Gull Dongs are an obscure and rare dog breed in most of the world, and yet they are quite popular in Pakistan, their country of origin, as well as in Northern India. The Gull Dong is often confused with other Pakistani dog breeds due to the fact that several of them have similar names. This confusion is especially prevalent in Western countries. Exacerbating the problem, the Gull Dong breed itself has more than one name by which it is known, such as the Bully Gull Terrier, Pakistani Bull Dog, and less commonly, the Gull Dang or Kanda.
The two breeds that were crossed to create the Gull Dong are also the ones with which they are most often confused, the Gull Terr (aka Pakistani Bull Terrier) and the Bully Kutta, known also as Indian Mastiff, Pakistani Mastiff, or PBK. Gull Dongs are a mix of three-quarters Gull Terr and one quarter Bully Kutta. The Gull Dong, by design, combines the size and power of the Bully Kutta, with the agility and swiftness of the Gull Terrier. The resulting breed is considered a midsize dog, taller than the Gull Terr, but more compact than the Bully Kutta.
Little is known about the Gull Dong’s history other than that it is believed to have originated in British Colonial India in the 1900s, in the region that became Pakistan in 1947. This breed is not associated with any kennel or breed clubs, so records are not archived and current development is not officially standardized and documented.
Gull Terrs, Bully Kuttas, and Gull Dongs are bred as protectors, guard dogs, bear hunters, and fighting dogs. Even though dog fighting is illegal in many parts of the world, including Pakistan, it is still widespread; dog fighting tournaments are common throughout the country. The Gull Dong greatly resembles the original English Bull Terrier which is not surprising, since the predominant gene pool of the Gull Dong is from the Gull Terr, which is a descendant of the old English Bull Terrier, brought to the region by the British. The English Bull Terrier was developed in its homeland specifically for the then popular sport of dog fighting. This illegal and ugly blood sport became popular in the United Kingdom in the 1840s, ironically, as a result of the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835. The act, which outlawed the blood sports of bear baiting (Mastiffs fighting bears) and bull baiting (Bulldogs fighting bulls) helped propel dog fighting to the forefront of popularity as gamblers and fans of the now banned activities migrated to dog fighting pits. Granted dog fighting was still considered illegal, but it was considerably easier to host an illegal dog fight (which could be done in a backyard or basement) than it was to host an illegal bull baiting or bear baiting contest (which would have required either a bull or a bear and a large area such as an arena and likely attracted the attention of law enforcement).
In order to get a breed suited to this occupation, breeders crossed Bulldogs with Terriers; the Terriers were too small, but had the dog aggressiveness, courage, and persistence in downing their prey, and even the willingness to fight to their death. Bulldogs at that time were taller, stronger, and more agile, with smaller heads, than today’s English Bulldogs, but they lacked the feistiness and aggression toward other dogs found in Terriers. Breeders achieved the optimal dog in the English Bull Terrier, which traveled, along with several other British dog breeds, to the subcontinent of India.
These fighting traits were most certainly passed on to the Gull Dong breed, through both the Gull Terr and the Bully Kutta. Gull Terrs were developed in the 1900s in India and Pakistan; no one doubts they are predominantly the old English Bull Terrier. Some believe the Gull Terr is the original English Bull Terrier, still in existence today in Pakistan and India. Others believe the British breed may have been crossed with local breeds, in order to make it better suited to the warmer climate.
The Bully Kutta brings to the Gull Dong a mix of dogs, including more English Bull Terrier and Mastiff. Bully Kuttas have acquired the nickname the “Beast of the East” and belong to the Molosser Group of dog breeds. Another name for the Bully Kutta is the Sindh Mastiff, after the district where it may have been developed (more specifically in the desert of Kutch). Today they are still found mainly in and around the Sindh region of Pakistan. The origin of this breed is uncertain; one theory is that it was developed while India was under British rule, sometime between 1858 and 1947. Several British breeds—Pointers, English Mastiffs, some hunting breeds, and the English Bull Terrier—are thought to have been mixed together to create this imposing dog.
