Old English Bulldog

Old English Bulldog

Overview
The Old English bulldog was a breed
Dog breed
Dog breeds are groups of closely related and visibly similar domestic dogs, which are all of the subspecies Canis lupus familiaris, having characteristic traits that are selected and maintained by humans, bred from a known foundation stock....

 of dog
Dog
The domestic dog is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in...

.

The Old English bulldog was compact, broad and muscular, as reflected in the well-known depiction Crib and Rosa
Crib and Rosa
Crib and Rosa is an 1817 painting by Samuel Raven, a follower of Abraham Cooper; Christie's attributes the painting to the latter, noting a variant held by the American Kennel Club....

. The average height was approximately 15 inches, and they weighed about 45 pounds. A particular characteristic of the breed was the lower jaw that projected considerably in front of the upper jaw, which made possible a strong, vice-like grip.
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Encyclopedia
The Old English bulldog was a breed
Dog breed
Dog breeds are groups of closely related and visibly similar domestic dogs, which are all of the subspecies Canis lupus familiaris, having characteristic traits that are selected and maintained by humans, bred from a known foundation stock....

 of dog
Dog
The domestic dog is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in...

.

Appearance


The Old English bulldog was compact, broad and muscular, as reflected in the well-known depiction Crib and Rosa
Crib and Rosa
Crib and Rosa is an 1817 painting by Samuel Raven, a follower of Abraham Cooper; Christie's attributes the painting to the latter, noting a variant held by the American Kennel Club....

. The average height was approximately 15 inches, and they weighed about 45 pounds. A particular characteristic of the breed was the lower jaw that projected considerably in front of the upper jaw, which made possible a strong, vice-like grip. The nose was deeply set in the face, which allowed the dog to get enough air as it gripped the bull
Bull
Bull usually refers to an uncastrated adult male bovine.Bull may also refer to:-Entertainment:* Bull , an original show on the TNT Network* "Bull" , an episode of television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation...

.

History


The English
English people
The English are a nation and ethnic group native to England, who speak English. The English identity is of early mediaeval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Anglecynn. England is now a country of the United Kingdom, and the majority of English people in England are British Citizens...

 blood sport
Blood sport
Bloodsport or blood sport is any sport or entertainment that involves violence against animals.Bloodsport includes coursing or beagling, combat sports such as cockfighting and dog fighting, or other activities...

 of bull-baiting
Bull-baiting
Bull-baiting is a blood sport involving the baiting of bulls.-History:In the time of Queen Anne of Great Britain, bull-baiting was practiced in London at Hockley-in-the-Hole, twice a week – and was reasonably common in the provincial towns...

 allowed for a specialized breed in the form of the Old English bulldog. The main locations in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 for these exhibitions were Westminster Pit
Westminster Pit
The Westminster Pit was a well-known blood sport arena in nineteenth-century London, England. It reached a zenith of popularity between 1820 and 1830, and hosted such spectacles as dog-fighting, cock-fighting, bear-baiting, badger-baiting, monkey-baiting, and rat-baiting...

, Bear Garden and Old Conduit Fields. One of the breeders who spanned the transition period between the Old English bulldog and the modern bulldog was famous dog dealer Bill George
Bill George (dog dealer)
Bill George was a 19th century dog dealer in London, England.-Early life:George's first job was as a butcher's boy, and he was a bareknuckle prizefighter, but he later became an apprentice to Ben White of "May Tree Cottage", Kensal New Town, a dealer of Old English Bulldogs, the ancestral breed of...

.

Breeding


Historians are fairly confident that the Old English bulldog is derived from ancient war dog
War dog
Dogs in warfare have a long history starting in ancient times. From 'war dogs' trained in combat to their use as scouts, sentries and trackers, their uses have been varied and some continue to exist in modern military usage.-History:...

s, such as the old Mastiff
English Mastiff
The English Mastiff, referred to by virtually all Kennel Clubs simply as the Mastiff, is a breed of large dog perhaps descended from the ancient Alaunt through the Pugnaces Britanniae. Distinguishable by enormous size, massive head, and a limited range of colors, but always displaying a black mask,...

 or Alaunt
Alaunt
The Alaunt is often thought of as an extinct breed of dog, however the Alaunt is not a breed, it is a type of dog also known as Mastiff. A number of modern dog breeds are believed directly descended from the Alaunt. The original Alaunt is thought to have resembled a Caucasian Shepherd Dog. They...

. Others believe that the true origin of the breed is not entirely clear. Depictions in old prints show that the variety was without doubt a small Mastiff with a comparatively long head. The word 'Mastiff' was eventually dropped when describing these smaller Mastiffs, as the Mastiff proper was found too slow for bull-baiting. Eventually, the Greyhound
Greyhound
The Greyhound is a breed of sighthound that has been primarily bred for coursing game and racing, and the breed has also recently seen a resurgence in its popularity as a pedigree show dog and family pet. It is a gentle and intelligent breed...

 was crossed into the breed, increasing the mastiff's speed without losing the breed's ferocity. This step reduced the Old English bulldog's size and weight, with the Greyhound's features seen in specimens of that time.

Description


Two other recognized members of the breed can be seen in the 1817 painting Crib and Rosa, with Rosa exemplifying the form and size of the ideal type of Old English bulldog, albeit deficient in wrinkles about the head and neck and in substance of bone in the limbs. They are faster than regular bulldogs and have an average speed of 7 miles per hour.

