The Great Book of Bulldogs, Bull Terrier and Molosser - Marlene Zwettler - ebook

The Great Book of Bulldogs, Bull Terrier and Molosser ebook

Marlene Zwettler

67,33 zł


This book deals with Bulldogs, Bull Terriers and other Bull breeds - their origin, history and work. It doesn't show the common bred show dog, but the sound and useful dog. You'll find a lot of information of the breeds' origin, history and use. For about 30 years we've owned and bred successfully, therefore you'll find there a lot of our own experience with different breeds too. Photos in black/white or colored, many out of our own collection, but many we've got from breeders and owners all over the world.

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Walter & Marlene Zwettler





Part I

Bulldogs & Bull Terrier


The Great Book of Bulldogs Bull Terrier and Molosser Part I Bulldogs & Bull Terrier Walter & Marlene Zwettler Published by: epubli GmbH, Berlin Copyright: © 2012 Walter & Marlene Zwettler


Being a dog fancier like me, it is rather difficult to devote preferred on a definite group or a certain type. In addition to that, it happened that cynology has turned from some hobby to appointment. From my youth on it has always been the Bull Terrier and Bulldog like ones, in fact from the English Bulldog to the Tosa. Later I have bred for myself; therefore, I got excellent relationships to fanciers and breeders all over the world. Personally, I had and still have one idol in cynology - Dr. Hauck. As you might know, he bred English Bull Terriers, which are still remembered today and someone would like to have in his own pedigree. Hauck collected all about dogs being worth knowing. He also investigated different opinions accurately and interpreted them, being a many of that still valid today.

“Fighting Dogs“, George Moorland (1763 - 1804)

My wife and I would like to make an encyclopedia about Bulldogs, Bull Terriers, Molossers and their relatives, bringing in besides our own knowledge of decades accurate research too. It will cover the historical origin until today. It’s interesting to see how for example at that time animal painters put on record on old paintings and drawings those dogs almost photographically in portrait, in conformation and in color of coat, but also in hunting, in bearbaiting or in dog fighting. However, it is peculiar that the dogs that were known for their legendary courage, and with which one liked to decorate, were bred into its extreme soon. Always one tended to exaggeration, which led to a significant laid-back nose, extreme undershot, dwarfism or enormousness. Therefore, it is very interesting that there takes place a kind of reflection and renaissance. It is remarkable how quickly you could give way a certain favor. If, for example, the small Patterdale, a 6 to 7 kg hunting dog, descending from the Fell and Lakeland Terrier, is crossed with a game Staffordshire Bull Terrier now and then for getting a better head and bite, you will get a sort of Bull & Terrier. Soon you will give way the charm of these little dogs, looking with their big heads defiantly into the world. Almost the same time the voices of profound breeders, keepers and huntsmen will become more that they would be too heavy, the heads too pug like and the bite too short, so that their hunting performance would suffer. Therefore, one crosses them again with the terrier to improve it.

When I started to acquaint myself, I worked at the Federal Forests and was always in contact with the dogs, being at hand there. Primarily there were Dachshund, German Pointer and my favorite the German Hunting Terrier, which was of such a temperament then, you can’t imagine today. I bought all literature and encyclopedias available on the market, leant on Hauck and looked for the Bull Terrier, the Bulldog and one of my secret desires, the Dogue de Bordeaux. I didn’t fail to see any show, however, did hardly ever find the dog, corresponding to my imagination. On the contrary, the dogs, I was looking for, disappointed me totally being the opposite of that, what literature pretended. Then dogs, like the Fila Brasileiro, Dogo Argentino, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Stafford­shire or American Pit Bull Terrier were almost unknown. However, those breeds, looked for, existed. At that time, one of my friends owned a Bull Terrier of the old strain, with a not exaggerated downface. In the former Czechoslovakia, there was a Bull Terrier breeder and huntsman, called Anderle Frantisek, who hunted boars with his intact Bull Terriers. He caught the boars with a so-called boar-knife, a heavy, broad knife. My friend had gotten a male of his breeding indirectly, still with the old shaped head and floppy ears, being also excellent and useful when searching for boars now and then. He was a fighter who never stood aside a fight, but he wasn’t a killer. This dog too was only useful for a short time, for he had heaviest hip dysplasia. Because of these many diseases like hip dysplasia, deafness or eczema between the toes, I always again was disillusioned. Therefore, the search went on.

