Originating in England, Bull Terriers were used primarily as vermin hunters and show dogs. They descended from crosses between the Old English Bulldog and Old English Terrier, both now-extinct but they were bred to be used in the deadly sports of dogfighting and bull-baiting. The unique egg-shaped head of the Bull Terrier comes from the incorporation of the Borzoi and Collie into the breed's lineage to create a dog that looked like no other. It is a common misconception that these dogs are related to the American Pit Bull Terrier, but this is not the case. They are more closely related to the American Staffordshire Terrier, who also shares the same ancestors. During the 1930s, there was a growing interest in a smaller sized Bull Terrier; today, while selecting for health and longevity, the Miniature Bull Terrier was developed, which is almost half the size of the standard specimen and is also considered a separate breed.
Known for being the mascot of the department store Target, the Bull Terrier is widely recognized for its unique egg-shaped head. Other hallmarks of the breed include their erect ears and very small, triangular-shaped eyes that give them a determined, yet happy expression. Bull Terriers come in two coat types that include solid white and any other color such as black and tan, brindle, fawn, red, and tri-color. Regardless of their coloring, they have a short, flat, and harsh-feeling coat with a glossy appearance. These dogs are strongly built with powerful muscles and broad shoulders. The muzzle of the breed has a downward-sloping shape and the nose is black with a downward-bent tip. The tail of the Bull Terrier is short and carried horizontally.
Known as the "gladiator of the canine race," Bull Terriers have more of an intimidating appearance than they do a tough behavior. Regardless of their looks, the breed is not a great choice for an outdoor dog as they are not to be kept outside and forgotten but are happiest when they are around their families. Due to their terrier and bulldog background, they can be mischievous, notorious diggers, and fairly stubborn during obedience training. If training is started early, they can excel and be very obedient. The devoted Bull Terrier can be very protective, especially if they believe that their family is in trouble. Early socialization and training from a consistent owner are important for this breed to avoid unwanted aggressive or guardian behavior towards other people and animals. With supervision, this playful terrier gets along well with children but is usually not recommended for households with other dogs because of their dominant personality. Like most medium-sized breeds, plenty of daily exercise in the form of walking, hiking, or having large areas to run around in are needed to avoid destructive behavior when bored. Loyal and energetic, the Bull Terrier can make a fun and entertaining pet to have that the entire family can enjoy.