The Bullenbeisser, also called the German Bulldog was known for its strength and agility. The breed was closely related to the Barenbeisser (some believe that the two breeds were same, names meaning “bull-biter” and “bear-biter” respectively) and the Boxer. It was all in its aspects similar to the present Spanish Bulldog and alike to the Dogo Argentino, both in aspects and usage. There existed two different varieties: the Brabanter Bullenbeisser and the Danziger Bullenbeisser. But now this breed is extinct.
The Bullenbeisser became extinct by the crossbreeding, not by the decadence of the breed, as it happened with the Old Time Bulldog. The size of the Bull Biters varied from about 40 to 70 cm by 1850; the smaller lived in Netherlands and Belgium while the bigger in Germany. In the late 1870s, the German breeders Roberth, Konig and Hopner used the dog to create a new breed, called the Boxer. The German breeders started crossing their dogs with all kinds of Bulldogs and Boxers, which produced an undistinguishable breed after World War II. A large quantity of German blood was used to create the Boxer dog because of the wish to eliminate the excessive white colour of the breed. Also there was a necessity of producing thousands of dogs for one of the most popular breeds in the world.
Present day “Bullenbeisser Generation”
Bullenbeisser generation is a name for those still existing dog breeds which have been developed partly out of the Bullenbeisser breed. They have some Bulldog genes but their appearance and use are similar to the original Bullenbeisser. These breeds started to gain great popularity, except those of the Spanish Bulldog which became extinct in 1980’s.
The proportions of the Bullenbeisser bloodlines vary much between the different breeds. While 70% of the Boxer’s genetic heritance comes from the Bullenbeisser and the 30% from the Bulldog, the American Pit Bull Terrier is the only pure direct descendant of the Bullenbeisser.
Judging by the appearance and over-all breed type, the closest present-day descendants are the Argentine Dogo (along with the Latin American Dogo breeds) and Spanish Bulldog. The original Cordoba Fighting Dog- the progenitor of the Argentine Dogo- was a cross between the Boxer, Bull Terrier, Bulldog and some kind of mastiff. The Guatemalan Dogo is a mixture of the Boxer, Bull Terrier and Dalmatian and the Boerboel descends from a cross-breeding between the Bullenbeisser, Bullmastiff and Great Dane.
Typical characteristics of Bullenbeisser descendants:
- Short coat
- Upper lips partially fall over the jaws
- Wide and strong jaws with a great bite force
- Large muscles
- Great agility and strength
- Molosser type
- Medium size (except the Great Dane)
- Good guardian and the family companion
- Genetic tendency (except the Boerboel)