Bull-and-Terriers – crosses between Bulldogs and various terriers – gained popularity among the sporting fraternity during the early 1800s.
These crosses combined the determination and courage of the Bulldog with the natural agility and intensity of the terrier.
They ranged in size and color, some showing more Bulldog heritage, while others were more terrier-like.
During the early 1860s, James Hinks of Birmingham, England responded to the introduction of formal dog shows and the burgeoning
demand for pet and prize dogs by developing the breed we know today as the Bull Terrier.
Hinks’ dogs were more refined and consistent in type than previous Bull-and-Terriers.
They were characterized by their hallmark pure white coats, often being referred to as White Cavaliers.
As the rhyme goes Hinks “Found a Bull Terrier a tattered old bum” and “Made him a dog for a gentleman’s chum”.
These White Cavaliers gained a strong foothold among discerning owners as both show dogs and exceptional pets and companions.
Soon their popularity spread across the Atlantic, with the Bull Terrier Club of America being established in 1897.
Records indicate that Hinks’ breeding program employed existing Bull-and-Terriers, his own white Bulldog Madman and the now extinct White English Terriers.
These early dogs were all white, with no colored markings permitted, but over time patches of color on the head became acceptable.
In the early 1900s a few breeders crossed their White Cavaliers with colored Staffordshire Bull Terriers and established the colored coat.
The “Colored” was recognized as a separate variety of Bull Terrier in 1936.
The standard for the Colored variety is the same as for the White except for coat color, which must be any color other than white, or any color with white just so long as the white does not predominate.
Given his muscular build and oft-times diabolical expression the Bull Terrier can appear quite unapproachable.
To the contrary he is an exceedingly friendly dog, thriving on affection and always ready for a frolic.
The Bull Terrier is the cavalier and clown of the canine race, robust and spirited, yet of a sweet and fun-loving disposition.