The struggle for recognition of colored Bull Terriers


After the development and establishment of the breed standard, a serious debate flared up around the colored Bull Terriers, particularly white dogs, born from colored parents. Colored Bull Terriers gained special popularity  in England.  In 1919 Bull Terrier "Bing Boy" of brindle white color became the first possessor of Challenge Certificate. For the first time Champion title gained brindle white female in 1931. Only in 1935 brindle white male gained the Champion title.

Some of the breeders of full white Bull Terriers became aware of increasing popularity of colored dogs. They were afraid that interbred offspring, got from colored and white parents, coupled with their white breeder will lead to disappearance of full white dogs and development of defects which they were escaping so many years. They were so afraid of this possible problem, that Bull Terrier Club was cooperative and made amendments into the membership terms as follows: "Members of the Club pledge themselves not to use white breeders got from brindle dogs as proband of white dogs, as well as dog breeders and owners commit themselves to inform the customer of possible problems and difficulties, that may appear while purchasing a white puppy with colored parents." In 1935 Bull Terrier Club took these colored dogs on their limited liability.

The USA followed England and recognized colored type of Bull Terrier breed in 1934. In the same year, R. Wallace Mallison imported first two colored dogs - black color female and brindle male. They were mated and thus appeared the first offspring of American breeding. Brindle-black puppy of this litter became a Champion later on.

The breeding of colored dogs was followed by lots of disputes. People made different forecasts about beneficial effect of colored dogs on full white one, as well as disappearance of inherent for this breed diseases like deafness, blue eyes and lots of other malformations. The breeders of white Bull Terriers had another opinion and firmly followed it, especially when they saw that imported colored Bull Terriers had been advertised so intensively, though their look was far from satisfactory. American breeders were against mating of white and colored dogs, as they considered that it will influence on the dog's intelligence. High demand on colored Bull Terriers only proved that they were right.

Colored dogs have participated in a show for all dog breeds for the first time in one Class with white dogs in Westminster Kennel Club in 1936, held in New York. On Westminster show in 1937 they were assigned separate Class. Few American Breeders have made out any advantages of colored dogs appeared on that show for the first time.

Thus, the breed standard was amended immediately, prescribing disqualification of any Bull Terrier, that had colored spots. Any dog expert giving preference to the colored dog instead of white one, was immediately declared a boycott, as he was considered to be announcing a winner, the dog that deserves disqualification.

In 1937 English Bull Terrier Club forbade to give any awards to white dogs of colored origin, and this ban hold up until 1950.

Same year, the English Bull Terrier Club has established a new Stud Book for white dogs. Beginning from the first mating of James Hinks' and other breeders' dogs, none of the registered dogs had colored parents. In 1950, when everything was settled down, Kennel Club approved a new rule of registration of white dogs, thus it stated that white dogs should not have colored ancestors in three generations.