Loyal / Friendly / Playful
Bull terriers are unique dogs. You can distinguish them from other terrier breeds due to their head shape. Many describe it as egg-like. These pups have a personality that matches their looks, being outgoing, funny, and sweet.
Are you thinking about adopting a bull terrier? Keep reading to learn about them.
Bull terriers are the result of blood sports and dog fights in England. They are a mix of bulldogs and the white English terrier. Other “bull and terrier” breeds were introduced around the same time in the 19th century, like the American Staffordshire terrier and American pit bull terrier. Other breeds were added to the mix, like the Spanish pointer, until they ended up with a dog with the strength and agility to never give up. White bull terriers became particularly popular after James Hinks started breeding dogs for that characteristic. These purebred pups became known as “white cavaliers.” Even General George S. Patton owned a bull terrier named Willie. Later, in the 1980s, a bull terrier named Spuds MacKenzie was featured in a Bud Light ad campaign, bringing further attention to the breed. If you want to adopt a bull terrier, you need to learn about this dog’s needs so you can provide a wonderful home for them. Spot Pet Insurance is here to help. We understand how overwhelming becoming a pet parent can be, so we want to lessen some of your load by giving you a cheat sheet of sorts.
What are the two types of bull terrier?
Bull terriers are one of many terrier breeds, but there are also two subsets of bull terriers. There are standard bull terriers and miniature bull terriers.
As you have probably guessed, the standard bull terrier is the original bull terrier. They are the larger of the two types, and they can be a bit more stubborn and aggressive than their smaller cousin.
Miniature bull terriers are the smallest bull terrier. They look the same as a bull terrier, and the only differences are in height and temperament. They are much more eager to make you proud.
- Miniature: 10-14 inches
- Standard: 21-22 inches
- Miniature: 18-28 pounds
- Standard: 50-70 pounds
- Miniature: 11-13 years
- Standard: 12-13 years
What are the potential health problems for bull terriers?
Both dogs and humans can become ill due to a gene inherited from their parents. Bull terriers are no exception. Some conditions include compulsive behaviors and heart complications. Reputable breeders should screen for these issues, but they can still come up.
What is it?
Bull terriers can be born with a gene that leads to the deterioration of the kidneys. Due to the deterioration, the body can no longer properly process the liquids that enter the system. Unfortunately, when symptoms start to appear, it usually means that your pup is close to leaving this earth.
This disease is incurable. Since symptoms can occur at any time, whether your pup is young or old, it is best to test them when they are young so that affected pups are not bred.
% Dogs affected:
- Drinking excessively
- Weight loss
What is it?
A dog with Patellar Luxation will have difficulty walking properly because their kneecaps keep sliding out of place. The scientific term for a kneecap is “patella,” and luxation refers to the kneecap’s movement. This can be caused by various deformations in the leg, but the condition is usually genetic.
% Dogs affected:
- Skipping or hopping with one leg raised
- Kicking said leg out to pop the kneecap into place
- In more severe cases, surgery
- In less severe cases, arthritis medication
- Intermittent lameness
- Kneecaps that are unstable
Average Vet Bill
What is it?
Some bull terriers have a genetic predisposition to being deaf. There are two different types of deafness in bull terriers. A pup that is unilaterally deaf can hear in one ear but not the other. A dog that has bilateral deafness is deaf in both ears.
Deafness is not a life-threatening issue, but it does present some issues, especially when it comes to dog training and their personality. If a dog has unilateral deafness, they may be easier to train than a dog who is deaf in both ears.
% Dogs affected:
Need to test the pup to find out
- Behavioral problems
How do bull terriers interact with their families?
Bull terriers are very loving towards their families, especially mini bull terriers. They’re affectionate, joyful, and love nothing more than to make you laugh. These fun-loving dogs are natural comedians.
They are very loyal to their family, and they are sweet and kind to the people they love. If you’re looking for a good companion with a sense of humor, a bull terrier fits the bill.
- Are bull terriers good with kids?
If you have small humans running about the house, you need to consider whether your pup will be good around these kids.
As a playful, high-energy breed, bull terriers are pretty good with kids. They may not tolerate certain behaviors, but they will love having someone to play with.
- How are bull terriers around other dogs?
With proper socialization, your bull terrier might behave well when meeting new dogs, but they don’t really tend to warm up very quickly to strange dogs. They are much better at interacting with humans.
You also need to watch your bull terrier around smaller dogs since these terriers can be bullies toward smaller dogs.
Bull terriers do have a high prey drive, so you’ll have to keep a careful eye on smaller pets to ensure they’re safe.
- How do bull terriers react to strangers?
Some dogs love making new friends, while others would like strangers to stay as away from them as possible.
