Bull baiting was introduced to Britain by the Normans in the 12th Century when they used mastiff-type dogs to torment bulls. By the 16th Century bull baiting was a popular ‘entertainment’ for all classes. The leggier mastiff types were replaced by smaller, thick-set dogs with strong heads and powerful jaws, these being the ancestors of the modern Bulldog.
In 1835 bull baiting was made illegal and the future of the breed, now without a function, was threatened. Those kept as companions provided the nucleus for the regeneration of the breed when dog showing became fashionable. The Kennel Club recognised the bulldog in 1873 and he remains the iconic British breed, thought to symbolise the spirit of the country.
Since the start of the 21st Century dedicated breeders have worked hard to improve the health of the breed by reducing exaggeration in the physical features. Changes to the Kennel Club Standard have militated against exaggeration with a strong focus on health and welfare. The Bulldog remains hugely popular as a family companion for his great character and loyalty.
Exercise: Up to 1 hour per day
Size of home: Small house
Grooming: Once a week
Coat length: Short
Lifespan: Under 10 years
Vulnerable native breed: No
Town or country: Either
Size of garden: Small/ medium garden