Are Bull Terriers Good Family Dogs? Why You Should Get One

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Bull terriers are easily recognizable because of their football-shaped head, the muscular body, and their unmatched appearance. Everywhere this dog goes, it always demands attention. It is why the same breed has been used in several commercials over the years. Its popularity has made people to ask the question, are bull terriers good family dogs?

Well, we will try to answer that question in this guide. This is to help you learn more about bull terriers so that you can make up your mind with the right information in mind.


We can trace the origin of Bull Terrier to approximately 1835. The breed was created by crossing a Bulldog and an English Terrier breeds. The white English Terrier is now extinct. Over the years, the Spanish Pointers started to cross the Bull Terrier breed as a way of improving its size. The result is that right now we have larger Bull Terriers than before.

Bull terriers have had an interesting past, such as being used in dogfighting rings. It is because of their muscular nature; they were an ideal option for such activities.

Right now, Bull Terriers are among the most sought-after dog breeds in the market. Luckily, it should be easy to get one from your local shed. They are also popular, so buying one from a breeder might not always be the cheapest. Nevertheless, you should enjoy owning a dog that looks different from what you are used to with the other breeds.


Anyone who is asking are bull terriers good family dogs would also want to know more about their size. It is worth noting that bull terriers vary a lot in terms of their size. Most will range from 35 pounds to 75 pounds in terms of weight. As for the height at the shoulder, they range from 21 to 22 inches.

For the miniature bull terrier dogs, they will have a height of 10 to 14 inches while weighing 25 to 33 pounds.

Personality and Temperament

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If you are going to keep the bull terrier breed in your home, then it is important to learn more about its personality. We find that the bull terrier is not the type of dog that will take a backseat to anything or anyone. You will find the dog being highly active and always ready for a good time. Each time the dog sees you, it will come running thinking you are up for some playtime.

Because of the active nature of the dog, it is recommended that you give it the right training and early in its life. This prevents the bull terrier from becoming obsessive and jealous. Sometimes without proper training, these dogs can become aggressive towards other animals in the home.

As much as they can be good dogs for your home, they tend to be barkers, chewers, and tail chasers. Your neighbors in an apartment set up might not be happy with a dog that loves to bark. It is also hard to housetrain this breed, so have patience with it if you need to start the training.


For someone asking are bull terriers good family dogs, the question of how to feed it also always pops up in their mind. It is important that you feed your bull terrier with high quality dog food all the time. It does not matter whether you are buying commercially or making the food at home.

It is important that the diet is appropriate for the dog. The dog at different stages of life will have different dietary needs to consider. The amount and type of food that is right for a puppy will not be ideal for an adult or a senior dog.

A good diet for a bull terrier will include natural calcium mostly for the puppies. The calcium is important to help in developing their bones. You can do this by giving the dog whole milk in the morning or before it goes to bed in the evening. Also, it is possible to include other naturally high-calcium foods such as broccoli to ensure the dog grows better and faster with the right bone development.

Depending on what you feed the dog, some can easily get overweight. For that reason, you should watch the overall calorie consumption and weight level of your dog. Do not just give the dog treats all the time. Use the treats as a training aid to help it get better at responding to commands.

Always leave a clean and fresh water supply for your dog. You should never ration the water supply.


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Still on are bull terriers good family dogs, we have to look at its coat color and grooming tips you will need as a new owner.

Bull terriers will mostly come in two color varieties. The colors include white and colored. The white bull terriers will have a solid white color of their coat sometimes with a few colored markings. As for the colored bull terriers, they will be any other color that is not white. However, they can also have white markings.

When it comes to grooming, you should find that grooming a bull terrier should be easy. These dogs only need weekly brushing to keep them looking good. You can use a curry brush or rubber mitt to get the job done.

During the shedding season, which occurs twice yearly, daily brushing is necessary. This is to help to keep the hair under control.

Still as part of grooming, you need to consider bathing your dog more often. It is worth mentioning that unless the dog is stinking, frequent bathing like several times a week is not necessary. Each time you bath the dog, use dry shampoo or you can simply dust it off using a damp cloth.

Dental hygiene and nail care are also both important when caring for the dog. Make sure that you brush the dog’s teeth at least three times a week to remove any tartar buildup. Well, daily could be better, but some people might be too busy.

