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The History Of English Bulldogs

Updated on December 23, 2016
English Bulldog. (Property of
English Bulldog. (Property of

The English Bulldog, colloquially known as British Bulldog or Bulldog, is a medium-sized dog that originated from England. The stout structure and folds of skin on the face are the unique identity of this breed of dog.

Most researchers agree that the Bulldog is a cross between a Mastiff and a pug. These dogs, who first got the name Bulldog in 1568, were originally bred for blood sports known as bull-baiting and bear-baiting. The blood sports were the popular pastimes of the masses that can be traced back to the year 1209. However, this sport was finally banned, but not forgotten, in 1835 in England.

The extra ordinary features of a Bulldog are reminiscent of the bull-baiting tactics and strategies that made the bulldog deadly effective in killing a bull. To understand the origins of the bulldog, you need to know extensively about bull-baiting and how bloody the sport was. The quagmire of dogs fighting bulls or bears was intense and the way dogs used to grab the bull's nose needed some special features that could help in sticking to the bull's nose to kill him.

Normally the fight was staged in a field, a pit, or an arena. The concept of the bull-baiting was for the dog to engage the bull. Bulldogs were trained to crouch low to the ground to shield their bodies from the bull's horns when it charged. The shoulders were placed on the outside of the body. This was to make sure it could crouch low. Similarly, the hindquarters of the Bulldog are not as well developed as the forequarters, allowing the dog to be shaken violently without suffering any spinal injuries. The head of the Bulldog, like his body, is also the part of the fighting strategies that men wanted to develop. The short jaws; lower jawbone is longer than the upper jawbone which allows the dog to hang onto whatever it wants with a surprising tenaciousness. The grip is very strong and the structure of the jaws, surprisingly, enables the dog to move the jaws in a manner that it can hang onto the throat of the bull and shred the flesh, sinew and muscle until it reaches the jugular artery.

Even if the Bulldog is knocked out during the fight, the jaws of this breed of dog, once locked, remains locked (this ability is found in most Mastiff breeds, snapping turtles and eels). The Bulldog continues to hang on until the bull is brought down; bleeding to death. The wrinkles or skin folds on the face allow the bull's blood to flow down the dog's face under its chine rather than into its eyes. Should the Bulldog be able to latch onto the bull's nose, the Bulldog has a short snout on the face upwards to allow breathing, while retaining its grip on the bull's nose. The bull is, in the meantime, suffocating, due to the loose jowls of the Bulldog blocking the passage of air.

This was the reason how Bulldog came in to existence. Since the ban on bull baiting and bear baiting, the bulldog has become a family dog. It is one of the most friendly dog breeds. It can be very loyal to its master. It can also become vicious if anything attacks its master. If you are planning to buy a dog, consider the English Bulldog since it is the one of the best breeds in the world.


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    • profile image

      Tamara Moore 

      3 years ago

      I love English Bulldogs! Thank you for this article! Our bully's name is: Thor

      Here are some pics of Thor!

    • busybrains profile image


      8 years ago from Lahore,Pakistan


      I found exactly what I was looking for!

      Thank you :)


    • profile image

      Kaia Tate Jefferson 

      9 years ago

      My "auntie" that is gay,loves and wants to have a bulldog becausse they are soooooooooooooo cute to her. OK I'm in dachshunds I HATE BULLDOGS BUT I WANTED TO COMMENT




    • profile image


      9 years ago


    • DawgDad profile image


      11 years ago from Denver

      Very good info BullyFan, thx

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Awesome stuff. I was kinda frightened by bulldogs but you said they are friendly. I am really thinking about getting one for myself since live alone..

      Nice information..


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