Saturday, September 17, 2011

BULL TERRIERS

This breed of dog has a head shaped like an egg, which makes it pretty funny-looking.  Also the eyes look like little triangles.  Bull terriers have round, muscular bodies, and they walk with a jaunty gait.  They are sometimes called the "gladiators of the canine race."  You might have seen some famous bull terriers in commercials on TV, like for instance Spuds MacKenzie, the dog that used to be in the Budweiser commercials, or Bullseye, who was in the Target commercials with red circles painted around one eye.





The reason bull terriers have a head that's shaped like an egg is because they don't have a "stop," like most dogs do.  The "stop" is that kind of dip in a dog's forehead between the eyes and the muzzle.  You might think that bull terriers just somehow evolved naturally to look the way they do, but that's not how it happened.  There was actually a man named James Hinks, and he designed the bull terrier by mixing several dog breeds together to come up with the look he wanted.






Back in the middle of the the 19th century, people used to use bulldogs to fight bulls and bears.  These were called "blood sports" because they were bloody and nasty to watch, but some people liked to watch them anyway, just like some people today like dog fighting or cock fighting.  Anyway, the bull or bear was usually tied up while the bulldog attacked it.  So there was no need for these bulldogs to have any speed or agility because they didn't have to get out of the way of the bull or bear when it tried to fight back.

But then people started breeding terriers and bulldogs together to get "Bull and Terrier" breeds.  These breeds could hunt rats and foxes and little animals like that, plus they could also do the blood sport thing.  About 1850, Mr. Hinks began trying to breed a Bull and Terrier type of dog with a clean appearance, good legs, and a nice head.

A bull terrier from 1915
First he started crossing English White Terriers (which are now extinct) with bulldogs.  He got a dog that was called "The White Cavalier," and a lot of people liked this type of dog.  But Mr. Hinks didn't want to stop there, so he added in some dalmatian, greyhound, Spanish pointer, foxhound, and whippet to make his dogs more elegant and graceful and to reduce their stop.  Also, he wanted white dogs.  Finally, in 1917, a dog of his named Lord Gladiator was recognized as the first modern bull terrier, and this dog had no stop at all.





But a lot of the all-white dogs turned out to be deaf, so in the early 1900s, some other people started breeding bull terriers with Staffordshire bull terriers in order to get different colors.  Nowadays, the rules for show dogs are that a white bull terrier can have color on its head but nowhere else on its body, or it can be black, brindle, red, fawn, or tri-colored with white markings.  But a bull terrier should never be blue or liver in color.  I don't know what's wrong with those colors.  I'm just telling you want the rules are.




There is also a miniature bull terrier, and it's smaller than the standard bull terrier, just like you might guess from its name.  The standard bull terrier is 20-24 inches tall and weighs between 45 and 80 pounds.  The miniature is 10-14 inches tall and weighs 24-33 pounds.







Standard and Miniature
Bull Terriers
Bull terriers have short hair that is easy to take care of.  They have lots of energy and love to play and do stuff like chase balls.  They can be scrappy or be real clowns.  They like all kinds of people, but they are often especially attached to their owners.

The average life of a bull terrier is 10-12 years long.  About 20% of the white puppies are born deaf, but only 1.3% of colored bull terriers are deaf.  Many bull terriers can get skin allergies, and they sometimes end up sunburned on the light-colored skin around their eyes, ears, nose and mouth.  Also some of them have obsessive-compulsive disorder, which makes them suck their tails, or hurt themselves by licking too much.

So that's the story of the bull terrier.  Mom thinks they are really cool-looking dogs, but she said we are not going to get one because they are likely to be too energetic for us.  If we were going to get a bully breed dog, Mom says we would probably get a pit bull.

5 comments:

  1. Aww!! How cute! Except they look a bit scary. I'm way to small for one of those cows! Get it? Bull Terrier! I would like to have a buddy though!

    Your White Buddy,
    Bentley

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Bentley,
    I am happy to have a little Maltese buddy like you! I think a rough collie or a bull terrier would be too big for you to be buddies with. Maybe you need a chihuahua buddy or some other toy breed or even another Maltese like you. Papillons are really cute, too, if you ask me. Maybe you'd like a papillon buddy. Anyway, thanks for reading my blog and for being my virtual buddy!
    Your friend, Piper

    ReplyDelete
  3. Weeeellll...I don't know if there's a dog on this earth that I don't like, but I will say that Basenjis are MUCH BETTER LOOKING than Bull Terriers!! I think if your mom should ever want to add another dog to the family, it should be a Viszla...but that's just my opinion. :)
    Love, AP

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Aunt Patty,
    You are totally right about basenjis being better looking than bull terriers but Mom still thinks they look "funny" in a good and interesting way. Of course, Mom has weird ideas about things sometimes. Mom's idea of an ugly dog is a bloodhound or a basset hound or one of those dogs with lots of floppy jowls and drool. Oh, and Mom said to tell you she thinks viszlas are very good-looking dogs.
    Love, Piper

    ReplyDelete