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Why Do Celebrities Love Bulldogs? A Brief History of the Bulldog

Why Do Celebrities Love Bulldogs?

English Bulldogs are small, muscular dogs with a big history. They are now the sixth most popular breed of dog in America. In Los Angeles, the home of the celebrities, they are the most popular breed. Celebrities like Pete Wentz, Shia Labeouf, Adam Sandler, Howard SternDavid Beckham, and Brad Pitt all own Bulldogs of their own. They are fun to look at and fun to play with.

howard stern bulldog

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A Controversial History: Bulldogs

The history of the English Bulldog is controversial to say the least. There is some degree of confusion regarding the origins of the bulldogs. In some circles, it is believed that the Bulldog is the parent breed of the larger Mastiff. It’s more commonly accepted that the bulldog originated from crossbreeding the Mastiff and a Pug.

Some evidence to suggest the second theory comes from the “Book of Dogs”, which was written in 1576 by Johannes Caius. Nowhere in this book is there mention of the Bulldog breed. This leads many to believe that the Bulldog had not yet been crossbred at this time.

english bulldog history

Much older texts from the time of the Romans describe short, broad-mouth fighting dogs. These dogs were very popular in sporting events held in the amphitheater. It is believed that these roman fighting dogs were the ancestors of both the Bulldog and the Mastiff.

The origin of the name “Bulldog” shows what a fierce and formidable breed they once were. Bulldogs were used to guard and bait bulls before the bulls were slaughtered for meat. There was a time when selling beef that had not been baited prior to slaughter was considered a crime. Baiting of bulls was also a popular sport during this time and Bulldogs were the number one contender. They were low to the ground, fearless, and strong enough to bait the biggest of bulls.

It wasn’t until 1631 that the Mastiff and Bulldog were described as two separate breeds entirely. This first recorded distinction comes in the form of a letter written by Prestwich Eaton. He writes to ask for a case of liquor and some good bulldogs.

The Bulldog Today

Bulldogs are no longer used to bait bulls, but their stout, muscular form is a reminder of their past. In truth, the modern Bulldog looks quite different from those bred hundreds of years ago. Bulldogs today are lovable, family-friendly, and extremely intelligent.

They are appearing more and more in politics, pop-culture, and as sports mascots. Warren G. Harding was the only president to have owned a bulldog. They are one of the one of the most popular mascots for college universities, with the University of Georgia’s “Uga” being the most well-known.

The odd shape and structure of the Bulldog puts them at an increased risk of developing certain health conditions. Owners must put forth the extra effort to regularly check the health of their dog by visiting the vet. They can develop joint conditions as well as certain respiratory problems. It’s also easy for them to grow overweight if they don’t receive proper exercise. Overweight Bulldogs have an even greater risk of developing health conditions.

Bulldogs: A Unique Attitude

Despite their history of being sporting champions, Bulldogs can be quite lazy. Perhaps that’s why they are so popular with celebrities. They also tend to be pretty stubborn. If they aren’t in the mood to walk, then it can be a challenge to get them out of the door. This can be problematic if you’re trying to control their weight.

Bulldogs are most certainly indoor dogs. They are sensitive to cold weather, but can’t stand that much heat either. If you want a friend to keep you company in the house, then there is no better breed.


Jonathan Leger is a freelance writer and small business owner. He runs a popular question and answer website at AnswerThis.co.

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