Posts Tagged ‘Manchester terrier’

dog of note

The answer to the question I asked nearly a month ago is that there are three correct answers.

This dog is Jock of the Bushveldt, not to be confused with Jock of the Bushveld, which is a novel by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick that details the life of a bull terrier type dog in the South African bush.

This dog was born in England in 1910.  The dog in the novel lived in the 1880’s.

And this, of course, leads to a lot of stupid debates on the internet. Many people actually believe the South African Jock was a Staffordshire bull terrier, because his father was purebred from England. However, in the 1880’s, the only bull terriers that were being registered and show with the Kennel Club were the Hinks-strain of bull terrier.  These were the white dogs that eventually became very popular throughout the world.  Jock’s mother was just a bull terrier, which means that she may have been derived from just generic bulldog and terrier crosses– which are also the source for the “pit bull” and “staffie” type dogs.

However, the dog in the photo is of more consequence than Jock.

This dog was actually a first cross between a brindle bulldog and a Manchester  (“black and tan”) terrier.

So the first correct answer is that he was a bulldog/Manchester terrier cross.

The second correct answer is that he was a Staffordshire bull terrier, for dogs derived from him became part of the Staffordshire bull terrier breed.

The third correct answer is “colored bull terrier,” for he was also an ancestor of the colored variety of bull terrier.

Black and tan and tricolor– often with brindling in the tan– are pretty common colors in bull and miniature bull terriers.

One of the Hinks-type bull terrier’s ancestors, the English white terrier, which was basically a white Manchester terrier, became extinct because deafness was so common in the breed.

And although the original color for all of these bull terriers was white, it was well-known  that breeding for the white color alone was clearly linked to increased deafness.

So it was decided to allow in blood from rougher strains of bull and terrier.

This was almost without controversy in the United Kingdom, but when it happened, many members of the Bull Terrier Club of America lost their minds.

For decades, American bull terrier fanciers refused to allow in any color but white. However, they eventually relented, but only if the “colored” dogs were show as a separate variety.

“Colored” is also a word that has a clear racial meaning, so I have often wondered if the distinction for “colored” bull terrier is actually meant to be some sort racial slur.

The white dogs bred by Hinks were meant for gentlemen.  All gentlemen in those days were white, so they should have a white dog to back them up. The dog’s nickname from that era even reflects a member of the white gentry– “the white cavalier.”

Cavaliers, of course, were the landed gentry who supported the king during the English Civil War. The Virginia planters, who themselves were actually rabble that rose to the status of gentlemen through their tobacco enterprises, backed the king in that war, which is one reason why the University of Virginia’s mascot is the cavalier.

The Staffordshire bull terrier type was pretty common long before James Hinks came along. They are really what you’d get if you crossed an old type bulldog with some sort of terrier. They are the basis for the pit bulls– which were usually called “bull terriers”– that have been in America for hundreds of years.

But they were the dogs of unrefined peasants and colonials.

They weren’t white cavaliers.

This same sort of bias exists in many parts of the country with BSL.  Pit bulls and staffies get the legislation; the egg-headed pig dogs usually don’t.

It is really amazing how class and race get mixed up in our discussions about dogs.

They are really reflections of what people were thinking about each other than the actually dogs themselves.


Read Full Post »

little white dog

The little white dog in the photo from yesterday was a toy bull terrier. It was very similar to the English white terrier, which is one of its ancestors.

I actually have hard time telling these extinct dogs apart. The only reason why this dog isn’t an English white terrier is that the English white terrier apparently was  either very rare at this time or already extinct (the last record of the breed was in 1894). This particular dog comes from a book by W.E. Mason called Dogs of All Nations. Mason has no photographs of either toy or standard English whites, and only claims that the both breeds are very similar to the Manchester (English black and tan) terrier, which is an accurate description. Both were the result of breeding whippets or Italian greyhounds to terriers.

Here’s an English white terrier from around 1890:

English white terrier, circa 1890.

They were popular house pets and occasionally used for ratting. However, the English white dogs became almost universally deaf. The white color that they have is associated with deafness, and in that breed’s standard, no colored markings were allowed.  Eventually, the public stopped buying them and breeding them. The Manchesters still exist in much more limited form today, although I’ve seen several rat terriers that very obviously show their Manchester terrier ancestry. I knew of one that looked exactly like a toy Manchester, and she was a working squirrel dog.

Still, I must admit that I have a hard time  telling photos of toy bull terriers and English white terriers apart. They are close relatives. The big bull terrier was derived from crossing a bull terrier with a bulldog, and this smaller dog looks like a cross between the English toy white terrier, which weighed less than 6 pounds, with the smaller versions of the bull terrier breed.

The toy bull terrier also went extinct. I should note here that the miniature bull terrier is not the same breed as this dog. The miniature bull terrier is simply a smaller version of the modern bull terrier. It looks like a 20-35  bull terrier.


Now I’m going to show you something interesting.

What would you call these dogs?

Toy Bull terriers

How many of you said “Chihuahua”?

Well, these dogs were not Chihuahuas.

They were also toy bull terriers.

This photo comes from Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia 1910-1912.

Now, the fact that these dogs look a lot like Chihuahuas probably isn’t a coincidence.

I have a hard time believing that the Meso-American dogs were originally as small as the modern dog we call a Chihuahua.

The apple heads and moleras that so define the Chihuahua breed most likely come from cross-breeding with toy bull terrier and toy English white terriers. Considering how common these terriers were in the late nineteenth century in the fancy, it would make sense that Chihuahua breeders would have crossed them with their dogs to “improve them.” The toy English white terrier was as small as the modern Chihuahua, weighing less than 6 pounds, and it would have been a useful outcross to reduce size.



Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: