As you begin your search for that Bull Terrier puppy here are three basic rules:
1. Quality dogs are seldom publicly advertised, and are often obtained by establishing a relationship with the breeder prior to breeding.
2. Shipping dogs to strangers is not a responsible practice and often leads to dogs entering the rescue system.
3. Ads that state "Champion" and "Show" dogs for sale can be misleading. Don't be fooled into paying a show-dog price, with no proof of Champion bloodline, for the same quality of dog you can get through rescue.
Taking time to understand how breeders play a key role in the advancement, or the decline of the breed, is your responsibility as a future owner. The time and effort you put into this search is not only important to your purchase, it's critical to the longevity of the breed. You can stop unwarranted and irresponsible breeding activities.
Ten Questions To Ask a Breeder:
1. What Bull Terrier organizations do they belong to and support? If none, why not?
2. Where are the parents to the pups?
3. Can I visit your home to see the pups in their environment, as well as the parents?
4. Do the dogs live with other animals, children?
5. Do the parents have any aggression issues? Food, Toys, etc.
6. Do the parents have any obsessive tendencies? Tail Chasing, Feet Chewing, Licking
7. How many litters has this bitch had? (if more than three - run!)
8. How many litters do they breed a year?
9. Up to what age do they guarantee the health of the pup against genetic diseases? (Should be 1.5 to 2 yrs)
10. If the dog does not work out with my family, can I bring it back to the breeder?
RED FLAG Warning Signs from Prospective Puppy Buyers -- Is Your Breeder Depicted Below?
The following scenarios are authentic representations of encounters recorded during the process of interacting with area breeders. In some cases these are paraphrased statements or observations, in other instances, direct quotes. Our position remains the same, all of us — owners, buyers and breeders — play a direct role in halting the proliferation of low-quality, unwanted Bull Terriers.
*Prospective owner visits breeder location: "Within 15 minutes of being there two puppies got into a fight. They were both bleeding and the lady took a board and hit them with it."
*Newspaper advertising Breeder tells Buyer over the phone: "I am asking $750, but if you come over right now I will sell one for half price."
*Once Buyers are on site, Breeder says: "These sell for $900, the deaf puppy is half price."
*On site, Breeder says: "Sure, you can breed the dog later, it doesn’t matter to me."
*Internet advertising Breeder claims "Champion" bloodline: however the AKC database indicates no points ever awarded to sire or dam, pedigree research further shows no champions going back five generations. Breeder is asking $1900 for puppies.
*Breeder advertises AKC registered dogs: litter is never registered, however, so owners are never delivered registration forms as promised.
*Once buyers are on site, Breeder says: "Unfortunately the dam drowned in the pond yesterday, so you can't see her. If you don't want this dog, I have this other one for half price because one eye was punched out."
*Road-side Breeder says: "I will drown which ever of these puppies I don't sell today."
*Once Buyers are on site viewing dogs, Breeder says: "I didn't want to cut their tails off, but they got jammed in the gate."
*Months after the purchase Owner wants to return the dog. Breeder replies: "I can't take the dog back, but I could take any puppies off your hands?"
*Months after purchase, dog suddenly dies, Owner is confused: "We didn't keep their email or phone number, but looked on the internet where they had been advertising and they were not there."
How Much To Pay For A Bull Terrier Puppy?
Ask the BTCD to help you understand what you are seeing advertised in the local marketplace. We maintain a database of breeders, including photos, and can help you sort through the choices facing the average buyer across North Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
Shipping is a no-no from a seller and buyer perspective, 99% of the time.
$1500 to 1800 - show quality, complies with Breed Standard, 90-100% CH bloodline, contracted with breeding restrictions, health tested and guaranteed, lifelong support from breeder, breeder is member of BTCA and/or regional Bull Terrier club
$800 to 1500 - show quality, complies with Breed Standard, contracted with breeding restrictions, 70-90% CH bloodline, health tested and guaranteed, breeder is member of BTCA and/or regional Bull Terrier club
$500 to 800 - not the best representative of the Breed Standard, not contracted, very little or no CH bloodline, little or no health testing, breeder is probably not affiliated with BTCA and/or regional Bull Terrier club
Under $500 - does not comply with Breed Standard, not health tested, no CH bloodline, breeder is not affiliated with BTCA and/or regional Bull Terrier club
In general terms, we see many cases of buyers paying too much for puppies they believe to be of show quality. Knowing how to research a pedigree is the key to striking a fair deal. The BTCD provides this research service at no cost. Dogs that have very distant, or little or no champion bloodline, are typically not compliant with the Breed Standard, established and maintained by the Bull Terrier Club of America. Generally speaking, the quality of dog with no champion bloodline is the type of dog that is typically offered through Rescue.
One of the most important factors in evaluating a breeder has to do with the breeder's affiliation with local and national organizations. Breeders that are members of the Bull Terrier national and regional organizations typically have the best interests of the breed at heart when making decisions to breed and place their dogs.
Depending on your level of interest, top-notch show quality dogs are available from Club breeders, who occasionally offer pet-quality dogs, also dogs are always available through various Rescue programs.