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Thread: A question for history buffs.

  1. #1

    Default A question for history buffs.

    I come across a newspaper article using trove which had a write up of a dog trainer doing theatre shows in South Australia in 1914, his name was Ted Bailey and his methods for training dogs to do tricks were well in step with todays standards, part of his troup of dogs were made up of ex fighting dogs directly from Colby and Timmonds APBT kennels. ( which increases my knowledge of APBT in Australia greatly )

    Does anyone know any history about this man and his training methods though?

  2. #2


    Beau, I have the most amazing video of the Baileys and their training methods - they were animal pshchologists (worked for Skinner) turned trainers. (They are from the US but I assume the man must have come over here?? Must be the same Bailey, but maybe not???)

    If it is the same Bailey, he and his wife, were truely before their time and too complex to write about here. I will dig it out tonight and see if the mans name is Ted. If it is a different person you would be interested anyway.

    They used food rewards and trained everything under the sun. They trained for movies and animals for the war - pidgeons and dolphins. One amazing thing they had going was a chicken sideshow alley jutebox thing. You put your money in and a chicken dances - yes dances. Well actualy scratches the ground but looks like dancing with all the colourful back drops etc. It is based on food rewards. It was a huge thing all over the USA. They had franchise type operations all over the US and if a chicken died (or could no longer work) there were people who had trained chickens in town containing the sideshow and they had replacement ready. They lived in the boxes - yes sounds mean - but in those days they were just chickens. That was just one example - there are many. Unfortunately their house burnt down and most of their history was lost and someone make this doco from what they could track down.

    It is a must see for anyone interested in training animals. The funny part is - I have no idea where it came from. Many years ago I got into collecting dog training videos and mainly bought from shops, dog training seminars and people I met. This one appeared in my collection and I don't know where from. I think it was at the end of another tape and I just stumbled onto it. I have since transferred to another tape but must do something about preserving it.

    I will dig it out and work out how to convert to digital. Maybe film the TV as it is playing. It is old and not a good copy but is fine to watch. Anyone know how I could convert to digital without breaking the bank? Not sure about copyright laws as it is very old and has nothing at the start re copyright - anyone know that as well? I would love to be able for others to see it as it really amazed me. I think many people here will find it equally amazing (I can't think of another word for it).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    I remember dancing chickens in those machines at theme parks in Belgium when I was a kid! They also had one that played the piano. We only put money in them because we worried that they were starving and felt sorry for them.

  4. #4


    Thanks pepe, yes the article did say he had residence in NewYork but travelled the world with his troupe of dogs doing theatre shows.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    I know there is a trainer around who's name is Bob Bailey, I wonder if he is a relative. He is current and from the USA........
    Pets are forever

  6. #6


    Do you have a photo at all Beau? Or his age at time? ( as in was there one with the article )

    There are records of a Edward (Ted) Bailey leaving Adelaide , going to Albany,getting married,then coming back to Adelaide a couple of years later. Just looking further now to see if he arrived here from USA. Sometimes there are stories attatched to records and this is what I'm hoping for to trace more info.
    GageDesign Pet Photography
    Site still in construction so will post link when it's finished.

  7. #7


    Theres a photo of a dog but not of him, which is what had made my eyebrow raised lol not sure which dog it is, I think it's prince the Colby dog. I'l post a link to the trove its a whole page of different stuff, theres 2 atricles about Ted Bailey and his bulldog show in it. I saved the whole thing as a pdf trying to rip the photo off but I am a dumb arse and don't know how to do it, i can't even do a screen shot of it.

    07 Feb 1914 - The Mail - p10
    Last edited by Beau; 06-10-2012 at 11:00 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    I managed to copy and paste one, though Acrobat seems to have some issues with the old typeset so had to correct a few mistakes and may have missed some. (And couldn't be asked removing the line breaks)

