The Bull Terrier is also known as English Bull Terrier and it obviously belongs to the terrier family of dog breeds. Its pretty much impossible to swap this breed with any other, due to its absolutely typical egg-shaped head and the general “face” appearance. Bull Terrier is one of those dogs that are constantly under the radar due to its proclaimed highly aggressive behavior. But based on the tests performed by the “American Temperament Test Society”, Bull Terriers are no more aggressive towards people than any other dog. Like usually, it comes down to the dog owner and whether he (she) treats the dogs properly.
In my blog, you will find information about the Bull Terriers, as well as photos and videos I liked. I will be writing easy to read articles about this dog breed, so even the very new breeders will find something of interest on this site. Do you own a Bull Terrier? Please send me a photo of your pet so I can share it with other visitors of this site. Thanks.
Bull Terriers were initially bred as fighting and vermin hunting dogs. As their name suggests, they are a combination of a Bulldog and a Terrier, and as such they are brimming with strength and energy. If you want your dog to behave as he should, you have to treat it properly and make sure that his needs are satisfied.
Even though they are quite energetic, they won’t need a lot of planned exercise. They are usually able to spend their energy just running around the house, playing with the people around him and usually also jumping on them, so if you or anyone in your family is not comfortable with this, Bull Terrier might not be a perfect choice for you. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take him out for a walk as often as you can. Although, when walking your Bull Terrier, you might want to use the leash at all times as they can be hostile when they meet other dogs.
If they are inactive for a long time they might get lazy, and if you don’t adjust their diet to their new exercise regime, also quite fat. But that is just the better of two options. The other one is that they can get rather destructive if they are left without an activity to occupy their mind and body. If you leave your Bull Terrier without means of spending his energy he might become bored and restless and start chewing on everything he finds. If you notice that your dog’s behavior has suddenly become unbearable, this might be the cause.
As far as training goes, the earlier you can begin the better. Their history as fighting dogs has made them suspicious of other dogs, which might be a problem. If you want to breed this impulse out of them as far as it is possible, you will want to help them socialize as much as they can with other dogs while they are still young. This might make them more accepting of other dogs in their vicinity, but you should always have Bull Terrier’s nature in mind, and never forget their strong instincts.
You will probably need to teach your dog to sit first, as this will help you get over the jumping problem. A lot of people use exercise and training methods that put them in direct “confrontation” with the dog, such as playing tug of war with him. This might not be the best idea, as the dog might develop domination issues. Instead, let him get his exercise while he is learning to perform the commands.
Always use positive reinforcement as the default training method. Once you get your dog to sit or fetch or whatever it is that you want to teach him to do, reward him with a kind word and a treat. Don’t physically punish your dog, it will only drive a wedge between the two you and make the training all that harder. You want him to respect you, not fear you, even though the dog must know that you and your family members are above him in the “pack hierarchy” he shouldn’t be abused to be made aware of his place.
Bull Terriers have gained a reputation of aggressive and dangerous dogs, but that reputation is not really well deserved. Most of the owners of dogs of this breed describe their pets as “clownish” and “cheerful”, so where does their reputation come from?
Bull Terriers were originally bred as vermin hunters and fighting dogs, this has left them with a strong prey drive and a not always friendly attitude towards other dogs. There were reports of Bull Terriers attacking people, but that was usually done by raging dogs, afflicted with a condition that sometimes occurs in dogs and can have terrible consequences. But generally, Bull Terriers are very friendly and playful with people. They are a very sociable breed and they don’t like being apart from people, specifically their owner, for a long time. They will get restless and anxious if this happens.
Their cheerful nature can be a bit tricky when you consider the fact that it is combined with quite a lot of strength. Even without wanting to, they could hurt a child or an elderly person in the course of play. Bull Terriers are great guard dogs, they will bark to alert their owner of intruders, but it will not try to attack them, the studies of their behavior have shown that they are, under normal circumstances, very unlikely to attack a human being.
