Bull Terrier Temperament

bull terrier temperamentOriginally bred in the 19th century for dog fighting, the Bull Terrier later became a fashion statement and a cherished companion of gentlemen. Nowadays, the Bull Terrier has gained acceptance as more of a family pet and in some cases, a show dog. Among the 340 dog breeds, of which the American Kennel Club only recognizes 167, the Bull Terrier remains one of the easiest to recognize because of his long and egg-shaped head. Bull Terriers can pack muscle on their frame much easier than some of the other dog breeds.


The Bull Terrier Temperament

At one point, the Bull Terrier earned the nickname “kid in a dog suit” because of his friendly and active demeanor. In fact, the Bull Terrier ranks right up there with Pugs and Bulldogs when it comes to the annual clown awards. The Bull Terrier’s larger-than-life personality ranges anywhere from thoughtful and intelligent to innovative. However, innovative has not always gone appreciated in the dog ownership world, as many prefer a more loyal and placid best friend. You can also get the Bull Terrier in a smaller size, but he has the same Bull Terrier temperament of a larger one.


From Puppyhood to Adulthood

From the beginning of puppyhood, you have an ever-curious and playful dog that will continue into the middle of his life. For someone who will be gone for long periods, the Bull Terrier makes a poor choice because he won’t be content to be alone all day long. He’s a people dog, and he loves to do the things his humans do. An active family who encourages energetic play is one of the best choices for the Bull Terrier. In addition, this dog needs someone who will act like the master of the home. He needs rules enforced, or he will start to play by his own rules.


The Bull Terrier: Aggressive?

Like most of the terrier breeds, if you don’t neuter him, he might exhibit aggressive behavior with some of the other animals. In fact, the Bull Terrier has a greater instinctual prey drive than most of the other dog breeds. For that reason, he makes a poor choice when you have other small creatures in the home. If you want the Bull Terrier to behave well around other dogs and animals, you should introduce him to socialization as early as possible. However, you should never do this without your supervision. Cats, ferrets and other furry creatures that enter into the territory of a Bull Terrier should remain ever-present to the potential for danger.


A Good Choice for Younger Children?

The Bull Terrier temperament tends to be overly rambunctious and because of this, Bull Terriers aren’t a recommended choice for families who have a younger child. For an older kid, however, they have become a tireless and fun-loving playmate. They love daily exercise, and an older kid will keep the Bull Terrier temperament from entering his more destructive—tear up the couch cushions—side of his personality when he gets bored. If you want to successfully train a Bull Terrier, you will need to display patience and remain confident in your leadership over him for the best consistency.


Beware of your State’s Laws

Before you decide to own a Bull Terrier, check out some of the city and state laws. In some cases, they have been restricted or banned, and you should know about your local laws before you decide to bring one of these dogs home.


Why the Bull Terrier

For those who are ready to take a chance on the Bull Terrier, they will find him a loyal and affectionate companion. He’s always willing to have fun, and he’s even been known to make the most dour-faced individuals crack a smile. When you get a Bull Terrier, life with this breed will almost never feel dull.

In general, Bull Terriers do best when they live indoors with their family, and they aren’t a good dog to leave alone for long stretches at a time because they tend to grow bored and start to wreak some unsupervised destruction. Luckily, these dogs aren’t high maintenance dogs, and you might have to brush them once a week. They will also go through a bi-annual shedding. You will want to exercise your Bull Terrier from 25 to 60 minutes every day with play and mental stimulation to keep him in the best mental and physical health.

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