Thursday, July 31, 2014

Can You Handle a Bull Terrier?

This past month my boyfriend and I decided to take a big plunge and buy a Bull Terrier. It was a breed he was always fond of, and since I already have my Yorkie, I figured, why not? It can't be that bad right? Wrong! Bull terriers require tons of training, patience, love, and obedience.
Bull Terriers have gotten a bad reputation for themselves, and to be honest it's not the Bully's fault, it's the owners!
Now before buying one on a whim lets consider these important factors:
1. Can you afford the Bully? Most 'healthy' Bull Terriers will cost around $2,000.
2. Do you have time for your Bully? If you work a full time job, and are not able to give full attention to your Bull Terrier expect the dog to grow up with social issues, which when it comes down to it, means the dog will grow up to be shy, and afraid, and most likely will bite at anything that scares him or her. Thats right, even people.
3. Can you afford the Bull Terrier even after the cost of the dog? Bully's are the most greedy dog I have ever come across. It is greedy by nature, our Bully consumes at least $150 worth of food and training treats in just a month. Do you have that extra income for your Bully? If your dog gets sick, can you afford the $1,000 vet bill? or are you going to take the easy street out and have the dog put down. If these numbers scare you, don't even think about getting any dog for that matter.
Bully's have a tendency to eat everything they see. I will sometimes find mine chewing on pieces of metal as if they are snacks, tin cans, plastic, name it. If it is on the floor, this type of breed is going to pick it up and try to find a way to swallow it down. It's like the trash compactor breed.
As funny as that may sound, think about the vet bill we will look forward to if we are not careful. Not only that the Bully could choke on something and die. So if you are really considering a Bull Terrier, and you have already made it to this step, answering yes to all of the above questions, make sure you always keep an eye on your dog.
4. Can you handle the Bull Terrier? Bull Terriers grow from 30-60lbs depending on whether or not you have a standard Bully or a mini Bully. Regardless of it's size and weight, this dog is a powerful dog. All of that weight is solid muscle. Walking this muscle machine can even prove to be a difficult task.
Not only that, they are extremely stubborn dogs by nature, and training them requires tons of patience.
Bully's like to roam, and you want to make sure you have a fence or at least are able to supervise the dog at ALL times when outdoors.
5. Bully's also have a reputation for hating other animals. This I have found to be true, but only 'other peoples animals'; so long as your Bull Terrier was raised with other animals within the house, they will get along just fine. However...if your Bully ever gets out of the yard, or if another animal wanders in...things could get ugly.
Our Bully is always a happy go lucky dog, and he loves our other dogs, but the moment he went in for his first vet check I watched as our happy sweet baby went from good dog, to "I want to eat your Pomeranian lady" type attitude. So just be careful, and do be aware that even though your Bully adores your dogs and cats, his mentality may not be so kind towards other peoples animals.
Now that all of that important information is all said and done, there is more...much, much more.
For one, if you have decided you can take on the job of raising a Bully, your next step is finding a good breeder. Now the Bull terrier is a strong dog. They were designed to herd Bull originally.
You want to be very careful when you buy your Bull Terrier. You see if the dogs parents were made to be fighting dogs, an evil streak could have been passed on to your dog, thus making him much more aggressive. You want to make sure you buy your Bull Terrier from a loving well known Bull Terrier breeder, a place you know where the Bully has been taken care of, and you want to know information about the parents. You do not want to purchase a Bully where it's parents were used as fighters or attack dogs.
If a breeder is in a rush to sell you a Bully, walk away. They do not care for the dogs, and are only in with this breed to make a quick buck. A good breeder will inform you of everything I have already spoken of and more. They may even sound like they are talking you 'out' of getting the dog. They are not, they just want to make sure you are the right type of person to take care of this stubborn breed.
Now that you have your little bundle of joy, your first step is training. This should be done as soon as you get the puppy. Like I said, they are stubborn, and you want to start teaching them right from wrong from the get go.
We use a special clicker that you can buy at Petco or any pet store. Because the Bull Terrier is so fond of food, it is actually very easy to train this type of breed based on treat rewards system. When our Bully does something good, we give him a treat. But before we give him the treat we click the clicker. He will run up, and sit right down and wait for the treat.
