Monday, December 8, 2014

Bull Terrier History in Vintage Photos

If you're reading this it's probably because you love Bull Terriers, but then again, who doesn't. 

In 1907, "eminent dog authority" Robert Leighton wrote in "The New Book of the Dog": The Bull-terrier is now a gentlemanly and respectably owned dog, wearing an immaculate white coat and a burnished silver collar; he has dealings with aristocracy, and is no longer condemned for keep bad company. But a generation or two ago [that would be about 1860]  he was commonly the associate of rogues and vagabonds, skulking at the heels of such members of society…" p 329.

The Bull-Terrier in 1900,
Source: Leighton's New Book of the Dog

The historical record remained, but the dog's shape didn't (nor did the hyphen in the name). Bull Terriers have been redefined over the last hundred years. The photos below show how much the skull has changed.

Breed standards from 1900 and 2014 describing the head.

It wasn't an abrupt change as these photos show.
About 1940

Detail 1940
Bull Terrier about 1960 - the egg shape skull is becoming more prominent
I wonder if any breeders are returning to the old standard.  If you have an old fashioned Bull Terrier send a photo to and I'll post it here.

Source: Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. The old standard is a far more attractive looking specimen, handsome with a slender body....I don't know much about these dogs and their nature, but today's variation looks menacing and more in line with how 'dog authority' Robert Leighton described the 1860 companion. I do hope there are people out there with dogs of the old standard, just mho......