Animal-World > Dogs > Terrier > Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier

English Bull Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Varkhond, Pig Dog

Family: Canidae Bull Terrier Picture, also called English Bull Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Varkhond and Pig DogPiglet - A Brindle & White English Bull TerrierCanis lupus familiarisPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Donna Nun4u
Latest Reader Comment - See More
Hello, can any one give us some advice? We have a lovely 2 year and 9 month bull terrier, she is a very good dog, we moved home 9 months ago and in the first few... (more)  Laura

   Like many types of Terriers, the Border Terrier is extremely skilled at hunting small game!

The Bull Terrier is a terrier breed developed in England in the 1800's. It was developed from crosses that included the New English Bulldog, the Spanish Pointer, and a couple of types of terriers, the English White Terrier and the Staffordshire Terrier. The resulting breed was used as a fighter, and then later on as a guard dog, herder, and rat hunter. A half sized variation of this breed is the Miniature Bull Terrier.

Today's English Bull Terrier is gentle, fun-loving and courageous. It needs lots of human companionship, and loves to give and receive affection. This breed makes a wonderful pet for active and attentive families. The Bull Terrier can be trained as a watchdog, but it tends to be non-aggressive toward humans unless its family is seriously threatened. Good socialization as a puppy is needed for it to get along with other pets.

When selecting a Bull Terrier or Miniature Bull Terrier, a primary concern is deafness. This is most common in solid white dogs. Other problems to look for include skin allergies, slipped patella, and obsessive compulsive behavior such as tail chasing.

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Canis
  • Species: lupus familiaris

Common Name(s)

Bull Terrier, English Bull Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Varkhond, and Pig Dog

Breed Type

The Bull Terrier is a terrier breed with a quite distinctive look. Originally bred as a fighter, the Bull Terrier has become more suitable as a pet over the years. The Bull Terrier is best suited to warm climates.


The Bull Terrier is an English breed. It was developed in the 1800s, originating with a cross between an English White Terrier and a New English Bulldog. Other breeds, including the Staffordshire Terrier and the Spanish Pointer, were subsequently added to the mix. The resulting breed was employed as a fighter, and later on as a guard dog, herder, and rat hunter. A variation of the breed is the Miniature Bull Terrier, which is about half the size of the Standard Bull Terrier.


Bull Terriers have muscular bodies and distinctive egg-shaped heads. Their eyes are close-set, triangular, small and dark, and their ears are triangular and erect. The coat is short, dense and smooth, and comes in white, black, brindle, red, fawn and tri-color.
Standard Bull Terriers average 20 to 24 inches tall and weigh 45 to 80 pounds. Miniature Bull Terriers are 10 to 14 inches tall and weigh 24 to 33 pounds.

Care and Feeding

Bull Terriers thrive on a diet that includes beef, wheat, potatoes, and cabbage. Supplementing with oils can help improve their coats. Bull Terriers are very easy to groom. As-needed combing and brushing are sufficient. Removing loose hair regularly with a grooming glove when shedding will help keep hair off of the carpet and furniture.
Bull Terriers need yearly checkups to maintain good health. Vaccinations are due as follows:

  • 6-8 weeks: Distemper, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, and Corona virus (DHLPPC)
  • 10-12 weeks: Second DHLPPC
  • 14-16 weeks: Third DHLPPC and rabies
  • Annually: DHLPPC and rabies booster

Bull Terriers shed twice a year. During this time, regular vacuuming of carpet and furniture is essential. This breed is prone to allergies, especially to insect bites, so keeping insects to a minimum is important.

Housing Your Dog

The Bull Terrier can be kept indoors in small spaces as long as it gets enough exercise. A small yard is sufficient to keep them happy. This breed prefers warm temperatures.

Social Behaviors

Bull Terriers are sociable with humans and do well with children as long as they are respectful. Males tend to be aggressive toward other males, but this can be minimized by having the dog neutered. Bull Terriers of the opposite sex get along well, and females can learn to live with one another peacefully if they are well socialized. Bull Terriers should not be trusted with non-canine pets.

Handling and Training

The Bull Terrier is a willful dog, and may be hard to train. Firmness is essential. Proper socialization is also a must if the dog is to get along with other pets.


Bull Terriers need plenty of exercise, but it is important not to overwork them when they are puppies. This could cause muscle strains. Adult dogs need long daily walks and play sessions. Older dogs also need exercise, but it should be done in several small sessions each day.


Bull Terriers have an average of five puppies. When selecting a mate for your Bull Terrier, check bloodlines for slipped patella and deafness.

Common Health Problems

Male Bull Terriers may have too much testosterone, which could cause aggressive behavior. This can be remedied by neutering them. Other common problems are zinc deficiency, obsessive compulsive behavior, and slipped patella.


