Bull Terrier | History, Appearance, Character, Role


The Bull Terrier was developed as a fighting dog from a combination of Bulldog, the extinct White English Terrier, and several other breeds.

History Of Bull Terrier

After dog fighting was banned in Britain, this smart-looking dog easily transitioned to become a popular show dog.

The Colored Bull Terrier was developed through crosses with brindle Staffordshire Bull Terriers and became classified as a separate AKC variety in 1936.

The Breed is a fixture of popular culture. In addition to advertising beer and department stores, the Bull Terrier has been showcased as Bodger, the wandering Bull Terrier in The Incredible Journey and as General Patton’s beloved pet, Willie.

Willie was at Patton’s side throughout World War II, and a statue commemorating both Patton and Willie can be seen at the General Patton Memorial Museum.

This is a sturdy, well balanced, muscular dog with plenty of bone and muscle but never coarse.
It has a long, muscular neck and a broad chest.

Appearance And Qualities

The feet are round and compact, and the tail is fairly short, low-set, tapered, and carried level with the back.

The head is the breeds most distinctive feature, described as “egg shaped” in profile; there is a gentle convex curve from the top of the skull to the tip of the nose, and the jawline is strong and well defined.

The dark eyes are small, obliquely set into the head, and triangular. The ears are small, high set, and held erect.

General Overview Of Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier
Bull Terrier Overview
  • Year of AKC recognition: 1885
  • Group: Terrier
  • Size: Not specified in the standard, but many are in the range of 21 -22 inches and 50-70 pounds
  • Coat: Short,flat, harsh, and glossy
  • Color: There are two varieties:White and Colored. Brindle is preferred in the Colored variety, but any color other than white or any color with white markings is permitted in competition.
  • Life expectancy: 12-13 Years.
  • Activity level: Moderate. This is an active, agile dog, with surprising strength and endurance.
  • Grooming: Maintain the coat with weekly brushing.
  • Temperament: The standard describes the Bull Terrier as having a ”sweet disposition” but also ”full offire.” Friendly, affectionate, and willing to please, Bull Terriers are famed for their sense of humor.
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They are also strong willed and can be possessive with food and toys. Guarding behavior should be discouraged in puppies.

  • Parent club: Bull Terrier Club of America (www.btca.com);founded in 1887
  • Buyer’s advice from parent club: This is a slow maturing breed. The breed often behave like puppies until around age three.
  • Regional clubs: Information on approximately thirty clubs is listed under ”Regional Clubs” from the parent club’s home page.
  • Rescue: Bull Terrier Club of America Rescue Committee is located under ”Rescue” on the parent club’s Web site.


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