Although he looks imposing and appears quite threatening, the Bull Terrier temperament is that of an active and rowdy clown. He adores being with his family and is extremely energetic, but only in short bursts.
He can also a very sweet and affectionate pet, and needs plenty of companionship.
Bred To Hunt & Fight -> Demands A Strong Owner
The Bull Terrier breed was developed to hunt vermin and to fight, so this dog's temperament needed to be courageous and determined.
Because of this it not unusual for your Bull Terrier to challenge your leadership.. To avoid this, teach your him from a young age that you are the boss, and never deviate from this training especially throughout his adult life.
You need to be calm and assertive in the face of his attempts to take over. These dogs are very motivated by food, and you can take advantage of this to train him.
Because of this tendency for him to be very dominant, his strong will and the difficulty to train him, I don't recommend a Bull Terrier if you are a novice dog owner. It's best to select a less demanding and more trainable breed, such as a Lab or Golden Retriever.
Watch This Great Video About The Bull Terrier
Aggression and How to Manage It
The Bull Terrier was bred to fight, and some individuals will be very keen to argue with other animals. This type of dog temperament means that your Bull Terrier may need to be the only dog in your household.
An un-neutered male is very likely to attack another male dog. A male and a female may live together peacefully, as can two females. However, to avoid this dog on dog aggression, whenever he is in the company of any other dog, your Bull Terrier must be closely supervised.
Even if your dog has been raised with other dogs, and is relaxed in their company, he is still very likely to react to a perceived threat from another dog.
If you decide to share your life with a Bull Terrier, you must learn to interpret his body language. By doing this, you'll be able to tell when he is going to attack before he has the opportunity to do harm.
This breed has a very strong prey drive, and if he catches that prey, he will cause serious injury. Generally speaking, the Bull Terrier usually isn't a good choice of dog to share a home with cats or other small creatures.
The Protective Bull Terrier Temperament
The Bull Terrier can be extremely territorial and protective of his family, particularly when strangers are about.
He is an excellent watchdog; even if he isn't aggressive towards people, his impressive demeanor will deter any unwelcome visitors.
Some Bull Terriers can become over protective and neurotic, particularly if they aren't socialized enough when young. This can also occur in those dogs that are bred from dogs with suspect temperaments.
Without exposure to all sorts of people and places as they are growing up, they can become nervous around unfamiliar people, and they may bite out of self defense.
To avoid the above I recommend you conduct a dog temperament test before you bring home a Bull Terrier from a shelter. That way you know what you are getting and can decide if you are up to the training task to correct any negative Bull Terrier temperaments. Follow the “5 Tips For Conducting A Dog Temperament Test Before You Adopt From Shelter” to help you.
Rough and Tumble Playtime
One of the nicest parts of the dog temperament is how much he loves to play and act the clown. You will need to be watchful – your Bull Terrier can be a bit rough during the game, and needs to be taught to settle down.
He will put up with a lot of attention from children but can knock them over, purely because he is so rambunctious and enthusiastic. This means that he isn't well suited to a home with young children or older people.
To prevent behavioral problems in this breed, and to make sure you are happy with your canine companion, think carefully before you choose a Bull Terrier, and make sure you are confident and assertive enough to be his pack leader.
If you are unsure, then choose another breed; you'll be much happier with your canine companion. The strong Bull Terrier temperament will only cause you stress and anxiety.
Other Terrier Dogs
The Bull Terrier is a member of the Terrier Group of dogs. Dogs in this group come in various sizes, and are ALL full of spunk and spirit. Though they have many things in common, each terrier also has varying temperaments. Here are a few other terriers and their temperaments: