Dog Health & More
The Bull Terrier was originally developed in the 19th century as a fighting dog and, later, a fashionable companion for gentlemen, but these days he's a family companion and show dog. He's a dog breed distinguished by his long, egg-shaped head.
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If you remember the late 1980s, you probably recall the Budweiser commercials featuring a Bull Terrier named Spuds Mackenzie, whose sly grin and on-screen antics turned the breed into a pop icon. Many people were captivated by the breed's unique head, muscular build, and fun-loving nature. After the ads aired, the Bull Terrier's popularity soared.
Nicknamed "the kid in a dog suit," the Bull Terrier is active and friendly, as well as being one of the clowns of the dog world. He has a larger-than-life personality that ranges from intelligent and innovative — not always the most desirable qualities in a dog — to placid and loyal. He also comes in a smaller version — the Miniature Bull Terrier — who shares the same attributes.
Life with a Bull Terrier is always an experience. He's a "busy" dog from puppyhood well into middle age. The Bull Terrier isn't content to spend long periods alone day after day; he wants to be with his people, doing what they're doing. He does best with an active family who can provide him with plenty of energetic play. He also needs someone who will consistently (but kindly) enforce the house rules. Otherwise, he'll make up rules of his own. For that reason, he's not the best choice for timid owners or people who are new to dogs.
Like most terriers, Bull Terriers (unneutered males in particular) can be aggressive toward other animals, especially other dogs. To be well-behaved around other canines, they need early socialization: positive, supervised exposure to other dogs that begins in early puppyhood and continues throughout life. Cats and other furry animals who enter their territory should beware.
Because they can be rambunctious, Bull Terriers aren't recommended for homes with younger children, but with older kids they're tireless playmates. They enjoy vigorous daily exercise and can be highly destructive if they're bored. Successfully training a Bull Terrier calls for patience, confident leadership, and consistency.
Some cities and states have restrictions on or ban ownership of Bull Terriers, and you should be aware of your local laws before you bring your Bull Terrier home.
If you're ready to take on the challenge of a Bull Terrier, you'll find him to be an affectionate, loyal companion who's always ready to entertain you — he's been known to make even the most serious of people giggle — or go on an adventure. One thing's for sure: life with this breed will never be dull.