of Celtic Oak

of Celtic Oak Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Old Tyme breeder

Old Tyme breeder


The return of the British Bull breed.

Like a lot of great things in the world of today such as football, rugby, cricket or the Queensbury rules, the history of these great things are British responsibilities. The same applies to the majority of great working dogs, be they running dogs, herding dogs or bull breeds. Our history makes it our responsibility to maintain these breeds in their original guise.
Our brutal past was not only imposed on our animals, but was part of people’s everyday lives. Whether a bare knuckle boxer, street kid or trader, life was hard and a step up the ladder only came from continual battles. Disease was rife and food was hard to come by, especially for the working classes.
The truth of the matter is when animals, including humans are faced with such adversities a certain mentality was undertaken, the survival of the fittest mentality; this included the live stock that shared our lives. The horses that could not perform their tasks were used for meat. Dogs that were unable to put food on the table or provide protection were disposed of.
These times produced hard people and the feelings of animals took second place to people’s welfare. Cheap food was achieved by the use of hunting animals, whether it is sight hounds, bull breed or mastiff types bringing home the bacon. Dogs were pitted against each other to achieve monetary gain for the owner and the gambling crowds.
This is not intended to be a history lesson, more to show the intense struggle the breeds have endured through the centuries and therefore highlight our present responsibility to them. These struggles gave us various types of dog that excelled at their given task. Over the years these dogs became set to type, their mindset and conformation was of the ultimate construction for the task.
For the bull, bear, and dog pit breeds, size and construction varied although to the untrained eye they are very similar. These different types should be studied by breed enthusiasts, and the subtle differences taken into account. Only then can we continue to breed and reproduce true replicas of yesterday’s canine gladiators.
The majority of bull breeds seen at K.C shows in the U.K are an untrue representation of the working dogs of the past, created by a misunderstanding of what body form a gladiator requires in order to stay the distance in his battles. These people do not understand the physical make up required for being able to bring these canines up to the physical fitness standards required for their original task, as most show bred stock lack the correct tools to achieve this state of fitness.
The K.C standards of these breeds are all well and good, but leave to much room for interpretation and exaggeration from the breeders fashion lead preferences.
It is true that most dogs today will never face such hard conditions again, nor should they, but the body structure they have been graced with and the unstoppable mental attitude processed by Bull breeds of all types should be protected, especially in the country of their origin.
I for one find bull breeds the most amazing creatures ever to have graced this world and the suffering of their past should be honoured by the retention of their greatest assets, their body and minds!
The future of our breeds needs protecting and education of the public is a vitally important. Shows, field trials, seminars and books with functional attributes being the focus are a way to achieve a brighter future for the modern bull breed, much good work is already being done but much more also needs to be done.
The breeds do have athletic shows to attend which are growing in size, but they are few and far between.
We need to come together and strike while the iron is hot to promote the return of the true British bull breed. The building blocks are there and it’s time to pick them up and build!
Here’s to the future, Neil Sherlock.