After our marriage, we acquired two Fox Terriers. The female was a crossing of a smooth coated and a rough coated Fox Terrier; the male was a pure rough coated Fox Terrier from an English working line. Both were hardly on shows, however, were used for hunting and worked successfully on natural and artificial den.

After a short interval, I tried it again with the original breeds. As hunting had a high value for me, I hit upon the Nordic type. It should become a Karelian Bear dog. We also informed about it in particular and carried on many talks. Finally, we acquired a specimen of this breed from Denmark. Here too it was very disappointing. We had neither elks nor bears, which he had to find in Finland, but rather pheasantries or preserves for boars. He gave tongue from some bird to some squirrel, and that all day long. In opposite to the terriers the hunting courage of these dogs was limited. An injured fox, which in addition to that could defend itself, was already his limit.

Therefore, the search for a suited Bulldog or a Molosser like dog started again. The Dogue de Bordeaux became more and more the ideal dog in my imagination. We contacted whole France, for getting a good pup. In Germany, some successful breeders existed too, of which Mr. Storch had some of the most beautiful specimen, I ever had seen. He won every show with his dogs. Therefore, we made an appointment and waited for a suited pup, unfortunately in vain. The most beautiful male of the world died of leukemia, and the female, not less attractive, was sterile. The contacts with French breeders took a similar course.

Soon the first Fila Brasileiros appeared on the shows, mighty, mastiff like dogs, which in spite of their weight showed a certain elegance and dancing gait. Again, we studied the available literature, in which the hunting abilities were emphasized repeatedly. The breed was known for its natural sharpness and of being able to realize a real threat, so that the Fila seemed to be the ideal dog for me. Soon I acquired a male and later a female. However, these dogs turned out to be a true nightmare. I was very disappointed and almost resigned, and thought again of the time with the hunting terriers. I wished to put an end to all speculations.

However, the first Pit Bull Terriers appeared in the Netherlands and sporadically in the north of Germany, together with some magazines. These magazines not only described the Pit Bull, but other dogs too, from Jack Russell, Patterdale to Alano, dogs, which developed parallel to the show strains. Such informed and inspired, I got my first Pit Bull, and now I understood Hauck again. These dogs combined the ability of the Hunting Terrier to strangle the prey and to catch boars with that of a true fighting dog. From the Patterdale to the Irish Stafford, from the Alano to the American Bulldog, they all were very far-off from the show type, however, with more consideration from the same attractive appearance, if not even more. About these dogs, from the small Boston Bulldog to the molossoid Tosa Inu, we want to tell and entertain you. With a hundred percent cynological knowledge, but worth reading for everyone, more often narrating, many of that from own experiences, investigated and from own knowledge in breeding.

When looking for information, we’d been surprised that there are so many efforts to breed successfully again healthy, intact Bulldogs, what they’d been before.



When the Emperor Claudine defeated the British Chieftain Caractus in the year 50 AD, Britain became a Roman province. At that time, so called “pugnaces” or wardogs were used for war, for contests in the amphitheatre and for the chase. These fighting dogs of Britain were known as the “broad-mouthed dogs of Britain”. There is no doubt that they were the original and remote ancestors of our Mastiffs and Bulldogs. The Romans sent considerable numbers of them from Britain to Rome to take part in the sports of the amphitheatre. It has been said that the Romans appointed a special officer to select the dogs. About 390, when the Western Roman Empire was beginning to decline, Claudian, the poet, mentioned the fighting dogs from Britain as dogs, which would differ from all the other dogs, being able to pull down a bull. When Alaric and his Goths sacked Rome in 410, the Roman garrisons were withdrawn from Britain and the country was left a prey to the Saxons.

In 1066, the Norman Conquest took place. The training of bulls, bears, horses and other animals for baiting them with dogs was practiced by jugglers, having come with the Norman conquerors to England. As early as Henry II time (1154), the baiting of bulls and bears was a popular amusement. Henry II had gained Bordeaux on the marriage with Eleanor of Aquitaine. This important town remained in the hands of the English until 1411. From 1356 to 1367 the Court of King Edward III with its attendant English sports of bull and bear baiting, was held at Bordeaux.

About 1406, in a treatise entitled the “Master of Game”[1], the Alaunt was described as a dog with a large, short and thick head and short muzzle, being remarkable for his courage, so that when he attacked an animal he hung on, and being used in bull baiting. This treatise was the translation of a work of Gaston Phoebus, the Comte de Foix, in which he had described the great French Alant, drawing a distinction between the AlantGentil and the Alant de Boucherie. Therefore the French Alant was a descendant of the English Alaunt, exported to Bordeaux, and in turn without any doubt the ancestor of the Dogue de Bordeaux, the huge fighting dog of the South of France.

At the time of Elizabeth I the baiting of bulls and bears with dogs was a very popular sport. There was a place built in the form of a theater, where the baitings took place.

It is known that Philip II introduced great numbers of English Alaunts into Spain, Cuba and Majorca for the purpose of the arena in 1556.

In 1576 Dr. Caius of Cambridge described the “Mastive” or “Bandogge”, which was without any doubt the direct descendant of the Alaunt, as a huge, stubborn, ugly and eager dog, with a heavy body, being able to “bait and take the bull by the ear”, two dogs at most being sufficient for that purpose, no matter how untamable the bull might be.

It was not until 1631, that the name “Bulldog” was first mentioned in England. There is a letter in the Record Office, which was written in 1631 in San Sebastian, Spain, by an Englishman called Prestwick Eaton to his friend George Wellingham in London, asking for a good “Mastive” dog and two good “Bulldoggs” to be sent out to him. This proves that Bulldog and Mastiff were then becoming separate breeds. It is also a fact that the export of Bulldogs continued from England to the sport-loving dons in Spain.

A Spanish plaque from Burgos of 1625 (right) shows a cropped dog, noticeably a large dog and noticeably a Bulldog, being much under hung, a big skull and a well laid back nose.

In 1840, Bill George imported a SpanishBulldog from Spain, which he called Big-Headed Billy. In 1868, Mr. Marquart brought over Bonhomme and Lisbon, and in 1873, Mr. Frank Adcock acquired Toro and Alphonse. All these five were termed as purebred Spanish Bulldogs. They were all exactly of that type depicted on the plaque of 1625. Big-Headed Billy was brindle-pied; Bonhomme was a brindle, Toro was a red brindle and Alphonse was of a rich fawn with a black mask and slight white markings. All these four dogs weighed exactly 90 lbs., while Lisbon, a brindle female, is said to have weighed slightly more than 90 lbs. Lisbon and Alphonse were both noted dogs in the arena of Spain. Toro had a 22 inch-skull, stood 22 inches at the shoulder and measured 2 ½ inches from the corner of the eyes to the tip of the nose. A very good, red Spanish Bulldog with a black mask was exhibited at the Royal Aquarium in 1896 and mistakenly entered as Dogue de Bordeaux. He had a good Bulldog head, with his nose well laid back and a very strong undershot, as was Mon. Rieu’s brindle dog of a fighting strain, whelped about 1900 and reputed to be a grand dog in the arena. This dog also weighed about 90 lbs, his height at the shoulders was 21 inches and he only measured two inches from the corner of the eyes to the tip of the nose. These large 90 lbs. Spanish Bulldogs were reasonably short in face and they had proper, crooked Bulldog tails. They all were cropped.

The Dogue de Bordeaux weighed about 120 lbs., its height at the shoulders was 25, 5 inches and the skull circumference was 26, 5 inches, the length of the face had a total of 3 inches. In many cases it had light eyes and a “dudley” nose, but in all cases only slight projection of undershot and a tail, which reached to the hocks. It represented the original English Alaunt as bred in England and Bordeaux from 1151 to 1411. The Spanish Bulldog only weighed about 90 lbs. and the length of the face had 2 ¼ inches. It had dark eyes, a black nose and mask, a powerful undershot, a moderately short, crooked-down tail and the Bulldog’s rolling gait. It represented the English Bulldog as bred from 1556 to 1649, when the Bulldog was just beginning to be a different dog from the Mastiff.

To our eyes, both the Dogue de Bordeaux and the Spanish Bulldog would appear of Mastiff type, however, the latter definitely less so than the former. This seems due to the fact that the English dogs, which came to Spain in 1556, were already much more of Bulldog type than the English dogs, which went to Bordeaux from 1151 to 1411; before the Bulldog and the Mastiff had begun to emerge from the Alaunt and to take definite shapes of their own.

The Spanish dogs, which Marquart and Adcock imported in the years from 1840 to 1873, were very massive though less than the Dogue de Bordeaux was, and exceedingly muscular and active, the ears were cropped closely. They all had black muzzles, very deep flews, large nostrils, a deep stop and furrow. They were moderately short in face and considerably under hung. They were well wrinkled, had a deep and muscular neck, very muscular shoulders, a thick and slightly bowed forearm, large feet, a deep and broad chest, round ribs and strong loins. There was a considerable fall at the shoulders, however, from that point the loins began to rise. The hindquarters were small, compared with the forequarters and considerably higher.

