Bull Terrier Before Selective Breeding

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Comparing the Looks of Dog Breeds in 1915 and 2015

Bull Terriers are known for their unique physical appearance and playful personality. But before these dogs were selectively bred for their distinctive features, they had a much different look and temperament. In this article, we will explore the history of Bull Terriers before selective breeding and what this means for the breed today.

The History of Bull Terriers

Before the 19th century, Bull Terriers were bred for their fighting abilities. They were a mix of Bulldogs and Terriers, and their primary function was to battle bulls and bears in the ring. These early Bull Terriers were not the same as the modern-day breed. They were taller, leaner, and more athletic, with pointed ears and a longer snout.

As the popularity of bull-baiting waned, Bull Terriers were bred for more practical purposes such as vermin control, guarding, and companionship. In the 1800s, James Hinks, a breeder in England, began selectively breeding Bull Terriers for their distinctive egg-shaped head and white coat. This led to the creation of the modern Bull Terrier as we know it today.

The Problems with Selective Breeding

While selective breeding has resulted in the unique and beloved Bull Terrier we know today, it has also led to some problems for the breed. One of the biggest issues is health problems. Because breeders focused on creating a specific look, some Bull Terriers are prone to genetic health issues such as deafness, heart problems, and skin allergies.

Another problem with selective breeding is that it can lead to a lack of genetic diversity. When breeders prioritize certain physical traits, they may inadvertently breed out other beneficial characteristics. This can lead to a weaker gene pool and an increased risk of health problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are Bull Terriers good family dogs?

Yes, Bull Terriers can make excellent family pets. They are affectionate, loyal, and playful. However, it's important to note that they can be stubborn and require consistent training and socialization.

2. Are Bull Terriers aggressive?

Bull Terriers have a history of being bred for fighting, but that doesn't mean they are inherently aggressive. Proper training and socialization can help prevent aggression in Bull Terriers.

3. Do Bull Terriers shed a lot?

Yes, Bull Terriers do shed, but they have a short, easy-to-maintain coat. Regular grooming and brushing can help keep shedding under control.

Tips for Bull Terrier Owners

If you're considering bringing a Bull Terrier into your home, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have the time and resources to provide proper training and socialization for your Bull Terrier.
  • Be prepared for shedding and regular grooming.
  • Watch for signs of common health problems such as deafness, heart issues, and skin allergies.
  • Consider adopting from a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs.


The Bull Terrier is a beloved breed with a fascinating history. While selective breeding has led to some challenges for the breed, responsible ownership and breeding practices can help ensure that Bull Terriers continue to thrive for years to come.



Bull Terrier, selective breeding, history, health problems, genetic diversity, family dogs, aggression, shedding, responsible ownership.

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