Game Bred Pit  bull terriers and other game dogs.


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Working Lines of English Bull Terriers


English bull terrier

James Hinks  was one of the very first to achieve at least partial success with a designed dual-purpose show cross working dog with his English Bull Terrier  "English Bull Terrier"  of the 1900’s. The origins of the English Bull Terrier can be traced to the early 1800s England  when Bulldogs and Terriers were crossed to create the British Pit Bull Terrier  "Pit Bull Terrier"  (Sporting Bull Terrier  "Sporting Bull Terrier" ) as discussed previously.  The Pit Bull Terrier was not bred to a certain fixed type "fixed type"  but usually showed great variation in appearance.  Much has been discussed by modern day Bull Terrier breeders and authors alike as to the goal of James Hinks; did he wish to create a show dog, a gentleman’s bodyguard or a fixed type-fighting dog etc?  It is obvious from a geneticist’s point of view that his goal was to create an ideal fixed type of Bull Terrier in both appearance and temperament, while at the same time being able to hold its own in the pit.  James Hink’s the II was reported as saying “The all-white Bull-Terrier was founded by my father James Hinks... The fore-bears of my fathers dogs presented a comical appearance with their short thick heads, blunt muzzles, showing a certain amount of Bulldog  "Bulldog"  layback, bow legs............ they were known as Bull and Terriers. Around the end of the fifties a great change came about:  my father who had previously owned some of the gamest of the old stock with which he had been experimenting and crossing with the white English terrier and Dalmatian "Dalmatian" , bred a strain of all white dogs which he called Bull-Terriers.”  James Hinks used various dogs to achieve his goal but crucially keeping the “backbone” of the breeding program firmly with the Bulldog and Terrier.  The other dog breeds utilized by Hink’s is still a much-disputed topic with the exception of the Dalmatian which he certainly used in his back crossing program.

What is a back cross and why Dalmatian ?

A back cross is a method of selecting a few genes of interest from another breed or strain of dogs but ending up with only those particular targeted genes and not all the other resulting “garbage’.  It is widely believed that Hinks chose the Dalmatian to increase the leg length of his Bull Terrier.  It is often wondered by some as to why would he would use Dalmatian blood if wishing to create a dog that could hold its own in the dog and rat pit. 

Firstly it is very important to stress that the Dalmatian was used as a back cross, in this case meaning that after breeding his Bull and Terrier to his Dalmatians) he would then breed this Dalmatian cross Bull Terrier dog back into the “pure” Bull and Terrier.  Then continue to breed each subsequent generation back again into Bull and Terrier, removing those Dalmatian genes not desired while at the same time, retaining those specific Dalmatian genes targeted, in this case length of leg and other factors he considered worthy.  That is not a detailed or completely accurate account but gives the general idea to Hink’s back crossing program.

Secondly, the use of the Dalmatian  instead of any other ‘long legged” breed of dog was a masterstroke.  This is because James Hinks  "James Hinks"  was well aware that the Dalmatian not only possessed unsurpassed stamina as proven by use of a carriage dog but also had phenomenal ratting ability (in those days).  This ratting and stamina factor is often mysteriously omitted by many modern authors, either on purpose or through ignorance.  Indeed, it was said that a Dalmatian could clean out a barn of rats  "rats"  faster than any Terrier.  Therefore, the English Bull Terrier  of James Hinks consisted of a fixed mix of terrier, bulldog and a dash of Dalmatian with perhaps some other breeds having a minor influence.

 Hink’s Madman a Bull Terrier doing what it does best, ratting. 

Hinks was a genius, as by combining the Dalmatian  "Dalmatian" , Terrier and Bulldog  "Bulldog"  genomes he created a fantastic ratting dog, good fighting dog and a handsome looking canine companion. The English "The English"  Bull Terrier has proved to be well capable of fighting whether against dog, rat or African wild beast.  The parallels between James Hinks and the later Joe Mallan are striking for both were men who showed and tested their dogs in the pit with Hink’s more interested in show and Mallan more interested in the pit.  Hink’s location is an important one as he was from Birmingham which and at that time was an epicenter for dog fighting "dog fighting" .  One well known account of Hink’s matching his dogs was with his most beloved dog Puss in 1862 “Some of the doggy men said this new breed were soft and could not fight.  Hinks made a match - the fight came off at Bill Tuppers well known rendezvous in Long Acre.  It took Puss half an hour to kill her opponent and so little the worse was she for her encounter that she appeared the on bench the next morning a few marks on her cheeks.”

