How Did the Bull Terrier’s Nose Shape Develop?

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The face of the Bull Terrier has different and unique features that can`t be found in other dogs. This dog breed has an egg-shaped head and striking eyes, making them stand out even more. The more you stare at the species, the more you wonder: how did the Bull Terrier’s nose develop?

How Did the Bull Terrier’s Nose Shape Develop?

The Bull Terrier nose shape developed as a result of crossbreeding Bull Terriers with several dogs, including:

  • Greyhounds
  • Dalmatians
  • Rough Collie
  • Borzoi
  • Whippet
  • Spanish Pointer
A close-up black and white bull terrier with a silver chain in an alert position staying on a cemented floor

Since breeders kept no breeding records during this crossbreeding time, more dog breeds could have been used in creating this unique breed mix’s nose.

Did you know that an overly short and narrow Bull Terrier jaw is called a pig jaw? Some Terriers’ noses slightly resemble a pig’s nose. As you read below, there is so much that went into making this dog breed’s nose that you will learn.

History of the Development of the Bull Terriers Nose

During the 19th Century, dog dealers like James Hinks often maintained large dog yards where they crossed various sizes and breeds of dogs. They hoped to develop a hybrid that would be eye-catching, attract attention and gain fame.

James Hinks’ Breeding Method

James Hinks began breeding his Bull Terriers with a goal in mind. He wanted the resulting breed to wash down the meaty, bulky, heavy appearance inherited from the Bulldog parent breeds. James wanted a less threatening-looking dog that still had the tenacity of the Bulldog.

Hinks mixed the American Bulldog with the English White Terrier and bred them with dalmatians and more white breeds to maintain the Bull Terriers distinguishing pure white coat color. Experimental breeders like James in the 19th Century didn’t have a proper breeding record, so it’s not entirely clear the order in which Hinks mixed the various dog breeds he used.

Breeds James Hinks Used to Create the Bull Terrier

James added Greyhounds or Pointer dogs to his breeding concoction to straighten his breed’s legs. These dogs also have pointy noses, which could have contributed to the Bull Terriers’ nose development.

James went on to breed his white hybrid breeds with other dog breeds like the Rough Collie, Spanish Pointer, Borzoi, and Whippet. The Bull Terrier’s nose became longer, broader, and with fewer wrinkles as the stop between where the lower face and muzzle disappeared.

The White Cavalier

The Bull Terrier first appeared at a Birmingham show in May 1862. They spotted a non-threatening white coat, triangular eyes, and a long egg-like muzzle that made them appear good-natured. As deceiving as their looks were, this dog breed still had the canine chivalry it inherited from its Bulldog parents.

This chivalrous trait coined the Bull Terriers’ nickname, The White Cavalier. After getting this breed off to a great start, James, unfortunately, passed away. New breeders took up the responsibility of maintaining this breed’s line towards the 20th Century.

Today’s Bull Terrier

In the 20th Century, Bull Terrier breeders began focusing on breeding the shark-like pointed nose of this breed to perfection. Their highest priority was to make the head wholly filled in an oval outline. Bull Terrier’s frontal profile slopes gracefully from the top of the skull to the tip of the nose with no stop.

As the Bull Terrier’s unique egg nose became standardized, breeders began introducing color to the breed by crossing them with Staffordshire Bull Terriers. This crossbreeding resulted in new Bull Terriers that could be either white, red, fawn, brindle, black, or a combination of the mentioned colors.

Bull Terrier General Information

Height 20 to 24 inches (standard)
10 to 14 inches (miniature)
Weight 45 to 80 pounds (standard)
24 to 33 pounds (miniature)
Life Expectancy 10 to 12 years
Litter Size 1 to 9 puppies
Potential Health Problems slipped patella
heart defects
kidney failure
skin and flea allergies

Features of the Bull Terriers Nose

The Bull Terriers muzzle is lengthy, solid, and has a good scissor bite. The nose is bent upwards, curving away from the top of the head. At the tip, it gently turns downwards. This breed spots well-developed nostrils that help the dog breathe better during intense running.

A tri-colored bull terrier with a brown collar lying on a white couch in the living room

The Roman Nose Feature and Shape of the Nose Tip

The Roman Nose is a nose with a high bridge, where the tip is pointing downwards. The black end of the nose is shaped like a mushroom sliced in half, with the nostrils curling firmly downwards and to the middle.

Related Questions

Some of the frequently asked questions on the internet about the Bull Terrier’s nose include:

Do Bull Terriers Have Lockjaw?

There is no evidence yet that shows that Bull Terriers can experience lockjaw. Bull terriers can be playful; if they catch something in their mouth, they may try not to let it go. Most people confuse this active act as lockjaw which it is not.

Why Are Bull Terriers Faces Like That?

Bull Terrier faces end up looking the way they do because Bull Terriers have undergone selective breeding to develop their nose shape. Initially, they began as a breed between Bulldogs and Terriers. From the selective breeding with various dogs, this dog originated its unique dog face.

How Did the Bull Terrier Get Its Nose?

The Bull Terrier got its nose from its traits inherited from two breeds (Terrier and Bulldog). This makes the Bull Terrier nose look chunkier and flatter.


The cross-pollination of dog breeds to make the Bull Terrier makes this dog breed a hybrid. They are less prone to diseases and have a generally happy life. You are sure to turn necks when walking with this dog in the streets, so show them love, care, and valuable companionship if you own one.