English Bull Terrier
Bullies, as they are known, make for gregarious, active and loving pets which relish family life. Powerful in appearance but genuine softies, these dogs are great with kids and highly adaptable. Low maintenance and loyal, they are hugely popular but can be difficult to train and very, very boisterous!
Which breed group is English bull terrier in?
Breed group: Terrier
English bull terrier breed history
These distinctive dogs are a relatively new breed having been developed in the 19th century by James Hinks. His descendants remain breeders to this day. Hinks standardised the dogs by selectively breeding bull terriers with a variety of other breeds and his aim was to create a gentleman’s companion.
Bull terriers were initially developed to conduct vermin control and for participation in blood sports. They boasted the speed of smaller terriers but also the tenacity of the bulldog. Many breeders began to cross bulldogs with terriers, but it was James Hinks’ efforts which led to the English bull terrier, a dog which was graced with better legs and a nicer head.
Hinks favoured white dogs which were generally a popular choice but in the 20th century, breeders introduced coloured dogs to their breeding lines due to the health issues associated with all-white dogs. Miniature English bull terriers have been with us for as long as their larger cousins but were only recognised as a unique breed by the Kennel Club in 1939.
English Bull Terrier breed characteristics
- Lifespan: 10-14 years
- Height: up to 61cm
- Weight: up to 29kg
- Powerful and muscular
- Narrow eyes
- Long head
- Muzzles curve downwards
- Strong neck
- Short coat
- Various colours
- Affinity with children
- Can be stubborn
- Boisterous and potentially destructive
Health issues with the English bull terrier
As with other breeds which boast white coats, the English Bull Terrier is prone to deafness. However, more breeders are now screening their dogs for hearing issues and then breeding out the trait. Other conditions which impact this breed as follows:
Skin and coat issues
What is the English bull terrier bred for?
Originally bred for vermin control and fighting, this breed was initially favoured by estate managers and those involved in blood sports. The dogs soon became fashionable companions for wealthy gentlemen, but these days are bred almost exclusively as family pets.
What sort of owners does the English bull terrier suit?
Boasting an intimidating appearance but friendly character, the loyal English bull terrier is great with small children and incredibly fun-loving. As such, this breed makes for wonderful family pets. The dogs enjoy active outdoor lives and don’t take well to being left alone. They best suit those who work from home and who have the time to take lengthy walks.
English bull terriers are brilliant watchdogs and will adapt to life in the city but can be very boisterous. Puppies may be destructive in the home and can be difficult to train. First-time dog owners may find them to be a bit of a handful! The stubborn streak of the English bull terrier can lead to frustration, but these courageous creatures can be amazing companions. Make no mistake, bullies are smart and can easily learn to dominate their owners who will need to adopt a firm approach to training.