oval-shaped, and almost flat at the top. It slopes down to the nose and doesn't have a stop. The thin, small ears are placed close together. The eyes are set close together and well sunken high up on the dog's head. The eye color should be as dark as possible. Blue eyes are an automatic disqualification. The nose is black, with nostrils bending downward.

The glossy coat is short, flat, and feels harsh to the touch. The color can be either all white or any color other than white. The white Bull Terrier is allowed to have non-white markings on the head. The colored Bull Terriers may be black, red, fawn, brindle (the preferred color), black-brindle, and tri-color. White markings are allowed but the white can't be the dominant color.

    Height Weight
  Male 20 - 23 inches 50 - 80 pounds
  Female 20 - 23 inches 50 - 80 pounds


Bull Terriers are fearless, strong-willed, active, fun loving, and clownish. While many consider the breed to be aggressive, it's actually a very friendly dog.

Commotion is a trait which is present in nearly every young Bull Terrier puppy. Many puppies continue to be active and playful until well into middle age (5-6 years), but even adult dogs always like to be doing something. For this reason they fit best into active families where they receive plenty of companionship and attention.

They are loyal, get very attached to their owners, and are good with children. They don't like being neglected or spending extended periods of time alone and may be too energetic for small children, though.

They make good pets, but this breed is not for everyone... It may be somewhat difficult to train and requires firm handling and an owner acting as a leader of the pack. If the Bull Terrier senses any weakness from its owner, he may become willful, protective, and even jealous.

Bull Terriers can be aggressive towards other dogs, especially of the same sex, and shouldn’t live in the same household with non-canine pets. While a well-socialized Bull Terrier should not generally be aggressive, he will not back down from a fight when he is provoked. This breed can definitely benefit from socialization training.

Bull Terriers make good watchdogs but despite their imposing appearance, they were not bred to be guard dogs. However, if he feels the owner is threatened, he will fight to defend the owner.

Best Owner / Living Conditions

With sufficient exercise, the Bull Terrier can adjust to an apartment lifestyle. They prefer warm weather.

This breed is not recommended for all households. It requires an experienced owner willing to spend time with the dog. The owner should also be assertive, lead a relatively active lifestyle, and be patient.

Some Bull Terrier breeders may interview prospective owners to make sure this is the right breed for them.

Activity and Exercise

Like all breeds, the Bull Terrier needs regular exercise, maybe even more than some other breeds, to stay healthy and out of trouble.

Without rigorous exercise, they not only get bored quickly but also have too much energy which often gets them into trouble. Exercise will also help combat weight gain, which is a common problem with Bull Terriers.

They will enjoy running off leash, playing ball and even participating in dog agility. To protect your pet from escaping or getting into fights with other dogs, never leave him off leash in an unfenced area.

While exercise is important, don't overwork young puppies. Too much exercise will put unnecessary strain on their developing muscles and bones.

At a minimum, take your pet for several walks every day.


This breed is an average shedder and is easy to groom. Brush occasionally to remove dead hair. Like most dog breeds, Bull Terriers shed more heavily during spring and fall, so you may want to brush more often during those periods. Bathe or dry shampoo as needed.

Other grooming needs include dental care (learn more about how to brush your dog's teeth), trimming nails, and checking ears for any presence of debris or dog ear mites.

Health Concerns

Like all dog breeds, Bull Terriers are susceptible to complications caused by internal and external parasites such as ticks, fleas, and worms.

Additional health concerns include deafness (more common in white Bull Terriers), heart problems, skin allergies, and obsessive behavior (tail chasing, self mutilation, and excessive licking). Visit dog health problems for more information about dog diseases and health.

Buy only from reputable Bull Terrier breeders to reduce the risk of the above and many other health problems (visit dog breeders to learn how to identify responsible dog breeders).

Even healthy dogs get sick. While many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, there are many others that you may handle on your own. Learn how to save time and money (and how to prevent small problems become big problems) by diagnosing and treating dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for a healthy Bull Terrier puppy is between 12 and 14 years.

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Bull Terrier rescue. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.

Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this Bull Terrier Behavior and Obedience Training Guide.

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