Are Bull Terriers Protective Of Their Owners?[+How They Show It]


Individuals looking to adopt a dog may have specific reasons or even typical behavior they desire from a potential dog they would love to adopt.

Adopting a Bull Terrier or planning to adopt a Bull Terrier may have you curious if they are a protective dog, and I would assume you are not alone with this curiosity.

I have been raising a Terrier myself for the past several years, and here is what I can tell you on this topic.

Are Bull Terriers Protective of Their Owners?

Yes, Bull Terriers are protective of their owners. Bull Terriers are also protective of other family members, property, and even toys. Bull Terriers can be considered territorial dogs due to this behavior and personality trait.

Here is the deal, my friends.

Bull Terriers will be protective of the ones they love and those that care for them, but that will not be the only thing you find a Bull Terrier being relatively possessive over.

The rest of this brief discussion is going to break down what you need to know about a Bull Terrier’s possessive and protective tendencies to hopefully prepare you in the best fashion possible for your new dog.

Here is how I intend to break down the discussion for you today:



Bull Terriers And Their Natural Personality To Protect

Bull Terriers are much like all other dog breeds.

With proper socialization and a safe, loving home, Bull Terriers become loyal companions and affectionate dogs toward their family.

In fact, once they feel safe, Bull Terriers will naturally become possessive and protective of their loved ones, family members, and potentially other items they value.

I am talking about their favorite toys or bones to play with (more on this later).

The good news is that while a Bull Terrier may naturally be protective of their owners, with proper training and obedience, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to unprovoked attacks on family or friends.

Or even a stranger, for that matter.

While a Bull Terrier can make for a good protector and protective dog, they are also intelligent and understand the difference between a real-life threat and a common visitor approaching the home.

This is when socialization always becomes essential with any dog breed.

Going for walks, providing exercise, and allowing your Bull Terrier to explore the world gets them to use to people and certain social situations.

This could even help with behaviors such as excessive barking.

These can include simple situations such as not being alarmed by delivery men, the mail, or even a repairman working on a broken item inside the home.


Even If You Want A Protective Bull Terrier, You Still Want The Loving And Smart Side Of A Bull Terrier

This is also why it is important to always raise your Bull Terrier ethically and lovingly.

The last thing you want is a Bull Terrier prone or used to violent behavior with their healthy muscular bodies and intimidating looks.

When you adopt your Bull Terrier, socialize them right away with as many situations as possible.

This can include but not be limited to the following:

  • Socializing Your Bull Terrier Around Children
  • Socializing Your Bull Terrier Around Friends and Family
  • Exposing Your Bull Terrier To Other Social Situations Such As Walks, Dog Parks, Other Places People Frequent
  • Socializing And Exposing Your Bull Terrier Around Other Animals

The idea of this lecture is not to teach you about the socialization process for your Bull Terrier.

It is more to provide a clear picture that while your Bull Terrier will be protective of you or their owners, it is important to realize that a well-socialized and well-trained Bull Terrier will still understand the difference between an actual threat and a normal everyday situation.

Some individuals believe that a protective dog means that anything near them is in immediate danger, which is not true.

It is also not what you would ever want.

You want a well-trained, well-behaved, and a Bull Terrier that can protect you and your family and property but understand the difference between danger and a regular everyday occurrence.


Bull Terriers Are Protective Of More Than Just Their Family And Owners

Here is something you may not be aware of when it comes to some dog breeds.

Bull Terriers, among other breeds, can also be protective of items and property.

Not just people, owners and loved ones.

I know this to be 100% true because I have been raising my own Terrier for the past 3 years, and I can tell you that it never sits well with her if you take her favorite chew bone, her Kong, or her favorite animal character that she plays with often.

While I am confident that she would never necessarily hurt me or show aggression for messing with these items, I cannot say I would be that confident if it was someone she has never met or thought that someone was legitimately going to steal her favorite items.

The same can be said about a Bull Terrier protecting or being protective of their yard or property.

Dogs understand their “domain” and what area they own or can use and or live within and typically can get attached or show some protection towards the things that matter to them the most.

This is something to understand and obviously be aware of with a dog such as the Bull Terrier known to be extraordinarily strong and muscular.

The last thing you want is a friend’s toddler running up and getting in the personal space of a Bull Terrier and taking one of their favorite toys and sparking the possibility for any kind of unprovoked aggression.

We want to make sure we save the aggression for the real threats and intruders.

With everything we have said so far, it is natural to still have one common question…


Are Bull Terriers Good Guard Dogs?

Yes, Bull Terriers make good guard dogs.

Bull Terriers make good guard dogs because Bull Terriers are prone to protect their owners, loved ones, property, and personal items.

Good guard dogs know the difference between real threats and non-threatening situations.

This obviously requires intelligence from your Bull Terrier, which they certainly have.

I mentioned a few minutes ago that I am a Terrier owner myself.

I can tell you firsthand that any dog in the Terrier family is fearless and extremely loving, and loyal toward its owners.

However, they are also brilliant, and you can be 100% confident that they understand when aggression would make sense.

While they may not be a trained dog to fight in a war or act as police dogs, they still have common sense and understand most social situations assuming they have been socialized in some fashion or raised in an ethical home.

Overall, if you are looking for an excellent guard dog and a guard dog that can simply intimidate unwanted visitors, a Bull Terrier would be a perfect option.


Do Bull Terriers Turn On Their Owners?

No, Bull Terriers do not turn on their owners. A Bull Terrier that has turned on its owners would have other underlying conditions causing the aggression.

This can include mental illness such as dementia or a past filled with unethical upbringing or abuse.

To make that more straightforward to understand, I decided to take another swing at explaining it.

A Bull Terrier is not going to randomly turn or get aggressive towards their owners.

If they do, it is possible it is a recent rescue dog.

They may have experienced abuse or something in their past and the owner sparked something for the Bull Terrier mentally to become aggressive.

It is also possible that an aging Bull Terrier in pain or suffering from any cognitive or mental issue could turn as well.

This is more of a Bull Terrier situation not fully understanding their problem and not because they had any real issue with their owners.

You can undoubtedly adopt a Bull Terrier and not have to worry that your dog will randomly turn on you if you raise them ethically and in a loving home free of violence and neglect and filled with socialization.


While A Bull Terrier May Be Protective, They Still Make For Truly Affectionate Dogs

Hopefully, a few things are clear now that this discussion is coming to an end.

Bull Terriers are protective of their owners.

Bull Terriers can also be protective of property, other loved ones, and their favorite items.

Bull Terriers can also make excellent guard dogs.

The potential of a Bull Terrier turning on you is not something to worry about.

Overall, a Bull Terrier possesses all the needed intelligence and physical abilities to protect you and your family and make an excellent guard dog.

Still, deep down, they are kind-hearted, loving, and affectionate dog breeds.

Raise them ethically, provide love and a safe home, and Bull Terriers can make one of the best family dogs you decide to adopt.

I can promise you that.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your Bull Terriers and the journey you have ahead of you!


Is Your Bull Terrier Protective?

What does your Bull Terrier do to show they protect you and your family?

Is your Bull Terrier protective of anything else outside of the primary family members?

Be sure to share your thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Luna and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today, and we will see you again next time.

Josh Martin- Founder and Creator of Terrier Owner

Josh Martin is the proud owner of a female Jack Russell Terrier Named Luna. Josh founded TerrierOwner.com to share the stories of owning a Terrier and to help all terrier owners with the struggles, excitement and common questions that come with being a new terrier parent.

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