Bulldogges of Olde History & Gallery

This is a page dedicated to pictures of the bulldogges of past days.  The original bulldogge was bred to be a dog used in the bull baiting ring.  There really wasn’t a locked in type back in those days.    What they did have that distinguished them from other bull baiting dogs was their underbite, pronounced head  and tenacious character.  These dogs would never give up even if it meant death.  The bulldogge of past days was mostly bred for a function rather than the show ring.  They were loyal to their masters and quick to stop an intruder.  They were guardians of homes as well as estates.  These dogs were dogs that gave it their all in every job they did….

The following is some History of the breed:

Bulldog History

About The Philo-Kuon

The Philo-Kuon Breeders of the 1800’s: When debates were first heard at the turn of the 18th century on whether to make bull baiting illegal or not in England’s parliament, a group of visionary dog breeders began an effort to save the legendary symbol of British courage, the primordial English Bulldog.  This group would eventually be called the Philo-Kuon breeders.  Parliamentary debates continued for three and a half decades, during that time the British newspapers crucified the Bulldog, painting a caricature “monster dog”, image similar to the current media campaign against the Pit Bull.  The 19th century English newspapers were correct in only one area: the working Bulldog was too hard a dog to be a family pet without an out cross.  Philo-Kuon breeders crossed Pug into Bulldogs to create a new breed that was to carry on the name and the valor of the original canine warrior but be more manageable. The Pug out cross was needed to tone down the extremely hard and aggressive personalities of the bull baiting dogs.


The original Bulldog resembled an American Staffordshire Terrier or a Performance AB and weighed about 50 pounds.  Pug/Bulldog crosses often weighed only 20 pounds and resembled Boston Terriers with rose ears.  The Pug/Bulls were tested in rat pits for gameness and functional structure. These weren’t show breeders trying to save the English Bulldog, they were people who use to bait bulls as a breed test.  The 20 pound miniature Bulldogs that survived the rat pits were bred to large 100% Bulldogs with short muzzles or small Mastiffs, both had to have mellow temperaments to be considered worthy breed candidates by Philo-Kuon breeders.  The result was a 40 to 60 pound dog that resembled a Boxer.  In 1835 bull baiting was made illegal.  By the 1860’s the new breed had solidified and was gaining popularity as a home guardian.  A breed standard was drawn up and dogs shows were held.  A painting of Rosa and Crib, the foundation pair that most bloodlines sprang from, was incorporated into the English show standard. Rosa and Crib were the Adam and Eve of Philo-Kuon English Bulldogs.


The standard was written under the pen name Philo-Kuon, Latin for dog lover.  Philo-Kuon not only insisted that the newly created Pug Bull breed must resemble Rosa and Crib , or in effect resemble Boxers, the dogs had to be courageous and resolute.  The new version of the English Bulldog must be able to attack on command any threatening person or any wild animal and still be easy to control. The English breeders throughout the 19th century who followed the dictates of Philo-Kuon bred a courageous Boxer like Bulldog that was a family protector par excellence.  They tested their dogs extensively in various athletic activities such as throwing wooden planks into a churning ocean from 15 foot cliffs.  The Philo-Kuon Bulldogs would plunge off the cliffs, into white caps and drag the planks to shore, barking joyfully for their masters to throw the plank out again.

Rosa and Crib


The English Philo-Kuon Bulldog was used to create many fine Bull breeds around the world.  English breeders sold top dogs to the Germans.  The modern Boxer is at least 50% descended from Philo-Kuon bloodlines.  Many Philo-Kuon Bulldogs were also exported to America and the AB is partially descended from this source.  Champion Crib was a typical Philo-Kuon English Bulldog.  The reason so many of these magnificent Philo-Kuon Bulldogs were shipped out of England has to do with a schism within the 19th century English Bulldog community.  Towards the second half of the 19th century Boxer like Bulldogs stopped winning dog shows.  A third type had been created through in breeding that looked nothing like a Boxer or a small Johnson AB.


