Bull Terriers were originally bred as fighting dogs; however, they are now considered excellent showdogs. If you plan to show your Bull Terrier in a competition, here are a few of the things that judges look for, based on American Kennel Club Requirements. In general, the Bull Terrier must be strongly built, muscular, symmetrical, and active, with a keen, determined, and intelligent expression, full of fire but with sweet disposition and amenable to discipline. Virtually every body part is scrutinized, from the head to the tail.
The head should be long, strong, and deep until the end of the muzzle, but not coarse. The full face must be egg-shaped, and the distance from the tip of the nose to the eyes should be perceptibly greater than that from the eyes to the top of the skull. The underjaw should be deep and well defined. Its lips should be clean and tight, and the teeth should meet either levelly or in a scissor bite. The ears should be small, thin, and close together, capable of being held stiffly erect. Its eyes should be sunken and as dark as possible. They should be small, triangular, and obliquely placed, set near together and high up on the head.
Neck, Chest, and Body
The neck should be muscular, long, arched, and clean, tapering from the shoulders to the head and it should be free from loose skin. The chest should be broad when viewed from the front, and the brisket should be nearer to the ground than the belly. The body should be well rounded and the back should be short and strong. Its tail should be short, fine, set low, and ideally carried horizontally, thick where it joins the body, and should taper to a fine point. The coat should be short, flat, harsh to the touch, and with fine gloss. The dog's skin should fit tightly.
If white, markings on the head are permissible. Markings elsewhere are to be severely faulted, but skin pigmentation is not to be penalized.
Legs and Feet
Legs should be big boned, but not to the point of coarseness. Forelegs should be of moderate length, perfectly straight, and the dog must stand firmly with them. The hind legs should be parallel when viewed from behind. Feet should be round and compact, with well-arched toes like a cat.
The dog should move smoothly, in free, easy strides, fore and hind legs moving parallel to each other when viewed from the front or back. The dog should move compactly and in one piece but with a typical jaunty air that suggests agility and power.
Any dog with blue eyes or which is predominantly white is disqualified.
Other activities which Bull Terriers excel in
It has been said that Bull Terriers are not ideal candidates for serious competition. Even if this is true, Bull Terriers also excel in other activities such as weight pulling, search and rescue, dog agility trials, flyball, and they can even do well in some advanced obedience training. They have been used to aid the police as narcotics detection police dogs, Border Patrol dogs, and Search and Rescue dogs because of their tenacity, high energy drive, and versatility
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