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BREED PROFILE / Bull Terrier

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Bull Terrier
Bull Terrier
Country of origin
England
Classification and breed standards
FCI: Group 3 Section 3 #11 Stds
AKC: Terrier Stds
ANKC: Group 2 (Terriers) Stds
CKC: Group 4 - Terriers Stds
KC (UK): Terrier Stds
NZKC: Terrier Stds
UKC: Terriers Stds

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The Bull Terrier or English Bull Terrier is a breed of dog in the terrier family.

Appearance

Bull Terriers are thick-set and muscular with a short, dense coat. Acceptable colours are white, (skin pigmentation and markings on the head are not penalised in the UK show ring), any colour other than white, or any colour with white markings (although Blue and liver highly undesirable).

The American Kennel Club specifies that if all other things are equal, the brindle coat is preferred. (White is preferred in the UK)

The Bull Terrier's most distinctive feature is its head, described as 'egg shaped' when viewed from the front, almost flat at the top, with a Roman muzzle sloping evenly down to the end of the nose with no stop. The unique triangular eyes are small, dark, and closely set. The body is full and round, while the shoulders are robust and muscular and the tail is carried horizontally. It walks with a jaunty gait, and is popularly known as the 'gladiator of the canine race'.

There is no set height or weight of the breed but the average is, Height: 16-22 inches (40-56 cm.), Weight: 35-80 pounds (15-36 kg.)

Sometimes Bull Terriers are mistaken to be American Pit Bull Terriers, but they are separate breeds.

Temperament

Bull Terriers are known as friendly and outgoing dogs. Their physical strength is matched by their intelligence, and both body and mind need to be kept active. They can be obstinate or stubborn and are not ideal dogs for the first-time owner. As a breed they are generally placid and will not normally make the first move. They are very affectionate dogs that love human company. Bull Terriers are particularly good with children and can stand a great deal of abuse due to their high pain threshold. They are protective of children in their charge. Younger dogs may regard children as playmates and because of their strength would only cause inadvertant injury.
The American Temperament Test Society, Inc. (ATTS), a not-for-profit organisation that promotes uniform temperament testing for dog breeds, gives the Bull Terrier a pass rate of 91.5%. The average for all breeds is 81.5%.

Health

All puppies should be checked for deafness, as this sometimes occurs (most commonly in pure white dogs) and is difficult to notice, especially in a relatively young puppy. Many Bull Terriers have a tendency to develop skin allergies. Insect bites, such as fleas, and sometimes mosquitoes and mites, can produce a generalized allergic response of hives, rash, and itching. This condition can be stopped by keeping the dog free of contact from these insects, but this is definitely a consideration in climates or circumstances where exposure to these insects is inevitable. Their lifespan is somewhere between 10 and 14 years, although they can live longer - the oldest bitch on record being an Australian housepet dubbed "Puppa Trout" who remained sprightly into her 17th year.

The BullTterrier's coat is easy to maintain, but grooming can keep it in near-perfect condition. Adding oils to their meals can also vastly improve the quality of their coat. The Bull Terrier requires a fair amount of exercise, but overworking the dog at a young age will cause strained muscles. Older dogs do require exercise, but in small doses, whereas younger ones will be happy to play for hours on end. The breed is renowned for being extremely greedy; be sure to maintain a good balance of exercise and food, or the dog can become overweight. Also, be sure to check ears, eyes, nose and mouth every day for signs of infection.

Common Ailments: Deafness, Umbilical Hernia and Acne. Bull Terriers can also suffer from Obsessive complusive behavior, such as tail chasing, self mutilation, and obsessive licking.

History

The now extinct breeds Old English Bulldog and Old English Terrier were crossed to form a new breed of dog called the Bull and Terrier. Around 1860, the Bull and Terrier breed split into two branches, the pure white Bull Terrier and the coloured forms.

Pedigrees of Bull Terriers date from the period during which the English Stud books were first written (circa 1874-6). Although the breed was developed from fighting dogs, the Bull Terrier was intended to be a showdog and companion.

The Bull Terrier was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1948.

Miscellaneous

  • The Afrikaans name for the Bull Terrier is Varkhond (Pig-dog), because of the pig-like appearance of the head and eyes.
  • Although the name causes confusion, Bull Terriers are not directly related to American Pit Bull Terriers. Both breeds do, however, descend from the same ancestors.
  • There is also a miniature version of this breed; this distinct breed is officially known as the Bull Terrier (Miniature).
  • Bull Terriers are prominently featured in Jonathan Carroll's 1980 novel The Land of Laughs.
  • Bull Terriers appear in several movies, including: Oliver!, The Incredible Journey, Patton, Babe: Pig in the City, Next Friday, Frankenweenie, A Dog's Life, The Last Boy Scout and Derailed.
  • Bull Terriers have also featured in television shows such as the 1970s television show Baa Baa Black Sheep, in the opening credits of the British television show Barking Mad, and in the short lived Fox series Keen Eddie.
  • The Bull Terrier is the only recognized breed with triangular eyes.

Famous Bull Terriers

  • Bullseye mascot of the Target Corporation
  • Patsy Ann
  • Rude Dog
  • Whiskey, from the Eidos Commandos series
  • Spuds MacKenzie
  • Willie, owned by General George S. Patton
  • Fauntleroy, a dog Peter Fox looked after a few times from FoxTrot
  • Best in Show Champion Rocky Top's Sundance Kid - aka "Rufus" - Bull Terrier (Colored) - 2006 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show [1] [2]
  • Grimm, from the cartoon Mother Goose and Grimm by Mike Peters.
  • Scud from the Disney/Pixar film Toy Story.
  • Chico a dog in Next Friday and Friday After Next
  • Brut, in the novel, Answers to Brut, by Gillian Rubinstein
  • Odd's dog, Kiwi, is rumored to be a bull terrier.
  • In the film Oliver!, Bill Sykes owns an English Bull Terrier named Bullseye
  • The dog from Angry Kid

See also

  • Rat baiting
  • Bull Terrier (Miniature)
  • Gull Terr

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