Bull terrier

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Bull terrier
Bull terrier
FCI Standard No. 11
  • Group 3: Terriers
  • Section 3: Bulllike Terriers
Origin :

Great Britain

Withers height:

no limits

Breeding standards:


List of domestic dogs

The Bull Terrier (also Bull Terrier ) is one of the FCI recognized dog breed in the UK ( FCI Group 3, Section 3, standard no. 11 ).

Origin and history

The breeding of the Bull Terrier began in Central England and thus in the places of the large coal centers and porcelain factories , where animal fights once enjoyed a monopoly position and where the pounding on different animals in connection with the aim of winning competitions was a popular change for the people. In order to make dog fights more spectacular through speed, courage and aggressiveness, a small, agile and powerful dog breed was sought, whose snout should be better suited to biting than that of the rather slow thoroughbred bulldog.

The Bull Terrier was created as a cross between the old-style English bulldog , the White English Terrier , which later became extinct after the docking ban came into force in England around 1880, and the Dalmatian . Even today there are dogs in the breed of bull terriers that tend towards one or the other breed ancestor. One speaks of the dalmatian (rather tall, not so heavily built, looks more elegant), bulldog (rather short, very strong-boned, heavy and clumsy build, often with an overshot) or terrier type. Preference is given to the so-called "all-rounder", which is considered a perfect mixture of all three dog types in one individual.

Around 1850, the animal dealer James Hinks from Birmingham began systematically breeding the new breed. Because there are no stud books or other written records about the early period of his breeding efforts, the exact origin is partly speculative to this day. The existence of a new breed of Bull Terrier as a cross between Bulldog and Terrier is documented as early as 1821.

“The relatively large Hink Bull Terriers soon had many admirers. The bulldog appearance was largely bred out of them, they lacked the loose lips and dewlap of the bullbiter. Hinks terriers, which were mostly rough-haired, had longer and straightened heads, and had a stronger catch. They were also fast, brave and muscular without being too gentle in nature. They were soon considered to be one of the most determined and vicious dog breeds that developed astonishing courage in the fight with larger predators, especially badgers. "

- BECKMANN, 1894; RÄBER, 1995

The intended use of the bull terrier at the time, besides badger-baiting and rat-killing, was dog fighting with more "thrills".

"Blood flows in fights between bull terriers, because every fight is preceded by a terrible biting until one of the fighters manages to take the place by the throat, which means" death "for those who exposed themselves to this nakedness."

- STREBEL, 1903

Dog fighting has long been banned in most European countries. The breeding strategies of the breed clubs changed over time. Large breed associations now breed Bull Terriers as family dogs . "It is noticeable [...] that the Bull Terrier is a dog that is hardly noticeable at all in comparison to others because of its aggressive behavior. He does not offer aggression as a solution strategy. This is because the bull terrier breeders introduced a character test in breeding a long time ago. "

The English author Kevin Kane, who has access to original documents from Hinks, assumes that already Hinks did not breed a dog for dog fighting. He referred Hinks' dogs as show dogs . He has found and documented contradictions in many of the widespread stories about the Hinks fighting dogs depicted in literature.

Since the breed emerged as a show dog, it has come in different sizes. The particularly small animals were called Toy Bull Terriers and scored separately. They were less common than the larger bull terriers. After the Kennel Club had in 1902 reduced the weight limit for Toys at 8 pounds (3.6 kg), there were up to the founding of a new breed clubs for miniature bull terrier with a new standard in 1938 at shows no toys and later no entries in the appropriate studbook more .

On July 5, 2011, the FCI followed the British model and recognized the Miniature Bull Terrier as an independent breed under the number 359.


The Bull Terrier is strongly built, muscular, with a penetrating and determined expression. A unique feature is its downface ( rams head ) and egg-shaped head. The hair is short, straight and even, mostly pure white. In the case of colored dogs, the respective color must be predominant; if all other things are the same, the brindle representative is preferred. The ears are small, thin and set close to each other, stiffly erect.