Bull Terriers are fairly easy to find in most areas. Prices are most often between $1,000 and $2,000.


"Bull Terrier and Miniature Bull Terrier", Dog Breed Info Center, Copyright 1998-2008
Cusick, William D., "What to Feed a Bull Terrier", Referenced online, 2008
"Bull Terrier Puppies for Sale", Copyright, LLC, Referenced online, 2008
"Bull Terrier", Wikipedia, Copyright 2008

Lastest Animal Stories on Bull Terrier

Laura - 2014-09-01
Hello, can any one give us some advice? We have a lovely 2 year and 9 month bull terrier, she is a very good dog, we moved home 9 months ago and in the first few months she was acting very old, very possessive over certain items (furniture ) in the house. We need she wouldn't be perfect with the move and were told by the et this is normal and give her time... She settled down great, but not 9 months on she is doing the same thing, first it was a lazy boy chair, would sit on it but then stare at it, like it was ready to get her, we have moved this and she wasn't happy, tried to attack it, now it's the old little things, the clothes maiden even my feet :-( can any help? Thank you :'-(

Cecilia - 2014-08-12
Hi I have a week old bull terrier female,she is not eating good,she sounds like she has a stomach ache and shivering after her bath last night. Need advise thank you.

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-08-13
    Bull terrier pups won't wean from their mothers any earlier than 3-6 weeks of age. If you are trying to feed a 1 week old pup, you have a job on your hands. The stomach problems are most likely from an incorrect formula. Esbilac puppy milk is a great formula choice and readily available in pet stores. A baby this young will need feedings about every 2 hours around the clock, which will become less as she ages. If she doesn't do better right away I suggest you take her to a vet, they have the equipment and expertise to deal with babies this young.
John Sanchez - 2014-07-06
Hello my name is john, I have a family of 4 my wife and two daughters 5 & 6. We all work and go to school we're home by 3:45 every day but in the mean time my mother inlaw lives with us. She is 70 years old, she is still moving around and what not but I heard of bull terriers being loyal to family I was wondering if it would be ok to have one with a woman her age?

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-07-22
    I think the dog would be fine, and actually an excellent addition. But I would ask you mother-in-law what she thinks about it, as it will be her constant companion. She may be very happy for the company, and the dog would have a companion too. Could be a win-win situation, but it must be a welcome addition for her.
nicola - 2011-07-28
I have a 20 month male english bull terrier. I have had him from 12 weeks old, he lives out the back in a well built kennel, but he chews everything, the kids toys, fence, door frame. You name it he chews it. He goes for walks. How do I stop him from chewing? He has the run of the garden. When I go out to work he howls and barks until I get back, anyone got any answers?

