Bull Terrier

Group: Terrier  
Size: medium
Lifespan: 11-14 years
Exercise: moderate
Grooming: low
Trainability: moderate
Watchdog ability: low
Protection ability: low
Area of Origin: England
Date of Origin: 1800’s
Other Names: English Bull Terrier
Original Function: companion
Exuberant, comical, playful, assertive and very mischievous describes the Bull Terrier. It is an imaginative breed that often sees things its own way and is stubborn to the end. It needs daily physical and mental exercise lest it exercise its powerful jaws on your home. For all its tough bravado, this is an extremely sweet-natured, affectionate and devoted breed. It can be aggressive with other dogs and small animals. The Bull Terrier is happiest when they are with the people they love. They are miserable if shut away in a kennel or kept outside away from human companionship.
The Bull Terrier needs to be entertained, either with a good exercise session or mental stimulation every day - preferably both. This is an active breed that enjoys a good run, but it is best to run it only in a safe area. It should not stay outdoors except in temperate weather, but it should live primarily as a house dog with access to a yard. Coat care is minimal.
Bull Terriers suffer from five hereditary diseases. These are; Luxating Patella, Polycystic Kidney Disease, Bull Terrier Hereditary Nephritis, Heart Disease and Deafness. Buyers should ensure that both sire and dam have current Veterinary certification declaring them free of such. For more information, contact your nearest Bull Terrier club.


Official Breed Standard

Strongly built, muscular, well balanced and active with a keen, determined and intelligent expression.

Courageous, full of spirit, with a fun loving attitude. A unique feature is a downfaced, egg-shaped head. Irrespective of size dogs should look masculine and bitches feminine.

Of even temperament and amenable to discipline. Although obstinate is particularly good with people

Head and Skull:
Head long, strong and deep right to end of muzzle, but not coarse. Viewed from front egg-shaped and completely filled, its surface free from hollows or indentations. Top of skull almost flat from ear to ear. Profile curves gently downwards from top of skull to tip of nose which should be black and bent downwards at tip. Nostrils well developed and under-jaw deep and strong.

Appearing narrow, obliquely placed and triangular, well sunken, black or as dark brown as possible so as to appear almost black, and with a piercing glint. Distance from tip of nose to eyes perceptibly greater than that from eyes to top of skull. Blue or partly blue undesirable.

Small, thin and placed close together. Dog should be able to hold them stiffly erect, when they point straight upwards.

Teeth sound, clean, strong, of good size, regular with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Lips clean and tight.

Very muscular, long, arched, tapering from shoulders to head and free from loose skin.

Shoulders strong and muscular without loading. Shoulder blades wide, flat and held closely to chest wall and have a very pronounced backward slope of front edge from bottom to top, forming almost a right angle with upper arm. Elbows held straight and strong, pasterns upright. Forelegs have strongest type of round, quality bone, dog should stand solidly upon them and they should be perfectly parallel. In mature dogs length of foreleg should be approximately equal to depth of chest.

Body well rounded with marked spring of rib and great depth from withers to brisket, so that latter nearer ground than belly. Back short, strong with backline behind withers level, arching or roaching slightly over broad, well muscled loins. Underline from brisket to belly forms a graceful upward curve. Chest broad when viewed from front.


Hindlegs in parallel when viewed from behind. Thighs muscular and second thighs well developed. Stifle joint well bent and hock well angulated with bone to foot short and strong.

Round and compact with well arched toes.

Short, set on low and carried horizontally. Thick at the root, it tapers to a fine point.

When moving appears well knit, smoothly covering ground with free, easy strides and with a typical jaunty air. When trotting, movement parallel, front and back, only converging towards centre line at faster speeds, forelegs reaching out well and hindlegs moving smoothly at hip, flexing well at stifle and hock, with great thrust.

Short, flat, even and harsh to touch with a fine gloss. Skin fitting dog tightly. A soft textured undercoat may be present in winter.

For White, pure white coat. Skin pigmentation and markings on head not to be penalised. For Coloured, colour predominates; all other things being equal, brindle preferred. Black, brindle, red, fawn and tri-colour acceptable. Tick markings in white coat undesirable. Blue and liver highly undesirable.

Weight and Size:
There are neither weight nor height limits, but there should be the impression of maximum substance for size of dog consistent with quality and sex

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Under Kennel Club Show Regulations, deafness is a disqualification.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Contact Details

The Secretary CBTC
Canterbury, NZ
Email : [email protected]