A-z - Animals

What kind of dog is a target dog? Breed information, pictures and their real names!

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If you've ever been to a Target retail store or seen any of the company's commercials, I'm sure you've seen their adorable canine mascot, Bullseye. You know the one — that cute white puppy with the bright red target icon painted on one eyeball that's always jumping around in commercials. Bullseye has been the mascot and iconic character of Target Corporation for over 20 years, and his popularity will only continue to grow. But what kind of dog is the target dog? Let's take a closer look at the origins of the Bullseye and learn more about the breed that makes the Target mascot so special!

What kind of dog is a target dog? Breed Information, Pictures and Facts

The iconic Target dog named Bullseye is an English Bulldog . Don't worry – the iconic red and white bullseye marks on his eyes are completely non-toxic and safe! Professional makeup artists color it using Humane Society-approved plant-based paints.

Target's first Bullseye was portrayed by American Kennel Club Champion Kingsmere Moondogggie or "Smudgie". The all-white pup debuted in 1999 as part of Target's ad campaign, "Sign of the Times." In the original video ad, Petula Clark's "Signs of the Times" played in the background, and many different versions of the Target icon flashed across the screen — a bull's-eye formed inside a lava lamp, on the bottom of an iron Form large jelly salads, and more. The ad ends with a checkered piece in the middle of the screen—of course in the shape and design of the bullseye Target logo. Then a white pit bull appeared, with the Target logo plaid superimposed over his eyes. The outline of the dog is shown briefly before running off the screen.

english bulldog
The iconic Target dog Bullseye is an English Bulldog.

© iStock.com/Sergey Tikhomirov

how target dog became famous

Target's iconic red and white "bull's-eye" logo was created in 1962. However, the new "Sign of the Times" campaign turned it into a beloved icon that represents everything Target stands for – and people love it. The company's 1999 "Sign of the Times" campaign set the stage for every brand that followed. The campaign laid the groundwork for establishing Target's bull's-eye icon as one of America's most recognizable icons.

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Not only that, but the campaign has Target shoppers desperate to see more of Bullseye — and he's already won their hearts even in his very brief TV spot. So, later that same year, Target adopted Bullseye in one of its first gift card designs. Since 1999, this charming dog has appeared in more than 25 Target gift card designs. Plus, when Target introduced the first Bullseye dog plush in 1999, the adorable white pup continued to conquer hearts. The adorable bulldog puppies are so popular that in 2001 Target began selling a variety of dog clothing to match the Bullseye plush toy.

Just two years later, in 2003, Bullseye and his charming smile reappeared for Target's "See. Dot. Save." campaign. Bewitched by the dog's jovial disposition, the public went wild for Bullseye, and he quickly cemented his status as an integral part of American pop culture. People everywhere can't help but fall in love with his cute looks and tail wagging excitement that almost jumps out of the screen. Soon, Bullseye was appearing at red carpet events around the world. He even became a legend when he was immortalized in wax – the first animal ever to be so honored at Madame Tussauds New York!

today's target dog

Today, Bullseye continues to captivate people all over the world. He is often seen at Target store openings and other important events. Whenever Bullseye flies, he sits politely in his seat, snuggling peacefully next to the other passengers on the plane. However, Bullseye's popularity is so high these days that it's almost impossible for a dog to shoulder all of his responsibilities alone. That's why there are actually several white pit bull terriers that now take turns playing the bull's-eye role. The dogs were trained by David McMillan, operator of Worldwide Movie Animals. They all live on a ranch in California.

white bulldog in grass
The Bullseye is so popular these days that several white bulldogs take turns playing the role.

© 24K-Production/Shutterstock.com

bulldog breed

In the early 1800s, the "Bulldog and Terrier" breed was bred for hunting animal pests and bloodsports. Putting Old English Bulldogs and Old English Terriers together, the breeders combined a light build with speed, dexterity and toughness. By the mid-1800s, they were also introducing many other breeds, such as spaniels, wolfhounds, Dalmatians, and rough collies. These breeds were used to selectively breed for traits such as grace, agility, a cleaner silhouette and better legs. They also want to shrink the space between the dog's muzzle and forehead.

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The first official "pit bull" appeared in 1917. The dog, known as Lord Gladiator, had an egg-shaped head and smooth nose, hallmarks of today's pit bulls. It didn't take long for the breed to catch on. Even famous people like President Theodore Roosevelt and General George S. Patton Jr. owned pit bulls!

bulldog appearance

Today's Bull Terriers are typically 21 to 22 inches tall and weigh between 50 and 70 pounds. However, there is also a small bulldog breed that is 10 to 14 inches long and weighs 18 to 28 pounds. Although the two are different in size, both dogs have the same appearance and personality.

Bull Terriers have a recognizable egg-shaped head and smooth face. Their eyes are small and triangular in shape, and their ears are pointed. This sometimes gives them a beautiful but not funny look. With the historical compilation of many different breeds, today's Bulldog is a strong and muscular dog with amazing agility and playful spirit. Typically, Bulldogs are white, as are Target Dogs Bullseye. However, bull terriers come in almost any color and pattern, from solids to brindle and brindle stripes.

Two miniature bulldogs playing outside on the grass
Bull Terriers have a recognizable egg-shaped head and smooth face.

©GoDog Photo/Shutterstock.com

bull terrier character

If you stumble upon a well-built pit bull in the park—they have small eyes and an imposing presence—you might feel intimidated, even though they're not particularly large dogs. It's true that Pit Bull Terriers have an independent and often stubborn side, which can make them difficult at times. Bull Terriers need a lot of exercise and training, as well as a lot of socialization early in life. However, you'd be hard pressed to find a cuter, more loyal, and funnier canine!

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In fact, the only creature on Earth capable of controlling the mighty General George S. Patton Jr. is his loyal bulldog, Willie. Barton even threw a birthday party for his beloved canine companion! Patton is known to be domineering, and it's no surprise Willie has won his heart – it's just part of the Bulldog's indescribable charm!

That's because Pit Bulls are very charming and playful, and they love spending quality time with their human companions. Although their playful side may lead them to mischief, these irresistible dogs are so cute you won't be mad at them for long. Perhaps that's why the American Kennel Club calls the Bull Terrier "the ultimate personality breed." These playful dogs are never boring!

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featured image

Bulldog
White bulldog on the grass in the sunshine in a park in Virginia.

© iStock.com/cindygoff


about the author


For 10 years I have been a professional writer with a special focus on nature, wildlife, ethnozoology and the human-animal relationship. My areas of interest include human-animal studies, ecocriticism, wildlife conservation, pets, and animal behavior. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a master's degree in comparative studies, focusing on the relationship between humans and the natural world. In my spare time, I enjoy exploring the outdoors, watching movies, reading, creating art, and taking care of my pets. Nothing makes me happier than spending a day in the company of animals.

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