The new type was dubbed the sour mug.  It looked like nothing that had ever come before it.  The sour mug had a muzzle so short it could not be measured.  Its elbows were bowed out like a piano’s legs. Its chest was so wide it couldn’t move in a normal fashion.  The Philo-Kuon breeders examined the third type, the sour mug, and declared it an abomination against nature and didn’t take the sour mug breeder’s threats seriously, threats to take over the English Bulldog national club and change the standard to favor the freakish sour mug.  Sour Mug breeders scorned the drawings of Rosa and Crib in the Philo-Kuon standard and the performance testing required to keep the English Bulldog athletic.  They created a squatty non athletic toad like dog, the modern AKC English Bulldog and called for the athletic Philo-Kuon breeders to abandon the lithe Bulldog form.



Unfortunately, the Philo-Kuon breeders were distracted from the game of political football within the English Bulldog national breed club.  Because of their negligence, Judges were convinced that the squatty sour mug type was correct and the Boxer type was incorrect.  Sour Mug breeders won more and more dog shows as the century advanced.  The Philo-Kuon breeders were distracted because they were busy importing the finest Spanish Bulldogs that had confirmations similar to athletic English Bulldogs but were larger.  From a functional and working point of view the Philo-Kuon breeders were doing excellent work.  Spanish Bulldogs were imported that weighed 90 pounds and had thoroughly tested dispositions.  The Spanish Bulldog was descended entirely from English Bulldog stock, so this was not another breed out cross.  The Philo-Kuon breeders were actually reducing the amount of Pug in their new toned down house Bulldogs.  They sought Spanish Bulldogs with exceptionally short noses, roughly 2 or 2 1/2 inches long.  They were doing superb work if the goal was to produce a typey, but still functional Bulldog.


Belcher was a Philo-Kuon Bulldog that won over 100 Pit contests.  As the last decade of the 19th century loomed the Philo-Kuon breeders discovered that their dogs were being shunned by the public in favor of the sour mug.  The Sour Mug breeders had publicly exposed the crossing of Spanish Bulldog into their competitor’s lines.  A hue and cry was raised that the Philo-Kuon breeders were being unpatriotic when they crossed foreign blood into English Bulldogs.  There were other reasons for the new type’s popularity, sour mugs were physically chained or hobbled by their stumpy short legs and smashed in faces.  Sour mugs would chase cats but not catch them.  Some Philo-Kuon Bulldogs would kill all the neighborhood cats and whip all the local dogs.  Others were mellower and with proper training were great guard dogs that could exercise restraint.  Over time the Philo-Kuon Bulldog was given a more sedate personality but they would always be rambunctious dogs.


Philo-Kuon breeders did not go down without a fight.  They challenged the sour mug breeders to walking races over twelve mile courses.  The sour mug breeders were loathe accepting the challenge but would have lost face if they forfeited.  Sour mugs did indeed race Philo-Kuon Bulldogs.  The sour mugs would collapse after two miles of walking and were exposed as being grossly non-functional. The Philo-Kuon Bulldogs could zip around the 12 mile course for hours and wear out several different handlers.  Sour Mug breeders shot back that maybe the new sour mug type wasn’t a ball of fire but at least it wasn’t polluted with Spanish blood.


A second media campaign was directed at the Philo-Kuon breeders.  The phony patriotic argument carried the day, never mind that the original out cross a century earlier was made to a breed that originated in Asia.  The drawings of Rosa and Crib were torn from the standard and ground under a boot heel as the sneering sour mug breeders had their final revenge for being humiliated in the walking races.  At the turn of the 19th century there were essentially no Philo-Kuon Bulldogs left in England.


Philo-Kuon Bulldogge standard:

The head should be large and high, that is, with elevation about the temples, and deeply sunken between the eyes, which indentation is termed

The Stop.  This Stop should extend some distance up the head. The skin of the head should be wrinkled, and the cheeks should extend outwards well beyond the eyes.  The forehead of the dog should not be prominent, as in the King Charles Spaniel, and not too round or it would be Apple Headed.   The head of a fine dog fifty pounds of weight, should measure round the thickest part about twenty inches.

