English Bulldog History: Where Do Bulldogs Come From

English Bulldog History: Where Do Bulldogs Come From?

The English Bulldog is one of the most famous breeds in the world. They are known for their loyalty, courage, intelligence and strength. These traits make them very popular with hunters and sportsmen. However, they have been bred into being too large and strong which results in many health problems such as hip dysplasia, eye diseases, skeletal abnormalities etc.

In order to create a smaller and less muscular breed, the English Bulldog was developed from the American Pitbull Terrier. The original American Pitbull Terriers were originally used as guard dogs or fighting dogs during the 19th century. During World War II, these dogs were used in combat situations where they proved to be effective against German soldiers. After the war, these dogs became popular with families because of their docile nature and love of children.

However, due to their size and aggressive behavior, they were not suitable for family pets. Due to this fact, the American Kennel Club (AKC) decided to develop a new type of dog that would be ideal for homes. The AKC registered the first English Bulldog in 1882. Since then there have been several generations of English Bulldogs until today’s English Bulldogs.

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English bulldog history pictures

The actual origins of the breed are somewhat murky. There is some debate over the Bulldog’s exact origins, but it is generally agreed that the breed had its beginnings in the British Isles. The English used these dogs for bull-baiting, which was a popular spectator sport throughout England and France. The “Old Family Dog” referred to in literature of the time was a Bulldog or at least a forefather of the breed. These bulldogs were of a lighter build and color than the dogs we know today and they had long hair.

The modern Bulldog has had its history obscured by a variety of factors, the main one being dramatic changes in the function and appearance of the breed which occurred during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

When baiting bulls, it was important to have a dog that could grip onto the bull with its teeth without sustaining severe injury. Over many generations, the dogs were selectively bred to suffer from an abnormal amount of loose skin, particularly in their head region. This “brachycephalic” (Greek for “short-headed”) head structure results in difficulty breathing, and even today’s Bulldogs often struggle to take in enough air.

Other breed characteristics include a very short stump of a tail and a deep chest, which causes difficulty moving about. Combine this with the dog’s short legs and weight issues are almost inevitable.

The Bulldog’s unusually large head is one of the main features of the breed. It is wide, but does not extend very far back; therefore, Bulldogs have a very short muzzle. The eyes are small, dark and close set. The ears are small and rose shaped.

Sources & references used in this article:

The fall and rise of the English Bulldog by KS Thomson – American Scientist, 1996 – search.proquest.com

Bulldogs For Dummies by SM Ewing – 2011 – books.google.com

French Bulldog: The Frenchie by E Farman – 2010 – READ BOOKS

Unilateral absence of an external jugular vein in two English bulldogs with pulmonary valve stenosis by SH Gray – 2016 – Weigl Publishers

What’s in a face? The social character of the English bulldog by J Markovics – 2010 – books.google.com