Bull Terriers and American Pitbull Terriers, or Pitbulls as they are commonly called, are strong, intelligent canines. Most likely bred for their tenacity during the rise of bear baiting and other such animal sports in the mid-16th century, these terriers have a lot of fight in them.
Thankfully, while strong, they are not actually aggressive and make wonderful pets for families with children. Pitbulls and Bull Terriers are full of energy, lots of fun, and extremely lovable. Dogs of bully ancestry are often confused and mistaken for each other, and while there are many visual differences between the breeds, their soft personalities are truly similar. The most distinctive features on these dogs are their face shapes, American Pitbull Terriers have large box-shaped heads with square jaws and Bull Terriers have distinctive outward slopping faces like an oval and truly unique triangular eyes.
Unfortunately, in many cities within the US—almost a thousand as of early 2018—American Pitbull Terrier dogs have been banned due to fighting practices. Even though the dogs are kind and healthy, they are consistently put down in large numbers at shelters or denied adoption. Although sad, this just means that there is even more incentive to make an American Pitbull Terrier or Bull Terrier part of your home today.
American Pitbull Terrier puppies are as cute as you would expect. Weighing less than a pound at birth, they quickly grow to a thick set, medium build body weighing no more than seventy pounds typically. Pitbull puppies can be separated at eight weeks old, but separation from the mother prior to that age is not generally recommended. In fact, separation is something you want to avoid with your pit pup altogether if you can avoid it. Because American Pitbull Terriers have such strong protective instincts formed for their human companions, they can show aggression to other dogs or pets if they are not socialized properly from a young age. Make plans to introduce your pit pup to as many other healthy dogs of various ages, sizes, and breeds as you can through every stage of its growth. Training can start early as well, just remember to have clearly established boundaries and don’t be afraid to lean heavily on rewards when starting out.
Bull Terrier Puppies
Full grown Bull Terriers are known for their comedic behavior, so one can expect to see that trait exhibited and perhaps concentrated in Bull Terrier pups. These dogs know how to get into trouble, but at least they know how to make you laugh while doing it. Their big personalities and big hearts imprint early, so make time for cuddling and grooming while your pup is young. Though they are not typically shy dogs, socialization at every age is important. The public has a soft spot for this iconic breed, and your dog will love being the in the limelight on every occasion that they can get it.
Bull Terrier have a slightly shorter lifespan than Pitbull, living only 10 to 12 years instead of 12 to 14. Just like Pitbulls though, they can exhibit hostility towards other animals, so make plenty of Puppy and Me playdates to curtail this behavior. If allergies are a concern with these adorably foolish dogs, Miniature Bull Terriers are a hypoallergenic option you might want to consider.
Buying and Adopting a Puppy
When bringing a Bull Terrier or an American Pitbull Terrier into your home, make sure to do your research prior to purchase or adoption. If you intend to show or breed your dog, consider searching online through reputable sellers who can get you in contact with competitive breeders. The American Kennel Club is one of the best resources to find responsible places to purchase your dog.
If you intend to keep your pet as purely a companion, you don’t need to verify their lineage and can be more open to purpose-bred puppy alternatives like adoption. For both Bull Terriers and American Pitbull Terriers there are many rescue organizations established all over the country dedicated to saving these dogs from shelters and abusive situations. Welcoming a dog that was in a crisis situation into your home can seem scary, but truly it is a wonderful way to make a friend for life. The Blue Ridge Bull Terrier Rescue and the Pitbull Rescue Central can connect you directly with puppies in your area or suggest the areas in highest need of adoption.