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Bull Terrier

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Troy   

Bull Terrier and Bull Terrier Mini

ANKC Standard

(from http://www.ankc.org.au/home/breeds_details.asp?bid=50 Bull Terrier)

(from http://www.ankc.org.au/home/breeds_details.asp?bid=51 Bull Terrier Mini)

Group: Group 2 (Terriers)

General Appearance: Strongly built, muscular, well balanced and active with a keen, determined and intelligent expression.

Characteristics: Courageous, full of spirit, with a fun loving attitude. A unique feature is a downfaced, eggshaped head. Irrespective of size dogs should look masculine and bitches feminine.

Temperament: Of even temperament and amenable to discipline. Although obstinate is particularly good with people.

Head And Skull: Head long, strong and deep right to end of muzzle, but not coarse. Viewed from front eggshaped and completely filled, its surface free from hollows or indentations. Top of skull almost flat from ear to ear. Profile curves gently downwards from top of skull to tip of nose which should be black and bent downwards at tip. Nostrils well developed and underjaw deep and strong.

Eyes: Appearing narrow and triangular, obliquely placed, black or as dark brown as possible so as to appear almost black, and with a piercing glint. Distance from tip of nose to eyes perceptibly greater than from eyes to top of skull. Blue or partly blue undesirable.

Ears: Small, thin and placed closed together. Dog should be able to hold them stiffly erect, when they point straight upwards.

Mouth: Teeth sound, clean, strong, of good size, regular with a perfect regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Lips clean and tight.

Neck: Very muscular, long, arched, tapering from shoulders to head and free from loose skin.

Forequarters: Shoulders strong and muscular without loading. Shoulder blades wide, flat and held closely to chest wall and have a very pronounced backward slope of front edge from bottom to top, forming almost a right angle with upper arm. Elbows held straight and strong, pasterns upright. Forelegs have strongest type of round, quality bone, dog should stand solidly upon them and they should be perfectly parallel. In mature dogs length of foreleg should be approximately equal to depth of chest.

Body: Body well rounded with marked spring of rib and great depth from withers to brisket, so that latter nearer ground than belly. Back short, strong with backline behind withers level, arching or roaching slightly over broad, well muscled loins. Underline from brisket to belly forms a graceful upward curve. Chest broad when viewed from front.

Hindquarters: Hindlegs in parallel when viewed from behind. Thighs muscular and second thighs well developed. Stifle joint well bent and hock well angulated with bone to foot short and strong.

Feet: Round and compact with well arched toes.

Tail: Short, set on low and carried horizontally. Thick at root, it tapers to a fine point.

Gait/Movement: When moving appears well knit, smoothly covering ground with free, easy strides and with a typical jaunty air. When trotting, movement parallel, front and back, only converging towards centre line at faster speeds, forelegs reaching out well and hindlegs moving smoothly at hip, flexing well at stifle and hock, with great thrust.

Coat: Short, flat, even and harsh to touch with a fine gloss. Skin fitting dog tightly. A soft textured undercoat may be present in winter.

Colour: For White, pure white coat. Skin pigmentation and markings on head not be penalised. For Coloured, colour predominates; all other things being equal, brindle preferred. Black, brindle, red, fawn and tri-colour acceptable. Tick markings in white coat undesirable. Blue and liver highly undesirable.

Sizes: There are neither weight nor height limits, but there should be the impression of maximum substance for size of dog consistent with quality and sex.

Bull Terrier Mini - Height: should not exceed 35.5 cms (14 ins).

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Notes: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

3. How common is it in Australia?

4. What is the average lifespan?

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

9. How much grooming is required?

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

If you wish to contribute to the knowledge about this breed, please answer the above questions. (Copy and paste them into a new post).

  • Please only answer if you breed or own a pedigree example of this breed.
  • You do not have to answer all questions
  • Please keep posts limited to answering questions or for asking further questions if you require more (or expanded) information.

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FranVT   

First of all, I am answering these questions based only on my own experience and what information I have gleaned from researching the breed both before and after obtaining our puppy. There are plenty of FAR more experienced owners and breeders on DOL so if they could please correct any of my mistakes / misconceptions then I would be only too pleased.

QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

I am a first time owner of a pedigreed bull terrier.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

As I only had limited "hearsay" information on this, I thought I would just link to the Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bull_Terrier#History

3. How common is it in Australia?

More common than I first realised before I owned one, but due to a non-deserved "bad reputation" not as popular as other breeds and certainly not as popular as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

4. What is the average lifespan?

Around 10 - 14 years.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Bull Terriers require firm discipline and a strong leader as they have stubborn tendencies and are usually quite independent. They are known as both the clowns and the gladiators of the dog world. They are quite smart and will challenge for leadership if not shown a firm, assertive hand. Bull Terriers are happier knowing their place in the pack (as are most dogs). They are quite protective and very, very loyal to their pack and their leader. They can be territorial and dominant. My BT, and most BTs I have heard about, are very affectionate and love to be around humans and are good with children. They can be hard to focus in training but respond well to reward.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

In my opinion and in my experience so far, active BTs need to be walked daily in order to keep destructive tendencies to a minimum. It is also important to keep a BTs mind occupied with games, training etc. My BT would fairly happily sleep most of the day away if he is home alone, waking only to undertake such tasks as dragging couch cushions up and down stairs, pulling the wheels off the lawnmower and patrolling the perimeter, followed by a big drink and another sleep.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

I think this is dependent on how much realistic effort one is prepared to put into training, exercise and having the skills to be a strong leader. I, personally, would not recommend the breed for a first time owner as they can get "out of control" behaviour wise fairly easily if not shown a firm hand. This nearly happened to my partner and I, and neither he nor I are even close to being first time dog owners. Solid obedience training and more firm leadership has helped us immensely.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

"Long periods" is relative... My BT does not get separation anxiety as he is quite happy to sleep most of the day and play with his toys or drag things around the yard while we're gone. He is always excited to see us but is capable of occupying himself.

9. How much grooming is required?

Bull Terriers shed all year round and require a good brushing with a rubber curry comb or other brush designed to get rid of loose hair fairly regularly, however, they are flat and short coated so they do not require clipping or removal of knots/matts. Nails can be kept trim by clipping, filing or with regular cement/bitumen walking. It is important to keep the eyes and ears clean and check teeth, as with any dog. Good, gentle, positive facial / paw touching and play was beneficial for me with our BT as he has no problem with his face or paws (or indeed any part of his body) being touched or examined.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Yes, unless it is well trained. Bull terriers are quite boisterous and can, innocently, be too rough for small children or the infirm.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

This information is from the National Bull Terrier Council website and is more succinct (and better spelled) than I could say myself: Bull Terriers can suffer from hereditary diseases, such as Kidney Nephritis, Polycystic Kidneys, Heart Disease, Deafness and Luxating Patella. These problems can be identified by Hereditary Disease testing and BAER testing (deafness). Bull Terriers (Miniatures) may also inherit Primary Lens Luxation.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

I am unable to answer this question fully, however, we were told our puppy was BAER tested, HD tested and had his heart & renal system scanned - all of which were fine.

If I were to buy another BT puppy I would ensure I had copies of these results for my records, and would enquire into the health / history of the parents of the puppy. In saying this we have had no problems with Atlas' health (accident & injury aside) so far, touch wood.

I hope this information is helpful and not incorrect, other BT owners / breeders please feel free to correct as stated earlier. This is purely my experience as a first time BT owner.

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nobul   

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

Have had Bull Terriers for over 20 years, Miniatures for past 8 years Breeder miniatures only /exhibitor/owner

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

They were bred for ratting (smaller ones) and for dog fighting dogs or equal weight and size , they were then refined for the show ring. Originally called the bull and terrier in around 1850 Jim Hinks refined the breed and was first shown in Birmingham UK in 1862. In 1918 the miniature was de registered until 1938 when they were once again a recognised breed

3. How common is it in Australia?

The Bull Terrier was hugely popular in the 80s and 90s these days sadly the numbers are low approx 700 registered a year . The miniature was reintroduced back into Australia in the 80s and has very slowly gaining ground now around 250 per year registered. It can be a long wait for a puppy at times.

