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THE BREED STANDARD

The British Breed Standard
(Approved July 1986)

General appearance
Strongly-built, muscular, well-balanced and active with a keen, determined intelligent expression.

Characteristics
The Bull Terrier is the gladiator of the canine race, full of fire and courageous. A unique feature of the breed is a down-faced, egg-shaped head. Irrespective of size, dogs should look masculine and bitches feminine.

Temperament
Of even temperament and amenable to discipline. Although obstinate, is particularly good with people.

Head and skull
Head long, strong and deep right to the end of the muzzle, but not coarse. Viewed from front, egg shaped and completely filled, its surface free from hollows or indentations. Top of the skull almost flat from ear to ear. Profile curves gently downwards from top of skull to tip of nose which should be black and bent downwards at tip. Nostrils well-developed and underjaw deep and strong.

Mouth
Teeth sound, clean, strong, of good size, perfectly regular with a perfect regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set in the jaw. Lips clean and tight.

Eyes
Appearing narrow, obliquely placed and triangular, well-sunken, black or as dark as possible so as to appear almost black, and with a piercing glint. Distance from tip of the nose to eyes perceptibly greater than that from eyes to top of the skull. Blue or partly blue eyes undesirable.

Ears
Small, thin and place close together. Dog should be able to hold them stiffly erect, when they point straight upwards.

Neck
Very muscular, long, arched, tapering from shoulders to head and free from loose skin.

Forequarters
Shoulders strong and muscular without loading. Shoulder blades wide, flat and held closely to the chest wall and have a very pronounced backwards slope of front edge from bottom to top, forming almost a right angle with upper arm. Elbows held straight, and strong pasterns upright. Forelegs have strongest type of round quality bones, dog should stand solidly on them and they should be perfectly parallel. In mature dogs length of foreleg should be approximately equal to depth of chest.

Body
Body well-rounded with marked spring of rib and great depth from withers to brisket, so that the latter nearer the ground than the belly. Back short, strong with backline behind the withers level, arching or roaching slightly over board, well-muscled loins. Underline from brisket to belly forms a graceful upwards curve. Chest broad viewed from front.

Hindquarters
Hind legs in parallel when viewed from behind. Thighs muscular and second thighs well-angulated with bone to foot short and strong.

Feet
Round and compact with well-arched toes.

Tail
Short, set on low and carried horizontally. Thick at root, it tapes to a fine point.

Gait/Movement
When moving appears well-knit, smoothly covering ground with free, easy strides and with a typical jaunty air. When trotting, movement parallel, front and back, only converging towards centre line at fast speeds, forelegs reaching out well and hind legs moving smoothly at hip, flexing well at stifle and hock, with great thrust.

Coat
Short, flat, even and harsh to touch with a fine gloss. Skin fitting dog tightly. A soft-textured undercoat may be present in winter.

Colour
For White, pure white coat. Skin pigmentation and markings on the head not to be penalized. For Coloured, colour to predominate; all other things being equal, brindle to be preferred. Black brindle, red fawn and tricolor acceptable. Blue and liver highly undesirable.

Size
There are neither weight nor height limits, but there should be the impression of maximum substance for the size of dog consistent with quality and sex.

Faults
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

BULL TERRIERS TODAY
Chapter six: The Breed Standard
by Dr. DAVID HARRIS


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