BULL TERRIER APPEARANCE:
Bull Terriers are thick-set and muscular with a short, dense coat. Acceptable colours are pure white (a dog that is mostly white must be disqualified in the show ring, although dark markings on the head only are permissible) and coloured, which is any colour other than white or any colour with white markings. The AKC specifies that if all other things are equal, the brindle coat is preferred.
This terrier's most distinctive feature is its head, described as 'egg shaped' when viewed from the front, almost flat at the top, with a Roman muzzle sloping evenly down to the end of the nose with no stop. The unique triangular eyes are small, dark, and closely set. The body is full and round, while the shoulders are robust and muscular and the tail is carried horizontally. It walks with a jaunty gait, and is popularly known as the 'gladiator of the canine race'.
Bull Terriers arose from the old-fashioned Bulldog, crossed with the now extinct Old English Terrier, during the 19th century. Crosses with other breeds doubtless could have occurred.
Pedigrees of Bull Terriers date from the period during which the English Stud books were first written (circa 1874-6). Although the breed was developed from fighting dogs, the Bull Terrier was intended to be a showdog and companion.
Bull Terriers are generally free of disabling genetic diseases. All puppies should be checked for deafness, as this sometimes occurs and is difficult to notice, especially in a relatively young puppy. A common problem to many Bull Terriers is a tendency to develop skin allergies. Insect bites, such as fleas, and sometimes mosquitoes and mites, can produce a generalized allergic response of hives, rash, and itching. This condition can be stopped by keeping the dog free of contact from these insects, but this is definitely a consideration in climates or circumstances where exposure to these insects is inevitable. Their lifespan is somewhere between 11 and 14 years.
Typically the Bull Terrier is an active, interesting, playful, and clownish breed. It can also become very attached to certain family members. The breed is usually amenable to obedience training.