The Sportsman's Cyclopaedia: Comprising a Complete Elucidation of the Science and Practice of Hunting, Shooting, Coursing, Racing, Fishing, Hawking, Cockfighting, and Other Sports and Pastimes of Great Britain, Interspersed with Entertaining and Illustrative Anecdotes
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This book includes a description of bull baiting and bull dogs that were used for bull baiting. It is interesting to note that the author, writing in the 19th century, brings up some of the same issues relating to these bull baiting dogs that are now being discussed about their descendants, the pit bull breeds.
Johnson describes how these dogs were bred by a relatively closed sub-culture of coal miners, and when coal miners left an area, so did the "sport" of bull baiting and the bull dogs themselves.
The author notes that these dogs differ in temperament from all other dog breeds and relates an example of a bull dog turning viciously on its owner for no immediate reason.
Johnson also notes that bull dogs have a vicious and tenacious attack style that is very particular to the breed.
He notes that, in his time, the bull dog was becoming rare and would soon become extinct which he judged a good thing because these dogs were suited for no other job than that for which they had been bred.
He explains that they are useless for household protection because they launch silent attacks instead of sounding an alarm, and notes the silent attack style would be disastrous if they were to launch an attack on a child. He also mentions that when not attacking bulls, bull dogs tend to be lazy, and may not even wake to save a family from murderous intruders.
This is a big difference between the ancestor bull dog and the bull and terrier mixes that became pit bulls. With the infusion of the terrier temperament - often described as lively, bossy, feisty, scrappy, clever, independent, stubborn, persistent, impulsive, and intense, pit bulls lost the laid back, almost lazy, temperament away from the bulls.