Family Pet Guide > Dogs > Terrier > Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier

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Size: Medium (25 to 60 lbs.)
Lifespan: Long (12 to 15+ years)
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Bull Terriers are outgoing, friendly, playfully comic dogs that are best suited to an experienced dog owner. Bull Terriers are a smart and energetic breed that need lots of mental and physical exercise regularly (owners have said a Bull Terrier pup is "indistinguishable from a 3 year old child in a dog suit"). They are affectionate and docile dogs that love to be around their people (some say to the point of neediness), and are great with kids. Bull Terriers have a high pain threshold, which keeps them from biting defensively, but could mean injuries will go unnoticed for a period of time before you realize your dog needs your attention or veterinary care. Bulls are genuine guard dogs and will guard your home while you're away, but are good with strangers they've met with their owners, so pet or house sitters should have no problems. Because these smart dogs are such hams, Bulls are frequently trained to "act" in movies, TV shows, and commercials. The most famous of all Bull Terriers was Spuds Mackenzie, the official Bud Light mascot for much of the 1980s.

General Care

Bull Terriers are an extremely active breed of dog that needs a family or retired person who has plenty of time and energy for them. Their short coat sheds only twice a year, and requires little brushing and infrequent bathing. Bulls tend to maintain their puppy playfulness until they are 5 or 6 years old, so be ready for a long and active dog training span. These strong, willful dogs need careful obedience training, and are nearly impossible to completely housebreak. Bulls also need the proper doses of exercise, attention, and mental stimulation or else they will tear your house apart. Also, Bulls are naturally protective of their owners and form tight bonds, so they can become rough with strangers and may interfere in family fights, knocking or biting if they feel someone is being hurt. Bulls are also known to get jealous, and need to be supervised around other pets. Bull Terriers have few common health problems, the most common of which are skin irritations (allergies) and deafness, although a pup from an unreputable breeder may develop lameness in its first year. Bulls are known to be greedy, though, so keep a careful eye on your Bull Terrier to prevent obesity.

For more information on Bull Terrier ownership and care, check out the Bull Terrier Club of America.

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