What Breed is the Famous Target Dog Bullseye?
Target—Targét, if you will—is one of America’s favorite places to shop. Whether you need new socks, a gallon of milk, or a new wardrobe, you can find it at Target. The Target logo is iconic, and every American knows those big red balls outside Target entrances, but the most iconic Target symbol has to be the Target dog!
The Target bullseye dog is aptly named “Bullseye” and he’s been the store’s mascot since 1999 when he appeared in his first advertising campaign for the brand. The OG “Bullseye” Target dog was actually named Smudgie. Smudgie was an AKC champion white Bull Terrier who also went by his much fancier show name Kingsmere Moondoggie. Bullseye caught the public’s attention immediately, and Target began selling Bullseye plushies the same year, which you can still buy more than twenty years later.
Since the Target brand introduced Bullseye to the world, he has become a staple in American pop culture, but how much do you know about the breed behind the brand?
The English Bull Terrier is a visually distinctive breed, even without the Target corporation’s logo on its face! Let’s dive into the deets on this breed, and chat a little more about Bullseye the Target dog…or dogs.
Meet 4 Internet Famous Bull Terriers
Bullseye the Target dog is a white English Bull Terrier, but Bull Terriers come in around a dozen standard colors including brindle, red, and tricolored variations. Let’s take a look at a few Bull Terriers who share their lives on Instagram.
Bond is a white English Bull Terrier with black spots on his ears. Bond is a cheerful boy who is always smiling, and you can find him wherever his human is!
Trixie is a gorgeous two year old tricolored mini English Bull Terrier who would spend all day running around outside if she could. A good girl with lots of energy, Trixie will always play with her canine friends.
Miss Sia is a seven-year-old brindle and white Bull Terrier who loves absolutely everyone—humans, other dogs, even cats! Sia has a big personality, but she’s a total snuggle bug who just wants to love on you.
This handsome boy is Ernie, a red and white Bull Terrier with great vibes who loves to go on adventures. Ernie is a social pup, and he’s always up for a day spent playing with his buddies or shadowing his human in case a treat happens to appear.
Bull Terrier Basic Info
English Bull Terriers are a unique breed easily singled out for its distinctive facial structure and features. The only breed to have triangular eye openings, the Bull Terrier also has a long and wide triangular face, erect triangular ears, and a sturdy build—these dogs look almost geometric.
There’s plenty more to the Bull Terrier than just its looks, so let’s dive into some details about the breed.
Bull Terrier Temperament
Bull Terriers are sometimes compared to human toddlers for their playful, energetic, yet stubborn and independent personalities. Bull Terriers absolutely love their humans and can be very affectionate, but they will also happily ignore your commands if they are stuck on an activity. Determined and brave, Bull Terriers can be a little reactive towards other dogs, and aren’t known for doing well with small children.
If you have the time to dedicate to a high energy pup, and you’re looking for a goofy dog with a mind of its own, a Bull Terrier might just be right for you.
Bull Terrier Size
Bull Terriers are medium-sized dogs that stand between 21–22 inches tall and weigh around 50–70 pounds.
Bull Terrier Health
Badly bred Bull Terriers are highly susceptible to heart and kidney issues and hearing loss. These issues can mostly be avoided by buying puppies only from ethical breeders, and the only other health problem to be aware of specifically for the Bull Terrier breed is patellar luxation.
Bull Terrier & Target Dog FAQ
There’s so much to learn about the Target dog breed—AKA the English Bull Terrier—we couldn’t possibly fit it all in one blog! To close this beginner’s guide out, we’re answering the top questions about the Bull Terrier.
Do Bull Terriers shed?
Yes. Bull Terriers have a short coat and are moderate to low shedders.
What kind of dog is the Target dog?
Once and for all, what breed is the Target dog? The breed of the Target dog—and all Target dogs that have come after—is English Bull Terrier.
What is the difference between a Pit Bull and a Bull Terrier?
The term “Pit Bull” is often misunderstood to mean one specific breed. The uninitiated may refer to four or more distinct breeds as “Pit Bulls” but no such breed actually exists. In the dog world, “Pit Bull” is used to refer to a family of dogs that includes:
-American Pitbull Terrier
-American Staffordshire Terrier
-Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Some people also place English Bull Terriers, American Bulldogs, Cane Corsos, and other “Bully breeds” under the Pit Bull umbrella. In truth, the English Bull Terrier is actually an ancestor of the dogs we consider Pit Bulls today. Unfortunately, some Bull Terrier owners will experience limitations thanks to breed specific legislation aimed at Bully breeds.
So, next time someone asks you “what is the breed of the Target dog?” you can confidently confuse them by saying that it’s a Bull Terrier, and that it’s not a Pit Bull, but it also is a Pit Bull.
What is Target’s dog named?
The Target dog’s name is “Bullseye” according to Target’s marketing, but the canine actors that have played the Target dog have names they use when they aren’t performing. The original Target dog was named Smudgie, and he debuted as Bullseye in 1999. Nikki—another white English Bull Terrier—embodied the beloved mascot from at least 2014 to around 2019.
While these two notable pups are the best known featured Target dogs, a number of dogs have been used over the years. Target dog duties include being featured in commercials, standing on red carpets, attending store openings, and more, so there need to be multiple to keep up with Bullseye’s busy schedule.
Who owns the target dog?
Today’s Target dogs live with their trainer David McMillan in Los Angeles, California. McMillan has been training Target dogs since 2001, and he keeps at least three white English Bull Terriers at a time to take turns playing the famous Bullseye.
Fun fact: Several Target dogs through the years have been rescue dogs!
How is the Target logo painted on the Target dog?
According to Target, the bullseye logo is “created with Humane Society-approved vegetable-based paint that is applied by a professional makeup artist.” Designed to be completely safe and non-toxic, the bright red bullseye wipes off easily after the doggy actor is done working.
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