Bull Baiting

The baiting of animals may be traced back to an early period in English history. It was also a favorite form of amusement among the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans, as well as the people of other ancient nations.

During the Middle Ages, the sport of baiting was extremely popular by all classes of people in England. Great amounts of money changed hands in wagers on the outcome of these contests. Almost every town and village had its bullring. Bulls, bears, horses and other animals were trained for baiting.

In bull baiting the object the dog was required to perform was “pinning and holding”, i.e. “to seize the bull by the nose and then not to leave go the hold.” As the bull’s nose was his most tender part, he was rendered helpless, when seized by it. It had a collar about its neck that was fastened to a hook; that in turn was attached to a stake so the animal might turn around. The dog was trained to “play low”, keeping his own head close to the ground, or, if a larger specimen of the breed, would creep on his belly to avoid being above the bull’s horn when the bull attempted to use them to throw the dog into the air.

Bull baiting

Most of the dogs were so tenacious that they would hold on to the end and to be tossed of eventually rather than let go as the bulls swung them around violently. A great many dogs were killed, more had their limbs broken and some held so fast that by the bull swinging them, their teeth were often broken out. Often the men were tossed as well as the dogs.

Bull baiting took place in rope enclosures inside circular buildings, similar the old Roman amphitheaters. These were in turn surrounded by kennels built on scaffolding, safely away from the public.

In the course of the time, the dog owners began to recognize the necessity of altering the dog’s size and structure. The large mastiff-like dogs were built too heavily and too slow in the ring. Through judicious outcrosses, the Bulldog gradually evolved. The dog began to change shape with the bulk of his weight near the head so that when the bull shook him there was less chance of the dog’s back being broken. Of course, a scientific breeding program didn’t exist during the Middle Ages. The dog owners bred with individual specimens, which had to have a fierce, vicious and tenacious personality.

In many towns, the butchers were liable to a penalty if they sold the flesh of a bull in the market without having had the animal baited on the previous market day. The reason for this was that the flesh of a baited bull was considered more tender and nutritious than that of animals slaughtered without being submitted to this process.

In the old Court Roll of the Manor at Barnard Castle, it is stated, “no butcher shall kill any bull two years old upwards, unless first be brought to the ring and sufficiently halted.” The ring in Barnard Castle (fixed in a large stone, which was level with the pavement) was in the Market Place opposite the District Bank. A strain of bulldogs known as “Lonsdales”, named for Lonsdale, a butcher and publican, who lived at Barnard Castle about 1780, were in demand for many years.

In 1835, bull baiting was made illegal by an Act of Parliament. However, it continued occasionally until about 1853. Baits were held at Wirksworth as late as 1838 or 1840; the last bull-bait took place in Ashbourne in 1842 and in Lancashire in 1841 or 1842.

With the decline of bull baiting, the number of purebred Bulldogs began to diminish rapidly. They were occasionally to be obtained in London, Birmingham, and a few scattered places in the Black County.

Dog fighting, which succeeded bull baiting as a sport in public fancy, was also responsible for the diminishing number of purebred Bulldogs. Many breeders started to cross the Bulldog with the Terrier, because they felt that such a cross produced a better fighter.

Finally, in 1835, the bull- and bear-baiting as well as dog fighting was prohibited by law.

Following, by extract, an article on bear-baiting in the 17th century, published in the magazine “National Bulldogger”, in 1990.

Bear Baiting in the 17th Century

The main reasons historians of our breed are interested in studies of this type is because it helps us to understand and appreciate what went into the makeup of the original Bulldog who in turn passed his genes down to the modern utility Bulldog with the gameness intact.

From Nichols’ Progress

In 1559, the French Ambassadors were brought to Court with music to dinner, and after a splendid dinner, they were entertained with the baiting of bears and bulls with English dogs. The Queen’s grace herself and the Ambassadors stood in the gallery looking on the pastime till six at night.

The 26th, they took barge at Paul’s wharf, and so to Paris Garden (At bank-side, in Southwark, close to the Thames. It was also a playhouse), where there was to be another baiting of bulls and bears.

The 28th, the French Ambassadors went away, carrying with them many Mastiffs given them, for hunting their wolves.

