The British Bulldog has for many years had the reputation for being an aggressive dog, often making people fear the dog. This goes back to their days of being used for chasing and attacking cows and bulls for their owners. They had the task of grabbing them by the legs and making sure they were brought home. In addition, they were trained to pen them in the corner so they couldn't move. Their job was also to bait the bulls, grab them by the nose and pin them to the ground. Although this was later considered cruel and inhumane, this is how the dog got their name. This led to people believing the dog was not only aggressive but mean as well.
The Bulldog's face makes one remember what they were used for, with their short muzzle and undershot jaw making it possible to put the bull in a tight grip like a vice. The nose is set back on the face so the dog could still breathe while holding the bull. When people look at their face today, they can still remember what the dog was used for years ago. This facial characteristic is yet another aspect that gives the dog the appearance of being mean. Through the years, breeders have been trying to breed the aggression out of the dog to show that the British Bulldog could be made into a good family dog.
The bulldog is very stubborn in nature, and so it doesn't tend to do well in obedience training. They are a very mellow, easy-going dog, however, choosing to stay quite happily with family members. If strangers come to their home, they may bark and growl, but seldom do they do much more. They have had the reputation for so long of being aggressive, though, that many still fear the dog and don't want much to do with them as family pets. Their personality is such that they are a dog that "thinks things through", which often makes people think they are just being "bullheaded" and aggressive.
Because the bulldog is such a couch potato on the lazy side, many feel that they are being stubborn and unruly, when all they want is just to lay around and be comfortable. Although they are not the greatest dog to take for a walk, they do love the human companionship. They may not be the best dog to get for first-time pet owners, but they are lovable and protective animals. The history of the dog as well as their facial appearance still has some people thinking the dog is mean. Much has been done to transform this dog into the wonderful family pet they've become. Many breeders have been part of irresponsible breeding programs that have hurt the British Bulldog's reputation, which has led to some people still believing they are aggressive and mean.