Well, im interested on buying a bullterrier, i dont know much about them so im reading about them, now does anyone have any personal experience with this dog? do they really need that much excersice? are they agressive? im not a much of a sports person i could take time for the dog to excersice him but not 24/7. are they to messy? hard to train? i want to know because im about to buy one and well i want to be 100% sure of what im getting into!!!!
I'm sending my list of suggestions for finding a good breeder, and more importantly, a wonderful, healthy pet! I give this to anyone who comes to me for a puppy, and suggest that you ask these questions to every breeder you talk to (regarding results of specific health tests). I wrote this after losing my first bull terrier puppy at only 2.5 yrs of age to a neurological disease. I was shocked to learn that health tested dogs cost less than what most internet and newspaper ads sold pups for, without anything but a 'vet check and shots'. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help, offer advice, or share funny anecdotes with!
Go to the Bull Terrier Club of America web site. (www.BTCA.com) Start visiting with people (and breeders) about bullies...All over the country! Talk to as many people as possible before making your decision. Find a breeder that you 'click' with and who you will feel comfortable calling for advice. (I tell people to find someone that they want to share a beer/coffee with.) Your breeder is going to be your lifeline with your new bully! Whether you have questions or just want to share funny anecdotes, they know the personality and health of their lines better than anyone.
Learn about the different (personality) types of bull terriers. Talk to people to see if you need an active or sedentary bully; goofy, clever, or a perfect combination of both?! Ask if the parents of the pup have had an echocardiogram (heart), UPC (kidneys), and been BAER tested (hearing). Ask if your pup has been BAER tested. Ask to see the results. Find out how old the dogs in the line of your pup have lived to be...I often hear from people who are shocked that these tests are included at rates that are often lower than advertised by some breeders on internet puppy sites. Getting a pup is a big financial and EMOTIONAL investment!! =)
Another thing that I would caution, is that just because the pup is AKC/CKC/UKC registered, doesn't mean that those registries endorse nor inspect the breeding stock. It is just a service that a breeder pays for, same with DNA testing.
And don't be fooled by breeders who use the term 'rescue' or 'adopt' to place dogs of their own breeding. As breeders, it is up to us to be responsible for the dogs we breed throughout their life!
Many good breeders will sell their animals with a co-ownership contract. Now, before you scream "I'm going to pay HOW MUCH and not completely own the dog", you are in control of your new pet!! I can't think of anyone ever showing up on a co-owners doorstep for a surprise visit!
Co-ownership contracts are in place to protect you, the dog and the integrity of the breed. By co-owning a dog, your breeder is sure to be there when you need them, throughout the life of your dog. This is a binding contract that can protect you should you ever have any problems or concerns. A breeder may have a contract to ensure that if for some reason you are ever unable to care for your dog, the breeder has first chance to get the dog back. This keeps people from re-selling their dog on craigslist etc, and makes sure that the dog remains in a proper bull terrier home. It also helps to protect the animal from being bred at every opportunity and the pups from ending up in rescue. (There is usually a clause stating that the animal can't be bred without the permission of the co-owner, if the dog isn't spayed/neutered.) The only other points in a contract that you sign are that you will provide proper shelter, food, veterinary care, and lots of love!
You may find that a pup is not conducive to your lifestyle. You might consider a retired show dog or a rescued bull terrier. Talk to breeders about retired show dogs, who are often trained youngsters. For more information on rescue, please find us at BTCA.com and link to rescue. Don't fret if there isn't a rescue shown in your state, as bullies come into rescue faster than we can get them on the web site. If you fill out an adoption application, someone will contact you when a dog may be available to fit your lifestyle. Rescue fees can be significantly less than a new pup and it is very rewarding to give a rescue a loving forever home!
You are doing a great job doing your research and preparing! Check out the bull terrier clubs in your area and try to attend a meeting or event. (You can find them on the BTCA website.) This can seem grueling and frustrating, but it will be well worth it in the long run through the health, temperament, and vitality of your new addition.
Keep us posted and best of luck!!
Amber Gibson Regional Club Liaison - Bull Terrier Club of America Member - Bull Terrier Club of Dallas Founding Board Member - Texas Gulf Coast Bull Terrier Club Secretary - Baytown Kennel Club Professional Member - Association of Pet Dog Trainers (Past) Vice President - Texas Animal Rescue & Placement Alliance Most Importantly...Tater, Tot, Heather, York, & Cosmo's Mom!!!!