What is the history of bulldogs?

bulldog almost sleeping

Once upon a time, Bulldogs were fearless beasts (hard to say from that picture)

They were known to be unbelievably brave and oblivious to the pain.


To understand where the bulldogs come from, we need to go back to England in the 13th century.


At the time, blood sports were very popular. Bearbaiting and bullbaiting were two of them.


In bearbaiting, a bear would fight a pack of dogs to death.

bull baiting painting

In bullbaiting, a bull was tied to a stake while a pack of dogs had to grab it by the nose and pin it to the ground.


In almost every event, multiple dogs were severely wounded or killed by the bull.


Over the centuries, evolution and breeders made sure the dogs were better equipped for those fights. It is during this period that the dogs developed the stocky bodies and massive head and jaws.


The bulldogs of the time had nothing to do with the bulldogs that we know of today.


They were ferocious brutes with huge and powerful jaws.

They were oblivious to the pain. 


Hard to believe that these couch potatoes come from a line of fearless fighters huh?


That's because of what coming next.


Onward.

What happened to bulldogs in 1835?

In 1835, the Cruelty to Animals Act was passed by the Parliament in Britain. This act protected animals from mistreatment.


From now on, bloodsports such as bear and bull fighting were banned.


But there was a problem. What were people supposed to do with all these dogs trained to kill a bear or pin a bull to the ground by the nose?


The answer wasn't so easy and required a lot of work.


In fact, if it wasn't from dedicated breeders such as Bill George, the breed would be extinct.


George started to change the purpose of the breed. He bred the bulldogs to be more calm. Slowly, he showed the bulldogs as loyal companions instead of a fighters. Giving a fresh start to the breed.

French what?

At that time, George also developed a new line of "toy bulldogs" which were much smaller that the traditional bulldog.


This line took off in Paris and George became flooded with orders from France.


He became a famous dog-dealer in France.


Let's zoom out for a sec, this guy saved the bulldogs from complete extinction. AND then went to become the godfather of another reputable breed.


Can you guess which breed I'm talking about?


That's right! Damn you're good!

The French Bulldog.


George's toy bulldogs were mixed with Ratters (dogs used to catch rats) to create the French Bulldog as we know it today.


Impressive story huh?


Nowadays, the Bulldog is the mascot of many institutions such as the United States Marine Corps, Georgetowen University and much more.


I hope you enjoyed this email as much I did writing it!


Have a great night,

Chris

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