Where Do Bulldogs Get Their Name?
The English Bulldog can be traced back to the British Isles, sometime around the beginning of the 13th Century. They acquired their name because they were trained for the sport of bull baiting. This was a popular sport in medieval times and consisted of using dogs to provoke and attack bulls while spectators watched and bet on the outcome. The original Bulldogs were known for being ferocious and insensitive to pain, having been bred from a long line of fighters. They weighed about 80 pounds during that time period, which is much larger then the Bulldogs that are bred today. In 1835, this sport became illegal in Europe and Bulldogs became useless to their sporting owners and almost extinct. Fortunately, a few generations later, breeders started refining the qualities of the breed and eliminating the aggressive and undesirable traits.
They were accepted by the American Kennel club (AKC) in 1886 and were the 26th breed to be recognized. The English Bulldog has since developed into one of the most popular companion animals in the US.