Jamie Sweet and the Shorty Bull:
Shorty Bull’s a breed in progress…
“Creating a breed is not a random idea that is immediately acted upon. It is a collection of ideas at first and it becomes a vision. That vision progresses into a reality when you act upon it and pursue the active quest of building the dog you have imagined. Building a new breed is a living breathing form of creative expression.
When I began the quest to build a healthy alternative form of a bulldog, my experience in dogs played a major role. I knew what I wanted, I knew what I did not want and I knew what components I wanted to start with. Using English Bulldog as my base, I knew I wanted a dog no taller than 15". I wanted 14" inches to be exact, but wanted to give myself some room, so I set the height at 15". I knew I wanted to keep bully traits, so the French Bulldog was added to keep bully traits and to ensure we would not exceed the height standard. Being active with dogs and having a background of working dogs, I knew I wanted things that the typical English Bulldog and French Bulldog lacked...I wanted drive, athleticism, longevity, natural births and overall better health. To get the durability and temperament, I used a Staffordshire Bull Terrier to bring those traits, again, not exceeding my height standard. I knew about throwbacks and was picking my battles. Height was a battle I did not want to fight later on in the program. So I began crossing dogs. I quickly found out which traits were strong based on breed AND based on the individual dog of that particular breed. Because a dog of a certain breed certainly does not mean it exudes all of the qualities ideal for the breed. The evolution of the Shorty Bull at Blue River took on the very principles of breeding established breeds... Crossing was all about the individual specimen of that certain breed.
At first, the dogs that were created had glaring faults. I knew a stud dog could not 'fix' the entire combination and so I relied heavily on strong females, breeding them to males that possessed, in potent form, the traits I wanted to keep alive. I evaluated each breeding and the resulting pups. It took time because new breeds do not develop at the same rate or exactly like the breeds used in the creation. One must watch several dogs grow into maturity, keeping in mind what crosses were done and how the individual dogs fell into that exact make up. I quickly learned there was an order to crossing dogs and that many traits are sex linked. It was trial and error and very time consuming. Rushing maturity is the same as guessing... You will have the final result when the dog is grown, not before. It quickly became obvious to me that as much as I wanted to set traits, I had to eliminate other traits and so began the grading process. It was then that I put a value on faults and eliminated the worst faults first. I determined which physical faults had to be dealt with before moving on. It makes no sense to fix a head when the rear chassis is weak and conformationally unsound. Even with established breeds, it is only sensible to build dogs from the back to the front and from the ground up with the head being the finishing touch. Generations came and went and I kept pups back out of almost every single breeding...some were a total wash. Honesty with yourself is so important in the beginning stages... If you are not honest then, the future can never be strong. I eliminated dogs from the program at 8 months, some older than that. I made plenty of mistakes along the way trying to "guess" how they would mature. After a few breeding’s, it was fortunate that a litter was born and it showed major difference from the previous litters...I saw some consistency in the litter and it spurred me to continue(total wash...experiment....puppy mills
The breed standard was written according to my vision.... It was a blue print for what I wanted to build. It was the guideline of perfection...a dream dog. Evolution of a breed is very different from an old breed where consistency has been set in for years. A new breed requires guidelines at first... A skeleton of a plan, the basics... To me the basics are height and type. A breed must have type...you must be able to recognize a breed by type... You must be able to recognize a breed first by look. The height requirement needed to be strict and weight will naturally cap itself according to height. Muscle and bone do carry weight, so with the development of heavier bone and muscle, weight will increase, but height should never change. So, a standard for a new breed should be basic at first and revised with the progression of a breed. Basically, revision of a standard comes with the fine-tuning of a breed and I look for the standard for Shorty Bull’s to be revised with evolution. Keep in mind, the basics will not change but the standard will become tighter over time.
Many, many years ago, dogs were developed and bred for purpose and then a collection of dogs that could carry out that specific purpose became a breed. This is how breeds developed...a collection of traits related to look, purpose or function. In recent times, dogs have become more humanized than ever and we do not have the same needs as people did 60 or 70 years ago. Although many dogs still perform their original work or purpose, now more than ever, dogs have become members of a family with no purpose necessary but filling a need to be a companion. Everyone should have a dog in their life! Now, more than ever, we see dogs with no specific purpose but look or companionship. They still fill a want for us, although form following function is not nearly as important for our breeds now as it was a hundred years ago. The purpose of my breed is completely companionship. They are fun little novel creatures to enjoy. Although the Shorty Bulls can and do some work, in reality, it is for fun and enjoyment purposes only. I did not wish to disrespect nor mock a real working breed. When naming this new breed, it was important to give it a new name that would be different from the breeds used in the creation. A new name of its own was the entitlement needed to distinguish it amongst the hundreds of other breeds. The name should give a visual description of the product... A short bulldog, and so this new breed was named The Shorty Bull. ("not a breed but, a breed in progress")(doesnt meet ABKC standards for a breed or breed creation;but registered under ABKC. not about $?)
