How to find the right Bull Terrier Puppy for you
Puppies in general are a handful of work. When it comes to Standard Bull Terrier or Miniature Bull Terrier puppies in particular, you may often wish you had two additional hands.
Some say Bull Terriers and Miniature Bull Terriers are not a dog for first timers. Although I do not completely agree, I would definitely say that the Bull Terrier is a breed you need to “be prepared for”.
Therefore, before you consider getting one of those cute little Bull Terrier puppies, you should gather some information about the breed and learn more about what your are getting into.
Meeting them in a dog park or at a breeder’s can help to get to know the breed better before you are getting your own puppy.
Is a Bull Terrier the right dog breed for me?
The Character of Bull Terrier Puppies
Bull Terrier puppies are very agile and open to the world. They usually show no fear or shyness and love exploring things with their mouths and through chewing. They need quite an amount of entertainment and exercise.
Thankfully puppies also sleep a lot during their first months.
But you should still prepare to get pretty busy with your new Bull Terrier Puppy during the first months in order to lead curiosity and energy into the right direction. The Miniature Bull Terrier is in no way less fun. Regarding the character there is no difference between Standard Bull Terrier and Miniature Bull Terrier. The Miniature Bull Terrier is merely a smaller version of the Standard Bull Terrier. Other than that they are basically the same.
Socialization of Bull Terrier Puppies
When your new family member is separated from her canine family to come into your home, she should be at least 8 weeks old (don’t accept a younger puppy). Eight weeks is still pretty young. She will need a lot of love and attention from you to compensate for the separation. Also you will be her teacher and her role model now. It’s in your hands to prepare her for maturing into a well behaved canine citizen.
Early socialization is very important especially in Bull Terrier Puppies. This breed can be difficult to socialize later on, if first contact to other animals and humans has been missed during their first weeks and months.
Socialization can take place in a dog park, for example. However, the park should be chosen wisely. Some dog parks offer a very uncontrolled environment, when most of the owners do not really pay attention to their dogs. This would be a rather bad environment for first attempts of socialization. Only visit dog parks and other areas with many dogs around (such as beaches etc.) where other dog owners pay attention to their dogs. Another more controlled environment for socialization are puppy classes. They also make a good start for obedience training.
Where can I find Bull Terrier Puppies?
Is it important to buy from a professional breeder or can I just buy my puppy anywhere?
The most preferable way to buy your Bull Terrier Puppy is from a professional and reputable breeder.
The reason: Bull Terriers are known for some serious health issues. Various skin issues and allergies are top of the list, followed by kidney and neurological problems (“spinning”, SOA). Epileptic seizures, cardiac or liver problems and deafness (mostly in white Bull Terriers) are also seen a lot.
Many of those problems can require expensive long term treatment and a lot of vet visits.
The majority of those problems is considered to have genetic causes.
For example, the skin problems are often looked at as linked to a failing immune system. The resulting conditions can get so severe that they require long term treatment with either antibiotics, steroids or a combination of both and a range of other medications. For you this means, getting a puppy with genetic defects can cost you thousands over the lifespan of the dog.
For all of these circumstances a reputable breeder will put his efforts into generating healthy offspring without genetic defects. He will only cross dogs proven to be free of hereditary diseases by health testing. And of course he will not cross the breed with others.
Health testing is expensive which makes it more likely to be found in a professional, full time breeder. He more likely has the knowledge, facilities and the budget.
Of course, even a test cannot give a lifetime guarantee for the health of a dog and there are always additional non-hereditary issues that can arise during the life of a Bull Terrier.
As skin allergies are not limited to a weak immune system as the cause, they can also still occur in seemingly healthy dogs.
BUT health testing dramatically increases the chances of keeping the established standards of appearance, health and behavior within a breed and reduce hereditary problems over generations through selective breeding, while random breeding bears the potential of increasing those problems.
For obvious reasons always the best way is to buy a puppy from a breeder you can visit on-site.
