Origin: United Kingdom (England)
Dog Breed Group: Hunting Dog
Life Span: 10-12 years
Weight: Male: 22-32, Female: 22-30
Height: Male: 21-22, Female: 20-21
Origin of Name: The Bull Terrier is a breed of dog in the terrier family.
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It is an irony that some of the most favorable breeds of the AKC began their careers as ferocious gladiators in the sport of blood. This is the same with the bull terrier.
The pastime of bull-baiting, in which the Bulldogs were lost as the bulls at stake, as a result of which the spectators bet, began in Britain in the 13th century. By the more enlightened 1830s, blood play with animals was outlawed. Those tasting such gruesome spectacles did not stop it. They went underground just to escape the law. Undoubtedly, bull-baiting was an activity to continue illegally. Instead, dogfighting took place in the game of blood of choice, dogs with other dogs in indoor pits, often in the basement of the inn.
The Bulldogs proved too slow and plodding to provide much entertainment in these grueling cases. Thus began the process of crossing the bulldog with the terrier to produce fighters with the power of a bulldog and the animation and raging spirit of the terriers. Breeds made in this way were the Bull Terrier.
Before long, the law caught up with the pit fight and was also banned in Britain. Happily, a suddenly unemployed bull terrier became a fashion among young gentlemen of the mid-1800s. Breeders worked to refine the breed's look and sweeten its temperament, better suited to play the role of an upper-crusted Companion Dog.
"Hinks finds a bull terrier an old butts and dogs him for a gentleman's kiss."" So goes an old bit of Dogrel. It was in the early 1860s that Englishman James Hinks called an old fighting breed, the Bulldog-Terrier Cross, a bull-and-terrier and standardized as a sophisticated and modern bull terrier. Hinks' dogs were white, but colored specimens were seen in the early 20th century. The Bull Terriers came to the AKC in 1885 and have been American favorites ever since. Famous bullies include General George Patton's Willie; Rufus, 2006 Westminster winner; And Bullseye, the target mascot.