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Bull terriers failed as fighting dogs?

Discussion in 'Bull Terrier' started by adjecyca, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. adjecyca

    adjecyca Good Dog

    I was watching animal planet's Dogs 101, and it said that Bull Terriers were bred to be fighting dogs, but weren't good at it so they became ratters and family pets... Is this true?
  2. Sagebrush

    Sagebrush Good Dog

    Bull Terriers were bred from the old bull-and-terrier dogs which WERE fighting dogs in England about the time the Bull Terrier was being created in the mid 1800s (those bull and terriers didn't have a breed name at the time). But it was James Hinks' goal to "perfect" and "civilize" the rough bull-and-terriers by creating a fashionable, all-white dog; and he did this by crossing in Dalmatian and some say Pointers with the bull-and-terriers. While some of the early ones were fought and were successful, they soon went by the wayside as a fighting dog. Because it was felt he was perfecting the old bull-and-terriers, Hinks' creation -- very unfortunately -- got the name "Bull Terrier". The true bull-and-terriers continued on their evolution -- to be called by the breed name Staffordshire Bull Terrier by 1935 in England, with the exports going to America eventually getting the name American Pit Bull Terrier (called American Bull Terrier for a long time)

    I highly recommend a book called "Full Circle -- A History of the Colored Bull Terrier" by David O. Harris.

  3. Here's another good lil' read on the history:


    Bull Terrier's History

    Now an affectionate companion, the Bull Terrier arose from the "Bull and Terrier" crosses, originally bred for dog-fighting. When bullbaiting was outlawed in England in 1835 the "sport" of dog-fighting became popular and a smaller dog breed was needed, that could be more easily hidden under one's coat at the arrival of the police.

    bull terrier 1804
    These dogs also had to be more agile and light as the dog fights usually lasted longer than bull fights. This new type of fighting dog was created by crossing the olde type bulldog with different Terriers, among which the Manchester Terrier (or Black and Tan Terrier) - before it was dwarfed down - .

    This Bull and Terrier cross combined the alertness and agility of the Terrier with the power, tenacity and high treshold of pain of the Bulldog.

    It got the reputation of a 'canine gladiator' which would fight to the death to please his master. It was much leggier than the Bull Terrier we know today and its head more closely resembled that of the early Bulldog.

    manchester terrier
    In the early 1850, James Hinks, of Birmingham, England, first standardized the breed by selectively breeding the old type Bull Terrier with other breeds, including the White English Terrier (now extinct), to obtain a longer head and a more symmetrical body and get rid of the bowed legs, The result was an all white Bull Terrier with a cleaner outline, tight shoulders and well bent stifles.

    For his entire life James Hinks only bred white dogs, which he called 'Bull Terrier', in order to definitely distinguish them from the Bull-and-Terrier which was very similar to today's Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The breed was first designated as the "Hinks Breed" and was also referred to as "The White Cavalier", as he was bred to defend himself and his human family but not to instigate hostiliy.

    white engllish terrier
    Which other breeds were further crossed along the generations to obtain the modern Bull Terrier with the unique egg-shaped head is still a matter of conjecture.

    Most sources agree that Dalmatian blood was infused to confer the breed a more elegant look and gait and longer legs. Some authorities believe the Spanish Pointer, Greyhound, Foxhound and/or Whippet were crossed along the lines. Borzoi and Collie may also have been crossed into the gene pool to elongate the head even more and to arrive at a type of dog with a stop ever less marked.

    Until 1895, when cropping was outlawed, the ears of the Bull Terriers were cut as closely as possible, so that they would not be torn by the dog's opponent during the fight. From that date on ear cropping became prohibited and breeders sought to breed exemplars whose ears were in harmony with the rest of their body. The breed suffered a setback while breeders attempted to obtain the required upright ears without losing other qualities.

    bull terrier 1894
    In 1917, the first modern Bull Terrier, Lord Gladiator, was born. It was the first dog with a skull profile completely lacking a stop.

    Due to problems associated with the white color coat (deafness, albinism) some experts suggested to introduce other colors in the breed. The man who is known for the development and acceptance of colored bull terriers in the ring is Ted Lyon, whose preferred color was brindle.

    The first Bull Terrier Club was created in England in 1887. In 1888, the Bull Terrier Standard was published by the Bull Terrier Club. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1895. In 1992 the AKC recognized two different sizes, the Standard Bull Terrier and the Miniature Bull Terrier.