Note on how to choose a puppy, if you get to choose on-site:
If you get the chance to choose your puppy in person on-site, this is also a great chance to take a look at the canine parents. Their overall condition, size and weight can tell you a lot about your future companion.
It is also a chance to take a closer look not only at colors, but also at characters, in case you have any preferences due to that. If you want something “in the middle” due to character, you should neither pick the puppy that’s always first at the food bowl nor the most reluctant one in the litter.
Bull Terrier puppies in general are curious and open to the world. If one is rather shy and also small, it could be an early sign for general weakness. That can, but does not necessarily have to regard their health. Still, these puppies can make an excellent companion, if you like the more gentle and dedicated version of a pet. But if you like to have an energetic and outgoing friend, they may not be the best choice for you. On the other hand the first puppy at the food bowl could easier be prone to domination tendencies or may at least be VERY outgoing and energetic. Maybe a little too much for your taste. Or just what you’re looking for – that depends.
Sadly, especially with this rather rare breed, it is just not possible in any case to find a breeder near you and to choose a puppy in person. Alternatively, you can gather your information on the internet and even order a Bull Terrier puppy online. Even reputable breeders offer this option. Under the right circumstances – I cant’t stress “right circumstances” enough – it can absolutely be a good choice to ship a puppy.
Be chatty, ask questions
It is always a good idea to get in touch with the breeder of your choice first, ask questions by e-mail or maybe even talk to him on the phone. A responsive breeder will appreciate your efforts to get as much information as possible about him and the breed. If a breeder is not willing to answer your questions, it’s time to move on.
Many reputable breeders will ask you to fill out a form and give more information about yourself. There may even be questions about your job, family members, if you ever had a dog before and things like that.
Such a questionnaire does not mean that this breeder is nosy. It shows that he is interested in knowing more about the future homes of his puppies.
Answering the questions honestly gives the breeder a chance to discover possible problematic constellations right away and discuss them with you to establish solutions before you get your puppy. That on the other hand will give you a bigger chance to successfully offer the right home and environment for your new family member.
Bull Terrier puppies from reputable breeders usually go quickly. Therefore some breeders desire some kind of confirmation from you that your interest is sincere. So nobody has to wait longer than necessary for their Bull Terrier puppy. Therefore some breeders ask for some kind of a downpayment. Sometimes even before the litter you are interested in has been born. A sincere breeder, of course should be willing to refund your payment, if he is not able to deliver or after deep consideration you change your mind about getting a Bull Terrier puppy.
The price for a Bull Terrier Puppy on average ranges between USD 1,000 and 2,500.
Private breeders sometimes offer them for less. And some Bull Terrier puppies can be even more expensive, if they are intended for breeding or show purposes.
A reputable breeder will freely offer information about nutrition, keeping the breed, general health issues of the breed etc.
He will also offer information about the canine parents of his Bull Terrier puppies and have documents available about kennel club registration and multi-generation pedigree (usually AKC in the U.S.) of the sire and dame. He will be able to provide health testing information (certificates) about his breeding animals as well. The Bull Terrier puppy should have their first round of vaccinations and deworming when you get her.
A responsible breeder will usually not have more than one or two breeds in his livestock for breeding. Too many different breeds in one kennel can be a tell-tale sign of animals kept in mass stock, like often found in puppy mills.
Read more about other options of acquiring Bull Terrier puppies on the next page.
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We just got a little miniature bully. And our concern is. He only plays with ball for a short period of time and don’t chase toys or people. He just laying down.;( is he ok? Bully’s suppose to be very active.
While English Bull Terriers are notorious for being very active, even for this breed the following is true:
Besides the disposition of a certain breed, activity levels also depend on several different factors, such as age, nutrition, health and environment (hot summer, cold winter …).
I would need to know much more details to answer your question. But if you really think that he is much less active than other Bull Terriers of his age I would probably recommend to get him to a vet for a check up anyway, just to make sure the little one is physically ok.
