English Bull Terrier (EBT) and influence in gamedogs: American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) and Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier (ISBT)
This chapter discloses some of the history and lift some of the mysterious shrouds. Especially the English Bull Terrier is focus of this chapter, since the English Bull Terrier definitely had a lot of terrier influence and was used as a battlecross in gamedogs both in Europe and in the USA. This chapter as such also discloses why Gamedogs are hard to justify as pure Bulldogs.
Jim Powell's mix
Most interesting was that Jim Powell, once a renowned dog man, was using half bull terrier half Boston terriers (note that the old type of Boston Terriers were small game pit dogs themselves!) for matches. I wonder if some of his dogs worked their way into today's gamedog gene pools (it is a known fact that the fighting Boston Terrier also known as Round Headed Bull & Terrier of Boston was crossed with his cousin the APBT many times during the time both breeds were fought)?
The story behind Walter Komosinski's dogs: a tale of English Bull Terriers and Gamedogs
Walter was born in Poland. He left home at the age of 13 to join the circus in Germany. He came to the U.S. when he was around 20, and was introduced to the dog game when he met George Armitage, who lived near him. Walter worked in the coal mines near Pittsburg. Lacking a formal education, he went to night school to advance himself. He passed an I.C.S course to become a safety foreman.
At this time, George Armitage had a dog called BING, that he couldn't get matched advertised in his book. Armitage boasted that Bing was the best in the country. Walter had a young dog called JUMBO. These were catchweight dogs. Walter didn't feel his dog was ready for BING. but, with a little persuasion and a few drinks, a match among friends was set up. But, when Walter arrived at the pit, he felt like he was in big trouble. In the other corner stood Harry Clark, and Jack Ward along with Armitage. It so happened that they got the surprise of their life when JUMBO won in one hour, thirty five minutes when they picked BING up. Walter had a friend, John Roofner, who had a dog called BROWNIE. (pit weight 43lbs.) They set up a match with George Saddler, a great-great dog man from Mississippi. Roofner was an amateur, but BROWNIE won. Saddler bounced back, only to be beaten again, and yet again a third time. This third match went over three hours.
Roofner then gave BROWNIE to Walter, who built his whole yard around him. All Walter's dogs were line bred on BROWNIE, and by 1970 all Walter's dogs were white. Some say he mixed the White Bull Terrier in, but regardless, they were some of the best dogs around. Komosinski's MUTT was sold to Ozzie, who bred him to a granddaughter of Cotton's BULLET. Out of the litter of four, one was given to Walter. The others (Ozzie's Radar, Bryan's Joker, and Bryan's Lulu) were absolutely outstanding bulldogs. They could all hold their own with the best dogs of that day.
Walter had an 85 acre farm, with three treadmills in the barn. Any Sunday that I dropped in on him, the dogs would be running all three mills full blast. Walter bred and always had plenty of dogs. But you could never get one from him unless he knew you were a good dog keeper. Walter was one tough cookie. When he was 80 years old, he stopped a dog belonging to a man named Livingston in 14 minutes. Livingston took offense to Walter's stopping his dog in such a short time, so he started roughing up Walter's other dogs as he left the barn. Walter warned him twice. Then Walter let him have it with an uppercut, knocking Livingston back about eight feet. As Livingston was getting up, Walter quickly took off his glasses, folded them in his pocket, and came in fast, hitting Livingston with a right and dropping him again. This time I stepped between the men, I grabbed Livingston to hold him back, but I didn't need to because he didn't want anymore. I was afraid for Walter because of the age difference. Walter was 80, Livingston was 38. Walter probably had the best dog houses in the country. They were made out of oak 2x4's and 4x4's, completely sealed with roof coating, and covered with galvanized roofs. Walter continued to match dogs until he was approaching 87 years of age. He won the last three matches he had before he died. He won over Texas Ron and Big Brad at 54lbs. males. Ron handled a hell of a dog from Texas, a stifle dog with a good mouth. But Walt's dog, HERO was one step better. HERO was a grandson of the MUTT dog. Match time was about 43 minutes. Walter also beat a son of ZEBO out of Rocco's CHERRY BOMB. When Walter took sick with circulatory and heart problems, he knew he wasn't going to make it. He instructed his neighbor Stanley to do away with all his dogs (he would no other to have his dogs so he ordered extermination of his line).
Walter died January 30, 1983 at age 88. Walter Komosinski was said to have extensively used a EBT stud in his line. I have read that Walter had a game English Bullterrier and that he used that dog heavy in his program and he produced well.