The eyes should be wide apart, almost black, of moderate size, rather full than otherwise, round, and not deeply set. The line of the eyes should be at right angles with the line of the face, and the eyes placed quite in front of the head, as far from the ear and as near the nose as possible.

The ears should be small, thin, and wide apart.  They should be Rose, Button, or Tulip.  The Rose ear falls backwards, while the ends lap over outwards exposing part of the inside. The Button ear differs from the Rose only in falling over forwards, which hides the interior.  The Tulip ear is nearly erect.  These are the only distinct sorts of ear, but there are various grades between them, and sometimes one almost merges into the other, for the dog does not always carry them in the same manner as, for instance, the ear which is naturally a Rose ear may become almost a Tulip ear when the dog is excited.

The nostrils should be wide and the nose large and almost between the eyes, and black, and deep-thus, taking the depth of the nose and the length from the eye to the end of the nose, the distance ought to be about the same.  There should be a well defined line straight up between the nostrils.  The best bred dogs will be liable to flesh or spotted noses; this is a blemish, but no sign of bad breeding; true bred bulldogs will sometimes have flesh colored noses.

The muzzle should be broad, deep, and short, with the skin deeply wrinkled and under hung, but not showing the teeth; for if the mouth be even they are termed Shark headed, which is considered a very bad point.  This is an important point, because it denotes width and squareness of under jaw.

The neck should be moderate in length, thick and arched at the back, with plenty of loose, wrinkled skin about the throat.

The ribs should be well rounded and the chest wide, deep, and rounded.

The tail should be inserted rather low down; thick where it joins the body, long and thin, and turned round at the end, in which case it is termed a Ring or Tiger tail, similar to that of the Greyhound but shorter. The perfect tail is shown in the print of Mr. Lovell’s Ball, and the tail nearest approaching that is the nearest to perfection. The tail thin and taper, curling over the back or hanging down, termed tiger tailed; rarely erected except when the passions of the animal are aroused.

The back should be short and arched in the loins, termed Roach-backed, wide across the shoulders and narrow across the loins.  The Roach-back is shown in perfection in the print of Crib and Rosa.  Rosa’s shape is perfect.

The legs The forelegs should be stout, with well marked calves, bowed outwards, short, and very wide apart.  The hind legs should be slightly longer in proportion than the forelegs, so as to elevate the loins. The hocks should approach each other, which involves the stifles being turned outwards, and well rounded, which seems to obstruct the dogs speed in running, but is admirably adapted to progressive motion when combatting on his belly.

The feet should be moderately round; not so round as a cat’s nor so long as a Hare’s feet, and should be well split up between the toes.  The forefeet should be straight, and should show the knuckles well.  The pasterns should be strong, that dog may walk well on his toes.

The coat should be fine, short, and close.  The bulldog has a very peculiar carriage, heavy and rather slow.  He rolls very much in his gait, and generally runs rather sideways; his hind legs are seldom lifted very high, so that his hind feet(which like the stifles are turned outwards)appear to skim the ground. The Colour should be salmon, fallow, red, brindled, or white, with those colours variously pied.  The salmon and fallow with black muzzles, called Smuts, are choice colours.  Some greatly admire the whites, but a bright Salmon with black muzzle would be the choicest of all colours.  Black was formerly considered a good colour, but black and tan, and blue, are very bad colours.  There is a strong resemblance between a brindled Bulldog and a striped Hyena.

Weight  A Bulldog seldom weighs more than 60 lbs.  If larger, he may be suspected of the Mastiff cross. On the other hand, he ought not be less than 20 lbs in weight, or he may be suspected of being crossed with the Terrier.  The larger Bulldogs are grander and more striking in their proportions than the small ones.


