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Sunday, 4 August 2013


The Bulldog was possibly descended from the Molossus, a Mastiff which the Phoenicians brought to Britain in the sixth century BC. 

Selective breeding in the 1800s produced a dog with the physical characteristics required for fighting and baiting bulls. It did the latter by clenching its jaws on the bull's muzzle and hanging on. 

The wrinkles on a bulldog's face were bred to keep blood out of their eyes while they were bull baiting.

The bulldog lost its original purpose when animal-baiting was made illegal in 1835, but enthusiasts bred out its more ferocious characteristics to preserve it as a domestic animal.

The concept of the plucky 'British bulldog breed' features in the work of Charles Kingsley in the mid-19C and was increasingly applied to British men rather than their dogs.

Emily Bronte had a bulldog called Keeper who was so beloved that Emily rose from her sickbed to feed him the night she died. At her funeral Keeper followed her coffin and it remained  miserable for the rest of its life.

The Bulldog was officially recognized as a breed by the British Kennel Club in 1873.

General Custer owned a white bulldog called Turk.

In 1889 Handsome Dan, a bulldog, became Yale University's mascot, the first animal to hold such a position in American sports.

The original Handsome Dan

Thanks to their stubby frame and bulbous head, French bulldogs can’t swim.

After years of inbreeding by kennel clubs, modern bulldogs' noses are so squashed they can barely breathe, and their average life expectancy is six years.

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