To build a breed, one must have resources... A breed cannot be built from four or five dogs in a small yard. The keeping of puppies is crucial in order to watch development and get a grasp on the stages of growth. Keeping many dogs requires space; a patient spouse and family and the tenacity and heart of a bulldog... There are many shortcomings and many struggles. When it is a family project it is one thing, a hobby, a dream.... When a breed goes public, it is a nightmare and I do not use that word lightly. You can only control what is in your own yard, regardless of handshakes, contracts or promises. You quickly learn that creating a breed is a very, very different ideal than merely breeding dogs. People have different motivations, different ideas, different goals and it becomes a very frustrating task when you want to see the breed grow into an established breed that will survive long after a creator is gone. For a creator, it is a lifelong labor, of love, of perseverance and of determination. You must pick your battles wisely. No breed has evolved without trails and tribulation.... Because again: ideas, goals and motivation are very different from the standpoint of creator to the standpoint of dog breeder. In the same token, the dog breeders are necessary to develop a breed. I believe there is no magic number of years or generations as to when a breed can be deemed a "real" breed"...A new breed is a work in progress until the creator can see generations of his/her work handed out to others and without the same skills as the creator, the novice dog breeder can produce dogs that fit the standard for the breed. Never will the dog game be fair.... Some will always have a better eye, more resources, and a better feel for breeding than others...Percentages play a huge part in success of a program. More good dogs lead to more good breeding’s and a higher percentage of good or better dogs being produced. The factors will never be the same across the board, hence my statement, the dog game will NEVER be fair.
Building a breed is as costly as it is rewarding. One must have the want to create before the want to make money. Building a breed has brought learning experiences as unique as the individual dogs themselves. Hands on trial and error continue to be the tried and true method of choice for me and more reliable than any amount of reading. Lessons learned through one's own mistakes are never easily forgotten and there is no perfect dog, no matter how much experience or how great the plan, in dogs, nothing is guaranteed success. Perseverance pays off when you realize going in that there are risks involved and one must agree to take the good with the bad and the happy with the sad as you will experience all of that in dogs whether a creator, a breeder or a fancier. The utmost respect received as creator of a breed is to see others remain loyal to the creator's vision through success and enjoyment of the new breed in their own program”.
Dave Wilson's photo.
Creating a breed versus destroying a breed:
Before I get into the other breeds, let me speak on the breed I was personally involved in, the American Bully.
The American Bully was created different than many others breeds; I think the closest breed as far as how it was created is the American Staffordshire Terrier. Both the American Bully and the Am.Staff were created more from bloodlines and isolated traits from the American Pit Bull Terrier. In the case of my personal line, Razors Edge, it took me over 7 years to finally get my line the way I was striving for and to where it reproduced consistently in every breeding. It took a total of 14 years before we even felt it could be considered its own breed, and with the idea of that being a breed in development.
The American Bully is a breed that was not considered a breed until the ABKC was created. Let me explain, there was no American Bully until we created that name. There was only the American Pit Bull Terrier. It was me that went on the Elite Edge message board and said I’m calling my line and dogs (Razors Edge) the American Bully. (Not that I’m looking for credit for that, I could care less) There were very few then that supported the name, the Elite Edge was one of the main ones in support along with a few others. There was even a huge debate on this, but eventually we agreed that my line and other similar lines had gone far enough from the UKC breed standard (Actually the UKC standard changed to exclude our dogs) that this style was unique and different and its own thing. (so during the 14yrs of development, dogs were registered in UKC. During the creation of Razors Edge dogs were registered and shown...Blue Pitbulls showed up...UKCsaid what was being done was outside breed standard but was allowing dogs during and after the creation of Razors Edge and ABKC as pitbulls....So UKC equally created the American Bully Breed just not the name. UKC by removing or not accepting the "new breed/breed standards comfirmed the impurity of the Razors Edge. Now we have the "NEW EDGE"?) Anyway this has been said many times so I wont go more into that. (And I’m not saying I was the first to breed or have Bully dogs, I’m not saying I was the first to have shows, I’m not saying I did this on my own; and for real I don’t want any credit at all! Credit should go to all the breeders and supporters of the breed and the ABKC for certifying and validating the breed). So we chose the name American Bully and then created a registry to document the breed and give it validity. It started with just Razors Edge dogs in 2004, then I personally reached out to Richard Barajas of Gottiline in 2005 and went over the breed standard and criterion, he decided to bring his line into the ABKC and go by the