Bull Terrier

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50-60 lbs
Bull and Terrier, White Cavaliers

The Bull Terrier breed is a loving and loyal family dog and companion today, however, when it originated, the breed was used for dog fighting and later for guarding, ratting and herding.  The breed originated with the crossing of Bulldogs and a now extinct breed called the Old English Terrier and was later crossed with a white Bulldog and white English Terriers to obtain a white Bull Terrier.  The white Bull Terrier became a gentleman’s companion and earned the nickname of White Cavalier as they rode in the carriages of English gentry. The Bull Terrier sports a football-shaped head and a muscular body with a swagger that really gets attention.  He has become a loyal and loving companion for people of all ages, though not the best companion for small children due to his natural exuberance.  He is a very social breed, not the barky type but definitely protective and territorial.  He loves to be with his human family, walk every day and requires only weekly brushings except during shedding periods.

dog fighting
Date of Origin
bulldog, old english terrier

Bull Terrier Health

Average Size
Height: 21-22 inches Weight: 60-70 lbs
Height: 21-22 inches Weight: 50-60 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Deafness (Whites)
  • Kidney Problems
  • Mitral Valve Disease
  • Lethal Acrodermatitis
Minor Concerns
  • Entropion
  • Ectropion
  • Demodectic Mange
  • Eye Disease
  • Laryngeal Paralysis
Occasional Tests
  • Cardiac
  • Eye
  • Blood Test
  • Hearing (Whites)
  • Up:Uc Ratio For Kidney Function
  • Skin Scraping

Bull Terrier Breed History

The Bull Terrier breed was born in England in the 1800s with the crossing of the Bulldog and a now extinct breed called the Old English Terrier and later a Spanish Terrier to add some height to the new breed.  What came from this crossing of breeds was a strong and muscular breed that was initially used for dog fighting but later as companions.  In 1860, interest was increasing for an all white breed and, in response to this interest, James Hinks crossed the “bull and terrier” with a white English Terrier and a Dalmatian, producing a much more fashionable white Bull Terrier.  The breed was especially appreciated by gentlemen for the fighting aspect (while it was still legal then), making quite a hit at those oh so well-attended entertainment venues.  The breed became the carriage companion of many English gentry, being seen riding proudly next to the gentleman in his carriage through the park. The temperament, intelligence and strength of the breed was such that it could be trained to protect itself and its master while not provoking a fight and, in this role, the Bull Terrier began to be referred to as the “white cavalier”. Over time, the Bull Terrier has been utilized as a guard dog, a rat hunter and herder in addition to companionship.  The breed is available in white and colors and a standard size as well as a mini version, both having the same types of personalities and temperaments.  The breed requires firm discipline and training as well as strong socialization training, beginning from early puppyhood.

Bull Terrier Breed Appearance

The Bull Terrier is a strong, stocky and muscular breed whose body is slightly longer than it is tall.  With moderately long front legs and hind legs that are characterized by strong, muscular thighs, the round, compact and catlike feet may seem a bit out of place on such a stocky and muscular animal. However, these feet and legs carry the Bull Terrier in an agile and powerful gait.  The breed sports a head that strongly resembles a football, having a head that is long and strong with a deep muzzle and a flat forehead that runs from ear to ear.  The Bull Terrier has small, thin ears which are close together at the top of the head and this breed is the only one with triangular shaped eyes recognized by AKC.  They are sunken, small and dark and give one a glinting intelligent expression.  The usually black nose has well developed nostrils and the teeth meet in a scissors or level bite.  The breed’s neck is tapered from head to shoulders and is long and strong.  The tail is short, set low and is generally carried in the horizontal position, thick at the base and tapering to a point.  The coat is short and flat, has a glossy sheen but is coarse to the touch and comes in white and colors.

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Bull Terrier Breed Maintenance

The Bull Terrier doesn’t require a great deal of grooming -- just brush him once or twice a week to remove any loose hair and only bath him when he really needs it.  Keep his ears clean and his nails trimmed and he’s good to go. Giving him a rub down when you’re playing with him will help to reduce the shedding and keep his coat shining.  His coat is not hypoallergenic so these little steps will help to reduce the shedding issues.  Of course, he should have his teeth cleaned and checked by your veterinary professional who can provide guidance about teeth cleaning at home.  He loves to play and is quite the active comic as he sometimes chases anything that moves!  Seriously though, he really does need to be exercised daily and this can be done inside or outside -- he does love his walks.  He is an indoor type of dog, not only because of his coat but because he doesn’t do well when separated from his human family.  He needs his attention and affection and doesn’t like to be left alone.  He can live in any size house or apartment and run and play in any size yard or park.  It is important to socialize puppies as early in life as possible so that they don’t develop domineering tendencies. The Bull Terrier breed likes meat as much as any other mammal but he does best when his dietary regimen is balanced, whether with a commercially made food or a homemade, fresh diet.

Brushes for Bull Terrier
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Bull Terrier Temperament

Bull Terriers have been described with terms like stubborn and comical with imagination. The breed is generally good-natured and does well with families, though families with small children will need to monitor his activities closely since he can be rambunctious in his play and small children may not be able to handle this behavior.  He doesn’t like to be teased as small children can sometimes do. Families with older more respectful children may be better suited to his temperament. They can be protective especially if they sense that a family member is in danger.  It’s a good idea to socialize them early with strangers.  He can be overly domineering with smaller animals who also live in the household.  He is very trainable, with firm and positive encouragement.  He is very energetic and loves to exercise, play and walk any distance you’re up to and still, he loves to just be near you and the family he loves.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Bull Terrier Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.5 - $1.9
Monthly Cost
$39 - $52

Bull Terrier Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 13 inches Weight: 34 lbs
Height: 12 inches Weight: 33 lbs
12 Months
Height: 17 inches Weight: 55 lbs
Height: 16 inches Weight: 52 lbs
18 Months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 65 lbs
Height: 19 inches Weight: 57 lbs

Top Bull Terrier Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Bull Terrier breeders of 2017.
Glentom Bull Terriers
Glenwood, Arkansas
St George BTs & Omega Miniature BTs
Johnstown, Ohio
Cartoon Pets
Corning, California
Phantom Long Face Bull Terriers
Big Cabin, Oklahoma
Top Notch Bull Terriers
Vinton, Ohio
Ramirez Bull Terriers
Leavenworth, Kansas
​​Kessler Bull Terriers
Spanish Fort, Alabama
Pound 4 Pound Bull Terriers
York, Pennsylvania

Bull Terrier Owner Experiences