Bull terrier puppy vs adult dog – what should you choose?
Now that you have decided to become a new owner of a bull terrier, you have just one big decision left to make. Just joking, you probably still have to make lots of decisions. But one of the more important ones is: would you rather adopt a bull terrier puppy, or a full-grown bull terrier? Or maybe something in between? All choices are valid, but one or the other may be better for you depending on your circumstances.
What considerations should you keep in mind when making this choice?
Bull terrier puppy vs adult dog – availability
If your heart is set on getting a young bull terrier puppy, the good news is that there are quite a few breeders out there. You can find a breeder near you and find out when their litters are due. Then you can get on a waitlist for a new puppy and you are almost there. The important part here is that you need to make sure you choose a really good, responsible breeder.
A good breeder is your guarantee that your new puppy will be healthy, free of genetic diseases and possess a good temperament. Always ask your breeder what dogs they use for “parents”: are those good, sound, healthy lines? Do they do genetic testing of the puppies’ parents and of the puppies themselves, and what other measures they have in place to make sure their litters are healthy?
This takes a lot of work on your part, but, once you find your perfect breeder, the hardest work is done. (Until you have to housebreak that puppy!)
Once you have secured a puppy, a few months may pass from the moment you get onto a waitlist until you bring your new bull terrier pup home.
It can be a little more complicated with an adult dog. If you are planning to get a young adult bull terrier or maybe even a middle-aged one, you would first have to find them, and it may not be so easy. After all, bull terrier owners are usually pretty in love with their dogs, and it’s fairly rare for someone to be willing to give away their dog.
So how do you go about finding your adult(-ish?) bull terrier?
Adopting an adult bull terrier from a breeder
Yes, you can find adult dogs at a breeder, not only puppies. Breeders normally have several breeding dogs to produce puppies. Those are usually the best of the best dogs, champions of dog shows with excellent physical characteristics and great temperaments.
However, sometimes a particular dog has already produced several litters, and it may be that the breeder is not planning to use that particular dog anymore. Despite how much they love the dog, they may not be able to keep it in the kennel, and so they may be looking for a new owner.
If you would like to take the responsibility of adopting a wonderful older dog, try contacting a bull terrier breeder near you and see if they can help you. Tell them about your situation: where you live and what you could provide for the dog. Do you have a fenced yard? A large house? Most importantly, do you have time to spend with the dog?
Adopting an older bull terrier from a rescue shelter
Another place to find an adult bull terrier or Mini Bull Terrier to adopt may be closer than you think – your local animal shelter. Although purebred bull terriers don’t often end up in shelters, it does happen from time to time. Contact your local shelter or visit their website to see if perhaps they have just what you are looking for.
An even better place than your local shelter is a specialized bull terrier rescue center. There are quite a few all over US, Canada and other countries. You can find a list of bull terrier rescue centers and more tips on what to look for in a bull terrier rescue here in this article.
No matter what shelter you end up adopting your bull terrier from, there are a few important things to consider.
An important consideration when adopting a dog from a shelter is the dog’s history and the reason they ended up in a shelter in the first place. Was the dog simply lost and the owners were not identified? Or did the previous owner give up on the dog, and if so, what was the reason.
If a dog ended up in a shelter, it may be a destructive or aggressive dog, or perhaps a dog with health issues. It’s important to find out the exact reason, and then to rationally evaluate whether you are ready to take the challenge on.
Don’t just go ahead and adopt the dog just because it’s a bull terrier and you always wanted one. Make sure you can handle the issues that the dog may present, and if it seems like it’s more than you can handle – look for another dog and let this one find an owner that will be able to give this dog the life it deserves.
Buying a bull terrier puppy from a breeder
If you would rather get a puppy as opposed to an adult dog, a breeder is a good choice. It’s important to remember that getting a puppy is a lot like having a baby – it’s a lot of work. If you’ve never owned a dog before, you might not even be able to imagine how much work goes into making sure your pup doesn’t kill themselves while you are not looking, or destroy your house – by chewing or peeing onto everything in sight – let alone raise them properly.
You will have to teach your puppy everything they need to know. You will have to work on socialization, discipline, housebreaking and sleeping through the night. You also have to be ready to tolerate their crazy antiques while they are learning what’s OK and what’s not OK to do in your house. You will very likely have a few weeks of interrupted sleep – or NO sleep – because you will have to get up several times a night to take your pup out to pee. As you can see, all of that is quite a bit of work! Before getting a puppy, you need to make sure you are up for the challenge!
But, just like with a new baby, getting a new puppy can bring a lot of excitement to your life! It’s also a great way to raise a dog the way you want, sculpting their habits and behavior, as opposed to having to get adapted to a dog with a personality that’s already formed. (Or, potentially, de-formed in an improper environment) There are a lot of advantages to getting a new pup from a young age – and to do that you need to find a good breeder.
Finding a breeder – or, rather, a good breeder – can be a little tricky. The problem is that there are a lot of people that think they can make money selling puppies – without that much work.
Of course, this is completely wrong. In fact, most good breeders of any dogs, not just bull terriers, will tell you that breeding is hard work that often not only isn’t profitable but actually costs breeders! After all the investments that have to be made into breeding, showing dog shows and raising healthy puppies, a lot of breeders actually lose money!
But back yard breeders who breed unethically don’t care to do things right, cut corners, mistreat their dogs and produce unhealthy, unhappy puppies. You have to be careful and avoid breeders like that for two reasons.
First, you don’t want to get a badly bred puppy that has genetic diseases or other health or temperament issues. Second, you don’t want to support people that mistreat their dogs for profit. Read more in this post about how to find bull terrier breeders near to you and what you need to pay attention to choose a good breeder.
You can also read:
Bull terrier pros and cons – are you sure a bull terrier is for you?
Bull Terrier Temperament: things to know before getting a bull terrier
Miniature bull terrier: why should you consider a mini bull terrier