4. What is the average lifespan?

Life span is usually 10-12 years plus. My oldest Bull Terrier was 15

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Loves people, has a great personality and will make you laugh all day every day. Very stubborn but never confuse this for being a stupid breed they are very smart and have the attitude of "whats in it for me to do as you ask?" They have to be near you and with you all the times (including sitting on your feet). In to everything open the cupboard door their nose is there, open the fridge door the nose is there

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

A daily walk or play out the back yard with a tennis ball. They can not have toys as such , they do have a tendency of destroying things they are powerful and they will swallow many unusual things, Many a bull terrier has ended up at the vets having obstructions removed. Keeping them physically and mentally fit will usually help lesson damage.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Yes and no if you are used to bull breeds or mastiff breeds with that stubborn dominant kind of streak then although you still arent prepared for one it will be easier. A firm hand is needed and consistancy. they are not a breed for everyone but if you and your family have the right personality your self then they will be fine. The looks are just the beginning. This is probably one of the hardest breeds to own

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

YES , this breed does not need another "playmate" they love to be the only dog and thrive on human companionship when you are home as long as you are prepared to give that and regular exercise. I NEVER recommend another dog in the house hold with them

9. How much grooming is required?

Weekly washing, keep nails trimmed, ears cleaned once a month, occasional bath and thats it

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

They are great with kids and the elderly BUT they must be in the right enviroment and trained , Because of their solid structure they can easily accidently knock them over (and boy do they feel bad when it happens) so care is needed. Older kids and those elderly who know their traits they are fantastic with

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Like all breeds and crossbreeds there can be heriditory problems, some are recessive and some dominant. Dominant problems are easy just test the parents clear, but in this breed most are reccesive meaning both paretns tested/checked clear dos not mean the offspring will not inherit the problem

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

Hearing- BAER tested for hearing in both whites and coloureds, this can be done at 6 weeks of age. This test is now readily available to most breeders in this country make sure you get an original certificate

Heart - Mytral Valve Dysplasia and Sub Aortic stenosis parents to be tested but bear in mind not many breeders int his country have access to the specialists incvloved in this detecting these problems. Most breeders rely on the veterinary surgeons to detect any abnormalities. These are als recessive and does not mean the puppy will be free of them. Most vets will listen to the hearts at the first 6 weeks vaccination.

Kidneys - PKD and Heriditory Nephritis , is is recommended that a ultrasound be done on the parents PKD is dominant so there for 2 clear parents the offspring is clear. Nephritis it is recommended on the parents that a UPC ratio is done but this is just a guide and DOES NOT prove if they have it or not

Pattella Luxation - The knee cap is checked, this is also a recessive and vets usually check at 6 weeks BUT this condition can occur later enviroment and injury can also play a part.

PLL (Primary Lens Luxation) Miniatures ONLY. This can now through the use of DNA as of October 2009 be checked for , as it is still new many breeders have already tested their breeding animals and many pets in their lines, some are still in the process of doing it. The puppies do nt have to be tested if both parents are clear. As the gene pool is low breeders are and will be using carriers and affecteds int hat case make sure you get proof of the puppies results.

I would like to add the Bull Terrier written standard does not have a height or weight they can be any size they want(EG 12" to 24"), where as the Miniature has a height which states 'should not exceed 14"' before the advent of the DNA test for PLL in miniatures the only way breeders could try and avoid and increase the gene pool was to interbreed (one parent being bull terrier one being a miniatures) this is still allowable in this country through the ANKC. Basically it has increased the size of our miniatures considerably you can often find them small at 12" or even as tall as 18" in height or over these dogs are still registered miniatures. Now the testing is accessable for us the future offspring should come down a lot in size over many years yet , but most of all they should look like a Bull Terrier in every other way.

Edited by nobul

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Teebs   

Ohh, us Bully People are a bit slack!

wont answer them all, some of them have already been answered!

What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

I fell in love with the Bull Terrier about 20 years ago, I finally got my first 7 years ago. I have also worked for 2 years with a breeder, they had a few Bull Terriers and they also had 2 litters while I was working for them.

How common is it in Australia?

I see a few around town here, I think it has more to do with that we have a breeder who lives near towns, I know other people who have never met one before.

What is the average lifespan?

I have met a 14 year old Bully :( My boy will be 8 in August

What is the general temperament/personality?

Stubborn!! They will do anything you ask them... as long as they get something out of it!! Atlas will push me all the time.

They are true clowns and there isnt a day that goes past that I have not laughed at something he has done! they also like to 'help'. no matter what it is you are doing, they have to be there and find out what is going on and how they can best get in the way!

How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

My boy is pretty lazy, a small walk once a week he is happy, he does love something to chew on and will play with my other dog from time to time, but sleep is his main thing! I do know another dog who needs a LOT of attention, she needs 2 big walks a day and a good training session just to stop bouncing off the walls.

Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

yes and no, if you research and know what you are in for, then yes, but they do push boundary's alot and you need to be a strong leader with them. Atlas was MY first dog (not family dog) and he drove me mad, I knew what I was in for, but it was still a shock! Even now he will try to get away with things he has not been allowed to do in years, I have to keep an eye on him at all times and let him get away with nothing!

Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

PERSONALLY with my dog - yes, he is more than happy to be home alone. I have met others who hate it and need a person or another dog around at all times

How much grooming is required?

Not much! a brush every few days, a bath from time to time and nails cut

Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

yes! They need training, they are solid dogs and can easily knock someone over.

Saying all that, I would never not have a bully in my life, they are pig headed and drive me mad, but thats what i love about them!!

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QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

I have had my bullies for a few years now but was a first time dog owner when I got them - although I had exposure to the breed through knowing people who bred and showed them. I am registered for breeding but it's not on the radar at the moment.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

Not absolutely sure but in England and bred to pursue small prey - eg rats, etc and of course fighting :laugh: - mostly a thing of the past now which is good.

3. How common is it in Australia?

There are more bullies around than it initially seems there is. The number shown isn't a very good indication - their stubborn attitude can be an impediment to people showing them.

4. What is the average lifespan?

10-14 years.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Bull terriers love people and are very doting however, they can be quite intolerant of other dogs and pets - they become very jealous as they love attention from people. While some people do have bullies who run with their other pets, this generally only occurs when they are very well trained or known to have a history of socialising with other animals. Caution should be taken when interacting with other animals as they are powerful and although they rarely start an incident they often finish it - they are reactive rather than being outwardly aggressive.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

Daily walks are good - it keeps them in shape and helps to tire them out so they don't become bored and destructive. Roadwork helps to build strength in the feet and general muscles. Bull Terriers also love games and toys but destroy these quite easily - an old go-kart tyre is a very good playtoy for bullies and very resilient. Short, sharp regular training sessions stimulate a bully's mind and they respond well to this - they are quite clever but rarely give you something for nothing.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Unless a first time dog owner has researched and had some interaction with the breed, they can be very frustrating (but they are also very rewarding to own). Unless they are able to provide a secure and stimulating environment for their dog, the results can be disastrous. Recommended as a great companion but for the right person - from my own experience, exposure to bullies owned by an experienced breeder and exhibitor was a great way for me to learn about the breed and responsiblities.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

Yes, bullies love to sleep (be careful about letting them lay out in the sun all day for sunburn though). They are quite happy to curl up when nothing for them to get into is happening however, any activity or people in the vicinity will get their attention. They will sit quietly with (or on - lol) their owners being quite happy to just be near them. Left alone for long periods without any exercise or stimulation, bullies will become destructive......they can be destructive chewers even with exercise and stimulation so it's important to dog proof living areas so that things you don't want chewed aren't left around for temptation. Never assume that something will be ok........

9. How much grooming is required?

Regular brushing to remove dead hair and dirt/dust is recommended. Bathing more often if showing but a wipe over with a damp cloth is good also to clean and freshen - a blast with a hair dryer can help remove dead hair. There are many shampoos on the market however, I always look for soap free ones and bully's can have sensitive skin - I also give mine a rinse in some water with very heavily diluted antiseptic, eucalyptus, tea tree and lavendar oils......just a personal thing, it keeps them smelling clean and fresh. Ears should be checked and cleaned regularly (seek advice for dirt deep in the canal or smell), eyes should be checked and cleaned regularly as well as feet. Long periods on cement can result in callouses so something to be careful of - balm, vaseline etc can help treat. Nails should be kept trimmed and not allowed to grow too long. Bullies frequently have scrapes and cuts due to their boisterous nature so I've found having some antiseptic cream like savlon can be good also.

Bathing and grooming often result in your bully looking at you like you like you're the meanest person in the world and long periods of sulking however, treating while doing this can ease the "pain" for them and also make them more amenable to hygiene.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Mostly Yes - well-trained bullies are fine with children or infirm people although would never recommend a bully with a very small child without supervision. Bullies don't often realise their strength when playing so can innocently cause harm even to strong adults without intending to. I always err on the side of caution and make sure the dog is contained or under control if small children are around.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

Yes - there are hereditary diseases for which tests should be conducted especially if breeding is being considered. Details of these can be found on many breeders websites and also the bull terrier association sites for each state or the national one.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

A few things I can think of are:

