British Bulldog

Bulldogs – a breed developed from Mastiffs and which acquired their name about 1630 – were also used to bait bears and badgers. The tremendous upswept jaw, with a broad nose set back almost between the eyes, was developed so that the Bulldog could breathe while it was hanging on to the neck of its unfortunate opponent. Horrifying accounts relate the animal’s courage and tenacity in the bullring. Originally bred for the sport of bull baiting, which was popular in England for more than 700 years before it was made illegal in 1850.

Today’s Bulldog is a far cry from its ancestors. It is more heavily built and less athletic than those dogs that were used to torment the bulls.

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