When British forces introduced their bulldogges, bandogges and bullteriers to the New Zealand islands in the 1800's, the Manukau Bulldogge started to take shape. Like many other bully breeds bearing national names, the rare New Zealander was developed using only non-indigenous dogs brought to the region, although some fanciers think that the early Huntaway may have played a minor role in its creation too. This is a rare breed, fairly unknown even in its native land, where there is reportedly less than 70 examples left, with many of them being modern Pit Bull or Rottweiler crosses.
Even the traditional Manukau Pit Dog name is somewhat of a misnomer because the breed is mostly associated with rural areas, only a small number of these dogs actually existing in Manukau City. Used for a number of duties, this powerful breed is primarily a fighting dog and property guardian, although it is said that the original incarnation of the breed was adopted by the native tribes as a hunting dog. Very smart, muscular and agile, the Manukau Bully is an active and athletic breed, playful with children and easy to train, but needs early socialization and responsible handling.
The short coat comes in a variety of colours, but brindle dogs are preferred, with or without small white markings.
Average height is around 20 inches.