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Spotlight On The Bull Terrier

April 1, 2024

Today, April 1st, we honor a particularly special and beloved pooch: the Bull Terrier. This devoted, sociable, and often humorous dog has been around for nearly 200 years! Read on as a local Lexington, VA veterinarian puts Fido in the spotlight.

Bull Terrier Breed Basics

Fido is short and stocky, reaching a height of 21 or 22 inches. He can weigh up to 70 pounds and lives for an average of 13 years. He’s most well known for his egg-shaped head.

What Two Dog Breeds Make Up A Bull Terrier?

The Bull Terrier, which originated in England, was created by crossing the old English Terrier with the bulldog. Fido’s family tree eventually grew to include the Spanish Pointer, white English terrier, and Dalmatian.

What Is The Bull Terrier’s Temperament Like?

This is one area where Fido truly shines. Bull Terriers are lots of fun! For example, they are known to like chasing their tails. They can be stubborn, but they are also lively, affectionate, and dedicated. If you want an affectionate, lively dog who will make you laugh and melt your heart, Fido might be a wonderful fit.

What Is the History of Bull Terriers?

James Hinks, a guy from England, developed the breed in the early 1800s. He began by crossing bulls and terriers with the now-extinct English White terrier. Bull and terrier dogs were bred to hunt vermin and were commonly used in bloodsports. Fido was previously regarded as the “canine gladiator.” Fortunately, England prohibited dogfighting in 1835.

Other canines were eventually introduced into the line. Breeders also gave Fido his characteristic egg-shaped head, which is the breed’s most distinguishing feature today.

What Color Are Bull Terriers?

Fido may wear a variety of hues and costumes. In a nutshell, the Bull Terrier may wear all white or almost any color. The pups may either be solid colored or have markings.

Here is the official list of dog 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

Are Bull Terriers Prone To Any Health Problems?

While these dogs are usually quite sturdy, there are a few concerns owners should be mindful of. If you wish to get a puppy, the AKC recommends obtaining documentation that Fido has been tested for heart and renal problems.

Fido may also be at higher risk for hearing loss. About 10% of Bull Terriers suffer congenital sensorineural deafness, often known as CSD. This is not an accident; early breeders purposefully sought white dogs because they preferred the look of a white coat. Unfortunately, those lovely coats are genetically connected to certain hearing difficulties. As a result, canines of various colors were added into the line.

Breed standards recommend the following tests:

  • Patella Evaluation
  • BAER Testing 
  • Kidney 
  • Cardiac Examination

You will, of course, need to keep up with your canine companion’s veterinary appointments. This is an excellent opportunity to ask your Lexington, VA veterinarian for particular guidance on your pet’s care requirements.

Do Bull Terriers Need To Be Groomed A Lot?

These guys are pretty low maintenance as far as beauty care goes. Bull terriers usually have short, silky coats. Fido won’t need many baths, but he will need to be brushed at least once a week. Additionally, you will need to keep his claws trimmed and his ears clean.

What Do I Need to Know Before Adopting A Bull Terrier?

Fido, like all dogs, needs adequate training and socialization, as well as plenty of affection and playtime. Before adopting any dog, it’s important to do a lot of research, to help ensure that the pooch you pick is a good family for your household. Make sure to contact your veterinarian for particular care advice.

Do Bull Terriers Chase Their Tails A Lot?

Yes! This can be both adorable and comical. However, it is crucial to note that this can occasionally be a type of doggy obsessive-compulsive disorder, also known as canine compulsive disorder, or CCD. Bull Terriers are particularly prone to this. If your pet appears to be overly preoccupied with chasing his tail or exhibits other signs of fixation, like pacing or chasing his shadow, contact your Lexington, VA veterinarian.

Are Bull Terriers Popular?

Fido isn’t exactly the most popular breed of dog around right now: he’s ranked 61 on the AKC’s breed popularity list. However, he does have a few noteworthy fans. Celebrities that have had 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 Own a Bull Terrier?

Yes! You can even get an autographed photo of the singer with her canine companion. Just be prepared to pay a few hundred for the keepsake.

Are Any Bull Terriers Famous?

There definitely are! Fido has had a few turns in the spotlight. The most well-known Bull Terrier is Spuds Mckenzie, the renowned canine mascot of Bud Light beer. The beloved dog made his debut in a now-iconic 1987 Super Bowl advertisement and quickly captured America’s heart. For several years, the adorable puppy appeared in commercials, movies, and advertising campaigns, frequently wearing a Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses. Spuds was the “original party animal” and was very popular in the 80’s

Here are some amusing facts about Spuds:

  • Although many people assumed Spuds was a guy, the role was really played by a female terrier named Honey Tree Evil Eye, or Evie.
  • The dog was featured in the lyrics and video for Neil Young’s song This Note’s For You. MTV banned the song because they felt it insulted one of their big advertisers, Budweiser. It went on to win an MTV Video Music Award.
  • The commercial’s impact extends deeper than one may imagine. Sir Mixalot allegedly penned Baby Got Back as a satire on Spuds’ entourage, which always comprised slender ladies.
  • Spuds was mentioned in Tone Lōc’s song Funky Cold Medina.
  • Spuds made an unexpected comeback in a 2017 Super Bowl commercial, in which he played a ghost helping a guy reconnect with his friends. The house number in the as was 1989, the year Spuds officially retired.

Spuds isn’t the only popular Bull Terrier. We can’t forget that Target also adopted one as their mascot. That pup has an iconic circle around his eye, which is drawn on with nontoxic paint.

Then there’s the animated Bull Terriers. First up is Zero from The Nightmare Before Christmas. (Technically speaking, Zero is a ghost, but it still counts.) Sparky from Frankenweenie also happened to be a Bull Terrier. Given that both of these films are Tim Burton productions, it’s probably safe to assume that the renowned filmmaker is also a fan of the breed. Finally, let’s not forget Slurms MacKenzie, a Spuds spoof from Futurama.

Schedule An Appointment At Your Lexington, VA Animal Clinic

Do you have any questions about taking care of a bull terrier? Has it been too long since your dog went to the vet? Please feel free to contact us at any time. As your local Lexington, VA pet hospital, we are always eager to assist!

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