    One of the best acts that has happened
    along at the King's Theatre lately is that
    presented by Ted Bailey and bis highly
    trained dogs. These are three Llewellyn
    setters which display artistic ability, which
    can be attributed to anything but genuine intelligence. 'On the Trau,' 'At
    Rest,' 'Comrades,' 'Wounded Paw,'
    'Praying,' 'Broken Hearts,' and many
    other appealing poses were represented effectively. In the bright glare of the calcium, and with hundreds of pairs of hands
    in the auditorium clapping enthusiastically,
    the dogs stood unmoved when the curtains
    were opened and then drawn. With heads
    lowered, sniffing the trail, or turned plaintively toward Bailey, their every attitude
    suggested they really felt an intense inter
    est in the success of the tableau. Not
    a tongue panted, and not a tail wagged.
    The effect was perfect. After the last
    picture the dogs frisked out to the foot
    Jights and nodded appreciatively to the
    applauding audience.
    During a chat with Mr. Bailey during
    the week the trainer remarked that Duke
    is almost all white.' The others arc Kine.
    imported from London; and Prince, who
    was purchased several years. ago in America. Duke iB a Tennessee dog. King is
    seven years old, Duke six,. and Prince
    three. '-It takes from 10 to 12 months
    to train a dog to pose,' said Mr. Bailey,
    who has had an act of this sort out for
    the last seven or eight years. 'Occasionally I find a dog that learns it -all in 10
    months, but more o*ten it takes a year. I
    have never yet used a whip in any act
    employing animals. I find it isn't necessary if a person goes about it correctly.
    Almost anything can be taught a dog by
    kindness. These dogs of mine are as
    carefully taken care of as an athlete is.
    1 vary their food, but the rations are regular. On certain days they get lamb which stew, is a favourite with them. Other
    times I feed them with roast beef, another
    day hamburger, and sometimes vegetables
    and dog biscuit. Every morning, from 10
    to 12, I exercise them, and again after
    the matinee they go walking with me.
    In weather like this I turn, the hose on
    them twice a day. It makes them cooler
    and better able to work. The act entails
    no hardship on them, but they are always
    glad when it is over,' of course. The work
    isn't as hard as the tasks acrobatic dogs
    do, perhaps, but just the same my dogs
    have to show a- lot of patience and remain perfectly, still all during the posing
    sections of the act.'' ;
    Mr. Bailey's home is in Jamestown, New
    York. He showed a picture of a large
    residence yesterday, and aid:— 'That's
    their home— the dogs, I mean. They paid
    for it. I merely helped.''
    When he was in America recently. Mr.
    Bailey was approached by Tommy Bums.
    He was so. taken with. King that he offered him £200 for him: Mr. Bailey, however, declined to
    part with any of his
    pets. During the week he has been ar
    ranging a new series of pictures,- depicting
    episodes in the life of the Australian sundowner. He will use four dogs in
    one of which will make his second appearance before the footlights, and will be
    assisted by Mr. Jack Souter, who will impersonate the Australian sundowner.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    And the second one:
    TO THE KiNG'S.
    Bailey's Dogs have been so well, received at the King's Theatre that Mr. Ben
    Fuller is sending yet another troupe of
    canines to the King's Theatre next week
    in Gardner's Maniac Bulldogs. These doge
    are not of the usual type of performing
    dogs, generally of some mild-tempered
    pet breeds, but comprise four dogs of more
    aggressive kinds culled from tie American
    fighting strains, with an English bulldog
    as accessory; and far from exhibiting the
    usual cowed and obliging disposition of
    dogs trained under the whip and hard usage, have a very independent bearing as
    of dogs treated as the-equals or companions
    of their master; under whom, though exhibiting *any amount of gameness, they
    are still tractable. At the present juncture, while stadiums and boxing are so
    popular, the physical culture exercises and
    the ball practice they go through, and
    positively enjoy, should be highly appredated; and the essence of excitement attendant thereon should draw crowds of
    sportsmen. The dogs are first and foremost, Pincher ('The physical culture
    dog''), which exhibits vivid appearance of
    having had a lengthy -and strenuous training evidenced by his wonderfully muscular
    thighs, arms, and back muscles development of which Mr. 'Snowy' Baker or any
    athlete might envy, but scarcely excel.
    His balancing, posing, and gymnastic performances in conjunction with his master
    are examples of grand training by firm
    kindness. This dog is a real American
    'pit' dog, bred from the well-known fighting strain of J. B. Coleby, Newberry
    Point, Mass., and has himself fought for
    upwards of two hours in. the 'pit.' The
    leaping dog. Prince, is also a pure white
    bull terrier of pure pit-fighting strain, both
    good-looking dogs, exhibiting rather more
    'bull' than the American 'bench' dogs
    or the show dogs here. Bred from another
    fighting- strain {Tunmins's stock, of New
    York), be is also a game dog. very clever
    at jumping tricks, ball practice, and other
    gymnastics. But the 'maniac' dog. particularly is Duke, a brindle and white 60
    1b. dog, pure fighting strain, originally
    from Staffordshire, where the breed is still
    fostered sub rose;
    and he was like a whiff
    of the old 'Tancy' to me. The way he
    swings on the' pad and goes for the balI
    punching, and the difficulty the owner has
    in loosening his jaws from the pad, gives
    for if it did yield it would probably be
    the last of him; but it would not be
    right to give the 'show' .away here, and.
    is only fair to Mr. Garnder and his dogs
    that they should be seen and appreciated
    by the dog fancy great and small.

  10. #10


    mmmm.....I'm probably wrong , but by reading that second one , it doesn't sound like they were Baileys dogs? The Bullies I mean.
    Sounds like they were a different group to Bailey and his dogs?
    GageDesign Pet Photography
    Site still in construction so will post link when it's finished.

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