Are Bull Terriers Good With Children?

I know. What am I doing including an article on Bull Terriers? I thought you could use a good chuckle. That and a good friend of mine breeds them. Try substituting your breed’s name and see how much of it would apply to your beloved–unless, of course, you have one of the smaller, delicate breeds.

The following story titled “Are Bull Terriers Good With Children?” by Peggy Arnaud appeared in The Bull Terrier Club Of South Australia magazine in February 1994.

“Haven’t we all been asked this question many times [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][are bull terriers good with children]? Yes, if raised with children, a bull terrier is a perfect companion; gentle and aware of the child’s fragility. Haven’t we all watched a great lump of dog play quietly on the floor with babies, then without warning hurl itself upon an unsuspecting adult with sufficient force to practically land him in the intensive care unit. So I would like to ask this question – Are Bull Terriers Good With Adults? Not one of my dogs has ever laid a tooth on me, but the damage to my person has, over the years been considerable.

“One rainy morning I was standing in the driveway watching my husband back out the car when Muffin came flat out around the corner of the house carrying a length of 2 x 4. What she was intending to do with this piece of lumber has never been determined – it is possible that she was becoming bored with the demolition trade and was about to enter the construction business. Turning at her approach, I received the full impact of the wood on my shinbone and was knocked to the ground by the force where I lay screaming with pain and fury. Muff observed this odd behavior for a moment, then deciding that she had heard all those words before (usually directed at her anyway), she retrieved her wooden weapon, and spinning it around with the grace and agility of a baton twirler, connected neatly with the back of my head as I was attempting to get to my feet. The impact returned me to my previous horizontal position, this time face down.

“My husband, who witnessed the entire performance informed me later that the timing was superb – worthy of the best Keystone Cops or Marx Brothers. But he delayed his departure, herded the menace into her kennel and inquired through his merriment if I was hurt. Stating I thought I might live long enough to murder the wretched bitch, I was helped to my feet but found I could not put any weight on the injured leg and my scalp was cut and bleeding – so a trip to the accident room of the local hospital was thought advisable.

“Being my first visit for emergency treatment, I was not prepared for the volume of information required. Name, address, occupation are routine – but how, when and why!….(I am an obstetrical nurse and our patients are admitted onto the floor with a minimum of questions. We know why they are there, and we know how it happened and we assume the patient knows too, although sometimes one wonders)!

“The admitting nurse was efficient and thorough. Vital statistics dealt with came unexpected questions. “Now, how did this accident happen?” “Well,” I said, “You see my dog had this big piece of wood in her mouth and she hit me with it.”

“Your dog?” “Yes.” “I see, – and the head wound?” “Well my dog did that too.” “With a piece of wood?” “Yes, – it was the same piece of wood actually.” “I see.”

“Well,” I said, coming quickly to Muffin’s defense,” of course she didn’t mean to, she sort of spun around and she had this piece of wood in her mouth, you see – and, well-she hit me with it – I was sitting in the driveway at the time…”

“Our local hospital does not have a psychiatric floor but I could see by the expression on the nurse’s face that she was aware of the desperate need for one.

“The next major incident followed swiftly. (Minor ones occur almost daily.) The paddock gate is, of necessity, sturdily built of oak and heavy. It opens inward. Every day I collect each dog after his play period.

“I call them from whatever act of mayhem they may be committing, push open the gate and bend down ready to snap on the lead. For three hundred and sixty four days of the year Bloody Mary had galloped to the gate, come around it, and been leashed in the usual fashion. On this particular day, whether due to a whim, or perhaps because the moon was in Aquarius she chose to project herself at approximately the speed of light from the far corner of the paddock, and instead of coming around the gate, she leapt at it with all the force of her fifty pounds of muscle, slamming it shut on my head. I went down like a pole-axed ox, and remained down and out long enough for the murderous beast to remove and eat the bait-biscuits from my pocket – she also removed and apparently ate the pocket. A small hairpiece I was wearing has never been seen again – presumably it was quickly killed and buried. Staggering into a lawn chair I sat holding my head and considering an early retirement from dog breeding, while Mary amused herself by eating the geraniums.

“This pastoral scene continued for awhile until my neighbor drove up, took one look at me, and insisted – yes, you guessed it – on a trip to the Emergency Room.

“The last thing I wished to do on this earth was return to the hospital where, after the Muffin episode, there exists some doubt as to my sanity – I am known locally as “that kook who lives up on the hill with those funny looking white things she says are dogs”. But feeling too sick to argue or resist I was firmly placed in the car and hurried off to my fate.

“And so it came to pass that once again I presented myself at the local Emergency Room. Of course, the admitting nurse was the same as before, the staff also. Approaching the desk in embarrassed misery – torn clothing, wild hair, a great lump on my forehead and eyes blackening fast, I am greeted by an obviously wary nurse – “Goodness, Mrs Arnaud, sit down. Whatever happened to you now?” I take a deep breath, (Oh God will get you for this Bloody Mary) and with visions of padded cells looming large in my future, “Well,” I said “you see – my dog…”

“Are Bull Terriers Good With Children?

“Oh yes. They are lovely.

“Are Bull Terriers Good With Adults?

“Well I am an adult and they are not good with me, and I have the scars – my body, my furniture, and my psyche – to prove it.”


21 thoughts on “Are Bull Terriers Good With Children?”

