white bull terrier with tongue out

The English Bull Terrier: thinking about getting an English Bull Terrier? reading-time-icon 3 min read

English Bull Terriers are typically sweet natured with their family members, despite their independent and strong willed nature.

Their most notable feature is their curved, shark-shaped heads. They’ve received some bad press over the years and may not be the ideal pets for first-time owners.

Place of origin: England, arriving in the 19th century as a result of ‘Bull and Terrier’ breeding

How big do English Bull Terriers get? 45 – 55cm

How heavy are English Bull Terriers? 20 – 29kg

Life Expectancy: 10 – 14 years

Colour: White, Tri-colour, Brindle & White, Red & White, Fawn & White, White & Black Brindle


Please note: a dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.


How much exercise does an English Bull Terrier need?

English Bull Terriers really enjoy their exercise! They’ll need 2 decent walks every day and a fair amount of play in between. Like all dogs, if they don’t get the stimulation they need, their behaviour can become destructive. In severe situations, chewing furniture can cause a blockage of the bowel, which takes surgery to repair.

If you lead a very busy lifestyle and find yourself out of the house a lot, an English Bull Terrier may not be the breed for you.

English Bull Terriers’ sparse coats mean that they feel the cold more than most, so it’s a good idea to provide them with a coat during the winter.

Some Bull Terriers can be strong-willed and occasionally unpredictable – they may take a dislike to other dogs, for example. Training will help with this, but at times it may be best to keep them on the lead.

Training: how to train an English Bull Terrier

English Bull Terriers often make for friendly, happy companions. However, because of their appearance, members of the public may see them as aggressive.

Typically, English Bull Terriers respond well to training but they’re strong minded and sometimes feisty; they’ll need a determined leader who handles them with positive reinforcement. If you’re a first-time pet owner, an English Bull Terrier may be a struggle. A more agreeable, naturally submissive breed will likely be more suited to you.

brown and white bull terrier

Grooming: do English Bull Terriers shed?

The English Bull Terrier’s shorthaired coat is easy to care for – a weekly brush should suffice. They moult during moulting season but rarely at any other time of the year. You’ll only need to bathe your English Bull Terrier when needed: if they’ve rolled through mud, for example.

If you’re an active person that relishes the idea of spending lots of time with your dog but don’t class yourself as the grooming type, an English Bull Terrier could be just the breed for you.

Complete your English Bull Terrier’s grooming routine with regular tooth brushingnail clips and ear checks.

English Bull Terrier temperament, socialising and ideal home environment

Bull Terriers are friendly, feisty and outgoing. They love the company of humans but are sometimes less comfortable around other dogs.

They’re full of energy and like to play rough, making them less suitable to young children but potentially a great match for older children.

English Bull Terriers are naturally wary of strangers. If they see children play-fighting, they may get confused and intervene. If you live in a boisterous house, brimming with excited children and other pets, an English Bull Terrier may not be the best match for you.

Cost of owning an English Bull Terrier

When you’re considering the lifetime cost of owning a dog, remember to take into account:

Need more info?

For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet.

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.

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