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English Bull Terrier

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English Bull Terrier

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English Bull Terrier

The English bull terrier, or “bully” as he is known to his many devoted owners, is not one of nature’s prettiest canines. With his bullet-shaped head, batwing ears and little piggy eyes, he looks a little like a dog designed by a committee. But what he lacks in looks, he more than makes up for in his roisterous, outgoing nature. His one-time career as a fighting dog has left a little of the competitive streak in him, but his exuberance is infectious and, when compared to the vacant placidity of the Yorkshire terrier for example, he is a whole heap of fun.

Perhaps the most famous bully of all is a fictional beast, Bullseye, who belongs to Fagin’s accomplice Bill Sikes in Dickens’ Oliver Twist. In recent years, one of the Princess Royal’s bull terriers, Dotty, has landed her mistress in court for taking rather too predatory a view of a passing child. When owners are doing their best to show that this is a peaceable, good-natured breed, Dotty was seen as rather letting the bull terrier side down.

Photo: Diane Pearce - The Kennel Club


Your comments

They were origially bred to be fighting dogs but in recent times are favoured as pets. Princess Anne landed herself in court when her EBT called Dotty took a bite out of someone. We can't also forget Bullseye from Oliver Twist.

Eleanor Conroy

Me and my son have a total of 5 bullies. They are great with my granchildren and his children, however they do not tolerate dogs outside their pack. We as humans try to make animals adjust to our behaviour which is not necessarily the right thing to do. I have learnt this the hard way and now realise that they have a natural instinct to run in packs. No amount of domestic living will every change what nature has ordained them to be. So just be aware that the breed we have chosen to love was once bred to fight other dogs in a pit. No matter how loving towards us they are they will always have the natural instinct to protect what is in their pack. We are considered part of that pack. Now we can be the Alpha or we can choose to let them be the Alpha which is out of order, and will eventually cause some serious behavioural problems. So we just need to be aware that the dogs that we have selected to become part of our family, are not the sort who tolerate other dogs outside their pack. However, we would not trade our 5 beloved bullies for any other type of dogs in the world. After owning a bullie you can never go back to owning any other type of dog.
Roxann W. Stennson

I have an EBT and I love the bones off him. Unlike most bull terriers, Monty has a problem with under eating. But he gives me such love and companionship and he is the most loyal friend I could have...In my opinion, EBTs are the best dogs you could hope to own.

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My nomination is the garden shed.