Bull Terrier: The Gentleman’s Companion

The Bull Terrier is an English breed of dog that originated in the 19th century. The ancestors of the Bull Terrier at that time were used for fighting dogs, bears, bulls, badgers and rats. In what was then England, people decided to create a dog that would perform the above tasks with even more success. They wanted a dog as fast and agile as Terrier and strong as Bulldog, so they crossed the now extinct Old English Terrier and The Old Bulldog (the breed that doesn't have much resemblance to today's Bulldog). They got a not very aesthetically attractive dog with bent legs, undefined color and rough appearance, but a fearless and agile. The dog showed boundless loyalty to the owner and ability in the ring. His name was Bull and Terrier.


Old English Terrier and Old English Bulldog

Old English Terrier and Old English Bulldog


Some people have used the breed for other purposes, such as keeping sheep, hunting and eliminating pests. One of them was James Hinks (1829-1878), who crossed the Bull and Terrier with the White English Terrier. He was of the opinion that the gentlemen of that time wanted a faithful companion who differed in appearance from other dogs and was able to defend the owner. The result was a white Bull Terrier called the "White Cavalier" or "Hinks Breed". The dog did not yet have the now-familiar "egg face", but retained a stop in the profile of the skull.


bull terrier skull evolution


Bull Terrier Skull Evolution


Hinks wanted to make the Bull Terrier even more elegant without bent legs and a more refined gait. To a greater or lesser extent, several other breeds participated in the creation of the bull terrier: Dalmatian, Pointer, Greyhound, Foxhound and Borzoi. Hinks wanted his dogs to be white and he bred them especially for this. The first modern Bull Terrier was bread in 1917. and was known as "Lord Gladiator". That was the first dog with no stop at all. The breed was officially recognized in 1888. and its color variant a little later.


James Hinks and Bull Terriers

James Hinks and Bull Terriers

Due to health problems related to the breeding of completely white Bull Terriers, Ted Lyon, among others, began to introduce color using Staffordshire Bull Terriers in the early 20th century. According to American Kennel Club (AKC), colored Bull Terriers were recognized as a special variety in 1936. The preferred color is brindle, but other colors are welcome as well.

Along with conformation, specific behavioral traits were also sought. The epithet "White Cavalier", which returns to an age of chivalry, was given to a breed that, although it never wanted to start a fight, managed to finish it and at the same time got along well with its "pack", including children and puppies.


Bull Terriers History

Bull Terriers in 19th Century


Do you have any other fun facts about Bull Terriers? Feel free to comment your them down below!

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1 comment

What an insightful article! I am absolutely sharing this :)


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