Philo-Kuon London February 1865 by R. H. Voss Text originally printed in 1933 in a British publication called “Our Dogs”. Mr Voss was the #1 authority and historian of his day on Bulldogs.  This same article was printed before in Stodghill’s ARF Cowdog Magazine, issue #114 in 1989. R.H. Voss suggest that the breed goes back to the war dogs of the ancient Britons. Briton was made a Roman province in the year 50 AD, when the British chieftain Caractacus was defeated by Emperor Claudius.  At That time there were “pugnaces” or war dogs, in Briton.  They were used in war, for the contests in the amphitheater and in the chase.  These fighting dog of Briton were known as the Broad Mouthed Dogs of Briton.  There is very little doubt that they were the original and remote ancestors of our Mastiff and Bulldog.


They appealed to the Romans, who sent considerable numbers of them from Briton to Rome, to take part in the sports of the amphitheater, and it has even been said that the Romans appointed an officer to select British bulldog and export them to Rome.  There is evidence that from Italy the breed of British war dogs was disseminated over the continent in the years 50-410.


Bear Baiting-The Saxon kingdom of England was succeeded in 1066 by Norman Kings and the training of bulls, bears, horses and other animals for the purposes of baiting the with bulldogs was practiced by the jugglers who were introduced into England by her Norman conquerors.  As early as Henry II‘s time 1154 the baiting of bulls and bears by bulldog was indeed a popular amusement.  Henry II had gained Bordeaux on his marriage with Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1151, and this important town remained in the hands of the English till about 1411, for approximately 260 years.  From 1356 to 1367 the court of King Edward III “father of Edward the black prince”, with its attendant sports of bull and bear baiting, was held at Bordeaux.  It was in or about 1406 that Edmond de Langley, Duke of York, the forth son of seven son’s of Edward III, wrote a treatise entitled, “The Mayster of the Game and of hawks to Henry IV, and in his treatise he described the Alaunt or Allen bulldog as a bulldog with a large and thick head and a short muzzle, which was remarkable for his courage, so that when he attacked an animal he hung on, and was used for bull baiting.  He described the great French Alaunt, drawing a distinction between the Gentil and the Alaunt de Boucherie.  The French Alaunt being a descendant of the English Alaunts exported to Bordeaux, and in turn the ancestors, without any doubt whatsoever, of the Dogue de Bordeaux, the huge fighting bulldog of South of France.

In 1556 it is known that great numbers of English Alaunts were introduced into Spain and the island of Cuba by Philip II for the purposes of the arena.  In 1557 Dr. Caius, of Chambridge, described the Mastiff or Bulldog which was undoubtedly the direct descendant of the Alaunt, as a vast, huge stubborn, ugly and eager bulldog, of a heavy and burdenous body, “serviceable to bait and take the bull by the ear two dogs at most being sufficient for that purpose, however untamable the bull might be”. Bull Broke Loose, from a colored engraving, artist unknown, circa 1820  In 1585 a Hondius painter painted an oil painting on an oak panel [which came into the possession of Mr. Frank Adcock] which depicted two bandogges or Alaunts attacking a wild boar in the bed of a shallow stream.  One was red with a black muzzle, and the other was white with brindle ear patches, and they were both had “rose ears”, and long fine tails, and looked as though they must have weighed 100 to 120 lbs.  The red bulldog had a firm grip on the left ear of the boar.  The fact that the “pugnaces” of Briton were known as the “Broad Mouthed dogs of Briton” and that Claudian in 390 AD stated that they were able to pull down a bull, shows that these dogs were, of course, in a rough and typical manner only the original stock from which the Bulldog and Mastiff sprang.