While Komosinski's Jeff looks like an APBT he could also easily pass as a dog with EBT in him due to his body style and feet. Who knows how many other pit strains have EBT blood? Komosinski had game dogs, some wonder what they really were. They were usually white dogs, with or without patches, usually undershot, and looking very "bully". By most accounts, you could tell one of his dogs by site alone. As far as I know, he kept where he got most of the dogs, a secret. According to those who knew his dogs, the dogs were very good performers.
Frisco sport (USA)
Sport was one of the best dogs in his day, an epitome in hybrid vigour. He was bred by A.E. Betts and in his early days was called the champion forty seven pound dog of the Pacific Coast. Later in life Sport was owned by the McClintock brothers, and also by F.L. Dunable. His battle record follows:
- 1 - On June 2 1912 Sport won over Parish's Matador of Daley City
- 2 - On July 21 1912 Sport defeated Harry Houseman's Clement, which was a 2xW
- 3 - Between July and Dec.1912, Sport killed Dayton's Big Boy of North Beach
- 4 - On Dec. 3 1912 Sport stopped Bannister's Prince of Western
- 5 - On Jan. 25 1913 in San Francisco Sport defeated Cardner's Tiger 7xw for a $ 250.00.
- 6 - Between Jan. and Sept 1913, the Pool Room Dog, Bismark of Powell Street was killed by Sport in San Francisco
- 7 - On Sept.17 1913, In a private match for a 300 dollar on Sport stopped the San Mateo Crackerjack Smokeball in 49 min.
- 8 - On March 13 1914 defeated the soldier's dog of the Presidio who was claimed the winner of 14 battles and was shipped from the East. The soldier stopped the fight and the actual time is not known.
- 9 - On Jan.10 1915 defeated Dr. Sand's Spot a 55 pounder in 1.15 for a $ 500.00.
- 10 - On Sept.15 1915, in a private tryout Sport stopped Red Nobby in 40 min.
After the death of Frisco Sport, he was brought to the cemetery by a undertaker's carriage, followed by rows of enthusiasts.
While we are on the subject of theories, it is in my opinion, that This dog "Frisco Sport" and also dogs bred just like him entered the gene pool of the APBT and other Bull&Terrier lines. Frisco, a cross between an English bullterrier and an APBT was unbeaten, and made his owner's very, very rich! It is highly probable that not only was this dog retired at stud and mated to every bitch in the area, but also other crossings of this sort were done to achieve similar results.
Frisco Sport (10xw)
Barnum x Nellie Vernon
In the book "Thirty Years With Fighting Dogs" George Armitage told he was half English Bull Terrier half Pit Bull terrier
Could you imagine that after this dog had earned so much money, in working the box and by stud service that dog men were queueing around the block to get on the waiting list for Frisco's services. This is why I think the English bullterrier might played a small, but for some lines very significant roll in the make up of the breed we know today as the modern Bull&Terrier (APBT and Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier). Many people disagree with us and for good reasons of their own, but I think this evidence is enough to make it at least likely. The use of English bullterrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross is very common. In Ireland working dog men have been doing this mix for a very long time. Although on it's own the English Bull Terrier is on average not spectacular (to be complete: especially in former Russian countries some EBT have performed in the pit against APBT; especially on short matches they have sometimes came across as victor), some sort of magic (hybrid vigour) seems to (occasionally) occur when they are crossed with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier (of working lines). This has also resulted that even the most renowned Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier line (the Northford/ Psycho line) share some of the English Bull Terrier influences, although this is obtained by the infusion of a very, very small average percentage of EBT blood.
Champion Stormer (England) (English bull terrier/Irish staffordshire bull terrier)
Stormer was probably one of the best English match dogs ever fought. Stormer was a battle cross resulting from breeding an English Bull terrier bitch and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier ("pit bull terrier") dog. Stormer's record is impressive. The only criticism that people make, is that he didn't produce anything. Not surprising for a hybrid (see hybrid part below). Stormer is particularly famous for beating Ricky B's infamous champion Psycho (an impressive gamedog and a great producer).
Stormer's first outing was into an English bull terrier Stormer was around 46lb & going 17lb up hill, this wasn't regarded as a match, but Stormer did won in 17 mins.
First bona fide match, was against "Jingles' Stormer" (note: another dog with the then popular name Stormer) at 46lb, going 7lb up hill, wins in 58 mins. Rematch "Jingles' Stormer" dies in 17 mins. Then Stormer fought "Spock" and wins in 2hrs 26mins. Then Stormer beat "Josh" in 1hr27mins (44lb) and beat "CH Psycho" in 1hr 3mins at 43lb of weight. In Stormer's final match he beat "Buzz" in 1 min52secs.
