Bully For You
The American Kennel Club describes the lovable Bull Terrier as a “three-year-old child in a dog suit.” The breed’s muscular body and distinct egg-shaped head belie an exceedingly friendly and fun-loving disposition. Sweet, playful, and high on the intelligence meter, the breed is popular in agility and show rings, as well as being a loyal companion and family member. Hollywood is also a fan: BTs have starred in family-friendly hits such as Toy Story and Babe: Pig in the City. Obedience training, exercise, and a lot of companionship are required to keep the Bull Terrier stimulated and happy. The breed generally adores kids but its rambunctious, “class clown” behaviour means care should be taken to ensure the BT doesn’t get too rowdy for smaller children.
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Popular narcotics and explosives detection dogs, the American Pit Bull Terrier’s easy athleticism and high intelligence mean it also excels in agility and dog sports. Its distinct, sturdy head may appear fearsome to some, but a loyal and friendly demeanor lies beneath the short, smooth coat. APBTs are extremely devoted to their owners and usually friendly to strangers. The breed’s bad rap stems from its popularity in illegal dog fighting rings, but there is nothing inherently dangerous about these dogs—quite the opposite. They are excellent family members, as their many devotees will attest. Like many breeds, they require obedience training and early socialization by an experienced guardian. While the American Pit Bull Terrier is officially recognized by the United Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club has yet to follow suit.
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Contrary to its name, this sturdy, muscular breed hails from England. A working dog, it was originally bred to drive cattle and guard the farm, protective instincts you can still see in the breed. Unfortunately, the breed’s courage, athleticism, and familiarly with livestock led it to be favoured in the brutal sport of bullbaiting. The outlawing of this barbaric sport allowed the breed to return to its all-purpose work heritage as well its most common role today—that of beloved family pet. American Bulldogs are happy, confident, loving, fearless, and exceedingly loyal to their guardians. They are known to interact well with children and other pets, especially when socialized early, and their short coat makes grooming a breeze.
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Don’t let the Staffordshire’s athletic
frame and tenacious attitude fool you;
this affectionate breed has a special affinity for children, making it an excellent
family dog. Thought to be one of the first
bull and terrier crosses, it was bred in
19th century Staffordshire, England, for
coal miners who wanted a small, fast
dog. Extremely intelligent, courageous,
obedient, and strong for its size, the
Staffordshire Bull Terrier flourishes in
agility and show rings. While the breed is
sweet-tempered and possesses a sense
of humour, it is also strong and determined
and thus requires an experienced
owner who can train with a fi rm yet
gentle hand. The Staffordshire enjoys
daily exercise and sturdy chew toys to
exercise its strong jaws.
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The AmStaff might just be the “All American
pet”—just think of Petey from Our
Gang and The Little Rascals. Symbolizing
courage and bravery, AmStaffs were
also the face of war posters in early
20th century America. Sadly, the current
inclination to shy away from members of
the Bully family has buried the AmStaff’s
family-friendly rep, and unjustly so. The
American Staffordshire Terrier is active
and affectionate, even towards strangers.
This stocky, medium-sized breed with the
strong head has come a long way from its
roots in bullbaiting, using its strength to
excel in obedience, agility, and tracking
instead. A keen family member, loyal and
people-oriented, the AmStaff loves to
be part of a family and will protect them
from any perceived threat accordingly.
AmStaffs love to be given a job to do, and
regular exercise and training are a must.
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Named for its birth place, the Boston
Terrier was bred in the stables of
Boston, Massachusetts, as a fi ghting
dog following the American Civil War.
Despite its pugilistic origins, the Boston
is known as the “American Gentlemen,”
not only for its tuxedo-like colouring, but
for its friendly disposition. The result of
a cross between an English Bulldog and
a white English Terrier, the Boston is
highly intelligent and easy to train. This
lively, well-mannered breed makes an
excellent household pet, getting along
with other pets and children alike, but
does enjoy regular exercise.
Other members of the Bully Breed family
that may surprise you:
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