The Bull Terrier was originally developed in the 19th century as a fighting dog and, later, a fashionable companion for gentlemen. Today he makes a wonderful family companion.

The Bull Terrier isn’t content to spend long periods alone day after day; he wants to be with his people, doing what they’re doing. He does best with an active family who can provide him with plenty of energetic play. He also needs someone who will consistently (but kindly) enforce the house rules. Otherwise, he’ll make up rules of his own. For that reason, he’s not the best choice for timid owners or people who are new to dogs.

Like most terriers, Bull Terriers (unneutered males in particular) can be aggressive toward other animals, especially other dogs. To be well-behaved around other canines, they need early socialization: positive, supervised exposure to other dogs that begins in early puppyhood and continues throughout life. Cats and other furry animals who enter their territory should beware but if socialized at a young age many bullies can be cat friendly.

Size – Bull Terriers come in a wide range of sizes, ranging from 35 pounds to 75 pounds. Generally, males weigh 55 to 65 pounds and females 45 to 55 pounds. They stand about 21 to 22 inches at the shoulder

Bull terriers are friendly and gregarious. Never one to take a backseat to anyone or anything, they are always ready for a good time and always happy to see you. A Bull Terrier who’s shy and backs away from people is absolutely not normal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are they really powerful?
They’re much stronger than they look.Their moderate size is deceptive. If careful groundwork of proper training and socialization isn’t laid down, a Bull Terrier can be a lot more dog than the average family.

Do they need a lot of Exercise?
In general BTs need at least two long, brisk walks a day or several extended play periods. They are extremely good at “mind” games like hide the ball or visual slight-of-hand games and these often entertain them when the weather is cold and they really don’t want to go for long walks. They also love to curl up for hours with any family member. But someone in the household must be responsible for providing the daily exercise they crave. They are very inventive and will find games to play themselves if not provided with more structured ones. Their own games may include “Turn the couch inside out” “Eat the shoes” etc. etc. (you get the picture). They are usually very outgoing and keen to learn new games. They love fetch, Frisbee, trampolines, soccer etc. etc.

Are they hard to train?
They are stubborn and independent but very bright and easy to train IF you are as committed to their training as you expect them to be. Bullies do well at obedience and agility trials. Bull Terriers are so headstrong and dedicated to getting their own way, that they seem to respect strict standards and clearly established rules – that is after you convince them that it is what you expect but really what they want to do. Even the most perfectly schooled Bull Terriers are unreliable off leash. They are easily distracted because they do so enjoy life and want to experience all of it in the shortest amount of time possible. They can dash off after a squirrel or a leaf blowing in the wind and when they have finally lift their head to see where they are, they could be miles away and lost.

Do they make good watchdogs?
Generally speaking, if by watchdog you mean watch strangers come and go from your house carrying all of your possessions then, Yes. But if you mean Guard dog then No not particularly good ones. While some BTs may bark to notify you when a stranger enters the house, most would rather make friends with the stranger than protect your valuables.

Do they get along with other dogs?
That depends. An unaltered male probably will not live peacefully with another unaltered male so I would certainly not recommend you try this combination. An altered male will usually live peacefully with other dogs regardless of gender but it does depend on the dog. A male and a female usually get along quite well regardless of whether or not the male has been neutered. 2 females will also usually cohabitate quite nicely together. And, they do quite well with other breeds regardless of the other’s size. While you can control these variables in your home situation, you can’t always control them if your dog is at an off leash park or is left unsupervised. So, be a responsible owner and have your dog neutered so you reduce the chance of these meetings. Then, socialize, socialize and socialize your dog before you honestly evaluate your dog and know if he/she can be trusted. Generally speaking, BTs do get along very well with other dogs – dogs known to them or complete strangers.

Do they get along with other pets?
Usually. If it is a puppy you are introducing to a family with a cat in the house, generally speaking the cat with have more difficulty with the Bully that the BT will with the cat. However, some BTs are extremely prey driven and may always look at the cat like it is a walking dinner (remember the TV show Alf?). If a cat lives in the house and you are sure you want a BT, I would recommend discussing with the breeder your requirements so that they can try to match you with less “prey driven” parents or possibly considering an adult BT who has been raised with cats.

Are they reliable with children?
Generally BTs are very reliable with children however – NEVER EVER leave any dog unattended with a child. BT puppies should always be socialized to young children and other dogs whether or not you have children or other dogs in your home.

What are their grooming requirements?
Pretty minimal. BTs are pretty “wash and wear”. They shed twice a year so at those times you will want to give them a daily rub with a slicker brush but for the rest of the year a weekly rub down usually suffices. Nails – they do need their nails kept well trimmed so that their toes don’t “spread”. If you get the puppy used to having his/her feet handled, they usually don’t mind this chore. Ears should be kept cleaned out with ear cleaning pads (never Q-tips) and usually once a week is lots to keep them fresh. BTs probably don’t need a weekly bath but it will depend on how dirty they like to get.

