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to be looked upon as the genuine article. Still there were others which obtained a better education than the pugilist could give, and they were useful as companions and as watchdogs.
Most of us have owned a bull terrier. The undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge were fond of him, and at one time he formed as much a part of their equipment as the “ top hat” does at the present time. The first dog I ever possessed was a bull terrier, a fawn dog with a black muzzle, and about 3olb. in weight. He was a good—looking dog, though he cost but half-a-crown when a month old, purchased from a sporting barber, whose reputation for dogs was as high as that he possessed as a shaver.
The puppy, christened “Sam,” was for a long time my constant companion, and soon became an adept at hunting rats by the riverside, a capital rabbiter, and as good a retriever as most dogs. He would perform sundry tricks, find moneyihidden away, and could be sent back a mile for anything—a glove, a stick—~that had beenleft behind. He would take part in a game at cricket, and fielded the ball so expeditiously that on more than one occasion Sam and I played single wicket matches against a couple of opponents, and as a rule came out successfully. Altogether this was a kind of dog that could not be obtained now, but on his father’s side he came of a fighting stock, and as he grew older he developed a love for a “turn up” with any passing canines, which caused me to part with him. He was the death of a couple of dogs, but otherwise the gentlest of the gentle; our cat kittened in his kennel, and with a little shaggy dog belonging to a friend he struck up a great friendship. Prince, this cross-bred creatures’s name, was one day turned over and worried by a big, ugly Sheepdog. In canine language he came and told the story of his woe to Sam. The two set out together, and on our cricket field came across the bully. Prince and Sam went up to him, the latter, with his tail held stiff and looking savage, seized the sheepdog by the throat, threw him over by a fair buttock in the Cumberland and Westmoreland style of wrestling, then, turning his back on his fallen foe, raised one of his hind legs, and after treating him in the most disdainful manner possible, trotted off with his little friend.
Poor Sam I I even now think of him with regret. We had to part, and he was sent to Manchester to do duty as guard in a warehouse and shop. But the smoky Cottonopolis he did not like, nor the confinement; instead of snarling and barking at the tramps, he “ canoodled ” with them, and made friends—as a watchdog he was useless. Perhaps he pined for Prince and the cricket field, for the riverside and the country walks. He died of a broken heart.
This was more than thirty years ago, and friends of mine still tell me, “ You never had another dog like Sam,” or“ Sam was the best dog you ever had.” I knew another bull terrier about this period which would jump into the water off the highest bridge that could be found, and as a set off would put out the flame of a blazing newspaper, or crush a redhot cinder in his mouth—~surely an apt pupil of the “asbestos man,” and of the “professors” who dived into a tank from the top of the W'estminster Aquarium. But such dogs as these were not show dogs, and, no doubt, exhibitions really made the bull terrier as he is to-day, and caused the almost total extinction of any other bull terrier excepting the white ones. Why white was eventually fixed upon as the correct colour I have already surmised, and as a rule modern specimens breed pretty truly to this hue, though cases of a coloured mark on the eye or on the ear crop up in nearly every litter. Usually such dogs were destroyed at their birth, as being unfitted for success on the bench, though instances will be mentioned later on where a so-called “ patched” dog did a considerable amount of winning.
To the late Mr. James Hinks, of Birmingham, a noted dog-dealer, who died in 1878, we, in a great measure, owe our modern bull terriers. Somehow or other he contrived to get together a strain of white dogs, specimens of which he exhibited with great success at some of the early shows, although the earliest of them did not provide classes for bull terriers.
It was at the commencement of the fifties that James Hinks began to cross the patched, heavyheaded bull terrier, used for fighting, with the English white terrier, and in due time he produced dogs handsome enough to make a name for themselves, and able to revolutionise the variety. Some of the old “doggy men” said this new breed was soft and could not fight. “Can’t they?” said Hinks, when talking to a lot of his London friends at the Holborn Horse Repository dog show in May, 1862. “ I think they can.” “ Well,” said one of the London school, “let’s make a match.” Hinks, nothing 10th, did make a match, and backed his bitch Puss—that day she had won first prize in her class—for £5 and a case of champagne, against one of the short-faced patched dogs similar in weight. The fight came off the same evening at Bill Tupper’s well-known rendezvous in Long Acre. Puss occupied half-an-hour in killing her opponent, and so little the worse was she for her encounter that she appeared on the bench next morning, a few marks on her cheeks and muzzle being the only signs of the determined combat in which she had been the principal overnight. When accounts of this became bruited abroad, although the story was not generally believed, the popularity of the “long faced” dog was established. And this is the sort of dog a special committee of club representatives caused the Kennel Club to dis; honour by placing him in the “ non-sporting section” alongside pugs, Pomeranians, and Italian greyhounds! This grotesque decision was perpetrated early in 1902.
Birmingham in 1864 followed the example of the London committee in providing a class for bull terriers, and it had an excellent entry of twenty-eight. Here Hinks won first prize with Madman, and second with Puss, positions which the same dogs had occupied at Ashburnham Hall, Chelsea, a few months earlier. However, at the latter place the class had been divided for dogs over Iolb. in weight, and for dogs under Iolb. in weight, and a somewhat similar arrangement as to size came to be adopted a little later on.
Thus early we find considerable confusion with regard to these bull terriers, solely from the persistence with which their owners stuck to the names