  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-28
    Puppies chew and they need to chew to first get rid of their puppy teeth and then to keep their teeth healthy. You want him to stop chewing your things so you have to provide him with his things. When he goes to chew one of your things, remove it say "NO" and give him one of his own things. A trick I was shown is to take some old keys and put them on a keyring. When you throw them they make a lot of nose. Do not throw them at the pup. However, if the pup goes or is sniffing or chewing something it is not supposed to throw the keys at something that will make noise (the chair closest to him or something - the floor) and yell "NO". This worked for me for many a pup. There is no point in punishing after the fact or yelling no after the fact - they have no idea what they did wrong. You need to catch him in the act when you are with him and tell him "NO" Outside - he think you're in the home. He wants by you. The trainer told me to put my pup in the smallest room in the home that I didn't use when I went to wrok. I put my 110 doberman in the guest bathroom
    and my doberman went right through the bathroom wall, into the kitchen and into the master bedroom and ate (shook all the feather pillows up to the vaulted ceilings. I will not pass on that advice. Instead I will suggest a crate - large enough for your pup to move in with a t-shirt that has your scent on it. Can someone come during the day and let the pup out. Crate - next to a doggy door scenario has also worked for me. Laundry room with a dogggy door. He is going to keep on barking outside - as he thinks you are home and just not bothering. Doggy doors work well with small pen/crate safe enclosuresa in the home and fenced in area outside.
  • Sarah Kennedy - 2011-09-06
    Deal with one issue at a time. He's struggling to know where he fits or he's trying to dominate you.
    Barking: he's frustrated and wanting attention. From anyone. Bad or good attention, doesn't matter, just attention. Have you tried an anti bark collar?
    Chewing: He doesnt know which things are his to chew or he's doing it to get your attention again. The key trick mentioned by previous review is great. As are air cans, they work in the same way, they make a harmless noise which breaks dogs attention, at which point you redirect his attention to something you want him to do/chew. Also have your tried repellant on things like door frames, fence? Bitter apple spray, strong english mustard etc. again harmless but nasty tasting.
    You need to teach him which are his things. My EBT, Ozzy, is 12 months and he went through a major phase of shoe killing, including a pair of Jimmy Choos!!!! I took a pile of shoes and everytime he went near them or tried to pick one up I used keys, verbal command and/or air spray. Took a few days and a good few hours of input but he now leaves all shoes alone. Hard work but so so worth the effort as he's happier as he knows what's his.
    Let us know how you're doing.
    Sarah and Ozzy
  • Julianne - 2011-10-19
    The reason for the chewing is precisely this bull terriers thrive on human contact. They are not suitable to be kept outside at all, they need to be near you for their emotional health and if not will be destructive and will generally find something to take their stress out on. A bull terrier is not for someone who wants to kennel them outside ................... they would rather live in your lap.
  • debbie smith - 2012-03-18
    You don't have the time to spend with this animal who will take negative attention over none just like a child! Interact with this responsibility you chose to have.
  • Tammy agoney - 2013-01-15
    Maybe u should have researched the breed a little better!! He is part Of ur family!!! If you cannot Train him so he can live inside , rehome him so he isn't neglected for The rest of his life!!
  • Clarice Brough - 2013-01-15
    I kinda sounds like he's bored and needs more personal interaction.  They are great pets, but do require a regular interaction with their owners every day, with a good and fairly long excercise/training/play period. They learn to look forward to it if it is on a regular schedule. You might want to get a personal trainer to work with you and the dog to address the behavior problems.
  • Guy St. James - 2013-02-14
    Dear Nicola: Not replying to give you a hard time or slam you; but you probably have the wrong dog [English Bull Terrier]. I have been a 'English Bull Terrier' owner most of my life and these are NOT,NOT,NOT. kennel dogs. Even though they may seem to be a strong independent dog they are not. Should have done your homework prior to ownership of a 'English Bull Terrier'. These babies[English Bulls] require TONS of HUMAN companionship,or they will fail to thrive. A well loved 'Bull' will tolerate being left alone for a few hours[2-3], but any more than that is really pushing it. Sorry for the long wind here-but 'Bull Terrier' ownership is really a 'lifestyle' and huge commitment. Please reconsider thinking you have a kennel dog here.
  • Anonymous - 2013-03-06
    A few years later here...we hope for the best for that young English Bull Terrier. A warning to those reading this and considering adding Companion pet to their Family? Research theed bred, what environment you are offering, what are their needs and requirements: energy level, needed space, what they were breed to be/ do.... Then, and ONLY THEN select Your friend and be the BEST friend you can be. We've had outside and inside pups, we acquired a Labrador who we Thought should be outside..same'destructive' behavior-read about labs, brought him in-problem solved. Researched English Bullies , HAVE her in obedience training....crated....sleeps in it in our bedroom!
  • Colin rose - 2013-08-09
    You don't leave your bullie for that long it needs your friendship. I did not get one till I gave up working. I was brought up with bullies. I had no trouble with mine she was never left that long where I went, she went with us.
  • Noel - 2014-03-19
    I'm about to get a mini bull terrier, if I leave her alone for about 10 hrs is that good or bad? Will it affect the dog?
amber - 2011-11-02
I have a 10 month old bull terrier who eats everything and never stops. He jumps on everyone and just won't ever calm down. He also eats everything he can put in his mouth. I am thinking of obediance classes and neutering him. Which should I do first?

  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-02
    Neuter or obediance - I would neuter the pup first and they are good to go in a couple of days. So I would make an appointment for neuter and sign up for obedience classes right away. 10 months old is a pup and they are high activity dogs and will calm down but will probably be more like 18 months to 2 years before CALM. Obediance classes are great for this pup both training and socialization. The bull terrier is not any easy pup to crate train either so constant supervision is pretty much required. A trainer taught me to throw keys and yell 'NO' when my dog was doing something wrong. You don't throw the keys at the dog just at a chair or ground or anywhere close to the pup so there is a large noise and the yell 'NO'. It startles them and reinforces the 'NO'. By the time you get to the dog and the shoe the dog is eating - it is too late. So if you are sitting there and see poor behavior a big 'NO' and throw the keys. It worked great for me.
  • Morgan - 2013-09-26
    It's just what bull terriers do I've found out lately with my new one. Walk them regularly, treat them like children (if they jump on you completely ignore them and turn away till they stop, if they chew, buy a crate, not a fancy one.. It too will be eaten, expect it.. Bones, lots of bones, not raw hides.. And what I have found to be cheap and affective.. Get a large gallon jug and stuff treats in it, leave the lid off, and wa la!! The noise is quite annoying but it's better than chewed up stuff. Also, get your dog on a routine, lots of walks and lots of playtime!! This is what made be be able to manage my first bull terrier and keep her out,of trouble.

Copyright © [Animal-World] 1998-2012. All rights reserved.