How Did the Bull Terrier Muzzle Get Developed?

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You must be wondering why the Bull Terrier has a very unusual appearance. Why does it have an egg-shaped head? How did the Bull Terrier muzzle get developed? In this article, we’re going to go through the Bull Terrier’s history to know why they look the way they are today.

How Did the Bull Terrier Muzzle Get Developed?

In 1862, James Hinks developed the Bull Terrier through breeds such as Bulldog, English White Terrier, and Dalmatian. Because these breeds were all white, he called it “The White Cavalier.” He also used other breeds, such as the Borzoi, Rough Collie, Spanish Pointer, and Whippet to develop the Bull Terrier muzzle we know of today.

The Bull Terrier gained its popularity because of its unique and charming look and its obedience. Refinements were further done to eliminate the stop, the line between the muzzle and the skull, to achieve a perfectly egg-shaped head and an elongated muzzle.

Bull Terrier

Other Features of a Bull Terrier

A Bull Terrier has many unique features and characteristics. Let us go through each one of them to know a Bull Terrier better.

Roman Nose

Bull Terriers are known to have a black Roman nose, a nose where the tip is pointing downward and the bridge is high. In the beginning, only the white Bull Terriers have this kind of nose. Later, Bull Terriers were mixed with other breeds other than white. 

As a result, there are also colored Bull Terriers with a Roman nose, but with pigments or markings. Some Bull Terriers have well-developed nostrils which makes it easier for them to breathe.

Upright Ears

A Bull Terrier’s ears are thin, small, almost close together. These thin, long ears are pointing straight up. If their ears are pointing downward or cropped, they will not pass the standard and may not be recognized as a purebred Bull Terrier

Though they have these outstanding and genuinely shaped ears, they are really prone to deafness, especially those pure white in color. That is because of the genes that were passed through from the white ancestors. 

Triangular Eyes

Among the dog breeds registered in the world, only the Bull Terrier has triangular-shaped eyes. Bull Terrier’s eyes are narrow and can either be black or dark brown. The eyes of a Bull Terrier are very far from its nose and very close to its skull.

The Bull Terrier’s eyes are giving a mischievous look and wicked expression which can be a signal that your dog wants to have fun. Aside from the eyes, the whole face of a Bull Terrier also gives a great impression towards people and animals. Their eyes usually look courageous and happy.

Egg-Shaped Head

Another unique feature of this breed is its egg-shaped head. At the dawn of the 20th century, Bull Terrier breeders focused on its head and its features. That is the reason why there are so many bizarre and noticeable traits on a Bull Terrier’s head.

Bull Terrier displaying its jaw and muzzle

A Bull Terrier’s head is strong and long. Its skull is flat in between the ears. When you look at a Bull Terrier from the side, you will an arc from the top of the skull to the tip of the nose. That is also the reason why it is called a Roman nose. 

Strong Jaws

Since Bull Terrier was originally bred as a dogfighter, it has strong jaw muscles and a powerful bite. Its jaws are wide which means it can bite the whole leg if it wants to. Though the under-jaw seems small, it is still strong.

They have strong and regular-sized teeth that can do a complete scissor bite. If your Bull Terrier has a misplaced tooth, chances are he’s not going to be accepted by the standard. If the bottom incisors are overlapping, that means something is incorrect and they will not have a perfect scissor bite.

However, if you are not going to join a show, a misplaced tooth is not a big problem because your Bull Terrier will still be able to eat flawlessly.

Related Questions

Do Bull Terriers Have Lockjaw?

There is no evidence yet that a Bull Terrier can experience a lockjaw mechanism. They can just bite something and not release it especially if you are trying hard to pull. A Bull Terrier will just pull back.

Why Are Bull Terriers Faces Like That?

Bull Terriers’ faces look the way they are because of the selective breeding done. The original cross was between a bulldog and a terrier. To get the finest look, it was refined by including other white dog breeds as well.


A Bull Terrier’s facial features including the muzzles are carefully and intentionally created by a breeder named James Hinks. The whole face of a Bull Terrier has different unique features that you cannot see in other dog breeds. Bull Terriers have an egg-shaped head, upright ears, a Roman nose, and very strong jaws.