Should I crate train?
YES!! It really is a necessity and not a choice. It is not to be used as a punishment but as a safe haven for your Bully. It is the safest place for your puppy to be when you are not with him/her. They will also come to know the crate as their “den” so this is their spot to get away from you when they feel the need – like when you have scolded them (they really are pouters.)

Health Concerns

Deafness – The explanation of this is obvious. Deafness in dogs can be either congenital or hereditary. Congenital deafness can be described as acquired – caused by infections, drugs like gentamicin, liver disorders, or other toxic exposures before or soon after birth.

Inherited deafness is caused by a gene defect that can be autosomal dominant, recessive, sex-linked, mitochondrial, or may involve multiple genes. Congenital deafness in Bull Terriers is most often associated with the piebald gene, which is the gene responsible for carrying pigmentation to cells. This does not mean that only white dogs are affected though. In fact, recent statistics posted at the University of Guelph indicate that there is only a slight difference in the number of instances of deafness between white Bull Terriers and Coloured Bull Terriers. It is not due to a lack of pigment per se but rather the body’s ability to transport pigmentation cells to various parts of the body and specifically to the stria. It is known that one function of these cells is to maintain high potassium concentrations in the fluid (endolymph) surrounding the hair cells of the cochlea; these pigment cells are critical for survival of the stria. If it is absent or inadequate, the result is deafness.

The deafness associated with congenital diseases develops in the first few weeks after birth while the ear canal is still closed. The nerve cells of the cochlea subsequently die and permanent deafness results. If the puppy is deaf it is permanently deaf – there is no cure. If on the other hand, the puppy hears at the time of BAER certification, it has no greater chance of becoming deaf in later years than any other breed of dog. Deafness can be either unilaterally (one-sided) in which the dog is able to hear in one ear, or bilateral (both ears affected) in which the dog cannot hear at all. However, both unilateral and bilateral deafness are equally telling for producing affected offspring so only bilaterally hearing dogs should be used for breeding.

The best test to determine a puppy’s hearing is called BAER or brain stem auditory evoked response. It is a simple and painless procedure available at a limited number of animal hospitals.

Kidney Disease – Kidney disease in Bull Terriers is divided into three forms. The first is renal dysplasia, which, results in kidney failure. The disease causes the kidney’s cells to develop improperly, resulting in a non-functioning kidney.

The second form is hereditary nephritis. This is also fatal, but with a slower progression. Research has not been able to determine a specific age to test for because it can range in age from as early as 2 years up to 8 years. The best prevention (until DNA testing becomes available) is testing breeding dogs every year for Urine-Protein/ Urine-Creatinine Ratio.

The most recently discovered kidney disease is Polycystic Kidney Disease. You may also hear it as PCKD. It is very common to be seen in dogs with heart valve problems. Currently, the most reliable diagnose is made from an ultrasound of the kidneys.

Heart – The issue of heart disease in Bull Terriers is primarily seen in the form of congenital heart disease. The two forms commonly seen are Mitral Valve Dysplasia and Sub-aortic Stenosis.

Mitral valve dysplasia can be described as a “leaking” valve between the two chambers of the heart, the left atrium and left ventricle. Usually the mitral valve does not shut completely which causes the blood that should be pumped entirely into the aorta to supply the body with oxygenated blood from the left ventricle; to leak back into the left atrium. The result is a murmur. It is called Mitral Regurgitation. When the mitral valve is narrowed, it is difficult for the blood to leave the left atrium. This is called Mitral Stenosis. Dogs with this condition can affected mildly or severely. Most dogs can live active normal lives, but with age the condition can worsen and they can die of heart failure.

Sub-aortic Stenosis is the narrowing of the aorta, the major artery carrying the blood supply away from the heart. The condition leads to pulmonary edema which results in left-sided heart failure.

Patella Luxation – In simplest terms, this is when the kneecap slips out of place. The range can be mild to severe and depends on how shallow the groove is. Adult breeding dogs can be checked for luxating patellas when they are two years old by an orthopedic veterinarian however, the dog cannot be registered clear until 12 months of age. It is always wise to limit a puppy/ adolescence bull terrier’s strenuous activity to help not cause undue strain on young joints. Just ask your breeder if the parents were checked for luxating patellas.

Skin and Coat Disorders – Possibly the most commonly seen ailment in Bull Terriers, skin problems often appear to be allergy related and can be seasonal. The can vary from small rashes and spots, to mange and other conditions. Why Bull Terriers are particularly susceptible to skin complaints is not proven, but it is believed that their immune system may not be strong enough to deal with problems that they ought to be able to shrug off quite quickly. Skin rashes can easily become infected and for that reason they should be treated early and veterinary advice sought.


Charger – Breton’s Full Charge

Jack – Breton’s Black Jack Sparrow

Sherman – Breton’s Sure Shot


Pippa – Breton’s Picture Perfect