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Celebrating The Bull Terrier 

April 1, 2024

Today, April 1st, we are celebrating a very special and lovable pup: the Bull Terrier. This loyal, friendly, and often hilarious pooch has been around for nearly 200 years now! A local Gainesville, GA vet puts Fido in the spotlight in this article.

Bull Terrier Basics

Short and stocky, Fido usually grows to be about 21 or 22 inches. He can weigh as much as 70 pounds, and can live up to 13 years, on average.  

What Two Dogs Make A Bull Terrier?

Originally hailing from England, the Bull Terrier was developed as a mix between the old English Terrier and the bulldog. Later on, Fido’s family tree was expanded to include the Spanish Pointer, white English terrier, and Dalmatian. 

What Is The Temperament Of The Bull Terrier?

This is one area where Fido really just shines. Bull Terriers really are a lot of fun. For instance, they are known to love chasing their tails. They can be a bit bullheaded, so to speak, but they tend to also be very playful, loving, and devoted. If you want an affectionate, active dog that will both keep you laughing and melt your heart, these guys may be a good fit.

What Is The History Of The Bull Terrier?

The breed was developed in England in the early 1800’s by a man named James Hinks. He started by breeding bull and terriers with the now-extinct English White terrier. The bull and terrier dogs were developed to hunt vermin, and were also often used in bloodsport. In fact, Fido was once known as the canine gladiator. England banned dog fighting in 1835, fortunately.

Over time, other dogs were introduced into the line. Breeders also gave Fido his distinctive egg-shaped head, which is the breed’s most distinctive feature today.

What Color Is The Bull Terrier?

Fido can sport quite a few different colors and outfits. In a nutshell, the Bull Terrier can wear all white, but he can also sport nearly any color. The pups may also be solid in color, or have markings.

Here’s the official list of doggy fashion choices:

  • Black Brindle
  • Black Brindle & White
  • Black Tan & White
  • Brindle
  • Brindle & White
  • Red
  • Red & White
  • White
  • White & Black Brindle
  • White & Brindle
  • White & Red
  • White Black & Tan
  • Fawn
  • Fawn & White
  • Fawn Smut
  • Fawn Smut & White
  • Red Smut
  • Red Smut & White
  • White & Fawn
  • White & Fawn Smut
  • White & Red Smut

Do Bull Terriers Have Health Issues?

While these dogs are typically pretty robust, there are a few things owners should be aware of. If you want to get a puppy, the AKC recommends getting proof that Fido has been checked for heart and kidney issues.

Fido may also be at elevated risk of hearing loss. About ten percent of Bull Terriers have a type of hereditary deafness, which is called congenital sensorineural deafness, or CSD. This isn’t a coincidence; early breeders deliberately sought white dogs, wanting the aesthetic of a white coat. Unfortunately, those pretty coats are genetically linked to certain hearing problems. In fact, dogs of different colors were introduced to the line because of this. 

The breed standards recommend the following tests:

  • Patella Evaluation
  • BAER Testing
  • Kidney
  • Cardiac Exam

You’ll of course also need to keep up with your canine pal’s veterinary appointments. This is a great chance to ask your Gainesville, GA veterinarians for specific advice about your pet’s care needs. 

Do Bull Terriers Have A Lot Of Grooming Needs?

This is a definite plus for Fido. Bull terriers typically have short, smooth coats. Fido will need to be brushed about once a week, and bathed regularly. You’ll also need to keep his ears clean and his claws clipped.

What Should I Know Before Adopting A Bull Terrier? 

Like all dogs, it’s important for Fido to be properly trained and socialized. To keep your pup happy and healthy, he’ll need lots of affection and playtime. Be sure to ask your Gainesville, GA vet for specific care tips. 

Do Bull Terriers Really Chase Their Tails A Lot? 

Yes! This can be both cute and comical. However, it is important to be aware that sometimes this can be a form of a doggy obsessive compulsive disorder, technically called canine compulsive disorder, or CCD. For some reason, Bull Terriers are rather prone to this. If your pet seems a little too involved in his tail-chasing, or shows other signs of obsession, such as pacing or chasing his shadow, reach out to your vet.

Are Bull Terriers Very Popular? 

Fido isn’t exactly the hottest dog around right now: he’s currently at number 61 on the AKC’s breed popularity list. However, he does have some pretty important fans.  Celebrities that have owned Bull Terriers include Taylor Swift, Kirk Hammett, Eric Clapton, Lily Allen, Marc Jacobs, Liam Gallagher, Tom Hardy, Don Cherry, and Princess Anne.

Does Taylor Swift Really Have A Bull Terrier? 

Yes! If you’re a Swiftie with a love of this charming breed, you can even buy an autographed photo of the singer hanging out with her canine bestie. Just be prepared to spend a few hundred on the memento. 

Are There Any Famous Bull Terriers? 

There definitely are! Fido has gotten a few turns in the spotlight. The most famous Bull Terrier of all has to be Spuds Mckenzie, the iconic canine mascot of Bud Light beer. The pooch made his debut in a now-iconic 1987 Super Bowl commercial, and immediately stole America’s heart. For several years, the cute pup appeared in commercials, movies, and ad campaigns, often sporting a Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses. Dubbed the “original party animal”, Spuds was top dog for a few years in the 80’s.

Here are a few fun facts about Spuds: 

  • The pooch popped up in a 2017 Super Bowl ad as a ghost helping a man reunite with his friends. The house number that appeared in the spot was 1989, which was the year that Spuds officially retired. 
  • Though many assumed that Spuds was a boy, the part was actually played by a female terrier named Honey Tree Evil Eye, or Evie. 
  • The pooch appeared in the lyrics and video for Neil Young’s song This Note’s For You. The song was banned by MTV, who felt the song was insulting one of their major advertisers. It then went on to win an MTV VMA. 
  • The commercial’s impact goes a bit further than one might expect. Sir Mixalot reportedly wrote Baby Got Back as a commentary on the fact that Spuds’ entourage always included skinny women.
  • Spuds was also mentioned in the Tone Lōc song Funky Cold Medina.

Spuds isn’t the only famous Bull Terrier. We can’t forget that Target chose one to use as their mascot as well. That pooch sports an iconic circle around his eye. 

Of course, we can’t forget the animated Bull Terriers. There’s Zero from A Nightmare Before Christmas. (Technically, Zero is a ghost, but it still counts.) Sparky from Frankenweenie was also a Bull Terrier. Given that both of these movies are Tim Burton flicks, it’s probably safe to say that the famous director is also a fan. Finally, we can’t forget Slurms MacKenzie, a Spuds parody that appeared on Futurama.

Book An Appointment At Your Gainesville, GA Animal Clinic

Do you have questions about caring for a Bull Terrier? Has it been a while since your canine companion visited the animal clinic? Please feel free to contact us anytime. As your local Gainesville, GA pet hospital, we are always happy to help! 

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