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Blue Paul Terrier
Scozia4-bluePaul terrier.jpg
Other namesScottish Bull Terrier
Blue Poll
Blue Poll Bulldog
Breed statusExtinct
Height 14 to 20 in (36 to 51 cm)
Weight 45 lb (20 kg)
Coat Smooth
Colour Dark blue, some brindle and red
Dog (domestic dog)

The Blue Paul Terrier, also known as the Blue Poll, is believed to be a mixed breed of dog, probably the result of bull and terrier crosses that originated in the early to mid-1800s after blood sports were made illegal, and clandestine pit fighting was emerging as a popular sport. The actual origins of the dog are unknown, and while a few unproven theories have been published about the dog, they are based on anecdotes. Author David Harris described the dog as "Scotland's elusive Bull Paul (or Poll)–the one that got away."[1]


The Blue Paul Terrier's origins are "shrouded in uncertainty".[1] The few theories that have been published over the years are based on anecdotes and fables, but the nature of it being a distinct variety is disputed. In A History And Description of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain and Ireland (1894), author Rawdon B. Lee wrote that breedings of correctly marked Black and Tan Terriers occasionally produced "blue or slate-coloured terriers".

 Mr. Thomson Gray, in his "Dogs of Scotland," mentions a dog called the Blue Paul, and earlier writers had also drawn attention to the same animal. I certainly refuse to acknowledge him as a variety, and consider him identical with the "blue terrier" bred from "black and tans."

 —Rawdon Briggs Lee[2]

Lee further explained that some of the "specimens described may have been larger, stronger, and generally coarser than a perfect black and tan terrier ought to be, but such is not sufficient distinction to make them a distinct variety."[2]

One story of the Blue Paul Terrier's origins is that John Paul Jones brought them from abroad and when he visited his native town of Kirkcudbright around 1770. The gypsies around the Kirkintilloch district kept Blue Paul Terriers for dog fighting, and they claimed the dogs came from the Galloway coast.[3] A more likely story is a British military officer posted to the Glasgow area brought with him an Irish Blue Terrier bitch from the Earl of Kerry's kennels, when he was reposted he left his bitch with friends who bred her with a white bull and terrier of the Duke of Hamilton's breeding to create the breed. Another story states the breed descend from a bitch named Blue Poll from a village near Newcastle, and that a visiting Scotsman purchased several of her pups and returned with them to his homeland.[1][4]



One description of the Blue Paul Terrier is that it weighed around 45 lb (20 kg). As a result of conflicting anecdotes in sources, there are variations about its height; some state it stood around 14 in (36 cm) at the shoulder, others as tall as 20 in (51 cm). The breed resembled early bull terriers.[1][4]

Some historic sources have anecdotally described the Blue Paul Terrier's head as large, and its forehead flat, short, square and broad but not receding like that of the bulldog; its jaws and teeth were even with no overhanging flews. They had a slight dip between the eyes, which were dark hazel and not sunken, prominent, nor showing haw, its eyebrows were contracted or knit. The ears were small, thin, high set and usually cropped, and the face was not wrinkled. The facial expression of the Blue Paul Terrier has never been seen in any other breed, although it is frequently recognised in some mixed-breed dogs.[3][4]

The Blue Paul Terrier has been described as having a smooth coat; the usual colour was dark blue, similar to some greyhounds, however some were brindle or red, known as red smuts.[4]


Some anecdotal accounts describe the Blue Paul Terrier as being a dog of courage and strength; claimed to be game to the death and could suffer great punishment; when fighting they were considered expert and tricky in their tactics, making them great favourites with those who indulged in dog fighting.[3][4]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Dr Davis Harris, The bully breeds, Kennel Club Books, Freehold NJ, 2008, ISBN 978-1-59378-664-9, pp 30-31.
  2. ^ a b Lee, Rawdon Briggs (1894). A History and Description of the Modern Dogs of Great Britain and Ireland (The Terriers) Volume 1. H. Cox. pp. 89–90.
  3. ^ a b c Montgomery, E.S. (1946). The Bull Terrier - A Comprehensive Treatise On The History, Management, Breeding, Training, Care, Showing And Judging.
  4. ^ a b c d e John Meyrick, House dogs and sporting dogs, John Van Voorst, London, 1861, pp 31-32.

Further reading