By Sandra Hill Cowan



Bull Terriers do not bark unless there is a good reason. When a Bull Terrier is barking, pay attention.

Bull Terriers are inherently aggressive towards other animals and for this reason, they should not be allowed to run free or roam at will. You can exercise your Bull Terrier off leash, when you are in an area where contact with other animals and people is unlikely.

Bull Terriers may consider small animals as prey and hunt them. This includes cats, rodents, birds, small wildlife and small dogs. Bull Terriers can even be trained to fit into a home where other animals are already established. It is, however, imperative that the Bull Terrier be closely watched around other animals until you have established a peaceful co-existence.

Bull Terriers can be food possessive. If you have other pets, you will want to be certain the Bull Terrier is given its own food bowl or treat well away from any other animals and that no other animal is allowed near the Bull Terrier until the food is gone.

Bull Terriers not raised with children are not always tolerant of small children and the Bull Terrier should never be left alone with a child, until you are certain you have a dog who adores all children. Often, Bull Terriers raised with children will tolerate their own children, but may not accept neighborhood kids.

Bull Terriers do not like to be teased and can respond by biting. Some children are allowed to treat animals unkindly, a behavior that often leads to cruelty to animals. These children should be kept anyway from a Bull Terrier, whose strength and agility can endanger the child's life.

Bull Terriers like to take charge and may, at some time, challenge you for the dominant position. This behavior cannot be tolerated and a firm, consistent correction should be your immediate response. Bull Terrier with good temperaments accept discipline well, not beating, but intelligent discipline.

Bull Terriers should be obedience-trained BY their owner and not sent away to school. A good obedience class will guarantee you a firm bond with your dog and a well-behaved dog. Remember though, Bull Terriers are extremely intelligent and tend to get bored easily. They learn quickly so short training periods are suggested. This dog thinks it's a waste of time to "sit" or "stay" one more time, he will simply walk away! Obedience training requires patience!

A choke chain is necessary when walking a Bull Terrier on lead unless your Bull Terrier is very obedience-trained. The rolled collar does not give you any control and the dog could pull out of it. The choke chain, however, allows you to control your dog and the choke automatically releases when the dog stops pulling. A sturdy leash is recommended.

TOYS: Yes, Bull Terriers like to play. If you provide a ball for your dog, make certain the ball cannot be swallowed. Tennis balls can become lodged in the throat. A baseball or soccer/basketball will provide hours of fun. Squeak toy made from rubber or plastic can be eaten in minutes by a Bull Terrier, a hard rubber toy or nyla-bone is safer. Don't provide an old pair of shoes, unless you want all of your shoes to become fair game.

Some Bull Terriers are talkers! They may grunt, groan and mumble to entertain themselves and you. This conversational verbalizing IS NOT growling and should not be interpreted as a growl which sounds quite different. Bull Terriers "talking" is an endearing trait and should not frighten you. After living with your dog, you will easily distinguish between talking and growling.

Bull Terriers are very family-oriented and are not happy when kept apart from the family. If you do not plan on having your dog live with you both inside your home and yard, you should not seriously consider a Bull Terrier for a pet.

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