The bull terriër is one of the oldest of the terrier breeds, tracing it roots back
to the early 1800’s. The history of the miniature bull terriër has to be relayed
through the bull terrier as the miniature is the direct descendant of his big brother.
Nearly all of the dogs in the terrier group originated in England and the bull terrier
was no exception. The bull terrier was originally developed and bred to work the
pits in to entertain the spectators. Thankfully dog fighting and animal baiting were
outlawed in 1835.
The origins of the bull terrier are fairly clear and traceable from the beginning.
Originally the fighting breeds were heavier bulldog types but, as time went on breeders
began to cross these dogs with the terriers in order to obtain a sleeker, faster
and more agile dog. These Bull and terrier crosses eventually became Bull Terriers
and Staffordshire Terriers.
Mr. Hinks of Birmingham took these bull and terrier dogs under his wing in the mid
– 1800’s and out crossed to the now extinct White English Terrier, which was a stylish-looking
dog. (it is also thought that Hinks may have crossed to a dalmatian and a greyhound,
but this is not certain). By 1862 Hinks had bred what the considered tob e the best
possible bull terrier and he then introduced this solid white dog to the public at
a dog show. The bull terrier caught the public’s fancy, as here was a handsome white
gladiator. Sleek, refined and as graceful as any show dog, but with fire and spirit.
In the early years it was normal to crop the ears of the bull terrier, in 1894 the
cropping of ears was outlawed, so now breeders had to breed for an erect ear, rather
than cropping it, to give the head a smart look. It took only five years to breed
the proper erect ear and by the 1930’s the standard noted that anything but an erect
ear was to be considered a fault. Eventually breeders wanted to develop a coloured
bull terrier, and the bull terrier was crossed with the staffordshire bull terrie
tob ring forth coloured bull terriers. Enough good coloured bull terriers were produced,
and the breed no longer had to be crossed with the staffordshire.