Hello I have my male bull terrier who jut turned a year now. We socialized him early as possible where he got along with all dogs, never bit back. Now for the past month he gets aggressive with dogs. He starts off wanting to play with them. When he plays with them for at least 30 seconds than he gets aggressive. Once we stop him he cries for the other dog. We can’t find the issue but this has been going on. He has always been a people and dog lover but now we are afraid I take him back to the dog park. Any ideas? THank you
that is textbook adolescent Bull Terrier attitude. When maturing, especially males tend to really push their limits and challenge owners and other individuals in order to find out what they can get through with.
You did not describe the “aggression” in detail. So it is a little hard to tell from afar if you have already reached the point where your dog actually attacks and bites others or if he is basically “just” going over them, mounting and dominating them, no matter if male or female. If biting is involved I would first skip meeting other dogs in uncontrolled places, such as dog parks, and put all of my efforts into working on the issue under controlled circumstances, ideally with a trainer.
Basically, you are absolutely right about not wanting to tolerate dominance and aggressive behavior, especially when exhibited pro-actively by your Bull Terrier. At that age, working hard on obedience and your bond can help a lot, even if success may not be visible right away. Dominance needs to be interrupted every time immediately and playtime ends right there in order for your dog to learn that nothing good results from aggressing others.
If no biting is involved already and you know of any other dogs, he is getting along with an not trying to dominate them, maybe it is a good idea, for now, to limit playtime with other pals to just these particular dogs. All other situations – as it sounds to me from your report – should better be avoided and only be entered very carefully and under strong supervision in the future. Also I would keep a long leash on the dog and warn the owner of the other dog that yours tends to dominate others, before they interact. The leash enhances your chance to intervene early once your dog starts to go over the top again. If the next few very cautious attempts fail and your dog seems to continue escalating its behavior every time rather than dialing back a bit, like said before, I would skip dog parks and other gathering spots for dogs for a while altogether, because chances increase that sooner or later there will be a fight, once another dog does not accept being bothered by your dog. Bull Terriers are courageous and once challenged they often do not back out of a fight, even if they were the ones who started it by bothering the other dog.
Scientists say that dogs minds are comparable with the ones of a three year old child. And in my experience this seems to be true, sometimes resulting in irrational decisions.
You also did not mention if your dog displays the described behavior EVERY time with EVERY dog or only in isolated cases.
So, here’s another tohught to consider:
If it only happens now and then it would be a great idea to really monitor the situation closely when your dog interacts with the other dog and watch, if your dog is really the one starting things or if the other dog is for example nipping ears, going over your dog or in general also showing provocative behavior.
Also it is a good idea to watch owners. If an owner obviously does not care about what his dog is doing, think twice about letting your dog play with his dog. Because once things escalate you will be left alone with TWO dogs to handle and separate and in the worst case the only thing the other owner will have seen is your dog attacking his.
Rather try to find people, whose dogs are getting along with your dog an who are aware of the risks, who are actively involved with theirs dogs and willing to work on the situation with you.
One more thing to keep in mind: Some Bull Terriers have a general tendency to develop aggression or an aversion against other dogs. Right now, honestly, your situation does sound more like just adolescent quirks. But it might as well turn out that your dog is just not compatible with other dogs.
Things should not accumulate to a serious fight to make that clear. There are lots of other preceding signs.
General incompatibility is a possibility that should be kept in mind but if it should turn out to be the case, it would still not the world’s end. It just needs to be considered and handled and your dog needs more human play pals in that case. 🙂
Hope it helps a little.
Hello, fantastic website and source of information!
Our 2 year old EBT dog Ruffus ( male ). We only have had him for 4 months now and the seller said he was great dog and he is 99% of the time, but when he is sleeping and you step near him he instantly awakes and snarls and barks very aggressively. My children and husband are now terrified, the thing is, this only happens if roused from sleep. So, the trigger is, if sleeping on his bed or on the sofa and someone affectionally strokes hime then he will go into a terrifying fit of rage that seems to lasts for a few seconds.
The thing is Ruffus shows no aggression around food or toys. When we bought Ruffus from the seller, Ruffus had his tail docked. I’m now wondering that the seller was aware of this and my research leads me to think that Ruffus was possibly an OCD tail chaser and now is possibly showing signs of sudden onset aggression.
