The British Bulldog is a special breed of dog that got its origin in England. They are a compact dog with short but sturdy limbs. When the term "bulldog" was first used in the 1500s, it was used on any number of types of bulldog breeds, many of them ancestors of today's bulldogs. The British Bulldog is often referred to as the English bulldog or simply the Bulldog.
The Bulldog was imported to the United States from Britain between 1735 and 1840. The British allowed families to come to the Savannah colony and allowed them 500-acre grants. Their livestock roamed freely on this open farmland, so the bulldog was used to catch and protect the livestock from wolves. The cattle and bulls, at that time, had sharp horns and hoofs and were much quicker and smaller than the cattle of today. The wolves didn't bother the cattle that were healthy. The bulldogs had to be physically strong and quick enough to catch the bulls, hogs, or cattle at the owner's command. If the bulldog wasn't up to the task, he would often be trampled to death.
They were then trained to pen the bull by the nose and not attack him anywhere else. They were considered at that time to be the bravest animal alive.
In 1875, a Bulldog Club was started in England for their dogs. The meetings for this club were held in London at the Blue Post Pub on Oxford Street. This is where they got together and decided what they wanted in the breed and how to perfect it to their standards. The two main bulldogs in the club, King Orry and Dockleaf, were made to compete against each other to determine which dog could walk the farthest. The winner would then be the standard for what every other bulldog should be like. King Orry was very athletic, but had a lighter bone structure, most like the original bulldogs. Dockleaf was a heavier structured dog, but smaller and more like the bulldogs we see today. Dockleaf was the winner of the competition. The members of the club believed that King Orry was more physically fit to perform, but they liked the appearance of Dockleaf. This nice-looking version also proved that they could do whatever was expected of them athletically.
Through the years, breeders have tried to get some of the "old original" bulldog into the newer version in order to have the best of both worlds. The result of many of these breeding attempts is a bulldog that is not only nice looking, but very healthy and not prone to many health problems. The bulldog of today has many similarities of the one from the past. Although they have had the reputation for being aggressive, many good breeders have tried to work this out of the breed, so the public will realize what a good dog the British Bulldog can be.