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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Bull Terrier


Bull Terrier Facts

  • Group
  • Terrier
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 21" - 22"
  • Weight
  • 45-65 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 14 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • High - This breed requires vigorous daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Difficult to Train
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • White
    • Tri-color (white/tan/black)
    • Black / Brindle
    • Fawn
    • Red
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Can be trained as a watch dog or guard dog
    • Can be trained for defense
    • Good with children
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

bullies, bull and terrier, English bull terrier


The Bull terrier originated in Birmingham, England.

Date Of Origin

This breed was developed in 1835.


The Bull terrier was established by James Hinks, probably by mating the Bulldog with the now extinct white English terrier, then by crossing this mix with a Spanish pointer. It was originally known as a bull and terrier. Although it was known as a fierce dog fighter it was not supposed to provoke a fight.


The bull terrier is a muscular, medium size dog with a distinctive egg shaped head. The nose is black and its dark eyes are small, triangular shaped and sunken. The ears are close together, small and naturally erect. The body is round with a deep, broad chest and well boned legs. The tail is short and tapered. It has a short smooth coat and the preferred color is brindle.


The bull terrier is friendly, playful and affectionate with humans. It is a good guard and very lively and busy. It may be aggressive toward other animals. If not well socialized it can be food and toy possessive and reactive to provocation. Well socialized bull terriers do fine with children and small animals, but two males generally will not get along.


Born to be a courageous gladiator, it was later used as guardian of flocks, mouse hunter, companion dog, and bodyguard/watchdog.

Health Concerns

Deafness, heart problems, renal problems, ski allergies, spinning disorder.

Additional Information

In Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist, Bill Sykes owns an English Bull Terrier named Bullseye. Also,
Kirk Hammett of the thrash metal band Metallica has a bull terrier named Darla.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle


Publisher: WikiMedia Foundation, On Going

Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/

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