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.