    Today's Bull Terrier is athletic and always eager to play. Their clowning antics and energy make them delightful companions. They need a firm hand and consistent training, but most of them will tolerate other family pets. Their cute and photogenic face make them very popular subjects in dog photography and advertising.
  4. The Sporting Bull Terrier by Eugene Glass is also a good read.....
  5. digs

    digs Puppy

    I think they would have been bred to be pet/show (maybe even some for hunting and guard dogs) with a lot of pit dog influence.

    but as a breed in its own right i doubt many ever used them.
  6. Bigsambully

    Bigsambully Puppy

    The bull and terrier was the fighting dog the bull terrier hinks bread was slightly different he bread a dog still as tough but less likely to instigate a fight it was rebound as being tough and protective and would protect its owners family and home hence the name the white cavalier. It was still used for fighting and blood sports to some success however compared to the bull and terrier it was not as game.
  7. adjecyca

    adjecyca Good Dog

    Thanks these replies helped a lot
  8. Mrpedigree

    Mrpedigree Big Dog

    I dont know what you guys have been reading over in the states ,but there has been a fair few bull terriers used for many blood sports and fighting over the years here in the home of the breed (UK ).
    I could tell you about a very controversial well known and respected breeder of game dogs in this country that kept/bred bull terriers along side APBTs etc .
    The thing i remember always being told by dog fighter/breeders was the breed took longer to get in shape than the APBT or SBT
    There is a book on hinks that goes in depth about his life and the breeding of his dogs ,cant remember the name of it but the book goes on to tell the story of Hinks BT bitch called Puss that when challenged hinks would fight at many dog shows and apparently she never lost .
    To be honest i dint bother reading some of posts on the thread as it obviously misinformed ,old time breeders from the UK like me that been around the breed as long as i have know that over the years bull terriers have been using in lots of different blood sports from dog fighting to ratting to badger baiting to hog hunting the list goes on and on .
    Heres a video of some game bull terriers and champion fighting dogs with bull terrier in their bloodline ¬
  9. jacko

    jacko Big Dog

    some EBT are still used as shredding dogs , (work it out ).
    also they are still used in eastern europe (sometimes)
  10. Mrpedigree

    Mrpedigree Big Dog

    I know its part of the breeds history ,but hate dog fighting , i dont see the sense in it nor wish to watch it , i would much rather have a fight myself than fight one of my dogs ;)
  11. xchairity_casex

    xchairity_casex Good Dog

  12. I could do very nasty things to anyone who would fight a dog, and not lose a minute's sleep. A dog fighter is on par with a child abuser in my books.
  13. E Diggy

    E Diggy Big Dog

    I have read before that the EBT faired better in the rat pit.
  14. redangie007

    redangie007 Puppy

    I agree well said
  15. digs

    digs Puppy

    ever been in the ring/octagon yourself?

    the best rush you'll ever experience.

    I'm sure it's entirely different for a dog because.......just because.....
  16. a dog fighter is not actually fighting the dog, he/she is only allowing it to take place. these dogs dont need people to fight them, they will do it on there own. if bull terriers were top notch there would be broken up EBT rings everywhere. there bodies are too barreled for the job . ive had them in the past and they were athletic, but it was like a souped up honda compared to a Ferrari.
  17. Sigh.

    Any dog aggressive dog will fight another dog *IF* given the opportunity.

    One of the favorite fables from the HSUS etc. is that dogs are "forced" to fight. Staged, yes. But forced, I beg to differ.

    Doesn't really matter in today's modern age anyway. Thing of the past. History.
  18. Noxa88

    Noxa88 Puppy

    I think too much is made of them being a "failure" in the fighting pit, it's not to say they wern't good it's just they didn't quite match or improve upon the more common fighting breeds at the time. And it's also true that many of the great fighting dogs of the UK had Bull Terrier blood in them. Also look at the Dogo Argentino and the Tosa both used Bull Terrier blood in their creation and that's obviously for a reason.
  19. fctv808

    fctv808 Little Dog

    nah the best rush is diving out of an airplane w/ a wingsuit or jumping off a cliff in the canadian rockies w/ about 2ft of fresh powder sliding in and around you.

    i'd say taking off on a 24ft faced wave might be it, but that wasn't a rush, just nerve racking.

    cage... meh. just business for most..
  20. digs

    digs Puppy

    I've jumped out of plenty of planes and its not even comparable.For a fighter the rush of fighting is the best feeling imaginable,especially when you suffer and sustain injuries and setbacks but fight through to get the win.we're not all fighters,so won't all get the same feeling.

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