Stevie B's Ch Stormer was however never successfully mated with any Staffords and cannot be said to ever have formed a strain. The only successful mating was with an APBT from Reid's Skipper called "Tess", which produced only 4 pups. When you ask the previous owners of the Stormer dog they will tell you that no Stafford was ever successfully mated with this dog.
Match report of a classic match. Stormer versus psycho.
Ricky B's Champion Psycho.
Champion "Psycho" was bred by Gerry Allen of Cork in the Irish Republic. His sire was Allen's "Major" a very nice looking dog, with a white coat and black patches over both eyes. His dam was Allen's "Molly", a sister to Allen's "Major". Their bloodline extends back to some outstanding dogs including, Allen's (Hegarty's) "Geronimo", Hegarty's "Lance", Hegarty's "Cork Rose" and many others. From the same breeding Gerry Allen got three pups, two males and a female. The other male was called Allen's "Bruce", a white dog who died from an illness at about a year of age. The female was called Hanlon's "Rahora Lass", a white bitch with a black patch over her left eye. She was a very small bitch, weighing under 30lbs and ultimately ended up on the yard of P Murphy who also had the "Stormer" dog. "Psycho" was the third pup and was white in colour with blue patches on his head and thigh. Tony Lee got "Psycho" for the owner before Stevie B when he was about a year old and I gave him his name in order to reflect his wild nature. He fought 5 contracted matches, winning four and losing one and in between time had 9 off-the-chain rolls for money and won all of them. The one loss of his career was to M & C's "Stormer" made at 43lbs tops and lasting just over the hour mark. During the time that the owner before Stevie B owned Ch "Psycho" he was only ever bred to two bitches. The first was Lee's "Cykes" a very good one-time loser in 1.30 and a daughter of Lee's "Cribb" and Barraskill's "Cindy". This mating produced two very good males, Lee's "Mac" who died at about a year old and Lee's Max" a very good one-time loser in 2.20. Lee's "Max" sired some extremely good dogs including, Farmers Boys "Jocko" and Carroll's "Sally". The second female that was bred to Ch "Psycho" produced nothing and any subsequent breeding was undertaken by the Farmers Boys and Stevie B. Unfortunately Psycho was sold to a new owner who matched him against Stormer who was a top fighter and one of the hardest hitting dogs of all times. He lost in 1 hour and 3 minutes.Worse was to come because whilst chained up he was killed by his son Moonshine, when there was an accidental kennel fight. He left behind a great legacy of his offspring which continue to produce excellent results, so the blood line is still intact. Psycho was Ireland's first official Ch recognized by the p.b.a.& the s.d.j. he was owned by Ricky Bernard for his first 4 matches: beat McC's "rocky" in 37mins (Psycho's first match was against C. Mc.C's Rocky a two time winning dog who was going for his championship; the match was held at 40lbs top, with T. Lee acting as referee; Psycho won in 37 minutes). Beat Chesters"nero"in 1hr2mins (Psycho's second match was against Bo & Chester's Nero; match held at 40lbs top; T. Lee acted as referee and Nero was picked up 1hr 02mins; winner Psycho). Rematch against the same dog won in 1hr51mins (Psycho's third was a rematch against Bo & Chester's Nero; other party wanted the match at 42lbs; at the weigh-in both dogs were under 40lbs; "John-the-dog" of London refereed and Psycho won his championship in 1hr 51mins). Beat declan g's "sam"in 29mins (Psycho's fourth was against Declan Gilling's Black Sam a very hard biting one-time winner; match was held at 42lbs top; Sam wouldn't scratch at 29 minutes making Ch. Psycho the winner). Psycho was then sold to stevie b & renamed "hagler". Matched into Stormer, Stormer wins in 1hr3mins by owner pick up (Psycho's fifth was against Murphy & Cooper's Stormer, with the match being held at 43lbs top; Boston Blacky of Bronson Kennels acted as referee; Ch. Psycho weighed in at 40 1/4lbs and Stormer the bigger dog at 42lbs; Stormer had the best of the later half of the match and Stevie B picked Ch. Psycho up at 1hr 03mins; making Stormer the winner). To analyze Psycho's only loss, from the fifty five minute mark "Stormer" did it all, but "Psycho" never quit. after the match, Furthermore, the referee, an American Pit Bull Terrier breeder by the name of Boston Blackie, is reported to have said about "Psycho" that if he were to have one of these dogs he'd have one out of him. Although he was picked up against Stormer, Psycho got his reputation as being and excellent producer. Being a good producer (meaning being able to produce dogs that also win matches) is as important to "dog men" as winning matches, or to say it in other words a dog that allows you to win in the present and helps you to keep on winning in the future.