  • Hereditary disease testing results for the parents and for the pup - usually certificates and results are available - again, the websites with information about health testing will outline what a desirable result is
  • Support that's available after sale
  • What happens if I can't manage (while the breeder will screen and ask questions to manage this, it's always good to have a backup plan)
  • Diet tips for puppy - a total change in diet isn't good - your breeder can advise
  • Breeders usually provide a puppy pack containing a lot of information that is useful so check it out and if you haven't got one ask about it
  • Any questions that you feel are necessary to make you totally comfortable with the purchase - ie if something doesn't feel right keep asking until it does - breeders are used to being asked all sorts of questions and good ones will answer them for you

I'm a newbie really so these answers are just based on my experiences and some of the more experienced breeders will be able to provide more comprehensive information.

My number 1 tips for owning a bully is to start and maintain a relationship with the breeder who will be invaluable to you (I have a great one), try and find some other bully owners in your area, socialise your bully from as young as possible so it is used to people and learns how to interact while young and it can be easily corrected, and get involved in obedience either just yourself or with a club - clubs are better for the socialisation aspect. Also, even though you may have great control over your bully and have done everything you can, always be vigilant because you can't control the actions of others which can sometimes put you into difficult situations as the owner of a powerful dog.

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Hi, not sure if this is the right place for this, just wondering which book on Miniature Bull Terriers would be recomened by breeders as the most comprehensive, in regards to showing, breeding, anatomy, training, pet owners guide etc.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

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Bulldust   

Im not sure BBB, i think you're better off joining your local Bully club and asking the people there about everything? Theres loads of books out there for Bullies but most are not very good! Read through the Bully thread (im sure youve done this) that will help you gain a better perspective as well...

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nobul   

Blackbirdblue there are no books on the miniature BT that are specific only the generic ones that they change the names of the breeds in.

A very good book for the first time owner i can highly recommend , it "All about the bull terrier" by Tom Horner it is now out of print but you can still find it on ebay etc

If you need any advice etc on anything showing what ever i also are in SA just drop me an email

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donski   

Wow, no posts since last year.... so I thought I'd bump this thread.

What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

First time owner. Bought 1 mini bull Mitchell, now 3 yo. from a breeder. He is such a great dog I went back to the same breeder 1.5 years later and then bought his half sister. Unfortunately when Maddy was 2, she disappeared down a wombat hole.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

I can only talk about my 2. He is very submissive and the biggest sook in the world. Super affectionate. Pefect dog in every way except for cars, he is a mad car chaser. When he is very stressed eg. at the vets, he will be quite reactive to other dogs when he is on the leash. Off the leash, fine, not a problem.

Maddy was very shy with other dogs, totally food fixated! She was a star at dog training cause she wouldn't take her eyes off me if I was holding food!

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

Mitch is very fit and we do 8-10kms once, twich a week on mountain bike trails. Other than that we walk an hour every day.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Probably not ideal. If they have a strong personality and are really open to learning from others and doing everything they should ie. neutuer, dog training, lots of socialisation then they'll be OK. That's what I did and I worked out OK. Although their 'teenage' phase was quite challenging.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

Not really, they love company and love being around people.

9. How much grooming is required?

Absolutely bugger all! I probably shouldn't say that, but my dogs were virtually self cleaning. If we went out for a walk, they could be covered in mud and then half an hour later, clean. I don't do a damn thing! Their nails are kept short by the bitumen and the vet said if they're ears aren't dirty, don't clean them, so I don't. Never wash them.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Yep, my dogs love kids but they'll jump up on them and knock them down.

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Hi,

Not sure if this is the right place to post this apologise if not.

I have a staffy bitch and I live with my partner. My partners dog passed away last year :( and he misses her dearly. He is now interested in getting a Bull Terrier bitch.

Just wondering what bully's are like with other dogs especially a staffy. I am worried they won't get along and we will have to seperate them throughout the day.

I do not want to get a dog that will make my staffy stress.

Again I apologise if I have posted in the wrong place.

Thanks

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1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

- I have humbly served Bull Terriers for almost 15 years.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

- The origins are a little murky, as with most breeds. Originally, the BT was bred to be a gentleman's companion, but has been used for ratting and fighting. How he got his unique head is a bit of a mystery: some say borzoi, some say greyhound.

3. How common is it in Australia?

- I think its popularity is declining as it gets confused with the American Pit Bull Terrier often.