same breed name. What happened at this point was the ABKC created a breed standard and criterion, which is the requirements needed for a dog to be eligible to be entered into the breed’s studbooks. Back then it was basically that the dogs had to be Razors Edge or Gotti or a mix of the two. Later on other bloodlines were added as well as some ancestry lines behind these lines, but on a case-by-case basis. As time went on the criterion got stricter and pictures were required to make sure dogs possessed breed type characteristics. In recent years it has gotten even stricter and more limited to even include DNA profiling. Many dogs we see today are carrying heavy traits from other breeds, primarily Bulldog breeds. For the American Bully breed to be pure, these dogs carrying these traits outside the breed need to not be allowed to enter the studbooks. Regardless of speculations a line has to be drawn and criterion has to be strict to preserve traits and lock in type to ensure the future purity of a breed. So as time goes on the criterion will continue to get stricter to keep good, pure, healthy brood stock until the studbooks finally close and the breed is complete. The ABKC created the criterion, possesses the true and only studbooks for the breed, and will continue to work to preserve the future of this breed. (Regardless of rumors or questions of breed purity, once dogs meet the criteria for the breed, they are entered into the breed’s studbooks, and they become brood stock for the American Bully breed. These dogs carrying the breed name are to be bred to dogs of the same breed in order for the breed to progress in purity).
I know in recent years so many mix bred dogs and pop up registries have formed and give a free for all for anything. This not only destroys credibility, but it ruins the healthy progress of the breed. If the breed is ever to become complete and pure, these breeding practices and the registries that support them have to end; or at the least use a different breed name. It is a lie to call a dog an American Bully if it has not been entered into the ABKC studbooks and certified by the ABKC as an American Bully. It is a lie to mix a Bulldog breed with and American Bully and call it an American Bully. This statement, contrary to what some people in hope of competition falsely state, is not for control, it is for the purpose of protecting the validity and preserving the future of the breed. We cannot allow people and registries to give false information and allow them to break down the integrity of the breed and prohibit its progression to purity and breed stability. Its not control in anyway, its protection and preservation of the breed.(Apply all that to Shorty Bulls which ABKC accepts and endorses)
If you think the ABKC is for the purpose of money, you’re dead wrong. It was created out of necessity for the breed, and not with the purpose of monetary gains. ABKC makes No money on shows, No money on judges and reps, No money on entries; the only revenue comes from pedigree registrations. And these registrations are taken very serious to help protect and preserve the different breeds. If anything and everything were registered as whatever, then it would be for the purpose of money and not the integrity of pure breeds. (On a side note, ABKC donates to 3 rescues and/or BSL organizations every month)
This random mix breeding and the papering of it is happening all over, and its only purpose is for money! This is not honest or credible breeding/registering; this is a disgrace! All of this is for money; these people and these registries do NOT really care about the breed or even the dogs. It is all based on money.(AGAIN...apply to Shorty Bulls which ABKC accepts and endorses) Yes they may smile in your face and bash me or whatever to make you believe their cause, but its all based on making them money!
Here is why I say this… A true breeder will work to create their dogs; they will not jump ship over and over again to fit a fad. How many of these breeders of these mixed dogs do you see sticking with their dogs or even have any breeding history at all? They don’t, and they don’t care, their feeling is “if it sells I’m making money and don’t care”. Registries say we will give them what they want because we will make money too. This type of thinking and these practices will destroy credibility and destroy any chance of a breed’s purity and respect. I see it over and over again, people saying “I’ll mix what I want and sell it as an American Bully. People did it in the past why cant we now”? For one that isn’t all true, and for two the breed is established now and for it to become pure, no new breeds can be added.
Look before some people get upset (probably too late) and go on another Dave bashing spree… If your purpose is pure and you really care, then do as respectable breeders have done and put the money aside and take your time to set a plan and create something unique. There is a way to do this; but, it takes a vision, a plan, a purpose, patience, time, and it will cost money and not initially make money. If a registry is a real registry then they will not just paper anything as whatever, they will either wait until it is an established breed, or work to help true breeders with a plan to develop a breed. Either way this isn’t throwing a breed to another breed and selling the offspring as something they are not.
The ABKC recognizes breeds other than just the American Bully, and some of these breeds are still in development or at a point where they are “a breed in progress”.
But don’t just take it from me, I’d rather you hear it from some respectable and reputable breeders who have created or are developing their own unique breeds.
Jamie Sweet and the Shorty Bull: