Blog #18 – The Hinks Bull Terrier

The Hinks Bull Terrier –

It’s great to see such an interest in the Bull Terrier, as I don’t think I remember there ever being so much discussion about the breed like there has been in the last 5-10 years. There is a lot of breeders all over the world breeding their own type, some have outcrossed their dogs whilst others have kept them pure and selected the best working examples from the pure show dogs.

The man attributed to having been the breeds creator was Mr James Hinks who was born in Mulling, Ireland on 7th January, 1829. He then moved to Birmingham, England with his family as a child where he resided until he passed away on 10th October 1878. He was an ambitious and shrewd businessman, who owned a variety of dog breeds and game fowl. At one point he also did some time in prison before making a name for himself with his new breed of white Bull Terrier.

Mr Hinks wanted to create a show dog that would attract the attention of the wealthy gentleman of England, who he hoped to sell his dogs to for big money. He began by crossing the now extinct White English Terrier (who is believed to have been created from crosses between small white Terriers and Whippets) to the old fighting pit dogs of England that were owned by men from the lower classes. It’s believed that Dalmatian, Pointer, Foxhound and even Greyhound/Whippet blood was also added to refine his new breed. The exact breeds and how much blood of each breed added will never be known for definite, there is also the belief that small amounts of Borzoi and Collie blood may have been added to further elongate the head shape of his new creation.

Mr Hinks new line of Bull terrier was an instant success and became known as the White Cavalier or the Hinks Bull Terrier all over England. A breed club was created for the breed in 1887 and the first standard was written in 1888.

The first English Bull Terrier showing the breeds most distinctive feature, a skull completely lacking a stop was Lord Gladiator born 4th September 1917. In the 1920’s some breeders added Staffordshire Bull Terrier blood to solve some of the health issues like deafness that the breed had.

Despite what many Pit Bull Terrier breeders and owners say, there is English Bull Terrier blood in the Pit Bull. There is also small amounts of English Bull Terrier blood in some Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier lines. During the Irish trials, a small number of pure English Bull Terriers proved themselves as working dogs and these were used as outcrosses by working Wheaten Terrier fanciers.

Over the years the breed has also played a hand in creating new working breeds like the Alaunt, the HeideTerrier, the Bull Arab, the Dogo Argentino and the Tosa Inu. The Pakistan Gull Terr and the Indian Bull Terr also descend from Bull Terriers taken to India and Pakistan by British Soldiers during the British Raj.

There was also some really good lines of working Bull Terrier created by dedicated people in Central Europe in the last century. Dr Emil Hauck bred his own line of Bull Terriers in Austria in the early 1900’s up until the 1940’s, his line was a multi functional working dog. Mr Rudolf Sewerin also ran a Bull Terrier breeding program for many years in Germany up until the 1990’s. He worked show Bull Terriers in a variety of functions including hunting and protection work. It’s believed that small amounts of American Staffordshire Terrier blood was used in Sewerin’s Friar Tuck line. There is still some of this blood flowing through the veins of some of the working Bull Terriers of today. It’s rare, but it’s really nice to see that the work of these great dogmen hasn’t been lost to the history books.

Despite the English Bull Terrier in more modern times being mainly a show dog, there is still some good examples around. The Ingles line of Bull Terrier and other lines that have branched out from it, are working all over the world in a variety of functions. There is also a huge following for the breed in countries like Indonesia where they use them to hunt wild pigs.

Today’s English Bull Terrier still has a lot to offer, what ever type or line you prefer there is a Bull Terrier for every function and everyone.

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