The American Bull Terrier is one of the liveliest breeds of the bully variety.
A unique blend of a Bulldog with the Spanish Pointers and the Old English Terriers produces a breed of dog that is vivacious, feisty, and suited to those that want a dog that enjoys the company of others.
The American Bull Terrier has a distinctive look that is attributed to its breeding.
Derived from the breeding of a Bulldog, Spanish Pointers and the Old English Terriers, the American Bull Terrier has a short muscular build that can make it appear to be quite unapproachable.
In general, this breed stands at about 20-22 inches and can weigh up to 75 pounds.
The males are generally larger than the females weighing around 55-65 pounds while the females weigh around 45-55 pounds.
The American Bull Terrier has a large oval head that holds very distinctive triangular-shaped eyes.
The coat of the Bull Terrier is short, shiny and somewhat hard to touch. Typically, Bull Terrier coats come in either white or colored.
The white Bull Terriers are usually white all over their bodies with a marking somewhere on their heads.
The colored Bull Terriers can come in various colors which include brindle, black brindle, red, fawn and even tricolor.
Care and Grooming
Because of their short coats, grooming of American Bull Terriers is less difficult when compared to the long-haired dog breeds.
They don’t shed that often so a weekly brushing of their coat will suffice. Regular bathing as well as checking for fleas, ticks and mites is highly recommended.
Because of their short, condensed stature, it is important that Bull Terriers receive enough food that will supply the necessary energy needs without overdoing it.
These dogs can put on too much weight if fed too much. Thus, Bull Terriers should consume up to 4 ½ cups of high-quality food each day.
It is best that the food be divided into two structured meals each day to ensure that the proper amount of food is administered throughout the day.
Vivacious and very energetic, the American Bull Terrier requires lots of physical activity. This is not a dog for the sedentary.
Quite extroverted, they do require much interaction with their human companions in order to be happy, and behavioral problems can result if the expression of their energy is stifled in any way.
Some form of daily exercise is a must to ensure that they are able to release their energy as well as obtain the required physical activity to keep them fit and healthy.
Because these dogs do require a certain amount of physical activity in order to be happy, those interested in owning American Bull Terriers should consider whether they have the necessary accommodations to allow these dogs to run about and obtain the physical activity that they need.
Some form of outdoor space is recommended.
The American Bull Terrier was originally bred for fighting.
Although this particular trait is no longer applicable in regards to the temperament of this breed of dog, the very courageous nature still remains.
Bull Terriers are some of the feistiest, fearless breeds of dogs. Because of this, they can be very protective of their owners.
Someone looking for a loyal protective dog will find that the American Bull Terrier fits the bill.
Because these dogs do possess a very active, feisty energy, some form of established training is often necessary.
Without this training, American Bull Terriers have the tendency to become jealous, pushy, and a bit aggressive.
Those considering owning this breed of dog will have to be willing to take a leadership role.
Passive owners will find out quickly why leadership and training is necessary as without guidance American Bull Terriers can become quite overbearing.
American Bull Terriers can be hard to train. Thus, the sooner the training is implemented the better the results on the temperament on this particular breed.
While very self-assured and steadfast, this breed does enjoy interaction with people.
Bull Terriers are very playful and quite affectionate, and they are the type of dogs that enjoy being in the midst of action with their human family.
Because American Bull Terriers are quite headstrong, socialization is very important.
Those interested in owning this breed of dog would do well to begin the socialization process during the puppy stage.
This breed is hard to train, so the younger they are when the socialization and training occurs the better.
In terms of other animals, socialization with other dogs and animals is best done during the puppy stage as this allows the American Bull Terriers to become acclimated to other animals.
In general, it is not recommended for American Bull Terriers to live with non-canine animals as again they can be a bit possessive towards other animals.
In regards to humans, American Bull Terriers thoroughly enjoy human companionship.
Being quite energetic, they may not be best with younger children as their rambunctious nature could possibly be a bit overbearing.
Bull Terriers become very attached to their human family and thoroughly enjoy the social interaction within a family environment.
The right combination of structured training and affection will ensure that American Bull Terriers are properly socialized.
As with many bred dogs, American Bull Terriers are susceptible to certain health conditions. Some of the more common health conditions include:
Lens Luxation-This is the displacement of the lens of the eye because of deteriorating eye ligaments.
Treatment of this condition depends on its severity. Less severe cases can be treated with medication.
Eye surgery that repairs the damaged eye ligaments is also an option. In severe cases, removal of the affected eye may be necessary.
Hereditary Nephritis-This is a hereditary kidney disease that can be fatal.
With this disease, the kidneys are underdeveloped resulting in urine filtering issues that increase protein levels in the urine.
Bull Terriers born with this kidney disease should be tested annually starting at 18 months to properly monitor this condition.
In general, this condition is fatal with those Bull Terriers born with this condition dying between 3-8 years of age.
Heart Problems-Bull Terriers are susceptible to heart disease. Heart issues are usually detected through heart noise and can involve either the function or the physical structure of the heart.
The severity of the heart disease will determine which treatment methods will be most effective.
Some Bull Terriers will respond well to medication while others will require surgery.
Spinning - Bull Terriers are prone to excessive spinning. This can either be a sign of an obsessive compulsive disorder or a sign of a neurological disorder that can result in a seizure. This condition can cause Bull Terriers to chase their tails for hours. Although the severity of this condition can range from mild to severe, it is something that should be noted to access and monitor the health of Bull Terriers.
Skin Issues - Skin problems are prevalent among Bull Terriers in the form of rashes and sores.
White Bull Terriers are more prone to skin problems because of the increased sensitivity of their skin.
Allergy tests may be necessary in order to determine the cause of the skin issues and to determine the proper treatment.
American Bull Terriers are also prone to deafness. This is especially true of the white Bull Terriers as up to 20% of white Bull Terriers are born deaf.
Also, this breed of dog is susceptible to zinc deficiencies so proper nourishment is encouraged.
The American Bull Terrier is an energetic, loyal breed that has the potential to offer years of companionship with the proper training and socialization.