Description

English Bull Terriers (usually shortened to 'Bull Terriers') are a short-haired, large-sized dog breed. They are playful, mischievous and energetic companions who are devoted to their owners and, when socialised correctly as puppies, are friendly towards children and always looking for new ways to have fun.

Neonatal

During the first 4 weeks of your Bull Terrier's life, they should spend most of their time with their mother and litter-mates. It is highly unusual for the puppy's owner to care for them during this time and is best left to a responsible, reputable breeder. Your puppy's body will double in weight as their muscles, organs and bones develop.

Nutrition During the neonatal stage, your Bull Terrier puppy will get most of their nutrition from their mother's milk. At around 4 weeks you may wish to introduce a mush of minced protein such as beef, but always consult your vet first before changing your puppy's diet at this stage.
Health During this time it is important to monitor your Bull Terrier for any infections, diseases or birth defects. Puppies are unable to urinate or defecate by themselves initially, so their mother helps them but may additionally require your assistance.

Keep your vet's contact details close by and educate yourself thoroughly on this stage of puppy development. By the end of this period, your puppy will be mobile and will explore the world mouth first — be sure to keep choking hazards and toxic foods out of their reach.
Behaviour During most of this time your Bull Terrier puppy will be asleep or inactive, but they will soon be playing with their brothers and sisters. After 3-4 weeks they will go through as much sensory development as a human baby does in a few months. It is important to avoid disturbing the puppies' mother as she will be likely be protective, but some interaction with the young pups is normal so they become used to human touch.

Weaning

When you take your Bull Terrier puppy home (usually at around 8 weeks) you should provide them with lots of stimulation and affection. This is a formative time for your puppy and will be when they learn to walk, play, bite, hold their bladder, and interact with others. If you have other pets or children who visit regularly, you should introduce them to your puppy early to promote good socialisation and avoid protectiveness over you later in life which may result in aggression.

 

Nutrition During the weaning stage, you should slowly introduce into their diet a nutritionally complete dog food which is appropriate to your Bull Terrier's large size and young age. This breed tends to enjoy eating, so monitor your puppy's weight and adjust how much you feed them as necessary. You should also familiarise yourself with lists of toxic foods and plants to avoid.
Health During this time you should provide your puppy with a small, shallow bowl of clean water and refresh the contents frequently. Bull Terriers often suffer from zinc deficiency and will require special dog sunscreen for their snouts and other exposed parts of their skin. Your Bull Terrier puppy should not require much grooming outside of a brush once a week to remove dead hair, however, familiarise them with nail clippers as they can be resistive towards their feet being touched.
Behaviour Due to the changes in their environment, your Bull Terrier puppy will be under a significant amount of stress. It's important to provide lots of affection and socialise your young puppy well. It is important that you establish you establish yourself as the alpha so that your Bull Terrier respects you — they tend to have a mind of their own and be free thinkers as they get older so they must be taught to love and respect you quickly.

Puppy

By the time your Bull Terrier reaches puppyhood their personality will be well developed and you will have a friendly and well-humoured companion who loves to have fun. You should invest plenty of time into training your Bull Terrier puppy while they are small, otherwise they may become too free-willed and strong to handle later.

 

Nutrition Your Bull Terrier puppy's diet should be based around a high quality, nutritionally complete puppy food. You may also wish to introduce them to fresh, lean raw meat — however, don't feed your puppy any meat you would not feed to a fellow human being. Bull Terriers tend to be unfussy eaters but need more calcium than other breeds in their diet, especially when young, so try introducing some dairy or broccoli into their diets in moderation. Treats may aid in training but excessive snacking can make your Bull Terrier overweight quickly.
Health Bull Terrier puppies tend to be relatively low maintenance, however you will need to regularly check their large ears for infection and trim their nails often. It is recommend that you neuter male Bull Terrier puppies early as they have a tendency to overproduce testosterone — this can make them aggressive, especially towards other males, but they are usually friendly towards females. After around 8 weeks your puppy will be due for some vaccinations, so they will need a checkup at the vet and to arrange for boosters after that.
Behaviour Bull Terriers were originally bred as fighting dogs, so they have some naturally aggressive tendencies. Proper socialising can help combat this, especially in helping foster good behaviours around children who Bull Terriers tend to love. Likewise, you should always ensure that your friends and family know what is appropriate behaviour around your puppy and to be wary when introducing their dogs to your growing puppy. Non-canine pets should never be left alone with your Bull Terrier as they will be treated as prey. Patience will be required in training, which should be approached creatively and as a game rather than a punishing exercise.

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