Where did the name come from? The word “bulldog”, as applied to these incredible creatures, has been in use in recorded history since around 1568 when the term was likely applied to various ancestors of what are the modern bulldog breeds. The early genetic breeding masterminds were aiming the dogs for a fairly cruel and mean existence and in the 17th century the bulldog was used for bull baiting and, to a lesser extent, bear baiting which was a particularly savage gambling sport that was popular back in the 1600’s and involved trained bulldogs leaping at a bull or a bear tethered to a post and latched onto its snout and attempted to literally suffocate it.
Such cruelty to both animals was considered a viable blood sport and in today’s standards such behavior would be considered as downright inhumane at the time it was nothing to be ashamed of. Thankfully the breed has evolved, the aggression has been treated as an undesirable and receding gene, so to speak and the current bully pups are full of potential and becoming more and more as one of the best dogs for a caring family.
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Dog lovers have gathered together to share stories and fellowship with other owners of their shared & common stock and the oldest specialty dog club devoted to the specialty breed was started in jolly old England back in 1875. This group of pub crawling canine lovers were known, not surprisingly as, the Bulldog Club., And their initial writings and specifications describing the breed became the standard!
While the breed has evolved immensely from the 1800’s and the bulldog mixes have become popular especially with the Terrier group of animals there has been a renewed interest amongst some dog owners who have tried to recreate a breed more akin to the original bull baiters of three hundred years ago; recent examples of this questionable trend are the breeds known as the Olde English Bulldogge, Renascence Bulldog, Victorian, Continental and Dorset Old Tyme Bulldog. The American Kennel Club, however, has decided not to recognize any of these newly “recreated” breeds of dogs. Many owners of bulldogs or the bully mixes tend to agree that the progression of the breed has come so far. Looking back to rekindle such traits may be counterproductive to the future of the acceptance of the breed.