4. What is the average lifespan?

- About 12-15 years.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

- Outgoing and clever. They are intelligent but are a challenge to train. They tend to respond to praise much more than food when training. When other posters have said they need a "firm hand", this does not mean physical punishment, and this sort of training will guarantee a very dangerous dog. They will love and care for the whole family, but will bond very deeply with one member. They have a "mad half-hour" every day, where they tear around the yard and dance and jump!

They are not a yard dog and want to spend every minute with humans. They are very well-known for not getting on with other dogs.

They have gained a bad reputation of late for being dangerous. Be prepared for long hours of consoling your Bully when people cross the road to avoid him when he is out on his walk. He will notice, and he will know, and it will devastate him.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

- Like all dogs, they love a walk. They also love to lay on the lounge in front of the fire. As long as he is with you, he won't worry what he's doing.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

- Not normally. A first-time owner could cope if they had a lot of support from their breeder, vet and obedience club.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

- No. They are very much people dogs, and do not get along well with other dogs, so getting them a "friend" to keep them occupied is not an option in most cases.

9. How much grooming is required?

- Very little. A bit of a brush once a week, and wipe the mud off the white ones. Bullys love to sunbake, though, so please ensure your dog is sunsafe during the summer.

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

- They are a very strong and solid animal, so in most cases, no. Although, your dog should be well trained anyway!

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

- White dogs are always susceptible to deafness. ALWAYS buy from a registered breeder to avoid this. NEVER buy a puppy from the classifieds, anywhere. All the good breeders have waiting lists and don't need to sell puppies in the classifieds.

Luxating patellas and kidney problems (the latter have been largely eradicated in good-quality breeders)

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

- When you are looking at your puppy, expect to be given a careful scrutinizing from the breeder. They should ask a lot of questions about your lifestyle and the environment. Expect to be grilled as thoroughly as though the breeder was giving away a human child!

I have found most Bull Terrier breeders to be like their dogs; friendly and approachable, so feel free to ask them absolutely anything at all!

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CaritaK   

1. What is my relationship with the breed? 

I have a wonderful brother, who arrived in this world when I was already 20 years old. So, technically, I was an only 'child' and got my brother when I was an adult.  This is relevant because for the first 20 years of my life, my siblings were bull terriers.  My father was a breeder.  I recall that when I was about 10,  two of my father' bully girls had litters at the same time.  I literally sprinted home from school each day to be greeted by 24 bull terrier puppies!  Yep, both girls had litters of 12...can you imagine that sight? They would surround me like a magical skirt. Bully pups moving and bobbing and jumping over each other and falling down in a gigantic white and brindle skirt to greet me.  I would get swallowed up by them - heaven! Just one of my fond childhood memories from among so many hundreds of stories that I could share.  After the passing of my father, my mother continued with only a single bull terrier in the house, and I left home to work overseas.  To say I love these dogs seems to over simply their significance to me. I talked to them, and they talked to me.  I belly laughed at their antics, scolded them for eating stuff they shouldn't, cuddled them, and a cried when they passed away. I have lived without a bull terrier - in fact - any animals for 30 years because my career has meant constant location movement, but I am finally settled, at a mature age now, and in just over a month from now, I will be once again sharing my life with this incredible breed.  I have selected a puppy from a terrific breeder in Mackay, and I hope to one day in the future bring a skirt  puppies into this world.  I will in due course register as a breeder, and hope to give others the opportunity to live a bully life, too.

 

 

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Each Bully is unique, even from within the same litter, as brothers and sisters of the human variety are unique.  Whatever their individual personality type, expect a BIG personality from your Bull Terrier.  Some traits are common however, for example, they plonk themselves on a tiled floor so hard that as an observer you shudder at the pain you expect them to experience, but, nope, nothing... just a standard bully drop, yet they can tip toe ever so sneakily, slowly and gently to get on the sofa or the bed that they might have been banned from. I remember catching my bully with front paws on the bed, not yet quite on the bed.  When I asked ' what are you doing?',  He dropped his head between his paws on the bed - in a praying position, and very tightly squinted his eyes closed ' nothing mum, I'm sleeping.. ( one eye opens to take a peek at me standing next to him, and  he quickly squints shut again) back to sleep....sneaky, clever and adorable and very capable of learning a wide range of vocabulary... just sometimes they conveniently pull the  'Sorry, me no English' story when they fully understand. Generally Bull terriers don't bark much - so if on the rare occasion your Bully barks - it's best to investigate - something out there is not right.  They will talk to you, and they will become big talkers if you encourage it by ''bully talking" back to them - which sounds a bit like a  mix between a Harley, lawn mower and a blow dryer.....

