The Coverwood Terrier

Some “old timers” in the show world still regard the Miniature Bull Terrier as a new breed because it wasn’t recognized by the AKC until 1991; in reality, the breed originated in England around 1830 when Bulldogs were crossed with the now-extinct English Terrier. The first breed club in England was formed in 1938, and the first Mini champion was “made up” in 1948.  Bottom line: The Mini has been around for nearly 200 years!

The earliest of the Minis varied in size and weight, but they were still smaller than the Bull Terrier. There was even a toy size that was exhibited, and for obvious reasons, it was known as the Toy Bull Terrier. The smallest of these tiny dogs that were pure white in color were known as Coverwood Terriers after the English kennel that produced them. Coverwood Terriers were so well known that for a time, many people knew small Bull Terriers only by that name.

The toys were shown abroad, but because breed type was said to be so poor, fanciers were less than impressed and the size fell out of favor. After 1914, few were seen.  Medium sized Bull Terriers fared better because they better resembled the desired type of the larger Bull Terriers: A down-faced dog identical in shape and aspect, but smaller. When the UK’s Kennel Club accepted the breed in 1939, it was as the Miniature Bull Terrier.

When one rummages through old dog books, one may come across the name, Coverwood Terriers, as we did.  We thought you’d like to know why the Miniature Bull Terrier was ever known by that name.

Image by Ian Mason
Stockbridge Art Gallery


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