THE HISTORY OF THE BULLDOG

Traditionally recognised as 'The British Breed' and renowned for the bulldog spirit and strength it was used to portray the courage and spirit of England during the second world war.

The bulldog was first mentioned in the 1500's and over the centuries the bulldog has been kept for a variety of purposes. either as a guard dog, or as a butchers dog to help in the control of unruly oxon, or as a hunting dog for boar; but the most common use and the purpose for which the breed attained notoriety was for the so-called sport of baiting. Bull baiting became popular in England during the early thirteenth century and continued for five centuries. We now regard bull baiting as barbaric but it should be remembered it was those early days in the bullring that gave the bulldog many of the characteristics admired in the breed of today; the short muzzle with its laidback nose to enable the dog to breath whilst holding onto the bulls nose; the upturned widened jaw which gives a vice-like grip; the head furrows to channel away the bulls blood from the eyes and nose during the pinning of the bull; the heavy front shoulder to give some degree of stability; and the temperament that we still see today of steady determination and courage against pain. The sport of bull baiting was followed by a large percentage of the population for more than six hundred years. The abolition of bull baiting brought with it a decline in the breed popularity and several types of crossbred bulldogs started to appear as the demand for a 'working' bulldog was no longer needed. By the mid eighteen hundreds the Pug was introduced to the breed bringing the size down drastically, broadening the chest, shortening of the legs and shortening of the muzzle. Terrier blood was introduced to improve the bulldogs agility. Mastiff blood was introduced to give courage, determination, power and activity.

In 1864 The Bulldog Club was formed. In 1865 the first Bulldog Breed Standard was published. In 1875 The Bulldog Club Incorporated was founded and the Breed Standard was published, and is still in use today.

The exhibiting of the bulldog became a popular pastime and when the Bulldog "King Dick", owned by Jacob Lamphier, was exhibited at the Birmingham Show in 1861 he caused great interest and is now regarded as the forerunner of the type seen today. By the time the famous dog show Crufts came into being in 1891, bulldogs had already been exhibited for thirty years. The only bulldog 'ever' to win Best In Show at Crufts was CH. Noways Chuckles owned and bred by John and Marjorie Barnard in 1952.

The bulldog has made his mark in the show ring not only in the UK but throughout the World.