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English Bull Terrier (English Bulldog & Bull Terrier Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

english bull terrier

Height: 15–19 inches
Weight: 50–60 pounds
Lifespan: 8–14 years
Colors: White, tan, brindle, black, fawn. All colors can have white markings
Suitable for: Experienced dog owners looking for a loyal and active companion
Temperament: Friendly and loyal but with a high guarding instinct, intelligent and playful

If you’ve been hunting for a dog breed that has the right combination of friendliness and intelligence with guarding instinct thrown in, then the English Bull Terrier could be a good breed to consider. These chunky dogs are the result of a cross between two instantly recognizable breeds, the English Bulldog and the Bull Terrier.

You’ll sometimes see English Bull Terriers called English Bulldog Terriers or Bullys, but they’re the same hybrid mix. These characterful dogs combine playfulness and loyalty with a healthy dose of toughness and territorialism. While you might love how they look, they’re a breed that’s best suited to experienced owners.

As a hybrid breed, these dogs certainly aren’t as well-known as some other crosses. If you want to learn more about the intelligence, temperament, and activity requirements of these chunky dogs, keep reading to find out everything you need to know.

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English Bull Terrier Puppies

An english bull terrier puppy
Image Credit: Patryk Kosmider, Shutterstock

Deciding to add a new puppy to your home is not a decision you should take lightly. Besides turning your routine on its head, you’ll also need to remember to budget for your new puppy. The time it takes to care for your dog every day and ongoing expenses, including food and veterinary bills, means you’ll need to make sure you can provide what your new dog will need.

English Bull Terrier puppies are cute, but the ongoing commitment you’ll need to make to these dogs will last well beyond that cute puppy phase. These dogs have plenty of energy but can also be challenging in terms of training. You must socialize them extremely well as puppies to avoid them becoming overly wary of strangers as adults.

They can also be a touch stubborn, thanks to their Terrier heritage. One minute, they might be focused on your training session and the next, they’ll have decided to do their own thing. It takes an experienced eye to pick up when your dog is starting to switch off and change up your commands accordingly.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the English Bull Terrier

1. You never know what you’ll get with an English Bull Terrier pup

Unlike purebred dogs, whose puppies have predictable characteristics, hybrid breeding is a little more hit-and-miss. This is especially true with a less well-known cross such as the English Bull Terrier. It’s difficult to predict with any real accuracy exactly what physical characteristics or temperament each pup is going to end up with.

You could get a pup that looks like their English Bulldog parent but with the personality of a Bull Terrier, or vice versa! You might even end up with a puppy who seems like a fairly even mix of both parent breeds in terms of both appearance and temperament.

The most important thing when looking at getting a hybrid breed puppy is to familiarize yourself with both parent breeds and make sure you like everything about each of them. That way, however, your pup ends up, you’re going to be happy!

2. Both parent breeds were originally bred to fight bulls

The clue is in the shared part of their names, which indicates that both the English Bulldog and the Bull Terrier were bred to take part in a sport known as “bull-baiting.” It took place in the United Kingdom from the 13th century to 1830, when it was banned.

The tenacious and powerful nature of both these breeds meant that they were brave enough to take on a much larger foe. Bull Terriers came about by crossing the slower English Bulldog with Terrier breeds, in an attempt to create a powerful yet quick dog with spirit.

3. Both breeds have been in the US for a long time

While both the English Bulldog and the Bull Terrier originate from the United Kingdom, they’ve been in the US for centuries. While the Bulldog is now the more popular of the two breeds by a significant margin, the Bull Terrier was the first to be accepted into the American Kennel Club. They were recognized as a breed by the AKC in 1885 and were the 13th breed to be placed on its books.

The Bulldog was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1886, as their 26th breed.

Parent Breeds of the English Bull Terrier
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Temperament & Intelligence of the English Bull Terrier 🧠

English Bull Terriers are keen to please their owners but also have an independent streak that can come across as stubbornness. This means their owners need to be experienced at training dogs or happy to work with a professional for extra guidance.

They can have a territorial streak and will take it upon themselves to protect their families if they are not properly socialized from a young age. They are a strong and muscular breed, so it’s essential to make sure owners can properly control an English Bull Terrier.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

English Bull Terriers can certainly be a great breed for families, as long as you’re the right sort of family! They’ll thrive in an active home where they get plenty of opportunities for exercise, both in the backyard and out on walks.