It seriously only took about a week for him to get this trick down. He hears the click, he knows he is getting food. But what does he have to do to get the food. SIT! The Bull Terrier is actually extremely smart and is a fast learner so long as you have the time to teach.
Now that he learned how to sit for a treat, his next level of training included sitting and giving the paw for the treat. He picked this trick up in about 2 weeks. Stubborn yes, but the ability to learn is phenomenal.
With a treat reward system used while training the sky is the limit. His tricks will all be based on how much time and patience you have for him. Thankfully this breed loves to eat, so learning comes fast.
However...this breed likes to eat... and eating too much means...obesity. That's right, the Bull Terrier is very prone to gaining weight quickly if you don;t monitor his intake. They are lazy by nature, and love to eat by nature, and too much of this type of nature could be bad for your dog. If you are using a treat system while training your Bull Terrier make sure they are diet treats. This type of dog will not care what the treat is, it's going to eat it. So make sure its a low fat or no fat snack.
Now I do not care how many people say they have owned a Bull Terrier for years, and they are such sweet dogs, and they would not harm a fly. Don't buy it. EVERY DOG has a wild streak, and if the situation arise the dog will attack to kill. Bully because they are so much stronger and a more powerful dog, would be more successful at making a kill than say a Yorkie. Therefore the bad reputation. Either way... ANY dog will attack and kill if needed.
Bull Terriers have taken on this reputation as mean killing attack dogs only because they look scary. This is completely untrue unless you raise an attack dog, and what a shame that would be. If your dog ever bites someone, its getting put down. That shame and blame should not be put on the dog, ANY dog. The finger should solely be pointed at its handler.
If your dog is bad, scold it, but do not beat it! You can beat a dog so much, till one day the dog beats back. Beating a dog will only guarantee an angry aggressive dog. A dog that will most likely bite at anything that moves too quickly. Even it's own owner.
If you mix a bully in a home with smaller dogs, never ever leave the home with the bully out with the smaller dog. Dogs get excited when their masters come home, and this is the worst time for a fatal attack. One dog wants to get to the door faster in excitement, the other bites from excitement, and before you know it your walking into the middle of a blood bath. The little dog won't stand a chance. So even though your dog is friendly to your other smaller animals, don't ever leave them out alone together. That goes for any larger breed.
Do not feed your Bully with other dogs. This is also another time when a huge fight could occur. Bully's are greedy. They do not like sharing. Give them their own separate bowl, or feed them in another room away from other dogs.
Bull Terriers love people, and even when full grown they will have no problem jumping into your lap and sleeping there for hours. Our Bully does not seem to realize that he is far too big for lap naps. However, the Bully may love you to pieces, but you may want to keep an eye out on him around strangers. They love children also, but again... keep him away when other peoples children are over. Bully's are territorial. They tend to love there own, and nothing outside of their home. Honestly though this depends on the dog, and how it's raised.
Our Bully loves children, but he is far too strong to play with smaller children, as this type of dog can get rough, but it can also take a good rough play from an older child. I wouldn't get a Bull Terrier if I had a toddler in the home. Older children are an okay. Anything younger than 5 avoid this type of dog.
Bull Terriers also have really bad gas. Our Bully can fart just as loud as a grown man after eating Taco Bell. We have out Bully on gas busters a pill that is supposed to subside the gas. It does nothing. The farts are awful.
Bull Terriers love to swim. Just take a look at how big their paws are at only 8 weeks old. Those paws are designed for swimming. This dog breed is actually in swimming contests in other countries.
This breed makes for an excellent guard/attack dog even if it is not raised to attack. If it sees it's owner in trouble it will go through any length to save them. This breed will give its own life to save yours. So before people out there label this dog a bad evil killing machine, think again. This type of dog is a loyal companion for life, and would gladly give it's life for yours without thought.
Having a Bull Terrier is like adopting a child. They have constant needs, and need constant supervision. You will love them and hate them, but overall if you ca handle this massive beautiful breed, your in for a lifetime of fun with your Bull Terrier.

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