Spotlights

Your Guide to the English Bull Terrier

December 12, 2018

Meet one of our favorite breeds, the English Bull Terrier! Mischievous, energetic, and playful, the English Bull Terrier makes for a loyal and loving companion. Is the English Bull Terrier the right dog for you?

We’ve compiled a deep dive into the traits, temperament, and behavior of this dog so you know exactly what to expect when it comes to adopting an English Bull Terrier!

Height:

51-61 cm (20-24 inches)

Weight:

20-38 kg (44-85 pounds)

Coat:

The coat of the English Bull terrier is extremely short, fine and harsh in texture and is very flat against the body. The English Bull Terrier is known to shed, but their short coats means grooming and care are pretty easy.

Color:

The English Bull Terrier is white or any color with white markings. Brindle, fawn, brown and tan are common colors, with or without white markings.

Appearance:

The English Bull Terrier’s most recognizable 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 triangle-shaped eyes are small, dark, and deep-set.

The body is full and round, while the shoulders are robust and muscular and the tail is carried horizontally. Bull terriers are known to have more muscle than any other breed of dog pound for pound. It walks with a jaunty gait and is popularly known as the ‘gladiator of the canine race’.

Temperament:

Though the Bull Terrier was once a fierce gladiator, it is much gentler today. However, it will certainly defend its owner in a truly critical situation. Bull terriers are known to be courageous, scrappy, fun-loving, active, clownish and fearless. The Bull Terrier is a loyal and polite dog, becoming very attached to their owners. Bull Terriers thrive in an active family environment.

The Bull Terrier thrives on firm, consistent leadership and affection and makes a fine family pet. Bull Terriers like to be doing something and fit in well with active families where they receive a great deal of companionship and supervision.

They do not do well in situations where they are left alone for 8 hours a day. This breed can be a wonderful pet if very thoroughly socialized and trained, but not recommended for most households. Bull Terriers are friendly with both grown-ups and children, but if they do not get enough physical and mental exercise they may be too energetic for small children. Children should be taught how to display leadership towards the dog. Meek owners will find them to become very protective, willful, possessive and/or jealous. Bull Terriers may try to join into family roughhousing or quarrel.

This breed must be given a lot of structure. Be sure to socialize them well and remain their pack leader 100% of the time, otherwise, they can be extremely aggressive with other dogs. Unaltered males may not get along with other male dogs. Males and females can live together happily and two females can also be a good combination with care and supervision. They are not recommended with other non-canine pets such as hamsters and guinea pigs. They make excellent watchdogs.

Health:

The average lifespan of this breed is between 10-14 years. Like all dogs, there are genetic and health problems found in the English Bull Terrier breed. The most common health conditions include:

  • Patellar luxation – dislocated kneecaps, common in most medium to small breeds.
  • Skin Allergies – prone to flea and environmental allergies.
  • Zinc Deficiency – Lethal Acrodermatitis, seen by small birth weights and sizes, skeletal deformities, sores, fading of the coat and failure to grow.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – prone to activities such as chronic tail chasing, scratching, chewing, anxiety type behaviors.
  • Deafness – all-white Bull terriers are prone to either being born deaf or going deaf very shortly after birth.

The English Bull Terrier can make for a great, loving pet so long as you’re prepared for their personal needs. To read about other dog breeds and training tips, check out our Spotlights blog page.