Bull Terrier

  • Overview

    These sweet, eager dogs were bred for dog fighting, which gives them a negative reputation. In reality, they were such poor fighters that their owners discovered these dogs' intent, busy personalities and their ability to concentrate on tasks made them much better ratters. Miniature Bull Terriers are a smaller version of the stockier Bull Terrier. They stand between 10 and 14 inches tall and share all physical characteristics with the Bull Terrier. Bull Terriers are constant clowns who love to amuse those around them with their playful instincts. They have a strong appearance and an even stronger personality. With proper socialization and training, they make thoughtful, affectionate family pets.

  • Personality

    Bull Terriers have similar personalities to human toddlers. They're constantly busy, they love to explore everything, they have a tendency to get into some harmless mischief, and they will make their own fun if they are feeling bored. That's not to say these dogs are naughty — they certainly don't try to be. They are actually incredibly sweet and affectionate dogs who are loyal to their owners and eager to please them in any way they can. They're just a little obsessive-compulsive. No, really. Many Bull Terriers are diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which manifests itself in some intense indoor tail-chasing sessions and extreme concentration on just about every activity. This means that if you are the proud owner of a Bull Terrier, you will have to keep plenty of chew toys around the house and be willing to commit yourself to some active outdoor play sessions every day. Otherwise, your dog will become bored, restless, and probably mischievous.

    These dogs have charisma, and those who know them quickly come to love them. Although they love vigorous exercise, they also love vigorous play, and they will go out of their way to involve those around them in their antics. They are also extremely affectionate, and if they love you, they'll let you know. They can be willful, so they require early training to help them establish their place in the home and learn polite behavior and social skills.

  • Coat Care

    These dogs are 50 pounds of solid muscle. Their coats are less noticeable than their stocky carriage and interesting facial shapes. They are the only dogs who have egg-shaped heads and triangular eyes. Bull Terriers have short, flat and shiny coats with a hard texture. Their coats are either white or colored. White Bull Terriers have white bodies and occasionally patterned heads. Colored Bull Terriers have coats in any color other than white. These dogs will demand quite a bit from you in the exercise department, but their grooming needs are not as time-consuming.

Brushing

They need a weekly brushing with a soft brush or rubber grooming mitt, except when they shed. They shed their coats twice a year, when they will need daily brushing to remove dead hair and help their coats grow in neatly.

Bathing

With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

Smooth coated breeds adhere to the general rule of dog bathing: about once every three months. The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Wipe wrinkled breeds with a soft cloth and make sure they are totally dry after bathing.

Hair Clipping

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.

Dogs with smooth coats generally only require trims and tidying up in areas of excessive hair growth using a trimmer or blunt scissors. It's always wise to take a dog for a short walk or exercise to calm them down before trimming. Remember to brush the coat first to remove any tangles and mats. Don't forget to trim around the paws, pads, tail, chest and sanitary areas, as needed. The coat should lay flat and smooth against the body when finished.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Some smooth-coated dogs, like Basenjis and Boxers, and dogs with large ears, like Weimaraners and Great Danes, have sensitive ears that should be checked  weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If you have a small dog, like an Italian Greyhound, take special care to  clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes to make sure they are comfortable. Dogs with facial wrinkles, like French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers, should have their faces wiped down at least weekly to prevent infection.

Teeth

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.