SEC­RE­TARIAT GEN­ERAL: 13, Place Albert 1er B – 6530 Thuin (Bel­gique)


FCI-Standard N° 11




Bull terrier standard

Illus­tra­tion by M. David­son, ©NKU Pic­ture Library This illus­tra­tion does not nec­es­sar­ily show the ideal exam­ple of the breed.

ORI­GIN: Great Britain.



FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 3 Ter­ri­ers.
Sec­tion 3 Bull type Ter­ri­ers.
Work­ing trial optional.

BRIEF HIS­TOR­I­CAL SUM­MARY: It was a cer­tain James Hinks who first stan­dard­ised the breed type in the 1850s, select­ing the egg-shaped head. The breed was first shown in its present form at Birm­ing­ham in 1862. The Bull Ter­rier Club was formed in 1887. The truly inter­est­ing thing about the breed is that the stan­dard says quite delib­er­ately, “There are nei­ther weight nor height lim­its, but there should be the impres­sion of max­i­mum sub­stance for size of dog con­sis­tent with qual­ity and sex. Dog should at all times be bal­anced.”
A smaller exam­ple of the Bull Ter­rier has been known since the early 19
th cen­tury but fell out of favour prior to the First World War and was removed from the Ken­nel Club Breed Reg­is­ter in 1918. In 1938, a revival was spear­headed by Colonel Richard Glyn and a group of fel­low enthu­si­asts who formed the Minia­ture Bull Ter­rier Club. The stan­dard is the same as that of the Bull Ter­rier with the excep­tion of a height limit.

GEN­ERAL APPEAR­ANCE: Strongly built, mus­cu­lar, well bal­anced and active with a keen, deter­mined and intel­li­gent expres­sion. A unique fea­ture is a down­faced, egg-shaped head. Irre­spec­tive of size dogs should look mas­cu­line and bitches feminine.

BEHAVIOUR/TEMPERAMENT: Coura­geous, full of spirit, with a fun lov­ing atti­tude. Of even tem­pera­ment and amenable to dis­ci­pline. Although obsti­nate is par­tic­u­larly good with people.

HEAD: Long, strong and deep right to end of muz­zle, but not coarse. Viewed from front egg-shaped and com­pletely filled, its sur­face free from hol­lows or inden­ta­tions. Pro­file curves gen­tly down­wards from top of skull to tip of nose.

Skull: Top of skull almost flat from ear to ear.

Nose: Should be black. Bent down­wards at tip. Nos­trils well devel­oped.
Lips: Clean and tight.
Jaws/Teeth: Under-jaw deep and strong. Teeth sound, clean, strong, of good size, reg­u­lar with a per­fect, reg­u­lar and com­plete scis­sor bite, i. e. upper teeth closely over­lap­ping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Eyes: Appear­ing nar­row and tri­an­gu­lar, obliquely placed, black or as dark brown as pos­si­ble so as to appear almost black and with a pierc­ing glint. Dis­tance from tip of nose to eyes per­cep­ti­bly greater than that from eyes to top of skull. Blue or partly blue unde­sir­able.
Ears: Small, thin and placed 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

BODY: Well rounded with marked spring of rib and great depth from with­ers to brisket, so that lat­ter nearer ground than belly.
Back: Short, strong, with back­line behind with­ers level, arch­ing or roach­ing slightly over loins.
Loin: Broad, well mus­cled.
Chest: Broad when viewed from front.
Under­line and belly: From brisket to belly forms a grace­ful upward curve.

TAIL: Short, set on low and car­ried hor­i­zon­tally. Thick at root, it tapers to a fine point.


Gen­eral appear­ance: Dog should stand solidly upon legs and they should be per­fectly par­al­lel. In mature dogs length of forelegs should be approx­i­mately equal to depth of chest.
Shoul­der: Strong and mus­cu­lar with­out load­ing. Shoul­der blades wide, flat and held closely to chest wall and have a very pro­nounced back­ward slope of front edge from bot­tom to top, form­ing almost a right angle with upper arm.
Elbow: Held straight and strong.
Fore­arm: Forelegs have strongest type of round, qual­ity bone.
Metacar­pus (Pastern): Upright.
Forefeet: Round and com­pact with well arched toes.

Gen­eral appear­ance: Hind legs par­al­lel when viewed from behind.
Thigh: Mus­cu­lar.
Sti­fle (Knee): Joint well bent.
Lower thigh: Well devel­oped.
Hock joint: Well angu­lated.
Metatar­sus (Rear pastern): Bone to foot short and strong.
Hind feet: Round and com­pact with well arched toes.

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 faster speeds, forelegs reach­ing out well and hind legs mov­ing smoothly at hip, flex­ing well at sti­fle and hock, with great thrust.

SKIN: Fit­ting dog tightly.

Hair: Short, flat, even and harsh to touch with a fine gloss. A soft tex­tured under­coat may be present in winter.

Colour: For White, pure white coat. Skin pig­men­ta­tion and mark­ings on head not to be penalised. For Coloured, colour pre­dom­i­nates; all other things being equal, brindle pre­ferred. Black brindle, red, fawn and tri­colour accept­able. Tick mark­ings in white coat unde­sir­able. Blue and liver highly undesirable.

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

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 and its effect upon the health and wel­fare of the dog.

• Aggres­sive or overly shy dogs.
• Any dog clearly show­ing phys­i­cal or behav­ioural abnor­mal­i­ties shall be disqualified


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

Only func­tion­ally and clin­i­cally healthy dogs, with breed typ­i­cal con­for­ma­tion, should be used for breeding.