Can you help
this is one very special topic I have been considering to write an essay about, just because I keep hearing these stories from Bull Terrier owners all over.
Sadly, I am so packed with work right now that I will need to find some time first.
I’ll try a short answer here today. First of all, my girl did it all. Pout, growl, act mischievously and she still does by the way. That’s just how they are.
Everything you are describing is not unusual for a Bull Terrier and, yes looking at it that way your breeder should have known that. But I do not see any negligence in not warning you, because this is not abnormal aggression in my opinion. This is the Bull Terrier’s temperament.
The following is my own experience and opinion. This is the only thing I can tell you. You will have to evaluate yourself if that makes sense for you and draw your conclusions for your future life with the dog.
My last girl, Fancy, did have the very same thing for a while around the same age. She even jumped up and started chasing my feet while still half asleep. However, she never hurt me and it stopped at some point. Now, with Mila its different. She has been moody from the beginning and has never stopped. She is 6 years old now.
For example, when she is sleeping and my husband or I shove our hand underneath her body or even only try to stroke her, she seems startled, growls like a monster and her whole body stiffens. She looks and sounds scary then. Every stranger would probably think we are only seconds away from being hurt really badly and call us crazy for staying near her and continuing to stroke her. She usually calms down once she realizes it’s us. She has never ever once hurt us (that she only does when she is happy and tries to knock out our teeth out with her head or butt :-))
The way we see it, this aggression out of a sleep situation is actually a good sign.
It shows that your dog obviously feels safe in its environment and is able to really let loose and sleep deeply when resting. Usually dogs don’t sleep very deep because they always have one ear “wandering” and eavesdropping for any dangers. Guarding is baked into a dog’s DNA, especially when it comes to these dogs and their families.
Mila often runs in her sleep and seems to dream very vividly. She is a good sleeper.
Many Bull Terriers, once they have committed to their home and family usually become pretty territorial, which could explain the harsh reaction after the dog gets startled in its dreams. But that also means that she is basically protecting us and our home when acting like this. The first few times I admit that I also was a little puzzled and afraid that this could become a problem. But it never did. I realized that never even once Mila has tried to really bite one of us. She is just “warning” really loud in her “voice from hell” 🙂
Now, I don’t know how you experience the situation yourself with your dog. But I have a feeling it could be similar to ours.
It feels scary, I give you that. But maybe try to observe very closely, how far this “aggression” towards you really goes and draw your own conclusions.
Maybe it helps to look at your dog like we see ours: A grumpy old grandpa-toddler in diapers throwing a fit, tyrannizing the entire family and yelling at you at the top of his lungs while swinging his cane at everyone when you dare to wake him up. 🙂
As for the topic of safety first, I highly recommend to put some rules for the family members and especially the kids in place, just in case the dog one time does not recognize in time that you are not a dangerous intruder to the home.
To avoid the situation entirely, talking to the dog or call his name a few times and waking him up BEFORE touching him could be one very easy remedy.
My husband sometimes fails to wake Mila up with his deep voice and sometimes even mine does not work. But when I use a high “baby voice” she is up promptly.
That is also something in a female’s genes. High pitched noises such as the ones puppies make, wake them immediately while low noises don’t necessarily.
I don’t know if this also works with male dogs. But you could just try it.
The kids should never be alone with the dog and should be instructed not to interact with the dog when it’s sleeping.
Bull Terrier are little wrecking balls and yes, they do stupid things, just as kids do.
But sometimes to me it merely seems to be a question of how we as the owners manage a situation and not really about a sick or bad dog.
On the other hand, aggression of course can also be a health condition, which would be much harder to deal with. But in my experience not very many dogs do suffer from this. In most cases these are behavioral issues or like described above just unlucky handling of a situation.
If you want to rule out health issues, I recommend to see a vet, of course.
Bull Terriers are such wonderful and special dogs, funny and affectionate and the best companions you could ever wish for, so committed to their family once broken in. It’s SO rewarding!