Acquired: Pet store
Training: Attended conferences / shows
Great Falls, Montana, United States
Posted January 12, 2015
The first dog I bought myself, as an adult, was an 8 week old male English Bull Terrier who I named Furio. At the time, in 2000,The Sopranos was a very popular television show on HBO, and I named him after one of the characters. I immediately fell in love with him and despite the fact that he cost 1500.00,I had to have him. I knew nothing about the breed when I first purchased Furio, but I bought a book at a pet store and read it from cover to cover. I wasn't the best dog trainer and I did allow Furio to pretty much be his own boss. The first night at home he cried and cried in his crate, so I brought him into my bed and the rest is history. He slept with me in bed for the rest of his life. I treated him as if he was my child, so yes, he was spoiled. Bull Terriers are very stubborn dogs and ideally they should only be purchased by an experienced handler. They have solid muscular bodies and jaws of steel just like Pit Bulls, so to say they could potentially be very dangerous is an understatement. Despite the fact that I walked him several times a day and socialized him early on, Furio eventually grew to dislike strangers very much. He would growl and bark at everyone on our walks and I had to keep him at a safe distance to prevent any attacks. He was not trained to be aggressive. He was babied and treated with absolute love his entire life, but I suspect he became a little too much of the boss. He was very protective of me and showed me nothing but love and affection. He literally was and forever will be the one love of my life. Bull Terriers are loving, loyal dogs with awesomely funny personalities. Although they have short hair, they do shed a lot. As far as health problems went, Furio developed a very strange condition which affected his paw pads and the vet suspected it was a type of viral infection. He put Furio on an antibiotic which I had to give him for several months. It didn't help and his condition persisted throughout his short life. I emailed numerous Bull Terrier breeders in an attempt to find out what his condition was, but none had ever experienced it with any of their dogs. I'm guessing this was because I purchased Furio at a pet store. Although he was purebred and had papers, I now know that dogs in pet stores are generally born at puppy mills and they don't have healthy breeding practices at places like that. If you must have a purebred animal, then you must purchase one from a reputable breeder. That being said, there are thousands of animals available for adoption who are just as awesome. Furio passed away on my 35th birthday from kidney failure, and I have never gotten over the loss. I would absolutely recommend an English Bull Terrier as a loveable companion and family member, however, I definitely caution only experienced dog owners to own one.