There is much recent controversy as to whether this match actually happened.  The story is now urban legend and certainly one that Hink’s son or grandson had no wish to deny!  The main controversy centers around two points, the first being the location of the fight, which was meant to have happened at Bill Tupper's place.  It is pointed out by some modern authors that this location did not belong to Tupper or that it would have been unsuitable for a dogfight. I find these points a little mute to say the least, for in the 21st century I have friends who own property that is not is registered in their name so was this not even more possible over 150 years ago!  Secondly, some authors feel it is unlikely that Hink’s Puss won the fight so easily and that she did not receive any marks allowing her to enter a dog show the next day, and this is a better point.    Dog fights are often serious mismatches where one dog can outclass another while receiving little damage, especially when facing a cur.  In addition it is very clear from the quote that Puss did indeed bear marks of battle “she appeared at the bench the next morning a few marks on her cheeks.” 

Why is it that many authors misquote this as to saying “no marks”? Another author believes that if Puss had born marks of battle she would not have been able to enter a dog show.  However Puss had just a few narks on the cheeks, would this disqualify an influential a breeder such as James Hinks  "James Hinks"  from entering a dog show in London 150 years ago?  It is the author’s opinion that this fight probably happened and even Hink’s grandson confirmed that the fight happened. Perhaps the fight was exaggerated but anyway who knows the exact truth about an illegal activity in the distant past as in fact the confusion as to the location of the Puss versus Tupper fight "Tupper fight"  pales into comparison to the confusion over the locations and participants of certain legal Bull Terrier confirmation shows of the time.   There are still disputes to this day as to the winners of dog shows of that time between such famous dogs as Hink‘s Puss and Madman, but do we dispute that Hink’s showed his dogs?  Regardless if true or not the Puss fight symbolizes the genius of James Hinks in producing a truly duel purpose fixed type  "fixed type"  of Bull Terrier.

In addition  to throwing doubt on the Hink’s versus Tupper fight  "Tupper fight"  some authors (perhaps with an agenda) go so far as to say that there is no evidence that any more of Hink’s bred dogs were fought.  These authors perhaps did not look hard enough for it was not a challenge to find such evidence as Puss  was certainly not alone in this regard.  Hink’s callows was a fierce fighting dog as the following contemporary report of 1873 attests ‘because of growth and magnitude’ a G.F. Coles first exhibited his  bull  terrier but with no success. Later he went onto greater success but unfortunately strayed into dog fighting  . He bought a ‘PRIZE BRED but BUSINESS’ dog named Callows by Hink’s White Bruce, this animal hated everything. Callows jumped into the river one day trying to catch a Newfoundland, a hopeless task in water, and in frustration gave up and climbed out, with a sharp bite Callows removed form his owner a piece of calf. From that day Coles was known as Walker Coles. Callows after changing hands was eventually seized by police at a raided “Dog fight” I have highlighted in bold ‘PRIZE BRED but BUSINESS’ to emphasize the dual nature of Hink’s fighting and show dogs.  Considering the small amount of Hink’s bull terriers in 1873 compared to the vast amount of Pit Bull Terriers it is amazing that there were in fact any reports of them fighting at all!  Puss was a favorite with Hinks and when she died, he kept her skull as a reminder of her amazing fighting ability. As Hink’s son was reported as saying “Puss was a real wonder and a terror in combat hugging her opponent like a and biting with a powerful jaw”. The bull terrier is truly a remarkable duel purpose dog with legendary breeders such as RH Glynn promoting the sale of his wonderful looking show bench English Bull Terrier  puppies with the words “all puppies sold from dogs game tested against the Badger”.  There are of course many other English Bull Terriers and especially Bull Terriers crossed with either Pit Bull Terriers or Staffordshire Bull Terriers which have distinguished themselves in the pit.  In the book Pit Bull Garden there are more such examples or present day English Bull Terriers used in pit fighting although most of those are bred from special fighting stock and not show stock as the show stock has had much of that original gameness and fighting prowess bred out by show breeders,.


(picture on bottom left is of full pedigree EBT in Australia taking on very large wild boar single handedly).  The picture on the bottom right is of an EBT and APBT fighting in Russia.  The English bull terrier is a very popular fighting dog in Russia and Pakistan where it has been game bred for generations unlike the show type in the west that has not been game bred for very many years

However the American Pit Bull Terrier is still the breed of choice for most dog fighters.