Quick English Bulldog History
The Bulldog has been around for more than 500 years, but it has changed significantly since its earliest days in the 1500s. Historically, Bulldogs were built much larger than the squat, present-day relative.
They earned the name “bull-baiters” because, at one time, they were used to hold bulls by their noses. Although this practice was meant to aid in the castration of bulls, it was primarily used as entertainment. Using their powerful necks, jaws, and bodies, bulldogs were successful at bull-baiting because they could hold a bull’s nose to the ground. In order to improve their effectiveness in the ring, Bulldogs were gradually bred to be squatter and thicker.
In the centuries that followed, dog fighting and bull baiting were outlawed in England, and dog shows replaced them. In time, people started selecting dogs with shorter legs and bigger heads, which led to the emergence of the modern bulldog: a thicker, squater version than before. The aggressiveness of the original Bulldog was also bred out, leaving us with some of the gentlest dogs on earth!