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Bull dog

Sunday, 26 February, 2012

Bull dog

The term “Bulldog” was first mentioned in literature around 1500. The oldest spelling of the word being Bondogge and Bolddogge. The first reference to the word with the modern spelling is dated 1631 or 1632 in a letter by Preswick Eaton where he writes: “procuer mee two good Bulldogs, and let them be sent by ye first shipp”. The name “bull” was applied because of the dog’s use in the sport of bull baiting. This entailed the setting of dogs onto a tethered bull. The dog that grabbed the bull by the nose and pinned it to the ground would be the victor. Over the centuries dogs used for bull-baiting developed the stocky bodies and massive heads and jaws which typify the breed. Bull-baiting — along with bear-baiting — were both made illegal by the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835.

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