That stately canine in the Target commercials is a bull terrier. Multiple dogs—all bull terriers—have portrayed Bullseye since 1999, when Target first introduced the character. Most of the details about Bullseye are kept secret.
As of 2013, Bullseye is a female bull terrier in the care of Worldwide Movie Animals. Only one canine acts as the mascot at any given time; at least one retired Bullseye is also currently living at the Worldwide Movie Animals ranch. The performer is well taken care of, and even receives a set number of breaks when she makes appearances. During appearances, she wears a pet-safe vegetable-based paint in the design of the trademarked Target bulls-eye.
Elizabeth Muirhead is a practicing veterinarian with an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. She has real-world experience with the husbandry, grooming, training and feeding a variety of household pets.
Bullseye lives north of Los Angeles with her owner and trainer David McMillan, operator of Worldwide Movie Animals.
Each month in 2015, we will be celebrating the pit bull! MHS adopts out hundreds of pit bulls a year and love to show people how great dogs of this breed type can be. We will be featuring a different “famous” pit bull from history each month.
Many people do not realize that “pit bull” is not so much a breed as a classification of dog, that lumps together several specific breeds of dogs. The bull terrier is one of these breeds, and these dogs and mixes of them are often subject to “pit bull targeted” breed specific legislation.
Talulah, Augustus and Tulip are some of our adoptable “pit bull type” dogs waiting for their forever homes at MHS! All three of these lovely dogs are available at the Berman Center for Animal Care in Westland.
The “Target dog,” an iconic symbol for the national department store, is a white bull terrier named Bullseye. Bullseye has been “played” by several different dogs – starting with the original, who was an American Kennel Club Champion named Kingsmere Moondoggie and known as “Smudgie.”
Common Health Problems
Bull terriers live generally healthy lives, but they are prone to some hereditary health issues, including:
History of the Bull Terrier
Inhumane bloodsports involving animals became popular in Britain around the 13th century. In particular, a sport known as bull-baiting involved a bulldog fighting a tethered bull as people bet on the results.
Britain banned such bloodsports in the 1800s. But some people took them underground instead. Rather than bull-baiting, which was too conspicuous, they focused on dogfighting. And they wanted more fiery and nimble dogs, so they crossed their bulldogs with various terriers. Several breeds arose from this, including the bull terrier.
As dogfighting diminished toward the mid-1800s, breeders worked to refine the bull terrier to make it more of a companion dog. They bred for a sweeter temperament and less rugged appearance. It would still take several more decades before the dog acquired its trademark curved head.
The American Kennel Club first recognized the breed in 1885. And there have been several notable bull terriers throughout history. President Theodore Roosevelt owned a bull terrier. And bull terriers have helped to market both Bud Light beer (Spuds MacKenzie) and Target (Bullseye).
Why is a bull terrier The Target dog?
What breed of dog is in the Target commercials?