Bull Terrier Temperament

by Pamela Meadors
    Bull terriers are quite loyal companions.

    Bull terriers are quite loyal companions.

    Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Bull terriers are well-known for their appearance and have been featured in several movies and commercials. But it isn't only their goofy looks that make them likable characters. They also display intelligence, spunk, discipline and strength all packaged into a tough looking body.

    The origins of today's bull terriers extend back to 19th century England where they were standardized by James Hinks, and raised as sporting dogs. Initially all white, they since have been blended with brindle Staffordshire terriers. Their history and terrier characteristics have made for fiercely loyal, strong, active, intelligent creatures who respond well to discipline and hard work.

    Bull terriers appear quite strong and stoic and, in fact, they are. But they appreciate silliness and fun, perhaps, more than some other breeds. From agility courses to show rings, this breed aims to please and often take cues from their humans, especially children. Bull terriers have so much energy, they can become overstimulated by active children. It's important to put their energy to good use and make sure they are well-trained. Not only do they respond well to training, but because they are so strong, without the proper outlets, can be a little too rambunctious with younger kids.

    These pups aren't big on resting, but they always want companionship and fun interactive games. In fact, it has been suggested, bull terriers learn best when training takes the form of a game. Simply drilling commands into them won't do but if your bully senses a possible reward or thinks he is having fun with his buddy, he's all in.

    Properly trained bull terriers can get along well with other dogs, but not if they think they are being "pushed around" or that territory is at stake. While generally not instigators of aggression, they will respond to defend themselves. Introductions should take place in a neutral location, such as a dog park, rather than a bully's home.

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    About the Author

    Pamela Meadors is a scientist, writer, avid traveler and animal advocate. In addition to earning a Bachelor of Science in biology, she has worked in the veterinary field at various clinics throughout the United States since 1997.

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