If you are thinking of getting a bull terrier puppy, you can go the traditional way and find a bull terrier breeder. Or you can also adopt a pup (or an adult dog) from bull terrier rescue.
Are there any bull terrier rescues in your area? And would such wonderful dog as bull terrier even end up in a rescue, and why? Find out in this article.
Bull terrier rescue – why do bull terriers end up in rescue?
You would think, with everything you have possibly just read on my website about how wonderful bull terriers are as a pet to have, they would never end up in rescue. However, that’s far from true.
Bull terriers can and do end up in rescue organisations all over the world, and it’s hardly ever their own fault. As always, when it comes to pet behaviour, health and their “fate”, it is always the humans we need to look at, to find the roots of the problem.
It is especially so with bull terriers, who have this bad reputation of being killer dogs, blood thirsty and dangerous. Any slightest behavioural issue that would likely slide with any other dog, will be magnified with bull terrier because of their bad rep. That’s just an unfortunate fact.
Behavioural issues in dogs ending up in bull terrier rescue
The bull terrier can be a challenging dog. It isn’t a dog for everyone. A bull terrier needs either a very experienced dog owner, or one that’s willing to dedicate a lot of time and effort to their dog. How many dog owners do you know that are either one of the two, or both?
A bull terrier in bad hands can easily become an inconvenient, destructive or even dangerous dog. In fact, if the owner isn’t fully dedicated and hasn’t taken the time to really understand what this wonderful breed is really about, this is what will most likely happen.
This is what can lead to these troublesome incidents of bad behaviour, aggressiveness, dog bites, etc. A bull terrier is a strong, confident and intelligent dog and it needs a strong, confident and intelligent owner. It also needs a lot of training and interaction with the owner throughout the day.
People consistently fail to realise that when they get their new puppies, underestimating how much work and dedication they need, especially bull terriers.
When a bad thing happens, a very natural outcome of lack of responsibility and dedication, people get worried, or scared, and sooner or later they feel like they need to get rid of the dog, before it causes more harm.
In some ways, they are right. If they aren’t the right owner, they shouldn’t have the dog. Please do us all a favour and spare the danger to both the dog and the people and animals around you. The downside, of course, is that the dog has to go to rescue.
Bull terriers in rescue
Being in rescue is never a good situation for a dog. It’s better than staying in an inadequate home, potentially abused or growing more and more resentful of people, and ultimately becoming dangerous.
But a dog in rescue is a stressed dog. All of the issues the bull terrier may have had prior ending up in rescue will be magnified by the new unfamiliar, lonely and potentially hostile environment. It can be incredibly stressful for the dog. Which takes us to:
Adopting a bull terrier from rescue
If you are adopting a bull terrier from a rescue, you need to really, really know what you are doing. I don’t want to discourage you or make you change your mind. Every dog needs a home, and if you can save a bull terrier from rescue, it’s a noble act.
But do realise that the dogs that ended up in rescue will likely have some type of temporary or permanent issues stemming from their past history (why they ended up in rescue in the first place), and their stressful time in rescue itself. You have potential layers of issues there.
The difficulties you may encounter may be the dog’s lack of trust, fearfulness or aggression. You may also get a perfectly friendly and emotionally stable bull terrier that simply needs better hands.
Finding bull terrier rescues
In this section, I listed some of the rescue organisations I could find in various parts of the world. If you decided on adopting a bull terrier (puppy or adult) from a rescue, I hope you can find a bull terrier rescue close to where you live.
USA bull terrier rescues
Mid-Atlantic Area (from Central Pennsylvania and Southern Delaware through Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia to the northern border of North Carolina)
Blue Ridge Bull Terrier Rescue
Blue Ridge Bull Terrier Rescue is a terrific organisation working with animal shelters across the country to save and rehabilitate bull terriers needing new homes.
One fantastic thing about them is they do not euthanize dogs (unless they become dangerous to people or are hopelessly ill). Any dog, regardless of health condition and age, is taken care of until a new home is found for it.
At the moment of writing this article, they have more than a dozen bull terriers available for adoption to new homes. Check out this awesome organisation!
Bull terrier rescue – the Welfare Trust Fund of the Bull Terrier Club of America
This is another volunteer association taking care of bull terriers in need and working on finding the new homes for these dogs. They have a great page dedicated to available bull terriers by state.
Bull terrier rescue in Florida
If you are looking for a bull terrier rescue in Florida, you are in luck. There are three bull terrier rescue clubs in the Sunshine state.
Bull Terrier Rescue Club of Southwest Florida
Bull Terrier Rescue Club of Southwest Florida is a volunteer club dedicated to helping and finding new loving homes for pure bred bull terriers who have lost their past homes or ended up in a bad domestic situation.
This is a non-profit organisation, although they do require a small fee for their services, which goes back into funding various activities around helping their dogs, such as vet help and supplies etc.
All dogs in their rescue get micro-chipped, neutered and spayed before they go to their new forever homes. On their website, you can see some of their already adopted animals and the new ones still waiting for adoption.
Bull Terrier Rescue Club of Southwest Florida is also welcoming new members and encouraging people to join. If you not only want to adopt a bull terrier, but also to be part of the club, check them out!
