The modern Bull Terrier descended from a cross between the Bull dog & White English Terrier & later also with the Dalmatian in the 1850’s by James Hinks of Birmingham, England.
In the 1920’s coloured Bull Terriers became more frequently seen. Coloureds descended by mixing with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and were valuable in the breeding programme as deafness in the all-white dogs became a problem.
Today, Bull terriers are gentler than their ancestors but are still strong fearless dogs. They are affectionate and playful with family members. They also are loyal pets that will guard the family. As with any large or tough breed, proper precautions around strangers, children, and other animals is essential. They are also known as the clown of the dog world.
If not given enough exercise and attention from the owners, Bull terriers can be destructive.
Living With a Bull Terrier:
Because the breed is powerful and some members may have aggressive tendencies, Bull Terriers must be obedience trained, although they do have a tendency to be stubborn which may make training harder. They must also be carefully socialised from a young age. Socialisation requires frequent supervised exposure to other people and pets in the neighbourhood. With proper socialisation and training, Bull Terriers make great family pets.
Bull terriers must be exercised daily by walking on leash or off leash with care and responsibility in mind. They can even get exercised at home with playing.
Because of their stocky build, care must be taken not to overfeed as they can easily become obese.
Standard & Miniature Bull Terrier
They are stocky, muscular and are extremely powerful dogs. The most distinctive feature of the Bull Terrier is its egg shaped head and the only breed to have triangular shaped eyes. Their coat is short and dense. Colours range from: white, black, brindle, red, fawn and tri-colour. They are average shedders.
Life Span: Approx. 10 -14 years.
The bull terrier is recognised as having a hereditary risk of the following conditions in some dogs:
Hereditary deafness, which is caused by a genetic anomaly that accompanies the gene that causes an all-white coat. Deafness is more prevalent within the bull terrier breed than most other breeds, and around 20% of white dogs of the breed suffer from deafness.
Heart murmurs are also common across the breed, and tend to progressively worsen with age, potentially causing heart failure. Aortic stenosis, which narrows the aortic arteries, is also present within the breed and can lead to heart disease.
Atopic allergies have a high occurrence rate across the breed as a whole, and cause a hypersensitivity to certain allergens, such as pollen. This may lead to intense pruritus of the skin, and may cause the dog to scratch themselves to distraction, opening up the possibility of skin damage and infections.
Cutaneous benign histiocytoma, which is a type of cancer, is recognised within the breed.
Luxating patellar, or dislocation of one or both kneecaps is present within the breed, but can usually be corrected with surgery.
Osteochodrosis of the hocks, leading to abnormalities of the cartilage and joints of the hind legs may occur.
Dry eye is also present within a significant number of dogs of the breed.
Neural abnormalities may be present, which lead to partial seizures and unusual behaviour patterns such as obsessive tail chasing, inappropriate fear, or unprovoked aggression in a small number of dogs of the breed.
Miniature Bull Terriers should also be tested for Primary Lens Luxation.
Hereditary renal disease has long been a problem that Bull Terrier breeders are familiar with & work actively to eliminate in breeding lines. Hereditary Nephritis is the more common & well known form of renal disease. It is inherited as an autosomal dominant disease & causes renal failure at variable ages in affected dogs. But a second heritable disease is also a threat which may be less familiar – Polycystic renal disease (cysts in the kidneys) It is a slow progressive, irreversible disease that can result in renal failure.