Ricky B's Ch Psycho was a 1/16th English Bull Terrier (EBT) as both Rowdy and Kilwickie lad were straight crosses. The result of the Rowdy x Kilwickie Lad mating resulted in the late Tom Haughey's North Star, which you can find in Ch Psycho's 5th generation and in a litter brother called "Blunder's Lad" that went to Gerry McIntyre the brother of Jerome who once owned the Irish Black Jack dog.
The Bull terrier influence in Psycho is 6.25% and it comes for 50% from a dog named Killwickie Lad, who was a proven worker. Staffords and Bullterriers have a very similar origin. Its also common knowledge that all white Bull terriers used to suffer from deafness due to the heavy inbreeding that started the breed. To correct this problem they needed an influx of new genes. So the Bull terriers where extensivly crossed with the closely related Staffordshire Bull terrier in the early 20th century, also giving rise to multicoloured Bull Terriers. So I cant see that the Bull Terrier genes in Psycho making a big difference! Its nothing else than proven game "bull and terriers" that builded the Psycho lines geneticall make up! Since Psycho was a 1/16th, by mating him to stafford bitches it would dilute the small amount of EBT blood in that line and it raises the question : when can a breed be considered to be "pure bred"? The definition of Purebred is by websters as following: "Of or belonging to a recognized strain established by breeding individuals of unmixed lineage over many generations." How many generations would it take to be considered a "Pure" breed? Bruce Cattanagh a geneticist and Boxer breeder has done Corgi to Boxer crosses to get the tailess gene. The Kennel Club has accepted the fifth generation on the breed register (5th generation equals 1/32nd). Now I'm sure that unless new infusion of EBT blood is made the Northford/ Psycho strain would even fall under this definition of the Kennel Club (purebreed show standards), but I'm sure that some would oppose my view on this.
If some of you SBT breeders/enthusiast would like to talk in a degenerative way about the Northford/Psycho strain for not being "pure" SBT, please have in mind that important men in the SBT like Bill Boylan and other old timers have admitted in their later years that they lied about the pedigrees of the dogs as the Kennel Club demanded that they had a written ped so they could be admitted into the KC, and the fact that virtually no written pedigree existed prior of the breed being recognized into the KC. Here is an example: Vic Crew's dog "Burrage Mefisto" was out of Brinstock Attraction, Sired by Brigand's Gunner. Gunners sire and Dam were Tackle x Ch. Lady Eve and Attraction's Sire was Game Laddie Sired by Game Lad, the pedigree beyond this point was listed as Billston Bill x Sedgley Queen and the remaining sections were blank. Now the interesting part, in the beginning of the 80's, Mr Boylan claimed in a interview that it was common practise that local towns and districts would be linked up with imaginary names of dogs, like Billston Bill, Darlaston Biddy and Sedgely Queen, he also claimed that the pedigree of Game Lad was made up in precisely that manner and was registered in the KC with that faked ped. If you consider the more rare Irish "Flynn" Strain as a pure breed, what makes it any different than the Psycho dogs? The Lynchauhaun dog that F. Gordon had was from dubious background and had no written pedigree at all as he was stolen in the UK by a sailor and sold to F. Gordon. Says a bit about any credibility of pedigrees of the early dogs and these dogs could have had just as much EBT blood in them as Ricky B's Ch Psycho, which bring us back to the question, when can a breed be considered to be pure bred?
