I don’t think there is a more famous group of breeds in the world today than the four Bull and Terrier breeds – the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. All four of these breeds descend from the many combat dogs that had been bred in Britain and Ireland for centuries. There was a different type in every region that was known by a local name. These dogs had been created from crosses between small mastiffs, bulldogs, terriers and whippets/greyhounds.
The English Bull Terrier was created by Mr James Hinks who was an Irishman that lived in Birmingham, England and was a renown dog and fowl breeder. He wanted to create a dog that the Gentlemen of the time could own with pride and honour, a refined version of the combat dogs that many of the lower classes owned and bred. Mr Hinks is believed to have crossed local fighting dogs with the now extinct white English Terrier and then added some Dalmatian, Pointer, Foxhound and Greyhound/Whippet blood to create his new Bull Terrier breed. The breed very quickly gained huge popularity with the gentlemen of the time and a breed club was started in 1887 followed by a breed standard in 1888.
In 1917, the first modern day Bull Terrier, ‘Lord Gladiator’ was born. It was the first Bull Terrier with a skull completely lacking a stop. In the 1920’s, Staffordshire Bull Terrier blood was added to the breed due to health issues like deafness that was effecting the Bull Terrier. This was the beginning of the modern day Bull Terrier as we know it today.
Please read Blog #18 for more information on the Bull Terrier.