Trimming of the nails should be done twice a month or whenever possible. Having short nails helps to keep the feet in good condition and also do not easily get caught in the carpet.


Training is an essential part of owning any dog breed. So, we still have to cover training as part of answering, are bull terriers good family dogs.

It is recommended that you give a bull terrier dog at least 30 to 60 minutes of physical and mental exercise each day. Some of the things the dog will enjoy doing include going for walks, chasing balls, and playing with an interactive toy. Bull terriers are known for being good at completing agility and obedience trials, so you should consider doing some for your pet. Whenever walking the dog, make sure it is on a leash to avoid it from running after something intriguing to it.

Bull terrier puppies are often into everything. However, this does not mean that you subject them to high-impact exercises. Such exercises might lead to damage of their growing bones. You should consider light exercises just to keep it fit rather than break their bones.

It is important to consider early and consistent training. Bull terriers are hard to housetrain, so starting early can be advantageous. Also, consider being patient with the pet as sometimes it can be slow to respond to commands. It gets better with time as you keep training the pet.

Since bull terriers are always suspicious of strangers, they can get aggressive quickly. It is why you need to have them take socialization classes. This ensures that they know when to be aggressive and when not to be aggressive.


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Comparing to other dog breeds, we find that bull terriers are generally healthy dogs. However, just like any other breed, they are also likely to face some health issues. As part of answering are bull terriers good family dogs, we have to look at the common health problems with the breed. Here are some of the health issues you are likely to face with the breed.


This is a severe kidney disease common in bull terriers. Such a disease is caused by having underdeveloped kidneys or malfunctioning kidney filters. This results in high levels of protein in the urine. The disease occurs early in the life of the dog. Whenever this happens, it is highly unlikely that the dog will live past three years. Some might live up to 6 years, but most of them will succumb to kidney failure.


It is common to find your bull terrier dog being deaf in one or both ears. The bull terrier puppies are supposed to undergo the BAER test to check if their hearing is normal. It should be easy to get this test done as most vets have the equipment for the procedure. If you find out that the pet is deaf, it can still live a normal life with special training.

Heart Disease

Bull terriers are also often victims of heart disease. The disease is caused by the defects in the formation of the heart structure. You might find some cases being mild while others serious. Some might have heart murmurs which they outgrow with age. Depending on the stage of the condition, sometimes more treatment or surgery might be necessary.

Skin Problems

Anyone who has owned bull terriers before will tell you that they are prone to skin problems. Such problems include sores, irritations, and rashes. They may also be prone to inhalant allergies that are caused by detergents and other chemicals. It is then important to treat any noticeable skin problems as soon as they occur to keep your bull terrier healthy.


As mentioned earlier, bull terriers tend to be obsessed with tail chasing. This behavior begins when they are six months of age. Bull terriers can keep chasing their tails for almost an hour and end up leaving the dog no longer interested in food or water. This spinning activity is closely related to a dog having some sort of seizure, which is treatable. With the right treatment, your dog should be back to being healthy and no longer chasing its tail.

Lens Luxation

This condition appears when the lens of the dog’s eye is displaced once the ligament holding it starts to deteriorate. It is a treatable condition, whenever identified early. Make sure to consult a vet as soon as you notice it. In severe cases, the eye might have to be removed.

Child and Other Pets Relationship

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We now have to look at how the pets can interact with children and other pets. Bull terriers are highly active dogs and can play rough too. As such, they are not the best for homes with toddlers. They can however be great with older children who might have more energy to match up with the bull terrier’s playful nature.

It is worth mentioning that bull terriers can also be aggressive towards kids they do not know. If the dog notices that the child it knows is being wrestled, then it might try to intervene and sometimes leading to bites.

As much as they might like playing with the kids, they do not like being teased repeatedly. Make sure that the kids know about this.

As for how they relate with other pets, the unneutered males can be aggressive towards other dogs in the home. This is especially when they are the same sex. The opposite gender tends to go along with the bull terrier males. You should not trust bull terriers around cats or other small furry animals.

In Summary

So, are bull terriers good family dogs? Well, can say that it depends on the composition of the family. When you have toddlers, then bull terriers are the worst to have around. It is best to keep such a breed only when your children are older. Also, remember that they need regular exercising, so they might not be ideal for someone with a busy lifestyle. All in all, it is a good breed you can own right now and make your home lively.