Phaidon Papadopoulos is one of the rare breeders of working lined bull terriers, even though the breed was used as cave dog and beast hunting. Now a few breeders have accepted the challenge to return them to their former glory.
Could you tell me about the breed in general & what is it used for?
It is true what they say, Bull terriers are not like other dogs. Among other traits they have a mind of their own, form strong bonds with humans , are very energetic and require training and an experienced handler – not the best choice for a first dog. They are the only dogs with triangular eyes and a propensity to ”trance” on hanging objects. In general, they are either loved or loathed. Since the onset of the breed Bull Terriers gained popularity amongst dog enthusiasts and have recently reemerged as a trend – which is not necessarily a good thing. Bull Terriers make good family members and contrary to what most people think they excel in many terrains from Therapy dogs , to Sporting and Working. There is one main prerequisite for us humans to keep in mind if we want our Bully to become anything but a couch potato : Keep their interest alive. Before you wake the Body force in a Bull Terrier you need to wake his Mind force.
How does it differ from other lines/breeds of the bully family?
Working English Bull Terriers are actually very hard to come by. They have been long established as show dogs and pets and are only recently making a comeback as working dogs. Working EBTS have a different , lighter body type higher drives and are game dogs meaning they have the willingness to go on regardless of what state or condition the mind or body is in. In comparison to other members of the bully family , they are less easy to train because of their tendency to try and be the trainers rather than the trainees and therefore require a patient and experienced trainer. It is very easy to give up on training an EBT so you need to be more ”stubborn” than your dog and really fond of it to succeed.
And from a breeders point of view?
I am very glad to see the veil of misconception around the working lines of Bull Terriers slowly rising and people starting to see them for what they really are. They are family members with working abilities and an active life. They have it in them to be this way and are trained to do so properly. Personally I would like to see the gap between show and working bull terriers diminish and I am working towards this direction. In essence there is no reason why a working dog cannot be a show dog and no reason why a show dog should live an idle life. Even though we working EBT breeders are few , we share an understanding and through social media a chance to exchange knowledge and experience to the benefit of the breed. Not a single great vision can live within its borders. Only when working Bull Terriers become part of a larger picture we can see their full potential and beauty.
Any advice for a possible buyer or a new owner?
To the possible buyer my advice is to never buy your puppy from pet shops or back yard breeders. Get your new puppy from a breeder you trust , make sure the parents are heart , kidney tested and meet them if possible. To new owners there’s a thing or two more to suggest. In the house, get a box and familiarize your puppy with it from day one. This way your dog will not have the chance to hurt himself while playing-chewing inappropriate materials. Socialize your puppy at any given chance. The more experience a puppy gathers – from people and animals to places to things- the best it will be for his confidence and general character formation. Even though it is best you don’t, chances are you will try to teach your puppy something. Do it nicely or not at all. Bull Terriers do not respond well to pressure. When your bully is about 6 months old – and has just become intolerable- take it to a professional and specialized dog trainer to receive Basic Obedience Training.
Anything to add?
I will share some Bully Wisdom..a few things every Bull Terrier would like his human to know.
just because you think you know me
doesn’t mean you do.
I don’t obey,I willingly follow
I am not owned, I am chosen
I am not lazy, I am cool
I am not dirty, I love the dirt
I am not naughty, I have a sense of humour
I am not bad, I have bad days
I am not an accessory, I am a person
I will love you even if you don’t deserve it
I will respect you only if you do deserve it
I am yours to love for all my life
I am one of a kind
I am your Bully
and you are so very lucky to have me!”