What Group is Bull Terrier in a Dog Show?

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In 2005, a Bull Terrier named Rufus was a Colored Bull Terrier that won in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show held in New York City. Rufus is considered the only Bull Terrier that has ever won Best In Show. Dogs participating in dog shows go through classifications. What group is Bull Terrier in a dog show?

What Group is Bull Terrier in a Dog Show?

A Bull Terrier belongs to the Terrier Group in a dog show. Dogs breeds included in the Terrier Group share similar ancestry and similar behavioral traits. Their original purpose was to hunt rats and other vermin. Today, they’re human companions.

Bull Terrier wearing a green bow tie

What Is a Terrier Group?

Terrier Group consists of dog breeds that share the same ancestors and share similarities in their behavior. Dogs breeds under the Terrier Group are crossbreeds of various Terrier breeds, which are mostly extinct today. According to AKC, dogs belonging to the Terrier group share two primary traits – feisty and energetic.

Terrier dogs display feisty personalities, especially with other dogs. This personality can be inferred from their original purpose – to hunt. They don’t do well with other pets, such as cats, because of this personality trait.

This trait makes them suitable for single-dog apartments and homes. However, with proper socialization at a young age, they can do well in the presence of other pets.

High-energy level characterizes dogs under the Terrier Group. Because of their high energy levels, they need plenty of exercises to release pent-up energy. It saves you from future problems as they can turn their pent-up energy into something destructive if not released.

Novice owners aren’t advised to get Terrier dogs, especially if they can’t keep up with their energy level. Aside from Bull Terriers, other dog breeds included in the Terrier groups are the following.

  • Airedale Terrier
  • American Hairless Terrier
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Australian Terrier
  • Parson Russell Terrier
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier

What are the Different Categories of Terriers?

Dogs coming from the Terrier group are categorized into three sub-types. The subcategorization depends on their functions, size and types.

  • Bull Type Terrier: Bull-type terriers are a more well-known sub-type Terrier group among others. They’re a product of crossbreeding between Bulldogs and different types of Terriers. They’re the types created for bull-fighting and dog-fighting. A Bull Terrier belongs to this sub-category, including the American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the Miniature Bull Terrier.
  • Working Terrier: If bull-type Terriers were used for bull-baiting and dog-fighting, working type Terriers function as hunters to kill rodents in barns, houses and farms. An example of a working-type terrier is the Airedale Terrier.
  • Toy Terrier: Toy Terriers are the ones bred as family pets and companions. They were bred into smaller sizes to fit as pets. An example of a Toy Terrier is a Fox Toy Terrier. 
Bull Terrier wearing a green hat for his dog show appearance

However, the AKC has its own classification of Terrier Group. The classifications include:

  • Long-legged such as Airedale Terrier and American Hairless
  • Short-legged such as Australian Terrier and Cairn Terrier
  • Bull-type such as Bull Terrier and Staffordshire Terrier

Brief History About Terrier Group

Ancestors of dogs included in the Terrier group were originally created as guard dogs in barns, farms and homes. They hunt and kill rodents such as rats that burrow in the ground. In fact, the term “terrier” came from the Latin word “terra” – meaning earth. They dig into the ground to go after various vermin.

Since Terriers were used to dig into the underground and fit into burrows to hunt vermin, they were bred to remain relatively small. However, they weren’t confined to be small, large breeds also exist.

Although Terriers were commonly small, they had aggressive temperaments as they were required to kill. Terriers are inclined to chase and confront.

Most breeds in the Terrier group originally came from the United Kingdom except for the Miniature Schnauzer that originated from Germany, American Hairless Terrier and the Australian Terrier. The upper class in England used Terriers to hunt foxes. They were also bred for dog fights held in pits.

However, dog fighting was criminalized in western countries and different states. 

Related Questions

What Is the Order of Groups in a Dog Show?

American Kennel Club follows the following order of groups in a Dog Show. Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, Non-Sporting and Herding. Each group receives four placements but the first placers proceed to compete in the Best In Show competition.

Why Do Dog Judges Grab Balls?

To make sure that the dog has testicles and are of equal size, judges at dog shows lightly touch it. One AKC rule states that if male dogs lack testicles that are descended normally get disqualified at the dog show.

Conclusion

A Bull Terrier belongs to the Terrier Group in dog shows. Bull Terrier falls under the Bull-type category. Terriers are classified under one group because they share the Terrier ancestors and exhibit Terrier traits.

One distinct trait that makes Terriers distinct are their feisty and energetic personalities.