Rocky Mountain Rawhide Olde English Bulldogges and Olde French Bulldogges

A Short History Of Bulldogges

A very long time ago, God created the Heavens and the Earth. At some point, He created Man and the animals man was to live with. Then, He sat back and watched what would happen. We’ve been keeping Him entertained ever since.

One of the things that Man did with one of God’s creations was to create the dog. The dog is not God’s creation. The dog is man-made. Man liked what he saw in the God-made wolf, but needed something a little less aggressive and with a little more desire to be told what to do. So, Man, through, selective breeding, created the dog. This was about 25 thousand years ago.

"Peaches" from Rocky Mountain Rawhide Bulldogges

“Peaches” from Rocky Mountain Rawhide Bulldogges

Initially, the dog looked just like the wolf. But, Man, again wanting to tinker with things, started adding and deleting certain traits in order to create different types of dogs. Each type of dog, through selective breeding, got better and better at the different jobs Man had the dog doing for him.

After many thousands of years, Man had created dogs suitable for all types of endeavors, their genetic make-up ensuring they would learn their tasks quickly, and be physically suited for what man intended them to do.

That’s why we have Retrievers that love to fetch and swim, Collies that like to chase and herd, and Bulldogs that like to grab and hold on.

What’s that – what do bulldogs do? They grab and hold on. Til death, if necessary. Yes, that is what Man created them to do.

But why? Let me explain…

 "Timon" from Rocky Mountain Rawhide Bulldogges

“Timon” from Rocky Mountain Rawhide Bulldogges

Bull Baiting

Many people know that the Bulldog is called a bulldog because they were used in the “sport” of bull baiting. Bull baiting was a spectator gambling sport very, very popular in England many years ago. (It’s now banned, of course, along with dog fighting, and cock fighting). People would bet on how long it took for a dog or group of dogs to bring a bull down to its knees. The dogs were selectively bred to rush in, grab the bull by the side of the face and wrestle the bull down. They were not to let go for any reason.

What people don’t realize is that aside from the “sport” of bull baiting, there was a practical aspect to owning bulldogs. Many years ago, before the advent of firearms, bullets, and the killing machines used on large livestock today, butchers had to be able to safely kill the sometimes very uncooperative large animals they were sent to butcher.

How do you get close enough to cut the throat of an angry bull when you don’t have guns, bullets, or trees to make corrals? You send in your bulldogs! They bring the bull to it’s knees, you slip in quickly to slit it’s throat (that’s why you don’t want your bulldogs letting go for any reason! You have to get very close in order to do that!) Then you back away and call the dogs off. The bull quickly bleeds to death and you can finish the job you were hired for.

So who were the first people to own bulldogs? Butchers. And, herders of cattle who butchered their own meat.

 "Twilight" from Rocky Mountain Rawhide Bulldogges

“Twilight” from Rocky Mountain Rawhide Bulldogges

Tenacity

So now we know why the bulldog, all variations of them, are so tenacious. If the dog let go at the wrong time, you’d be dead. The bull, very angry at what the dog has done, will go after what ever he can reach first. Since you can’t run as fast as the dog can, you’re dead if your bulldog lets go prematurely, squashed under a ticked off bovine.

In order to be sure that the dog can breathe properly while holding on, these ancient dog breeders created the under bite, which allows the dog free breathing while still clamped securely to the side of the bull’s face. The bulldog has no reason to let go in order to catch his breath, he can breathe just fine while holding on, something the other breeds simply can’t do.

As time went by, other characteristics were added to the tenacious bulldog’s list of traits. It was handy for them to be protective of stock, family and home, so that was added.

Safety for the Family

Rocky Mountain Rawhide "Levi" and young friend

Rocky Mountain Rawhide “Levi” and young friend

And, very importantly, since it was down right dangerous for a bulldog, with his grip and tenacity, to be aggressive to children or family members, a very kid-friendly loves-children never-hurt-the-family bulldog was created.

Aggressiveness was frowned upon, as were dogs who were over-exuberant or intolerant of other animals within the family. They were just too powerful, tenacious, and potentially dangerous to allow for “accidents”.

This is why our bulldogs look, act, and behave the way they do. They were created this way. All for very good reason.

I try adhere to these standards when choosing my breeding dogs. I think the old time breeders got it right. The new breeders, those breeding the AKC bulldogs, have lost sight of why the dog exists as a breed.

I certainly wouldn’t want to depend on the AKC bulldog
to subdue a bull for me!
But, that’s just me.

At least now people have a choice. And now you know why this great group of dogs is the way it is.