At the moment of writing this article, they have 3 adoptable bull terriers. Check out their website to find out more.
Bull terrier rescue of the Sunshine State
This is another bull terrier rescue in Florida. It is run and managed by a group of volunteers and fosters dedicated to helping out bull terriers in crisis. They strive to help bull terriers of all ages and health conditions, and seem like a very dedicated group of people!
We don’t care how hard it is or how hopeless it may seem. We will not shy away from rescuing older bullies. We will not turn our backs on sick or injured bullies. It’s the right thing to do.
Bull terrier rescue of the Sunshine State
All of the dogs of this bull terrier rescue are housed in the homes of volunteers and fosters as they do not have a separate facility for their dogs.
The adoption process includes filling in an application, an interview and a home-check to make sure your home will be suitable for the bull terrier you want to adopt.
Definitely check out this bull terrier rescue club in Florida if you are serious about adopting a bull terrier. Here is their web address. At the moment of writing this article, they had 10 bull terriers available for adoption.
Bull Terrier Rescue of Florida
Here is yet another bull terrier rescue group in the sun shiny Florida. Their missing is to save, rehabilitate and find a new home for pure bred bull terriers in trouble.
They are also a non-commercial, non-profit, volunteer-run organisation. At the moment of writing this article they don’t seem to have available dogs for adoption, but check out their website to see for yourself.
Another way you can find bull terriers in rescue in Florida is by checking out this website.
Bull terrier rescue in Texas
There are several bull terrier rescue organisations in Texas.
Maybell’s Rescue & Bull Terrier Friends
Maybell’s Rescue & Bull Terrier Friends is a bull terrier rescue club in the Dallas and Ft. Worth area, but they work with other areas of Texas as well. Their goal is to provide the dogs in crisis with new homes and new loving owners.
All their rescues are housed in private homes until the new home is found. They do have a small re-homing fee. To adopt a bull terrier from Maybell’s rescue, you will need to fill in an application and also have a home visit by one of their volunteers.
They also do this great practise of letting their adopters to host the dogs for 10 days to 3 weeks on a foster-to-adopt basis to see if the dog is a good fit for your family. I highly recommend to check out their website.
Texas Gulf Coast Bull Terrier Club
This organisation is a club for bull terrier lovers in Texas and also a rescue center. They work closely with their applicants to find the best suited dogs for them, and of course, the best home for each dog. Check out there website here.
Bull Terrier Club of Dallas
Bull Terrier Club of Dallas is another reputable organisation uniting bull terrier lovers and friends in the Dallas area. This is their rescue page.
Tips on settling a rescue bull terrier in your home
So you are adopting a rescue bull terrier. Congratulations! It’s a very brave, responsible and honourable decision. Now let’s figure out what you need to do to make this dog’s transition to your home smoother and more successful.
Get the scene ready
Is your home ready for your new pup? Here are some of the things you will need to have at hand for your new best friend:
A dog bed
A food and water bowl
Leash and collar
Baby gates or puppy gates
Quite a list, isn’t it? You will want to have all of this ready before you have the dog in your home. The more prepared you are, the less stressed you will be, and adopting a dog from a shelter or rescue is just as stressful for you as it is for the dog!
Make sure your house is puppy- or dog-proof. Put away any chemicals/ potentially dangerous objects and choking hazards. Bull terriers are prone to chewing up and eating things that may be completely inedible, especially if they are stressed or bored. You don’t want to end up in emergency with your new pup.
If you have cats or rodents, or even birds in the house, make sure you keep them safe for the first few days, until you know your new dog is going to treat them properly. Bull terriers have a high prey drive and can be potentially unsafe around animals that are new to them.
People and kids
Introduce your pup to your other family members slowly and gradually. Try not to make an event of it when you bring your dog home. No loud welcome parties!
Your dog will already be stressed enough without the additional chaos to make it feel even worse. Don’t let other people touch or pet your dog excessively until the dog is absolutely comfortable with it.
Special caution has to be observed if kids are involved. Little children can often be clumsy or loud and can easily scared your already frightened bull terrier.
This can turn dangerous very quickly, and even if it doesn’t, it will add extra stress to your dog. All introductions should be slow and methodical and preferably dog-driven.
Make sure you know where exactly your pup will sleep, eat and toilet. Take them outside and show them where they can do their potty. Don’t forget to praise them with words and treats.
Take your pup for a walk, but not somewhere too busy. A short walk nearby your house or along a quiet path would be best. Your dog will probably appreciate a relaxing walk far away from any stressors, while you will get a chance to observe your dog outside and see how she or he interacts with possibly by-passers, other people or animals.
Routine is extremely important for any dog. It is particularly so for bull terriers, and especially for bull terriers from rescue. A well-established routine will make your dog feel safe, secure and in control of the situation.
Try to feed your dog, play with them and take them for walks at established periods of time, so that the dog always knows what’s coming. Don’t leave your dog alone in the house for too long during this adaptation period, as being alone can become another big stressor for your bull terrier.
Adopting a bull terrier from rescue can be a stressful, albeit exciting event. Give yourself and your dog time to learn about each other and fully integrate into this new life. In a few short weeks or months, you won’t be able to imagine life without each other!