Club Breed History
Back in 1966 Bull Terriers were not being shown in Queensland in sufficient numbers to justify approval for the formation of a Speciality Club for the breed. Consequently a few enthusiasts got together with some counterparts with Staffordshire Bull Terriers, who were in a similar situation and it was decied to seek approval for a combined Club. This was granted on 1st April 1967.
Progress of The Bull Terrier Club of Queensland has continued since 1986, when the Club became a Specialiast Club in its own right. Membership continues to grow and finances are in a healthy condition, due to the efforts of the stalwarts of the Club.
We continue to use specialist and Overseas Judges for our Championship Shows. The club produces a magazine - "The Gladiator", of a high standard and this is distributed to members and clubs in all States and to several overseas destination.
The Bull Terrier Club of Queensland Inc has become synonymous with Hereditary Disease Testing. Whether this is perceived as a good thing or a bad things this still appears to be the case.
In 1997 the Bull Terrier world was shocked to discover that several major stud dogs were effected by one of the five, now designated herediatry diseases - Heart, Patella, Deafness, Polycystic Kidneys, Nephritis Kidney Disease and Lens Lxation (Bull Terrier Miniature only). The result being sheer devasatation and disbelief.
Some breeders panicked, whilst others stuck there heads on the sand, some Bull Terriers were effected, some weren't, the effects appeard to be unreal with 65% of Bull Terriers in Queensland that were tested had failed. Breeders were of mixed feelings of what to do. Some just didn't want to know about the problems, and others faced these problems head on.
Many breeders in the Bull Terrier Club of Queensland Inc decided that if there was to be a breed left, something had to be done. 'Specialists' were consulted and testing began almost immediately. Many Bull Terrier owners in some way were forced to face many problems that their dogs may have had. A hereditary disease-fighting fund was established to assist members with their initial testing.
The biggest move that was made by the Club would be the Hereditary Disease explosion, and there is no doubts the Bull Terrier Club of Qld made a statement to all other clubs of the world. We are the only club to have adopted stringent by-laws regarding hereditary disease testing for the designated diseases. To be a member of our Club you must obey the by-laws that state unless the animal is within the strict guidelines of testing, carried out by recognised club specialists - the animal is not to be bred from. These rules first came into effect in July 1997 and have been amended accordingly.
A lot of critisism was received from other clubs and breeders regarding our hard stance pertaining to the rules, but we as a Club are happy to say it is the best thing that we ever did. We suffered an initial decline in membership, which quicly recovered and has continued to go from strength to strength ever since.
In 1999 the club held an All Breeds Seminar on Hereditary Diseases, Reproduction and Nutrition. The Cllub flew vets from Western Australian and New South Wales to speak on these topics. A hearing specialist from the Qld University also came along with a B.A.E.R. test machine and tested ten dogs for deafness. All monies that day went to the Qld University for animal research.
We have also assisted in the testing of over 400 Bull Terriers from which valuable information and data has been obtained. Results of some findings have also been published. The Bull Terrier Club of Queensland Inc has set the precedent and it would be good to see conformity across all the states to some degree. To date this club has found that the general public is very pleased with the way members are testing all breeding stock and they now look for tested parents before purchasing a puppy.
The quality of our upcoming youngster's is very encouraging. Many of them being the fourth generation tested normal. Compulsory testing is a commonsense approach for healthy Bull Terriers. After all, shouldn't the importance be placed upon the Breed and not the 'caretakers' of the breed?
*Amended BY-LAYS January 2008 - Compolsary Testing has been changed to Voulantary Testing.
TODAYS BULL TERRIER
The Bull Terrier of the 21st century has come a long way from the fighting pits, where they were used for bull baiting and dog fighting. Today's Bull Terrier and Miniature Bull Terrier are now used as companions for all ages. Even though he still has the strong and wilful personality, his main aim in life is to be human company.
He is still the gladiator of the canine race, but today's Bull Terrier would rather curl up on the lounge, just to be with you and be part of everything you do. So if you want a dog to sit out in the back yard and do nothing, a Bull Terrier is not for you.
The fact is that no two people will interpret the standard in exactly the same way, hence the vast difference in the size, shape and weight of pedigree Bull Terriers.
Although the appearance of the Bull Terrier is still, strongly-built, muscular and well balanced, the head is the main feature that sets this breed apart from all other breeds. To breed the unique egg-shaped head, as described in the standard, still represents a major challenge for breeders today to perfect. In most cases, when a breeder is finally satisfied with the head shape that has been produced, they are often disappointed by the final placement of the teeth, usually ending in a reverse scissor bite. This is one of the reasons why the numbers of Bull Terriers in the show ring has declined. The same cannot be said about the popularity with the general public. The breed has continued to be popular with young and old, but is still misunderstood by a few. The breed is often blamed or accused of wrongful doings - often because of their name or even the colour of their coat. The Club has endeavoured to educate the general public by participating in Pet Expos and Fun Days in the Park where people have a chance to meet and interact with this people-loving breed.
The Bull Terrier Club of Qld. Inc, has become synonymous with Hereditary Disease Testing of this breed, which has seen a dramatic increase in healthy puppies being housed with the general public. The Club has shown the rest of the world what can be achieved if strict breeding practices are adhered to. The five designated diseases targeted by the Club are Polycystic Kidneys, Nephritei, Kidney Disease, Patella, Heart Disease, Deafness and Lens Luxation in Miniature Bull Terriers. Since inception of testing in 1997, Polycystic Kidney Disease has not been found for the last two years. The other four diseases, although still present in the breed, have greatly declined.