The bull terrier can be fairly friendly towards strangers. They don’t mind meeting new humans. After all, their owner is pretty cool. This could also vary depending on whether your pup is a rescue and their experiences, though.
- Are bull terriers smart?
Both types of bull terriers are fairly intelligent. The bull terrier is even described as mischievous or cunning when they want to be. Since both breeds are smart, they need mental stimulation.
You can help your bull terrier exercise their mind by teaching them tricks, training them to complete agility courses, or even giving them tracking challenges. They will enjoy spending time with you and getting to exercise their minds.
- Are bull terriers easy to train?
Since the mini bull terrier and the standard bull terrier are smart, they quickly pick up tricks. The mini bull terrier loves learning from you, and they want to make you proud of them, so they will learn quicker than their larger cousin.
Some Mini Terrier parents said they respond well to a clicker when training.
Standard bull terriers are a lot more stubborn. They won’t learn unless they want to, so you have to be a bit sneakier. Bribing them with treats might help, as well as making the training into a game.
What is a bull terrier’s coat like?
Bull terriers have smooth, short coats that shed an average amount of hair.
Potential bull terrier coat colors:
We have listed the AKC standard colors, but many more possible combinations are available.
- White and brindle
- White and black brindle
- White, black, and tan
- Black Brindle
- Red and white
Are bull terriers hypoallergenic?
No, bull terriers are not hypoallergenic.
What does grooming look like for a bull terrier?
They should be brushed weekly, and their ears and teeth will need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Their nails should also be clipped often.
What is the lifetime care cost of a bull terrier?
The lifetime care cost of a bull terrier is $24,767-$61,093.
How to be the best pet parent for a bull terrier?
Bull terriers are very devoted to their owners, so their owners should be very devoted to them.
Part of being a good pet parent is providing for your pup physically by giving them food, grooming them, and taking them for walks, but few people consider the mental side of things. Dogs can have different personalities, just like people.
A dog’s personality will affect how much time you need to spend with them. Some dogs are very clingy, while other dogs are more independent. You should take the personality of the bull terrier and consider whether you would be able to return the favors they give to you.
How much does a dog or puppy cost?
Adoption fee: $50-$2,000
[Expense: first year, following years]
Food: $300-$444, $300-$444
Water/food bowls: $20, N/A
Collars and IDs: $25-$35, N/A
Leashes: $15, $0-$15
Dog bed and crate: $105-$205, N/A
Toys: $90-$155, $0-$155
Vaccines and routine care: $1,092-$2,928, $1,092-$2,928
Heartworm and flea prevention: $420-$816, $420-$816
Total: $2,067-$4,618, $1,812-$4,358
Basic training and behavior etiquette for your dog
- Bull terriers need to be trained in basic commands like sit, stay, and come, as well as more advanced ones, to help keep their minds stimulated.
- Terriers have a tendency to bully smaller dogs, so if you see such behavior, it should be stopped and corrected.
- If pet owners work on early socialization when dogs are still young, they will be more used to being polite to strangers, whether dog or human, when you’re out.
- Mini bull terriers are good learners, so you can teach them well by being gentle and firm.
- Standard bull terriers should be taught through innovation and fun. Otherwise, they might become bored and refuse to learn.
What type of foods should a bull terrier never eat?
If you are an enterprising cook or have a habit of accidentally leaving food out on the counter, you’re probably thinking about what kinds of foods could negatively affect your pups.
Some foods that your dog definitely should avoid are:
- Onions and related vegetables, which you can learn more about here
- Grapes and raisins
- Toxic mushrooms
- Wild cherries
- Yeast dough
There are many other foods that your dog shouldn’t eat, but we’ve listed a few of the big ones. You should also watch for potential stomach issues since they can be a sign of food allergies.
Exercising tips to keep your dog to stay fit and healthy
The standard bull terrier will respond well to long walks and playing games. Another good way to help them exercise both mentally and physically is by training them to run on a track, go through agility courses, and complete obedience training.
Bull terriers also like to run around, so if you have a fenced-in yard, it might be a great place to let your bull terrier get in some daily exercise.
Bull terrier lifestages
Puppy: Birth to 12 months. Small and cute, bull terrier puppies are energetic and grow fast. If you adopt a Mini Terrier puppy, you need to regulate their exercise. They grow so fast that it can cause sudden lameness.
Adult: 1-10 years. Adult bull terriers, both Mini and Standard, have reached their full size, so there’s no more need to worry about how much a Mini exercises. These dogs are comical and fun to have around since their goal is to entertain.
Senior: 10 years to end of life. They may be getting on in years, but senior bull terriers still have that winning personality and affectionate nature.