Bull Terrier Breed Information

Bull Terriers are amongst a group of breeds classed as ‘Category Two’ by The Kennel Club. These are breeds of dog that have been highlighted as having ‘points of concern’ – visible features which, if exaggerated, might potentially affect the breed in the future and cause health and welfare concerns.

Bull Terriers are a member of the ‘Terrier’ breed group. Dogs in the Terrier group were originally bred for hunting vermin. They are hardy, brave dogs bred to pursue the likes of foxes, badgers and rats (to name a few) above and below ground.

As a breed, Bull Terriers can be quite stubborn, so training can be challenging. They’ll need to be socialised with other pets at a young age to ensure they get on well and become sociable, confident adult dogs. To find out more about how to socialise your Bull Terrier and training using reward-based techniques, take a look at our dog behaviour page.

Grooming is fairly straightforward and will be required just once a week.

Breed-related health problems:

Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Bull Terriers are prone to include:

  • Deafness
  • Kidney problems
  • Heart problems
  • Luxating patellas – the kneecaps slipping temporarily out of place.
  • Atopy – hypersensitivity to certain allergens, causing itching and skin trauma.
  • Dry eye – Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) occurs when one or both eyes don’t produce a normal amount, or type, of tears. This leads to the eye becoming very dry, which in turn can cause infections and ulcers.

For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.

You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.

Exercise requirements:

Bull Terriers are playful, mischievous dogs that have plenty of energy. They’ll need up to an hour’s exercise per day to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

Estimated lifetime cost:

The likely lifetime costs for a Bull Terrier are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:

The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.

Insure your English Bull Terrier with PDSA:

1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like English Bull Terriers that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:

  • 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
  • 4 levels of cover to suit you
  • Monthly payment at no extra cost

*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.

By insuring your English Bull Terrier with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.

Energy levels
 
Overall grooming needs
 
Compatibility with other pets
 
Easy to train
 
How much exercise
 
Suitability for children/families
 
Tendency to bark
 
Average lifespan 12-14 years
Size Medium
Coat length Short
Possible health problems Deafness, Kidney problems, Heart problems, Luxating patellas (the kneecaps slipping temporarily out of place)
Average price £500-£800
Estimated cost over lifetime £23,300-£27,000
Average weight Male: 27kg-31.5kg. Female: 22.5kg-27kg
Breed group Terrier
Minimum garden size Medium

Not sure if the English Bull Terrier is the right pet for you?