Many people have come to love Bulldogs, but do you know the history of the breed? Originally Bulldogs were bred for the sport of bull-baiting in England, hence the name English Bulldog. The dogs were bred specifically for the sport, with the specific characteristics needed to bait and catch bulls. They needed to have fighting abilities and be very tough in order to take on the mighty bulls. The breeders wanted a short dog who is low to the ground so bulls couldn’t get their horns under the dog. This way the dogs couldn’t be thrown around with the bull’s horns. If they did get tossed around, however, the dogs did need to be very sturdy and tough if they did occasionally get thrown around. The original Bulldog breeders also wanted a dog with a small, short nose so that they could get a good grip on the bull’s nose without getting stuck in the bull’s face, allowing the Bulldog to breathe while still holding on to the bull. Even the Bulldog’s characteristic folds and wrinkles are a sought after characteristic, the breeders wanted this feature as it channeled the blood away from the Bulldog’s face if it were injured. They also needed a strong and tough dog that would be able to stand up to fighting a giant bull.
Eventually bull baiting was outlawed but people loved the breed so much that they kept the remaining dogs and tried to breed out any aggressiveness or viciousness. The result of a lot of select breeding is the English Bulldog we know and love today – with the hard, tough looking exterior but a soft, sweet temperament inside. Today’s Bulldogs may look like their ancestors but they have a much different personality. Bullys are even good with the entire family, from babies and young kids to the elderly. They may have come a long way from being used to bait bulls in the ring for show, nowadays the English Bulldog is a recognized member of the AKC’s non-sporting group of breeds. Although they may have had a barbaric past, being used for fighting and baiting, the Bulldogs of today’s time are soft and sweet. You can cuddle a Bulldog like a teddy bear, they love attention and hugs. So as you can see they have come a long way since the beginning. In contrast to the Bulldogs from the past, current Bulldogs are now the perfect pet.