In 1586, the Danish Ambassador was similarly entertained at Greenwich; “for upon a large green, where thousands might stand and behold with great contentment, there bear-baiting and bull-baiting were exhibited; whereat it cannot be spoken of what pleasure the people took,” …….. “their eyes full bent upon the present spectacle, diverse times expressing their inward conceived joy and delight, with shrill shouts, and variety of gesture.”

An order of Privy Council in 1591 prohibited the exhibition of plays on Thursdays, because on Thursdays bear-baitings and such like pastimes had been usually practiced.

Bear baiting Hudibras, Canto II

Stow, in his “Survey of London”, written in 1598, records that “There were two Bear Gardens, the Old and New: Places wherein were kept bears, bulls, and other beasts to be baited. As also Mastives, in their several kennels, are there nourished to bait them. These bears, and other beasts, are there baited in Plots of Ground scaffolded round for the beholders to stand safe.

Master of the Bear Garden

Edward Alleyn, the founder of Dulwich College, was a great actor, and rival of Burbage, who performed Shakespeare’s characteristics; he also was the proprietor of the Fortune Playhouse in the Whitecross Street, and, in partnership with Philip Henslow, owned a Bear Garden on the bank-side in Southwark, before he obtained the place of Master of the King’s Bears. Bear baiting was an amusement so much in fashion in Alleyn’s time that it afforded amusement and entertainment to people of all ranks, and his garden and appointment most likely yielded him a considerable portion of the money he accumulated.

He was not licensed, but was so well stocked, that when Sir John Darrington, the Master of Bears to Queen Elizabeth, was obliged to exhibit this game to her Majesty at short notice, he applied to Alleyn and Henslow for their assistance. The following is the copy of an advertisement from the Bear Garden, preserved among Alleyn’s papers:

“Tomorrow being Thursdaie, shal be seen at the bear garden on the Bank-side, a greate match plaid by the gamesters of Essex, who hath challenged all comers whatsoever, to plaie 5 dogges at the single beare, for 5 pounds; and also to wearie a bull dead at the stake; and for their better content, shall have pleasant sport with the horse and ape, and whipping of the blind bear “VIVAT REX” (Long live the King)

After the death of Sir John Darrington, the office “chief master, ruler, and overeer of all and singular his majesty’s games, of bears, and bulls, and mastive dogs, and mastive bitches,” was granted to Sir William Steward; who refusing to treat with Alleyn and Henslow for the house and bears on bank-side, they were induced to purchase his office of him, for the sake of procuring a license to bait them.

Whenever it was the King’s pleasure to entertain himself, or any of his royal visitors, with the game of bear baiting, it was the business of the master of the game to provide bears and dogs, and to superintend the baiting; and as this cruel sport destroyed a great number of the poor animals, he was invested with the most unlimited authority to issue commissions and to send his officers into every county of England, who were empowered to seize and take away any bears, bulls, or dogs, that they thought meet for his Majesty’s service. This arbitrary proceeding was little relished by the subjects; and the persons sent to take up dogs were frequently ill-treated and beaten. Some towns and whole counties, to avoid these disputes, made a composition with the master of the bears, to send up a certain number of Mastiff dogs yearly, upon condition that the commission should never come into their neighborhood.

The master of the bear garden in Queen Elizabeth’s time was allowed to have public baitings on Sundays in the afternoon; which liberty was taken away by James I. Alleyn complains much of this in a petition, which he presented to the King; in which he also prays for an increase in salary (1604).

Paul Hentzner, tutor to a young German nobleman, with whom he traveled in England, during 1598, in describing London, remarks,

“There is still another Place, built in the form of a Theatre, which serves for the baiting of Bulls and Bears; they are fastened behind, and then worried by great English Bulldogs; but not without great Risque of the Dogs, from the Horns of the one, and the teeth of the other; and it sometimes happens that they are killed upon the spot; fresh ones are immediately supplied in the place of those that are wounded or tired. At these Spectacles, and everywhere else, the English are constantly smoaling Tobacco. The general drink is Beer, strong, and what soon fuddles. They are good sailors, and better Pirates, - above 300 are said to be hanged annually at London.”


In 1631, the name “Bulldog” was first mentioned in England. There is a letter in the Record Office, which was written in 1631 in San Sebastian, Spain, by an Englishman called Prestwick Eaton to his friend George Wellingham in London, asking for a good “Mastive” dog and two good “Bulldoggs” to be sent out to him. Until this date different terms were used like Bandogge, Alaunt, Mastiff (Mastive) for those dogs, which were used for the popular baits (bulls, bears and so on). There was made no differentiation between the larger, mastiff-like and the smaller, bulldog-like dogs.