Kilwilkie lad (Stafford male) * (English bull terrier bitch)
This is a tale by Barry Ligget from the 1960's when life was much different and far less complicated for working dogs and their owners. In those not-so-far-off days the Irish Kennel Club organised working trials for Terriers in two distinct categories, "Strong Dogs" and "Sounders". Both were tests against live quarry - the Badger. Both were well organised in a sportsmanlike manner and both took place with very strict rules and under public scrutiny. "Kilwilkie Lad" was a "Strong Dog", a first rate Badger dog. Supreme in many trials, hegained a host of awards but was equally at home working out in the field, in natural conditions. My grandfather, James Creaney, was at a hunt in Southern Ireland with the Terrier Club. They had a great days sport, and as they often did, stopped at a pub on their way home to enjoy a pint and to discuss the days events. The pub was in Dundalk, a working dog stronghold, and my grandfather was offered a Staffordshire bitch. He would never buy on impulse, he was a market dealer by trade, and he would wait and haggle. But anyway, he bought the bitch and, bringing her home that night, kenneled her in the yard. Two weeks later the club were out locally and James tried the bitch, but she showed no interest at all, and he thought that he'd been caught with a 'dud' dog. Weeks passed, until one day at a market being held at a local fair, he spotted a lad with an English Bull Terrier. Naturally enough, he engaged the youth in conversation to find out all that he could about the dog and discovered that it was a full bred pedigree dog, which belonged to the boys mother. James made it his business to go and see her about having a service for his bitch and the woman agreed, asking a small fee instead of the usual pup from the litter. In due time the Stafford bitch whelped eight pups, most of which were purchased by other club members. Harry, my grandfathers brother, ended up with the last of the pups and took it home to his wife Annie, who looked after it and treated it like a child of the house. As time passed the dog grew strong and powerful, and James and his friend Ned took it out to see if it would kill rats. The dog was almost two years of age and had a great temperament. Anyway, They put Harry's dog into a barrel with two live rats and it made no attempt to kill them. I have heard it said, that a terrier that doesn't kill rats isn't much of a dog, but certainly in this case that proved to be a load of rubbish. James and Ned, probably disappointed, took the dog back home to Harry. Two months later the club were out hunting and Harry was there with the dog, and you can be sure that he had to endure a great deal of taunting and comment over the strong dog that wouldn't kill a rat. Such news travelled fast in the working dog world. As the day progressed, two foxes were dug out and Harry was offered the chance to start his dog on one of them. He entered the dog with the club members all watching and the dog took a hold on the fox at the head and immediately killed it outright. The members were amazed and silenced to see what had happened and the dog drew the dead fox from the earth, refusing to part with his prize. With great difficulty, he was eventually removed from the carcass and during the whole process he had made no sound at all. Later, this was to become his hallmark and during his whole career Harry never once heard the dog make any sound while working. This, of course, meant that he was ideally suited for the strong dog trials.
As the name suggests, the trials for "Sounders" were a contest for the more usual, earth working, baying Terriers. While being tried these dogs had to continually give tongue, to stop doing so was to fail the test. But for the "Strong Dogs", catch dogs really, the reverse applied. They had to enter the earth and remain, working all the time but never making the slightest sound while doing so. If they also succeeded in drawing the Badger from the earth, then so much the better. It was a test of sheer gameness before the mighty Badger. "Patch" or more formally, "Kilwilkie Lad" won many cups, trophies and certificates. He was entered as a full bred dog, for the trials, organised by the Irish Kennel Club, were for the benefit of pedigree dogs rather than cross breeds. When it was discovered that "Kilwilkie Lad" was an English Bull/Stafford cross he was barred from taking any further part.But he had made his name by then and brought honour and fame to all that were involved with him. It was the end of his Trial career, but he continued to work naturally for many years, until he was retired to enjoy his leisure at home. Many people sought the service of the famous dog and many bitches were brought to him, but unfortunately he never sired a single pup. He spent his remaining years in comfort, honoured and pampered as one of the family, and it is a fact that game dogs adapt so well to such treatment and enjoy and revel in their place of honour. The tale of "Kilwilkie Lad" has a sad and mysterious ending. "Patch" had grown old and sick and could hardly walk, and Harry had let the dog out of the house to lie in the garden. He was never seen again! Somehow, he had left the confines of the garden and vanished. Harry searched for many weeks but no trace of him was ever found and the circumstances of his disappearance have remained a mystery ever since. Harry still has very fond memories of his tremendous dog and shows great pride each and everytime he talks about his old warrior favourite - "Kilwilkie Lad" (In respect of this article and its references to badger drawing, it is worth pointing out that at these trials the badgers were returned or released unharmed after the days events were completed. The Irish Kennel Club, which organised the trials at the time, ensured that this was the case. In our view, events such as these which were held in public and subject to close scrutiny and regulation, were actually what they purported to be.... a sport) "Yankee" Notes , I read the story on your site by Barry Ligget about the Kilwickie Lad dog and would like to make a correction to this fine story . The Kilwickie Lad dog when mated to the late Tom Haugheys bitch "Rowdy" produced two of the gamest ever in Haugheys "North Star" who is behind the "Psycho" dog , and in the same litter was the equally famous dog "Blunders Lad" owned by Jerry Mc Intyre. Jerry is a brother to Jerome who owned the "Barney" dog and other great working dogs like "Lance" who was a son of the "Howdy"(Red Hand) and a Wheaten bitch. I did correct this mistake when the story appeared in the Earth dog magazine some years ago. As reported by "A TRUTHSEEKER"
Source: Sporting Dog Bull Terrier Times
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