Bull Terriers are one of the most controversial dogs in the canine world. Originally developed as a fighting dog, the Bull Terrier moved from being a fashionable companion for gentlemen to a family companion and a popular show dog. Popularly nicknamed “kid in a dog suit”, a Bull Terrier is an active and friendly dog with a comical expression due to its egg shaped head. Canine behaviourists and breeders across the world agree to the fact that Bull Terriers have a larger than life personality which makes them intelligent, innovative and at the same time extremely loyal.It was in the early 1980’s that the Budweiser ads made the Bull terriers so popular. The showstopper of the ad was Spuds Mackenzie whose shy grin and a comical expression made the world notice this unique breed. In many countries and cities across the world, there is a restriction on or ban on ownership of Bull Terriers. If you are a proud owner of this majestic breed or if you are planning to get a Bull Terrier as a family pet, you are making an exciting decision, but you will have to ensure that your ownership of a Bull Terrier is compliant with the laws of your city. We bring to you all the aspects that you will have to keep in mind before getting a Bull Terrier so that you are able to provide an environment that develops a healthy dog and a long lasting companionship.History
Historically, Bull terriers were called gladiators simply because of their prowess in the dog fighting ring. They have been known to be a cross between an English Bulldog and a now extinct English terrier, which gives them their unique look. In the 1860s, James Hinks set about creating an all white dog that would become a fashionable companion for gentlemen. Nicknamed as the White Cavalier due to their courage in the dog fighting ring and a friendly disposition towards other people, they became more popular as family pets.It was in 1885 that the first Bull Terrier was registered with the American Kennel Club. It was later in 1897 that a Bull Terrier Club of America was formed. In present times Miniature Bull Terriers hold the 61st rank in popularity among the breeds and varieties registered by the American Kennel Club.Unique Aspects
One of the most unique features of a Bull Terrier is its unique comical egg shaped head and triangular eyes. Their high energy and excitement levels have given them the nickname of “a kid in a suit”.
Bull Terrier has a reputation that precedes their name. So there are a lot of people who believe that they are aggressive breeds that can harm humans but the aggressive streak is slowly being bred out of them and they are turning to be fun and homely dogs. There has been turn around seen in the movies as well.
Bull Terrier has been known for their comical looks and this has given them a place in some of the famous movies as well. This includes It’s a Dog’s life, Incredible Journey, Babe- Pig in the city and Space Buddies. In addition to this there is the face of Target Holdings in the United States.
Celebrity Bull Terrier owners
Bull Terriers caught the fancy of Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth’s daughter and she kept not one but two Bull terriers as pets. Other celebrities that keep a Bull Terrier include Diana Kobzanova, a supermodel. The famous designer Marc Jacobs and even George Smith Patton was a proud owner of a Bull Terrier.
Grooming a Bull Terrier is relatively easy. Blessed with a short flat shiny coat, Bull Terriers can do well with weekly brushing and bathing as required. When it comes to shedding, Bull Terriers are known to shed heavily twice a year. So during this time regular brushing will be required. Dental grooming is also a must for the Bull terriers. Regular brushing will ensure that there is no tartar or plaque buildup and the mouth of the Boxer remains clean and there are no chances of the onset of any periodontal problems. The nails of a Bull terrier tend to grow fast. To avoid any injury to the feet especially during running or playing, it will be advised that the nails of the dog are regularly trimmed and kept short. Cleaning of ears using a ear wipes will also help avoid any ear infections or wax buildup. While grooming, check for any rashes or redness in the skin, especially between the paws and the ears. A good grooming regime begins from an early age. Introducing your dog to dental, grooming and bathing regimes will ensure that the puppy gets accustomed to the routine and is comfortable with it.
Bull Terriers are generally a healthy breed of dog. However, before getting a new puppy it will be advised that all medical history of the parents of the pup is referred to rule out any genetic or hereditary disorder that might inflict the pup. Some of the common health issues that Bull Terriers might be prone are:
Deafness - According to research, Bull Terriers, since they are white in colour are prone to deafness. Studies have shown that Bull terriers may be born deaf either in one ear or both. In case your dog is deaf or has become deaf overtime, do not breed them.
Hereditary Nephritis - It is a severe form of hereditary kidney disease that inflicts Bull terriers. It may be caused due to underdeveloped kidneys or the malfunction of kidneys leading to high levels of protein in the urine. Nephritis can be fatal for the Bull Terriers and it may lead to renal dysplasia.
Heart Disease - For reasons unknown, Bull terriers are prone to developing heart conditions such as heart murmur. This may be caused due to a defect in the heart structure or function.
Skin Infections - Bull Terriers have sensitive skin and are prone to rashes, sores and irritations. Many Bull Terriers require long term antibiotic regime to keep skin problems at bay.
Spinning - It is the obsessive tail chasing which may be either due to boredom or simply because the dog may be having a seizure.
Bull Terriers have a larger than life personality and do not do well in households where they are left alone for longer period of time. Bull Terriers will do well in families where there is a lot of activity and the dog gets a firm yet gentle handling. Bull terriers are known to be a little aggressive and hence do not do well in households with little children. However with grown up children, they make excellent playmates. Miniature Bull terriers are a loyal, courageous, fun loving, clownish, fearless and an obedient dog. They crave for human companionship and thrive to please their owners. Due to their high energy levels, Bull Terriers require vigorous and regular exercises to expend their energy levels. So as a pet parent you will have to work on a strict and rigorous exercise schedule else the dog may become destructive inside the house. Like all dog breeds, early socialisation with children, other human beings and pets will ensure a well developed and gentle temperament.Environment
Bull terriers do extremely well in both apartment and large houses. However, pet parents who live in an apartment will have to ensure that their dog is getting ample amount of exercise everyday to expend the excess energy and to stay healthy. In case you live in a house with a yard, a tall fence would be apt so that the dog does not go exploring the neighbourhood. They are very sensitive to extreme heat and cold. So if you live in areas with extreme temperatures, extra precaution will have to be taken for regulating temperature so that your dog does not fall ill.Training & Intelligence
Considered one of the intelligent and proud breeds, Bull Terriers do well with a strict training regime. First time owners of a Bull Terrier may want to seek professional help from Canine behaviorists or Dog Trainers to ensure that a comprehensive training regime is designed for the dog that keeps them engaged and expends their energy. All forms of training for your Bull Terrier puppy should start at an early age. It will be imperative for new pet parents to start house training as soon as the puppy arrives so that there are fewer incidents inside the house.
Bull terriers are a healthy and sturdy breed and become mature by the age of 18 months. If you are going to mate and breed your Bull Terrier, make sure that you understand thoroughly the medical histories of his / her mating partner and also the medical history of the Bull Terriers parents so make sure that they are not suffering from any serious genetic disorder that may be deterrent to the overall growth of the new puppies. If you are a first time pet parent, seek medical advice to ensure that the mating and breeding process is comfortable for both the dogs.Puppies
An average litter size of a Boxer varies between 4 - 6 puppies with an average life expectancy of 10 - 12 years. When the puppies are born, it will be imperative to vaccinate them and to train them from early on as they are extremely active and if not monitored may destroy furniture and other things that might catch their attention.
A bull terriers most distinctive feature is its comical egg shaped head. The top of the head is almost flat while the profile curves downwards from the top of the skull to the tip of the nose. The under jaw is deep and strong. The unique triangular eyes are dark and deep set. A full grown Bull terrier male will stand anywhere between 51 cms - 61 cms and weighs between 20 - 36 kgs. The coat of a Bull Terrier is short, flat and shiny and may be in two varieties - white or coloured.