  1. I just recently adopted a mini bull terrier from a local shelter after my fist adopted elderly standard bull terrier passed. The newly adopted guy is only three years old and a handful of lovable energy he has no idea how strong and dangerous he is. He has slammed into me causing bruising and injury several times in the little over a months time that I’ve had him. I absolutely LOVE this story and can identify with the story teller. Each and every time he has caused physical damage he was just in a burst of zoomies and hucklebucks, The frenzied and crazy bursts were just results from him being so excited that he could not contain himself. Each time I have defended his character when questioned about the damages.. He is crazy loyal and protective over me and would not trade him for any other dog in the world. This story reminds me that I adore him.

    1. Hi Leissa, this post cracks me up every time I read it! I’m so glad you found it so you could have a good laugh and be reminded of how much you love your boy. He’s lucky to have found you!

  2. Karen, your story brought tears of laughter to my eyes, that’s for sure and shaking my head at the memories of living with a Bull Terrier!! My husband and I were fortunate enough to have a Bull Terrier in our family over twenty years ago, and I can definitely relate to the accidents/injuries Tilly caused me and around the house. She was always exceptionally gentle with my 16 month daughter. Thank you for bringing back lovely memories of our Tilly.

  3. I’ve had 2 Bull Terriers, the first a small female named Unit who was wonderful and gentle. The second was a pick of the litter male named Popeye. I loved them both very much. My wife and I had twins when Popeye was about 10 and though strong as an ox, he was always very gentle with the girls. When he was younger, we used to play and rough house. I had to laugh at some of the stories because I too was the victim of the jumping. spinning, flailing around move they do. Once during a particularly spirited play session, Popeye jumped straight up and broke my nose with the top of his head…though it hurt like the dickens, I have to laugh at the 3 Stooges nature of it all….such a great dog.

  4. I had an American bull terrier. She was an adorable black dog (half black lab?), but loved hunting chipmunks and barking at deer in the back yard. We were always worried that she’d get loose one day and come back with a deer leg in her mouth, wagging her tail at the “prize” she brought back home, just like a cat bringing a rodent “gift” to the doorstep. Terriers are an amazing breed.

  5. What a story me myself have a bull terrie, he was born blind in his left eyehe love me the most and I also have a small child I do hope and pray they will become best of friends my hustband got the dog fot me for protection and he’s so good in it looking after me he doent alow any1 in our house my dogs name is sparrow its a special dog for me alow I don’t see him as my dog actuly my child he gets along with my son but ill never leave him alone with my son.. A bull terries is sutch a good clever smart dog and I hate it whem people let them fitgh with other dogs whow sais the want to fitgh so pleas stop if your doing it a dog also have a heart and feelings… Regards mom and sparrow

  6. What a great and funny article. I was looking at alot of utube video`s in regards to these very cute dogs. At the present i have a great golden retriever but this dog seems so different and cute. Not sure if this is the right dog for our house. Anyway loved your article.

  7. Israel from México

    It’s been 4 years since this article came out and I’m amazed people still writing comments.

    I’m about to get a bull terrier puppy, any tips for me? =D

    thank you!

    1. Best advice I can give you (if this is your first Bull Terrier) is to find a great trainer and start working with your puppy right away. Because these dogs are so physically strong, they can really hurt people unintentionally — so while these stories are funny to read, it’s definitely not funny to get plowed into by one of these guys! Good luck!

  8. I can totally relate to this story.I have four Mini Bulls and two Standard bull terriers. They are wonderful with anyone albeit a bit rough. I usually have bruises from them bumping into me. I have had black eyes, fat lip,s you name it. I was bending over to pick up a garden hose when one of my 25 pound puppies came running full out towards me and collided with her head and my brow giving me a huge bump on my head and two black eyes. Needless to say I had a whopping head ache for some time.

  9. I’ve had two bull-terriers in my life, and during that time, had small children. Bull Terriers are without a doubt, the BEST dogs I’ve ever seen around children. Bar none.

  10. that I’m sorry to say is the funniest story I’ve
    heard, I have 2 bull terriers now, and have been an owner bullies for 20 yrs. love them completly.
    but most do not understand they are the gentle giants. well mine have always been , my first boy bully was a second mother to my children they were 2 & 3 then, they are now 15 &16 and my 2 babies (dogs) are amazing.
    I relate the stories we could tell but most don’t understand.
    thank you
    you made me cry with laughter

  11. Thanks for the great article! I wouldn’t trust bull terriers with kids, but truth be told… I had a black lab, which almost anyone would trust around a kid. But the dog was so neurotic, I wouldn’t trust him even around myself! So I guess a lot depends on the personality of the dog…

  12. ROFL! That was a great article–thanks for sharing. It wasn’t so much the story as the way she related it that had me chuckling.

  13. Yes, Jenny, The Spuds Mackenzie breed. I totally agree. I would not leave any terrier alone with young children. (Actually, I wouldn’t leave any dog alone with small children–as much to protect the dog as the kids.) But especially not such a physically powerful dog as the “Bully.”

  14. Is she referring to the English Bull Terrier? This breed was the “Spuds Mackenzie” of Budweiser fame in the late 80’s. I had an English Bull terrier named Zelda. She was a spade female. Zelda would do the “spin” when playing. Her whole body somehow would become airborn spinning and she would slame it with such a force into my legs I would be knocked to the ground and bruised. She was a one owner dog. The breed is loyal to one person. I was the hapless recipient of the spin and Zelda’s affections. These dogs are very powerful, but playful and most often gentle disposition. I would not trust them to be alone with any child. Adults had better wear leg guards.

  15. What a story! I have never heard of so many dog related injuries. Although my cat has caused a few bumps and bruises. :)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top