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The Blue Paul (Poll) Terrier

Discussion in 'Pit Bull Roots & Heritage' started by tat2stuff, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. tat2stuff

    tat2stuff Good Dog


    The Blue Paul Terrier resembled our contemporary pit dogs. They had a smooth coat and were powerfully built. They weighed about 20 kg and measured up to 50 cm at the withers. The head was large; the forehead was flat, muscle short and square, large and broad but not receding like that of the Bulldog. The jaws and teeth were even with no overhanging flews. They had a slight dip between the eyes, which were dark hazel and not sunken, prominent, nor showing haw. The ears were small, thin, set on high, and invariably cropped, and the face was not wrinkled. The eyebrows contracted or knit. The facial expression of the Blue Paul has never been seen in any other breed and can frequently be recognized in mixed-breed dogs. The body was round and well ribbed up, its back short, broad, and muscular but not roached, and its chest deep and wide. The tail was set low and devoid of fringe, rather drooping and never rising above the back. The dog stood straight and firmly on its legs. Its forelegs were stout and muscular, showing no curve. The hind legs were very thick and strong, with well-developed muscles. The colour was dark blue as can be seen in Greyhounds; however, they sometimes produced brindles or reds, which were known as red smuts in Scotland.

    No one seems to have full knowledge as to how the Blue Pauls were bred or from where they originally came. There was a story that John Paul Jones, the American sailor, brought them from abroad and landed some when he visited his native town of Kirkcudbright about 1770. The gypsies around the Kin Tilloch district kept Blue Pauls, which they fought for their own amusement. They were game to the death and could suffer much punishment. They were expert and tricky in their fighting tactics, which made them great favorites with those who indulged in this sport. They maintained that the breed originally came from the Galloway coast, which lends support to the Paul Jones legend. The first dogs to arrive in the United States with the English immigrants in the mid-19th century were the Blue Paul Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

    With his excellent fighting skills, the Blue Paul was introduced as part of Staffordshire Bull Terrier breeding in the early 19th century and the blue colouring has appeared in Staffords ever since, in particular, the Blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier.It has also appeared in Pitbulls and a bluetick coloration also appears due to inbreeding.
    Further reading
    • Homan, M. (2000). A Complete History of Fighting Dogs, Chapter 19. Howell Book House Inc. ISBN 1-58245-128-1
    There's also a chapter in The Pit Bull - Fact and Fable by K.S. Matz dedicated to the Blue Paul
  2. maryellen

    maryellen Good Dog

    got any pictures?
  3. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Staff Member Administrator

    he's gonna get a pic for us....:)
  4. tat2stuff

    tat2stuff Good Dog

    from the reading I did, they threw a lot of brindle dogs, here's some pictures out of A Complete History of Fighting Dogs, these one in The Pit Bull - Fact and Fable, but my binder is brittle and the books worth like $400 so I'm not folding it onto a scanner. :lol:



  5. maryellen

    maryellen Good Dog

    wow those are awesome pictures!!
  6. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Staff Member Administrator

    great pictures!!
  7. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Administrator

    Hey! Make sure you upload those pics in the pit bull history gallery, (please!)!
  8. tat2stuff

    tat2stuff Good Dog

    ok ;)
  9. Palamino

    Palamino Little Dog

    That is very interesting, thanks for sharing that.

    It is believed by many that the “Blue Paul†came from Scotland to be tested against the bulls of the English in the 1700’s – these dogs were then bred to their English counterparts to produce a large 80 – 90 pound long legged bull baiter. (The Alaunt, purportedly from Ireland, was also allegedly part of this mix.) This is a theory put forward by Mrs. Cherie Kavanaugh.

    There is another school of thought though that this was not the case. Mr. Dillon rebuts this in an article where he states the following: “………the statement that there was the terrible Blue Paul from Scotland is wrong, understandably wrong, but wrong nonetheless. The mining area of Seghill, outside the city of Newcastle, England, was famous in the 19th century for its fighting bulldogs. The champion of these famous animals was a remarkable bitch owned by Jack Simms named “Poll.†(Poll or Polly was a very common female name at this time.) Poll’s fame was widespread in northern England and Blue Poll became quite a common name. Thus Simms would match his Blue Poll against Wardle’s Poll, etc. A Scottish salesman named Cathey brought a number of these dogs back toScotland where they became fashionable, so much that Morrison of Greenock, Scotland was exhibiting one in the late 1880’s. When it is remembered how the Scottish dialect requires a decidedly rolled “r’, it is evident how the name Poll became corrupted to Paul.â€

    Was the terrible Blue Paul of Scotland merely a name derived upon from a famous fighting bulldog?

    The history of this breed (and many others) is fascinating. I can spend hours looking at those ancient paintings from the 1600, 1700, 1800 and 1900’s. Those dogs were painted by artists who lived and saw them first hand so many, many years ago. There is so much to be learnt from careful observation of those works.
  10. great stuff! Thanks for doing the research.
  11. DieselDawg

    DieselDawg Good Dog

    They are considered extinct but they have to have made an impact in our APBTs.

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