Other animals, on the other side, might be at a greater risk. Seeing that they were bred as fighting dogs it is no surprise that they can be quite hostile when other dogs are concerned, especially if that other dog is intruding into the Bull Terrier’s territory. They are thought to rarely instigate a fight themselves if the opponent doesn’t show signs of aggression himself. You need to understand the communication that goes on between your dog and the intruder, once you do, you’ll be able to stop these types of confrontations.
Male Bull Terriers are not particularly well suited to living with other male dogs, especially if they are not neutered. A male and a female and two females will, on the other hand, usually get along just fine. Also, if you have other types of pets, you might want to consider getting a dog with a weaker prey drive. If you have a cat that the dog has already accepted as a member of the family, for instance if the cat was there while he was growing up, Bull Terrier will probably learn to accept it and leave it alone. But that doesn’t mean that he now magically loves all the cats, quite the opposite, all smaller animals that he doesn’t know for a long time should be kept far out of its reach, or they are likely to end up dead.
Bull Terriers are very smart and devoted dogs, this would make them very easy to train, but they can occasionally also be quite strong willed and dominant. If you are an inexperienced dog owner a Bull Terrier might not be a perfect choice for you, you’ll need to assert your dominance and authority, and the dog must be clear about who the boss is.
Despite what you might have heard, Bull Terriers make wonderful pets and are not just for people who want an aggressive dog. They are generally quite cheerful and docile, but you need to treat them properly while they are young if you want them to behave when they are older.
First of all, you need to make sure that your house will be safe for a careless and energetic puppy. Have a crate or, even better an exercise pen set up in a room that will be completely risk free, meaning, no cables for the dog to chew on, no plastic bags lying around, or just generally anything that the dog might choke on.
Once you’ve brought the dog home, place him in his crate, this will let him know that the crate is his “home” and that he is safe there. Tell all the members of the family not to disturb him when he is in his crate. At first the puppy will be scarred and confused with the new surrounding that it was placed into, having a place where it can go and get away from everything will do much for his comfort.
Make sure to feed him three meals a day at regular intervals, he is still developing and needs a lot of nutrients if he is to grow up into a healthy dog. Make sure that you have achieved a relationship in which you are respected as the leader of the pack, don’t ever treat your dog badly, but you must let him know that you and the members of your family, are in command.
It is very important that you socialize your Bull Terrier a lot when he is young. It is true that they are very friendly with people, but they can be hostile towards other dogs, especially the ones that intrude on their territory. Their prey drives are quite strong, so they will also often chase and even kill, smaller animals, that is something that you need to be prepared for.
Food or Diet is one of the most important factors that influence the health and live span of your Bull Terrier. Those who feed their animal with low quality junk food, increase the risk of serious health problems and severe disorders resulting from poor body development. Keep in mind that by saving a few $$$ you can dramatically shorten the life of your dog. Responsible breeders always reach for quality over price. On a side note, poor fed dog with health problems equals to high bill from the veterinarian.
Basically, you have two choices – commercial dry food or raw diet, the final decision is yours. While the commercial dry food is already balanced to contain the majority of important ingredients, it is not so easy when you decide to prepare the food yourself. We do not need to argue that properly prepared home made food is much better for your dog, but not everybody is capable of compiling a quality recipe containing all that your Bull Terrier needs. If you are willing to do your part of research and learning, by all means go for homemade food. For those who are inexperienced or simply too lazy, go and pick some high quality dry dog food.
In case you decided to start preparing homemade food for your Bull Terrier, make sure you did some additional reading. I am no expert in this field so I can only give you a few hints.
- Many people feed their dogs with pure meat which is a big mistake, bones are an important part of the diet. Take caution with poultry bones, they might crush and hurt your dog. The same goes for cooked bones as they can splinter.
- Do not experiment with recipes unless you are an expert. Balanced diet needs to contain many ingredients, minerals or vitamins… without it, your dog could suffer. Better use a recipe compiled by some expert.
- When preparing food for your Bull Terrier based on some recipe, make sure you add all ingredients, failure to do so will result in absence of some important ingredient. Every ingredient has its role and leaving some out will destroy the whole recipe.
Let me say that not all experts and even veterinarians agree that homemade food is better than commercial dry food. Some say it is because they profit on selling dry food themselves, but the final decision is up to you to make.