But some historians reject that theory, believing the Bully Kutta is of ancient origins. Mastiff type dogs existed in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent long before the British arrived. These dogs were direct descendants of the white Alaunt of Persia, which descended from the Persian Hyrcania and the Assyrian Molossus, both ancient breeds. These dogs were brought in by the Indo-Aryans who invaded the Indian subcontinent; evidence of these migrations can be found in Alexander the Great’s writings and in Aristotle’s work. According to this theory, when the British invaded the sub-continent of Indo-Pakistan, they crossed the Bull Terrier and Mastiff type dogs they brought over, with these ancient local Mastiffs.
In Pakistan, Afghanistan, and wherever Gull Dongs are found, they are used as watchdogs, protectors of families, and guardians of property. They are also utilized for hunting, bear baiting, and still, unfortunately, for dog fighting.
The Gull Dong is a muscular, powerful breed, weighing between 90 to 140 pounds. Male Gull Dongs stand 34-42 inches tall, while the females are between 30-34 inches in height. Even though they are taller than most Pakistani breeds and their weight is substantial, the Gull Dong is considered a medium sized dog.
Their coats are smooth and flat with short hair and come in varieties of white, black, gray, and brindle. They have solid bones, well developed muscles, and long backs. The Gull Dong’s legs, while proportionate to their bodies, are longish, and so is the tail of the breed, which tapers to a point at the end.
Gull Dongs have massive heads, broadest at the forehead above the eyes and below the ears. They have a slight stop, but more than the Gull Terr, which has virtually none. Their muzzles are proportionately short, and their noses are black. They may have drop ears, but they are often cropped. They have small, dark eyes, which are wide set.
The Gull Dong is a loyal, intelligent, and athletic breed that is both aggressive and dominant. This dog breed bonds quickly and deeply with their owners and families, becoming protective of them. Even though they will be devoted to all family members, these dogs are too powerful and aggressive to be allowed to “play” with children. No dog of any breed should be left with young children unsupervised, but in the case of the Gull Dong, that rule of thumb should extend to older kids as well.
They make excellent watch and guard dogs because of their alertness and instinct to protect their perceived territory, as well as their people. They are wary of strangers and will not hesitate to defend you. But this also means they can be dangerous to those they do not know. For this reason, this breed must be properly trained and socialized with people from puppyhood on, and should be under your control at all times. (This means never taking them out off leash!)
Gull Dongs are serous and rugged working dogs, who appreciate having tasks to do. This high energy breed must have a lot of vigorous exercise, every day. Like all dogs, they need a daily pack walk, but Gull Dongs need a more intense session--either a long, brisk walk; a jog; or a run beside you while you bike. When taking your Gull Dong for his or her pack walk or run, you should always take the lead, starting with your dog crossing the threshold after you and any other family members, Your dog should heel beside or behind you, at all times on the pack walk.
Gull Dongs are considered difficult to train and are not for the average dog owner. This breed requires someone highly skilled in training and socializing extremely aggressive and dominant dogs. Training and socializing must begin early and be constantly reinforced throughout their life. Establish clear limits and rules for daily living, to which you consistently adhere and reinforce. Your training goal is to establish yourself as the pack leader with your dog at all times. In fact, your Gull dong must know that all family members supersede him or her in the pecking order.
This breed is dog aggressive and difficult to control. They are bred to face off with bears, so their hunting instinct is strong. These traits could lead them to attack and kill household pets or livestock.
Gull Dongs thrive with a lot of space and challenging work, making them excellent farm dogs. However, they are adaptable and as long as they are given enough exercise, they may do fine in smaller quarters, such as a house with a securely enclosed yard. Urban and apartment living is not appropriate for this breed.
Gull Dongs are easy to groom; use a firm bristle brush on the coat. Bathe only when needed. They are average shedding dogs.
Gull Dongs are a healthy breed, with a lifespan of ten to twelve years. The only known genetic issue for them is a propensity toward deafness.