The English bulldog has been popular in England for many years. The first mention of the English bulldog dates back to 1209 in a description of a battle between the dogs of English butchers and a bull. Such performances were spread all over England and the organizers would compete with each other in order to offer the “audience” the cruelest battle between English bulldogs and various animals like bulls, bears, lions etc
Meanwhile, training an English bulldog was mainly based on the idea of obtaining qualities that could offer him leadership in the fighting arenas (also obtaining a dog with an outstanding courage and tenacity). Many believe that the English Bulldogs were trained to bite the bull by certain parts of the body, especially the nose which is very painful for the “fearful creature”.
During the 18th and the 19th centuries, this way of entertainment was considered a “national sport” that had admirers from all social classes. In 1778, the Duke of Devonshire promoted a law against “bull-baiting”. The law alone was not enough at that time to stop the battles, and since there were many admirers of the “sport” the organizers moved the “arena” underground. The English Bulldogs were seen as “public enemies” and their number decreased drastically until 1835 when a decree of the English Parliament had ended the cruel battles.
In Birmingham, the English Bulldogs began to revive, holding on to their strength and courage from the past and eliminating the unwanted aggressive habits. Later on, the breed was approached by several skilled admirers that managed to eliminate the aggressive behaviors, transforming the English bulldogs into famous participants of beauty exhibitions. Even though they endured a radical transformation – from “bull-baiting arena dogs” to companion pets – the English bulldogs managed to win the hearts of many families in England.
Being extremely popular, the English bulldog was converted into a national symbol (for England), also becoming the mascot of the World Cup held in England in 1966.
The English bulldog is one of the most lively, spontaneous, courageous, intelligent, gentle and sensitive companion pet today. Faithful and obedient to his owner, tolerant and caring with children and friendly with other pets (dogs, cats etc.), the English bulldog (as many claim) is “the perfect pet”. Keeping his natural “protector” instincts unaltered, the English bulldog makes a perfect watch dog for his house and territory and, although he is not a dog that would normally bark excessively he will do so if he senses any danger threatening his family. The English bulldog can be very bold and brave if a situation demands him to be, but he is also known to act in an intelligent manner, regardless of what he is faced with. The well known tenacity and courage of the English bulldog along with his appearance that sends out a powerful impression of strength and dynamism will be enough to warn intruders not to approach.
The English bulldogs are usually easy to train, and since they pay very much attention to the behavior they are approached with, they will only respond well to friendly and kind voice tones. Other than three short walks a day, the English bulldog will need nothing more than affection from his family to make him a happy and obedient companion pet. Read more here about the history of bulldogs, different names and types, appearence and characteristics, personality and temperament, health & problems, how to take care.