Today the exterior of the Bull Terriers has changed significantly. The egg-shaped head viewed from the side with a convex, so-called Roman nose, which goes back to the breeding efforts of Raymond Oppenheimer, is typical. For Bull Terriers there are no size or weight restrictions in the breed standard, as is common with other dog breeds . The requirement is a balanced physique with a maximum of substance (which should not be confused with a maximum of weight).

Originally, bull terriers were bred as pure white dogs. From the beginning there were also breeders who preferred colored animals, which among other things were created by crossing Staffordshire bull terriers . Until 1950, however, there was a ban on crossing white and colored animals at the Kennel Club .


His ideal character is described as headstrong, fiery and brave, with a balanced nature, disciplined and friendly towards people. Breeders should now exclude animals from breeding that do not comply with these requirements, are not stable in nature or even aggressive.

The FCI requires the following characteristics in the breed description: “Courageous, lively, with a playful character. Well-balanced and disciplined. Although very stubborn, he is especially very good towards people. "

Bull terriers as dangerous dogs

The bull terrier is included in the list of dangerous dogs in most of the German federal states in their dog ordinances or laws . This means that keeping and / or breeding the Bull Terrier is prohibited or restricted in these federal states. Furthermore, this breed is listed in the Dog Movement and Import Restriction Act , which means that import into the federal territory is prohibited, including those federal states in which the bull terrier is not on the breed list .

In Switzerland , eleven of the thirteen cantons with breed lists have bull terriers on these lists; in these cantons it is subject to approval. Keeping, breeding and importation are prohibited in the cantons of Valais and Zurich .

In Austria , the bull terrier is on the breed list in all three list-leading federal states ( Vienna , Lower Austria , Vorarlberg ). Depending on the federal state, a dog driver's license (Vienna), certificate of competence (Lower Austria) or a special permit from the mayor (Vorarlberg) is required.


Web links

Commons : Bull Terrier  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Andrea Steinfeldt: “Kampfhunde” history, use, husbandry problems of “bull races” - A literature study - (PDF file; 6.2 MB) Hannover 2002 Dissertation, p. 54
  2. Andrea Steinfeldt: "Kampfhunde" history, use, problems with keeping bull races - a literature study - (PDF file; 6.2 MB) Hannover 2002 Dissertation, p. 55
  3. a b Andrea Steinfeldt: “Kampfhunde” history, use, problems with keeping “bull races” - A literature study - (PDF file; 6.2 MB) Hannover 2002 Dissertation, p. 56
  4. “A dog can be quite aggressive when it comes into certain compulsive situations. This is normal behavior! ” ( Memento of the original from October 25, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 1.6 MB) The working dog in conversation with Prof. Dr. Hansjoachim Hackbarth - the head of the Institute for Animal Welfare and Behavior at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. In: The working dog 2/2005 p. 39  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / alt.tieraerztekammer-hamburg.de
  5. a b Hans-Joachim Swarovsky: Not made for fighting - Miniature Bull Terrier . In: partner dog . No. 06 , 2004 ( Not Made For Fighting - Miniature Bull Terrier ( Memento March 14, 2008 on the Internet Archive ) Online).
  6. ^ The Miniature Bull Terrier Club: History .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Link not available in August 2012.)@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / www.miniaturebullterrierclub.co.uk  
  7. Andrea Steinfeldt: “Kampfhunde” history, use, problems with keeping “bull races” - a literature study - (PDF file; 6.2 MB) Hanover 2002 dissertation, p. 60
  8. R. Strebel: The German Dogs , 2 vol., E. Ertel, Munich 1903 cited in Andrea Steinfeldt: “Kampfhunde” history, use, problems with keeping “bull races” - a literature study - Hannover 2002, dissertation, p. 56
  9. FCI Standard No. 11: Bull Terrier ( Microsoft Word ) FCI . January 5, 2011. Archived from the original on March 19, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
  10. Information page of the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria: keeping fighting dogs (accessed on October 28, 2015)