Decline


In England, the passage of the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835
Cruelty to Animals Act 1835
The Cruelty to Animals Act 1835 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom , which was intended to protect animals from mistreatment....

 caused a decline of bull-baiting and dog fighting
Dog fighting
Dog fighting is a form of blood sport in which game dogs are made to fight, sometimes to the death. It is illegal in most developed countries. Dog fighting is used for entertainment and may also generate revenue from stud fees, admission fees and gambling....

, leading to a lack of interest in perpetuating the Old English bulldog. Three dogs from the Duke of Hamilton
Duke of Hamilton
Duke of Hamilton is a title in the Peerage of Scotland, created in 1643. It is the senior dukedom in that Peerage , and as such its holder is the Premier Peer of Scotland, as well as being head of both the House of Hamilton and the House of Douglas...

's strain of Old English bulldog, 'Wasp, Child, and Billy,' were famously depicted in a painting and recognized as some of the last known members of the breed before they became extinct.

Despite the laws making dog fighting illegal
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 the activity continued for many years. Breeders determined a cross between the Old English bulldog and Old English terrier
Old English Terrier
The Old English Terrier is a dog breed of the terrier type.- Appearance :HEAD: The head is strong and powerful, balanced to the size of the dog, wedge shaped. The skull and the muzzle are equal in length, or the muzzle is slightly shorter than the skull...

 created a superior fighting dog with increased quickness and dexterity. This new breed of dog, called the Bull and Terrier
Bull and Terrier
-History:The Bull and Terrier is a cross between the Old English Bulldog and a variety of Terriers. The anatomy of the Bull and Terrier is the result of selective breeding for the purpose of hunting, dog fighting and baiting.-Hunting:...

, was a precursor to the Bull Terrier
Bull Terrier
The Bull Terrier or English Bull Terrier is a breed of dog in the terrier family. They are known for their large, egg-shaped head, small triangular eyes, and "jaunty gait." Their temperament has been described as generally fun-loving, active and clownish...

 and Pit Bull Terrier and accelerated the extinction of the Old English bulldog.

Reincarnations


Several breeders are attempting to recreate this extinct breed with some success. However, these recreations are not the Old English bulldog, as the genetics from this breed are extinct.

Olde English bulldogge


One contemporary recreation of the breed is called the Olde English bulldogge
Olde English Bulldogge
The Olde English Bulldogge is a purebred breed of dog. It is a re-creation of the bull-baiting dog that existed in England during the English Regency period of 1811-1820.- Appearance :...

. Starting in the 1970s, a breeding program developed for cattle at Ohio State University was used, with the aim of recreating the Old English bulldog. This modern day version, though possessing similar physical abilities, does not have the violent temperament of the Old English bulldog. This recreation was done by line-breeding to create a breed with a foundation of half bulldog
Bulldog
Bulldog is the name for a breed of dog commonly referred to as the English Bulldog. Other Bulldog breeds include the American Bulldog, Olde English Bulldogge and the French Bulldog. The Bulldog is a muscular heavy dog with a wrinkled face and a distinctive pushed-in nose...

, and the other half bullmastiff
Bullmastiff
The Bullmastiff is a large breed of domestic dog. It has a solid build and a short muzzle. The Bullmastiff shares the characteristics of Molosser dogs, and was originally developed by 19th-century gamekeepers in England to guard estates and immobilize poachers. The breed's bloodlines are drawn from...

, American pit bull terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium-sized, solidly built, short haired dog whose early ancestors came from England and Ireland...

, and American bulldog
American Bulldog
The American Bulldog is a breed of working dog that was developed in the United States. There are generally considered to be three types of American bulldog: the Bully or Classic type , the Standard or Performance type , and the Hybrid type...

.

Others


There are several other recreations but none have become popular, including but not limited to, the Able bulldog, Old Tyme bulldogge, Renascence bulldogge, Victorian bulldog, Aylestone bulldog, Bulldog, and the Spanish bulldogge.

Bulldog


Often confused with the Old English Bulldog, the Bulldog
Bulldog
Bulldog is the name for a breed of dog commonly referred to as the English Bulldog. Other Bulldog breeds include the American Bulldog, Olde English Bulldogge and the French Bulldog. The Bulldog is a muscular heavy dog with a wrinkled face and a distinctive pushed-in nose...

 is noted for its sweet disposition; however, it has maintained little of the speed and agility that were the definitive characteristics of the Old English Bulldog.

Further reading

  • Fleig, D. (1996). History of Fighting Dogs. Neptune, NJ
    Neptune City, New Jersey
    Neptune City is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 4,869.The Borough of Neptune City was incorporated on October 4, 1881, based on a referendum held on March 19, 1881...

    : TFH Publications. ISBN 0-7938-0498-1
  • Homan, M. (2000). A Complete History of Fighting Dogs. Howell Book House Inc. ISBN 1-58245-128-1
  • Jenkins, R. (1997). The Story of the Real Bulldog. Neptune, NJ
    Neptune City, New Jersey
    Neptune City is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 4,869.The Borough of Neptune City was incorporated on October 4, 1881, based on a referendum held on March 19, 1881...

    : TFH Publications. ISBN 0-7938-0491-4
  • McDonald, J. (1985). The Book of the Bulldog. Neptune, NJ
    Neptune City, New Jersey
    Neptune City is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 4,869.The Borough of Neptune City was incorporated on October 4, 1881, based on a referendum held on March 19, 1881...

    : TFH Publications. ISBN 0-86622-027-5

External links