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Bull Terrier dog breed profile

Here’s the download on the famous Target dog breed.

Whether your dog is a purebred Bull Terrier or a Bull Terrier mix, learning about the breed can explain a lot about your pet's personality, habits and overall health. Or maybe you're looking to adopt a Bull Terrier and want to do a bit of research first — we can help with that.

If you are familiar with the store Target, you may have noticed their mascot: a white Miniature Bull Terrier named Bullseye. Or you might recall Spuds MacKenzie, a member of this breed who boosted marketing for Bud Light beer.

Bull Terriers have long been a recognized face across popular media, but how much do you know about this unique companion dog?

What do Bull Terriers look like?

Bull Terriers come in many colors, including black, white, brindle, red, fawn or even tri-colored. Whatever their color, these pups have a powerful stance and unique face structure that makes them stand apart from other dogs.

“There’s no other dog with the distinctive egg-shaped head, triangular eyes and muscular body,” Dr. Elizabeth Devitt, DVM, general practice veterinarian and veterinary consultant for Fetch, says. “They may stand less than 2-feet high at the shoulders, but their muscular build and zest for life make them seem much bigger.”

Bull Terriers’ temperament

If you’re willing to invest time, energy and patience into raising a Bull Terrier, their strong and intelligent nature might make them the perfect pet for you. 

Because of their brains and brawn, Bull Terriers require daily physical and mental exercise to keep them healthy and happy.

“These dogs can be found in all kinds of dog sports or trained for anything from service dogs to search and rescue,” Dr. Devitt says. “Positive reinforcement and keeping it fun are the keys to working with Bull Terriers.”

Plan to give your Bull Terrier consistent training and socialization, and know that they’re curious, bright and will love to learn new things alongside you. Sometimes stubborn and strong-willed, these dogs often thrive as the only pet in their family.

“They can be great family pets,” Dr. Devitt shares. “They often do best as a solo family pet and with kids big enough not to be knocked off their feet by an exuberant dog that doesn’t quite know their strength.”

RELATED: Basset Hound dog breed profile

What health issues do Bull Terriers face?

While they look like they’re built for anything, even the toughest Bull Terriers can face some common breed health issues. According to Dr. Devitt, these dogs can be prone to skin allergies and should be monitored by their veterinarian for heart disease and skin cancer as they age.

“Despite their seemingly indestructible build, they can have patellar luxation, which is when the kneecaps slip off their normal track of movement, shoulder disorders and hip dysplasia,” Dr. Devitt adds.

These dogs can also inherit health issues like genetic kidney disease or deafness (the latter is common in all-white Bull Terriers) — so bring these conditions up at your pet’s first or next vet visit to determine a prevention plan.

Adopting a Bull Terrier

Are you interested in adopting a Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier mix, or any pet at all? Check out our shelter partners to find your new best friend.

The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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