 

Trained well, they can very gently and carefully take food from a toddler's hand (in adult company), yet they can destroy just about every 'doggy toy' on the commercial market in minutes and sometimes consume them, too.  They do only as they please: but lucky for us, they do have a desire to be our companions, so it's not as hard as many books say it is to train your Bully, but starting young is obviously better, but even older dogs given the right incentive will be fine students.  Just like you and me, when we are asked to do some workshop or training course at work, we need to know if we are just jumping through hopes for compliance, or if the training actually is meaningful to us - what's the benefit to us., we think to ourselves.  Welcome to the mind of the Bully.  Bull terriers are clever, they just need to know they are going to get something from the training and you will have a fast learner.  Think of them as  just another of your good friends - one who has a personality to want to control where you are going to meet for a coffee.  You just need to communicate to them the benefit of doing whatever it is that we are asking of them.  You need to become a bit of a manipulator. In my experience bull terriers are quite sensitive to scolding, and I know it takes training back many steps to give way to emotions and yell at them.  Easily avoided if training involves anything edible, a smile and patience.

 

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

I think the question is loaded.  It depends on how much time and energy the owner is prepared to devote to their Bully, and whether or not the prospective owner has taken the time to read about and learn about the experiences of others. This applies to most things we do for the first time -  marriage, having a child, or owning a bull terrier.  All three are easier when the knowledge and experience of others we trust and respect is sought.

 

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

Yes they can, but they can also become sad when left alone day in and day out, and sometimes destructive.  It is my personal view that if you don't time to spend with your dog, don't have one. Unless lucky enough to be retired, we all having working commitments, but on returning home, remember that your Bully has been anticipating your return since the moment you left, don't simply brush him off with a quick pat.  Spend some time with him before you start your other home obligations - a quick walk around the block at a minimum - just imagine you caught every red light on the way home, that's about the length of time you need to truly focus on your Bully and he will be happy to wait for you all over again the next day - the payoff for him is quality time with you.   Returning home, he will be happy to trot behind you as you race around the house doing what you need to do, and then cuddle with you on the sofa or on your feet on the floor.

 

 

 

9. How much grooming is required?

 

Expect to have hair on your clothes, your sofa and everywhere if you don't brush him.  If you do it regularly, it'll end up on the brushglove instead of your furnishings once or twice a week.  They enjoy a good glove rub down.  Some bullies are water mad, and other shy away from it.  Try to find shampoos that are for sensitive skin and that are not perfumed in anyway.  Be very mindful of eyes and ears... just like a toddler.   Play with his paws from when he is little so clipping nails is not a battle.  Using baby wipes or a doggy equivalent is sometimes all that is needed.  And find a good SUNSCREEN, dab a little on that pink skin above the nose and on the tips of the ears.  Don't allow any of it to accidentally touch ON his nose, it may prove very irritating, and check the smell of the product.  If you can smell it, times that by 100 and imagine its right next to your nose all day... unpleasant to say the least.  When I was young here in North QLD - back in the 70'ss and 80's, being sun smart was just starting.... we had two bullies that got skin cancer back then - times change and we learn... our Bullies can benefit from what we know now.

 

 

 

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Like I said from the outset, I had Bully brothers and sister when I grew up.  Did they knock me over?  yes.  Did they jump on me? yes.  Did I cry sometimes? yes.  But I suspect that would have happened with human brothers and sisters, too.  However, unlike two legged siblings, Bull terriers do such things out of exuberance and fun, not because they are mean.  Times change... I remember going to town in the back of my dad's ute - can't do that anymore... so perhaps I have to yield and say that young children with Bullies are perhaps not the best idea without constant parental observation - and even then not much a parent can do sitting on the back patio when mid Bully Run they suddenly zag instead of zig and knock over a child - never aiming for the child of course, but they may end up collateral damage.  Perhaps Bullies are best considered after children are old enough to enjoy a bit of rough and tumble, however, that said, I also lived with several bull terriers that were oh so gentle around me, that I find it hard to give a definate Yes or No to that question.  A  2008 study of dog temperament found that Bull Terriers on par with Golden Retrievers as a family pet - See wikipedia entry on Bull Terrier to read about that. Any dog is capable of knocking over a toddler - so it's not so much about this dog - but every dog.

 

 

 

 

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