Any family will need to make sure that they place a high priority on training an English Bull Terrier right from the start. They can be a little too big and bulky for very old or young family members, as their exuberance may knock people and objects flying.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The English Bull Terrier can get along well with other pets just as long as they’re introduced carefully. It will be much easier to integrate them into your family while they’re a puppy, as they’ll be more likely to accept other dogs and cats this way.

Remember the fighting instinct of both parent breeds, and know that care will need to be taken with small pets, especially any that would run away rather than stand their ground.

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Things to Know When Owning an English Bull Terrier

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

English Bull Terriers are fairly active dogs and will do best on a high-protein diet that will help them build muscle. If your dog doesn’t get enough exercise, they can easily put on weight, so it’s a good idea to monitor their weight and food intake regularly. Don’t feed them any scraps with high-fat content.

Free-feeding this breed is not a good idea, as they will eat everything in sight rather than self-regulate. If you use food rewards when training, remember to allow for these when calculating your dog’s daily rations.

english bull terriers
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐕

English Bull Terriers are an active breed and will enjoy regular daily walks of around an hour a day. They also enjoy play sessions in the backyard, but these shouldn’t be used as a substitute for walks.

You’ll need to take care of your pup if they end up inheriting the short snout of their Bulldog parent. This can lead to breathing difficulties in warmer weather, so you’d need to reduce their exercise to slow walks if that’s the case. Another issue that can affect English Bull Terriers with shorter noses is that they cannot swim well, so they should never be allowed around bodies of water without being constantly monitored.

Training 🦮

English Bull Terriers are intelligent and enjoy challenging training sessions where they can learn something new. They do need experienced handlers, though, as their independent streak means that if they get bored, they’ll simply switch off and start to ignore your commands! Keeping training sessions short and sweet and using positive reinforcement techniques is a great way to make sure you keep their attention.

This breed needs significant amounts of socialization when young, to make sure that they learn to accept other people and dogs both within their home and outside. They can become a little territorial if you don’t take the time to complete this crucial step.

They can excel at agility, tracking, and obedience, but remember to take into account that you may need to reduce high-energy activities during hot weather if your pup has a short nose and is at risk of breathing problems.

Grooming ✂️

The short coat of the English Bull Terrier is low maintenance and only requires brushing weekly or twice weekly to stay in good condition. If your pup develops the short face of their Bulldog parent, complete with wrinkles, you’ll need to regularly check between the folds to keep them clean.

During grooming sessions, take the time to check your dog’s nails, teeth, and ears for any signs that they need attention.

english bull terrier
Image Credit: Eve Photography, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions ❤️

Hybrid breeds like the English Bull Terrier are usually more healthy than their purebred counterparts. But it’s important to remember that these pups can inherit a range of health conditions from their parents. These are the most common health conditions to affect the English Bulldog and the Bull Terrier.

Minor Conditions
  • Mange
  • Patellar luxation
  • Laryngeal paralysis
Serious Conditions
  • Brachycephalic syndrome
  • Eye problems
  • Deafness
  • Mitral Valve Disease
  • Kidney problems

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Male vs Female

If you’re charmed by the thought of adding an English Bull Terrier to your family, do you know if you choose a male or a female?

We think that it shouldn’t even be a consideration! The personality of each pup isn’t dependent on their sex, so it’s a better idea to meet a litter of puppies with an open mind. Choose the puppy who appeals to you most, regardless of whether they’re a girl or a boy English Bull Terrier.

Remember that many hormonal behaviors that can affect either sex will be reduced or disappear completely when you get your pup neutered or spayed.

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Final Thoughts

We hope we’ve given you everything you need to know about these chunky and charismatic dogs. While their sweet faces and friendly natures can appeal to everyone, don’t forget that the fighting instinct of both parent dogs can lead this breed to be both territorial and a bit of a challenge to train.

But if you’re an experienced dog handler who wants a breed that combines the best of two English breeds with a serious amount of history behind their names, then perhaps an English Bull Terrier will be the perfect addition to your family!

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Featured Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

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