The History of Bulldogs

The History of Bulldogs

By: Hunter Kline
Bark! Voice of the Bulldogs
News Editor

Bulldogs were originally bred to help butchers control livestock and have a history that can be traced back to the 5th century in England with a breed called the Alaunt.

Then a few centuries later they would be used on farms for catching horses, cattle, and boars. In addition, they were also used for a barbaric “sport” called bull-baiting, where trained dogs would latch onto the nose of a tethered bull’s n0se and not let go until the dog had bulled the bull to the ground or the bull killed the dog. Eventually bull-baiting was banned in 1835. Bulldogs were bred for aggression, and an 80 pound dog could easily take down a bull weighing close to a ton.

When bull baiting became outlawed in the UK, there seemed to be no more need for the breed and it looked like they would go extinct if it weren’t for their exportation in the US and Germany. In the US, bulldogs are still used on farms for herding hogs and cattle. In Germany, bulldogs were crossbred to make the boxer and in England they were bred to a smaller size. Breeder John D. Johnson is one of the two men credited with saving the bulldog breed and creating the American bulldog.

Nowadays the American and English bulldog have gone on to become a popular companion, working animal, and has been widely used as a mascot and is one of the most famous corporate dogs worldwide. In the US alone, the bulldog represents nearly four dozen universities and 250 secondary schools.