Bull Terriers have a sense of humor, brains, imagination, personality, and to those who love them – beauty. Their appearance, along with their character, is unique in the spectrum of dogs.
The head of the Bull Terrier is what sets it apart from any other breed. No other breed of dog has this shape of head. A good Bull Terrier head is egg-shaped and void of hollows. There is no stop in front of the eyes. The profile arcs down from the top of the head to the tip of the nose. The dark little eyes peer out through tiny triangular slits. The ears are held erect and should never be cropped. They are strong well-muscled dogs that can stand anywhere from fifteen to twenty-two inches at the withers, can weigh anywhere between thirty-five and eighty pounds, and they come in two varieties – white and colored. The whites can have markings anywhere on the head but markings elsewhere are a severe fault. Spots on the skin are not considered markings and are not faulted. Only when the colored is in the hair is it considered a marking. The coloreds can be red, fawn, black and tan, any shade of brindle, or any of these colors combined with white markings, provide the white comprises less than 50 percent of the entire body.
The character and personality of the bull terrier is very complex. They are very active and are much like a three-year old child in a dog suit. You must be prepared for anything, and you must supervise them. They are playful, clownish, witty, silly, humorous, stubborn, conniving and sometimes even spiteful. They often display all of these characteristics within a ten minute time span.
One of the favorite pastimes of a bull terrier is racing around the house at full speed for no apparent reason other than – just because. They rarely collide with anything on these occasions. It is almost as if they have radar – they dodge this and dodge that – with great agility. Things are safest when you do not interfere. Trying to stop them is like trying to catch a greased pig.
Loyalty is not one of their attributes. They will go off with anyone who has a treat and a friendly voice and they will not even bother to look back. Bullys are much like cats. They will sit on your lap and beg to be petted and scratched or – they want nothing to do with you and are off by themselves to do their own thing – all in the same day. Bull Terriers live for themselves. They are number one and their owners are number two. They will strive to please their owners when it benefits them. They have minds of their own and feel that it is their place to run the household. They know how to get what they want and will go to great lengths to do so.
Bull Terriers can be very spiteful and, when prevented from doing something that they wish to do, will immediately run off to find one of your most valuable possessions and do their misdeeds. They do not miss a thing and are always in the middle of what is going on. Even while they are sleeping, they aren't really! They are always listening, and every so often a tiny little eye slit opens – just checking.
Being left alone for long periods of time is totally unacceptable and they will let you know it. They love to chew the cushions of the couch into tiny little pieces and spit them out all over the floor. In about five to ten minutes they can destroy the entire contents or your house. It is your punishment for leaving them alone.
Spanking them accomplishes nothing, as they know no pain. However, tell them in a scornful voice how bad they have been and that you do not love them anymore, and their ears go back, their tail wags frantically, they crouch down in a submissive position, their whole body wiggles and they beg to be forgiven. It is very difficult to remain angry with a Bully for very long. They will not let you. They will pester you and follow you around with those pathetic little eyes until you tell them they are forgiven and that everything is all right. Be prepared – ten minutes later they will be right back doing whatever it was that got them in trouble in the first place.
Bull Terriers are often stubborn but seldom stupid and seldom dull. Livening things up and making everyone laugh is their specialty. They seem to understand what you are feeling and will do their best to cheer you up and brighten your day when you are down in the dumps.
In general, they are not good watchdogs because everyone is a friend. They may bark when someone is outside but as soon as your guest or the intruder (which it may be) steps inside, he is usually greeted with a slurping tongue, a wildly thumping tail and the antics of a jumping jack.
Since most people cannot handle such an active dog, Bull Terriers are not for everyone, if you think that this is the breed for you, purchase some books and read up on them. Then go to some local fun matches and all breed shows so that you can see them first hand. Talk to breeders and get to know them. Make sure that you deal with a reputable breeder – one who cares about what he is producing, conformation, health, and temperament-wise, and one who care about each individual puppy – not the money he makes from the sale. Do not be in a hurry. Be prepared to wait several months to a year to find the right bull terrier for you.
Bull terriers have been selected and bred largely by responsible caring people who understand the breed and love it dearly. Good breeders try to keep it that way and are very particular when it comes to placing their puppies.
If you are one of the fortunate ones who gets the chance to give your home to a Bull Terrier, and you can survive the first year, you will be hooked for life.