Written by THE WATCHDOG
Not many families of dogs have had the constant re-interpretation the Bull Breeds have had. Since the first bulldog fell from the sky and took its first snort we’ve been fascinated and captivated by its command of one’s attention.
The newest cocktail from the bulldog blender comes in the form of a small package of nothing short of TNT. For a long time the choices for bull breeds in a 25-35lb travel size has been limited. Recent “designer breeds” like Puggles or Mini English have left the bull breed fancier at a loss for a TRUE bulldog. Adding non- bull breeds to the mix is like mixing salt into your coffee… the aroma is still there, but it tastes like crap!
This where the SHORTY BULL comes into play. You need look no further than these short-legged bulldozers on nitrous to find TRUE bulldog attitude and grit, mixed with some new style in a more bite-size package.
The Shorty combines some of the older bull breeds while focusing on unique characteristics and type to distinguish itself from the group. A Shorty shouldn’t be confused with another bulldog, but may share some colors from the bully palette. These little dynamos should have typical bulldog tenacity and vigor with added staying power from it’s more refined and re-worked chassis.
Urban apartment and condo dwellers will not be disappointed in their choice of this breed as a competent companion and guardian as the Shorty will possess a protective nature. Shortys have been worked by some in various working venues such as protection sport, agility, weight pulling and obedience. The temperament and drive of this dog would surprise those used to handling more diminutive breeds like Pugs or Bostons.
Its birth has been explosive and has gained momentum with every breeding. Several teams have emerged with goals of developing their own lines of Shorty Bulls. The drama that comes with any bull breed’s development is unlike any other group of dogs it seems, and lines are drawn on all sides…although one camp has solidified itself through hard work and a strong ideal of what the Shorty should be.
This camp is owned and operated by one of the 2 founders of the Shorty and surely the originator of the concept itself… Jaime Sweet of the long standing bull breed kennel known as BLUE RIVER BULLDOGS. With roots in bull breeds ranging from American Pit Bull terriers, American Bulldogs and Olde English Bulldogges BLUE RIVER has devoted blood, sweat & tears to their program. With an emphasis on WORKING temperament & ability coupled with bully looks, BLUE RIVER has developed their own signature style and swagger that many simply struggle to follow.
Jaime Sweet has carved the standard of the Shorty Bull into stone and strives for excellence with each step with strict emphasis on setting the breed apart from the pack. This is done by coupling a devoted registry set up to track & archive Shorty pedigrees called the BULL BREED COALITION (BBC) with testing and evaluation for Shortys under the BREED CAPABILITY TEST (BCAP- I, II and III). This infrastructure ensures the Shorty is not bred and sold merely for profit while degenerating like so many other bull breeds have. Keep an eye out for those breeding and promoting nothing more than pretty faces for top dollar without offering testing to monitor quality.
BLUE RIVER sets the bar continually with top notch breedings that are planned in advance to promote type and temperament. The Shorty needs to be handled by someone who’s not afraid to get their hands dirty….These aren’t yorkies! Constant observation of progeny and breeding stock is needed and knowledge of bulldog development and husbandry is paramount. Not all Shortys will develop into qualified breeding stock and culling dogs from a breeding program is important.
Contributions from outside programs are approved by BLUE RIVER directly before they can carry the Shorty Bull name. Using unrelated stock in the gene pool keeps diversity and vigor in the breeding stock available.
The Shorty Bull should be a stout, small bully…but never fragile. The grit should be evident and even youngsters show a cocky swagger from the minute they leave the whelping box. The Shorty is a low rider but is capable of short flights in an effort to capture any flirt pole or bite tug. Firm training will keep these beasts in order.
With its Bull Breed ingredient list, this breed is a blend of the best qualities of each while striving to overcome some of the congenital and structural set-backs afflicting it’s bully cousins. There’s fire in the belly of every Shorty BLUE RIVER builds.
The ever expanding color palette brings shades of fawns, reds, chocolates, black, white, pieds and brindles in all shades. Color should never be a factor in breeding good Shortys, but there’s something for everyone in this cookie jar.
The Official Breed standard has been carefully laid out by the Bull Breed Coalition and it describes the attributes of a TRUE Shorty. While other clubs & organizations have sprung up, the BBC maintains the highest qualifications for Shorty development. Shows with BBC sanctioned judges will showcase the cream of the crop in the conformation ring and the working field. Some registries will piggy-back on the tails of other registries to carry their shows and rely on the forums of others to promote themselves, but the BBC stands alone to ensure the Shorty is its SOLE focus with a qualified team appointed by Jaime Sweet herself.
Small dogs, in general, don’t enjoy the rough play of children sometimes… the possibility of injury is unfortunately a problem for many small breeds, but not the Shorty. These sturdy bullys have the nuts & bolts to be a play partner for the kids and have a temperament suitable for family environments. If Dennis the Menace lives at your house, he may have met his match in the Shorty Bull!
The Shorty will surely take its rightful place alongside the American companion breeds. The development will continue as long as dedicated bulldoggers like BLUE RIVER keep their eye on the prize. Striking like bolts of bulldog lightening will be a breed that commands respect from the rest of the pack and bulldozes its way into the hearts of dog lovers from all corners of the world.
Some bull breeds have been described as “dogs of velvet & steel”. I feel this encompasses the ideal of the Shorty in that beneath an exterior of loving softness and wet smooches beats the heart of a lion with an electricity which flows out from the leash and cannot be ignored…you’ll see this phenomena when you walk your first Shorty… make no mistake.
The future is now…and SMALL is the new big!
INFORMATION ABOUT THE BULL BREED COALITION, THE BREED CAPABILITY TESTS AND THE BBC CAN BE FOUND ON THE WEBSITE WWW.BULLBREEDCOALITION.COM