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CHAPTER II.
THE BULL TERRIER.

OUR modern bull terrier is a very different creature from that which he was half a century ago, and I know there are some old “dog fanciers ” who prefer the brindled and white, and fawn, fallow smut, or even black and tan dogs, so often kept in our grandfathers’ days, to the “milk-white” animals seen for so many years on our Show benches.

There is little or no doubt that the original bull terrier was a cross between any ordinary terrier and the bull dog, whilst some of the largest specimens might have a dash of the mastiff thrown in. He had been bred for fighting or for killing rats, and, - long before the era of canine exhibitions, some of the rougher, so-called sporting men in London and in the Midlands, of which Birmingham may be taken as the metropolis, had strains of more or less celebrity. The dogs that fought with Wombwell’s lions at Warwick in 1825 were large bull terriers, and not bull dogs, as stated in the journals of that day, and the fighting dogs Of that time and now (for this brutal sport is still followed in London and elsewhere) were and are bull terriers. Almost as I am writing this, at the close of 1902, two bull terriers fought at Bilston, in the “Black Country,” for an hour and a half, one dog being killed outright, the other dying soon after. One was a brindled dog, the other white, and their weight was 25lb. apiece. The combat took place in a bedroom, the occupier of which was summoned, and fined 766; but the owners of the dogs the police failed to discover.

The old-fashioned dog was a much more cumbrous brute than finds favour at the present time, and his colour varied. For instance, james Ward painted one in 1808 that was evidently black and tan, with white on him, a favourite dog of his own, and of a strain highly valued for its courage. This animal had its ears closely cropped, in order, of course, that they might not be in the way of an opponent’s teeth when fighting. A little later Marshall painted another bull terrier, black, white, and tan, a dog which Squire Meynell, the great foxhound authority, pronounced to be from one of the best strains he ever knew.

The back numbers of the sporting Magazine contain many representations of the bull terrier, and it is stated that Lord Camelford paid 84. guineas for such a dog, which he later on presented to Jern Belcher, a boxer of repute in those days, for it was but meet that the champion fighting biped should own the champion fighting quadruped. This dog was a fawn or fallow specimen, with legs more or less bowed or crooked, and he was no doubt about equally bred between a bull dog and a coarse terrier.

About this period dogs between 3olb. and 4olb. were most in favour, few or none of them were altogether white, and brindled or fallow markings of different degrees of darkness on a white. ground were commonest. At the same time there were smaller bull terriers, and these latter were usually used in the rat pit, where their value lay in an ability to kill a certain number of big rats (we never hear of little rats) within a stipulated time. I think I am quite correct in calling Jemmy Shaw’s (London) extraordinary little rat killer Jacko, a bull terrier, perhaps one-fourth bull. This historical creature died in 1869, and amongst other deeds he succeeded in killing sixty rats in 2min. 4osec.; IOO rats in 5min. 28sec.; and IOOO rats in less than loomin.! winning altogether some 200 matches in different parts of the country. These extraordinary feats were performed in 1862-63, and are supposed to be the best on record. Jacko was black and tan in colour, with a little White on his chest, and be weighed ISll). There were even smaller dogs than he, which were kept more for fancy and as pets—still bull terriers, but, for the most part, white in colour. Billy Shaw, another noted fancier, had a brindled bull terrier called Pincher, about 251b. weight, which killed 500 rats in 36min. 26%sec., the feat taking place at the Queen’s Head Tavern, Haymarket, in March, 1865.

The popularity of the bull terrier was established fairly enough, and before the era of the fashionable and comely fox terrier he was no doubt the dog of his day. He could be obtained of any weight ranging between 81b. and 551b, and, although he had a reputation for pugnacity, this was more due to his surroundings than otherwise, though such as were trained to fight in the ring were as savage as savage could be. The historical dog of Bill Sykes, the typical burglar-rulfian, was a bull terrier, a thick heavy-headed creature, with bandy legs, a patch on his eye, and one or two on his body. “William” did not like him all white; a pure dog in colour and reputation would be out of place in such company, and, perhaps for this reason, the more respectable and peaceable members of society, with a fondness for a “game terrier," preferred the entirely white dog; hence its popularity, and possibly the reason why only such came

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