That these bulldog were in the years 50-410 exported to Rome by the Romans, and from Rome disseminated over the Continent, there is no doubt.  Further, it has been shown that as early as 1154 the baiting of bulls and bears by bulldog in England was a popular amusement.  Also it shows that from 1151 to 1411 Bordeaux belonged to England, and that the English court was actually situated there from 1356 till 1367, with its accompaniment of bull and bear baiting.  It was while the English still held Bordeaux that the Alaunt was undoubtedly exported to France from 141 onwards for a period on 260 years, and he was almost certainly crossed there with some remote descendants of the British war dogs which hundreds of years previously had traveled to France via Rome.  It is absolutely in keeping therefore, imagining that the Dogue de Bordeaux as imported to England in 1895 by Mr. Sam Wookiwss and the late Mr. H.C. Brooke, was the originally descended from the English Alaunts which were exported to Bordeaux from 1151 to 1411.


THE DOGUE DE BORDEAUX In 1895, in the year that Mr. John Proctor judged the breed at the Bordeaux show, it was a bulldog of an average height of 25 1/2 inches and of an averaged weight of 120 lbs.  The skull circumference was 26 inches. Nose length as measured from the corner of the eye to the tip of the nose was three inches on the average.  These bulldogs for many years. from the English occupation of Bordeaux onwards, were bred for encounters in the arena, being pitted against each other or against the bull, the bear or the ass, and even as late as 1906 these encounters occasionally took place.  The famous Mastiff, Beaufort, whose measurements approached the standards of perfection were, 27 inch skull, and the length of his muzzle was 4 inches, whilst he stood 29 1/2 inches at the shoulder, and therefore weighted about 160 lbs, forty pounds more than the average Dogue de Bordeaux.  In 1907 the bulldog’s use in the arena in France began to be entirely discontinued, and at the Paris dog show that year there was only 10 Dogues on view, and the winners had button ears and black mask, like English Mastiffs.


THE NAME BULLDOG during the reign of Mary, Elizabeth, James 1 and Charles 1, which covered the years 1553 to 1649, the baiting of bulls and full grown bears by bulldogs was a very popular sport. Hentzner, in his itinerary, printed in Latin in the reign of Queen Elizabeth in 1598, stated that there was a place built in the form of a theater for bating and “great English dogs” which shows that in 1598 they were still very large.  In 1556 Philip II became king of Spain and introduced great numbers of English Alaunts into Spain and the Islands of Cuba and Majorca for the purpose of the arena.  In my own mind there is very little doubt that the dog from Burgos depicted in the old bronze plaque, dated 1625, was a descendant of these English dogs or was an imported English dog himself.  It was not until 1631, in the reign of Charles I, that the name “BULLDOG” was first mentioned in England.


There is a letter in the record office which was written in 1632 from St. Sebastion in Spain, by an Englishman called Prestwich Eaton to his friend George Wellingham in St. Swithens s Lane, London, asking for a good “MASTIFF” dog and two “BULLDOGS” to be sent out to him. This is definite proof that six years after the Burgos plague the export of Bulldogs {as they were just beginning to be called} from England to the sport loving Dons of Spain, which had been commenced by Philip II 75 years earlier, was still continuing.  The cropped bulldog depicted on the old Spanish plaque of 1625 was very noticeable a big dog and very noticeable a BULLDOG, being much under hung, with a big skull and well laid back nose.  Many years later in the year 1840, Bill George imported from Spain a big BULLDOG, which was called Big Headed Billy, whilst in 1868 Mr. Marquart brought over Bonnhomme and Lisbon, and in 1873 Mr. Frank Adcock acquired Toro and Alphonse in Madrid.  All these five were termed purebred Spanish Bulldogs, and they were exactly of the type depicted on the 1625 plaque.  Big headed Billy was a brindle pied, Bonhomme a brindle, Torro a red carroty brindle, and Alphonse a fawn with a black mask and white markings, and all these four bulldog weighted 90 lbs.


I heard it stated that Lisbon and Alphonse were both noted bulldog in the arena in Spain.  Torro had a 22 inch skull, stood 22 inches at the shoulder, and measured 2 1/2 inches from the corner of his eye to the tip of his nose. It is clear to me that these big 90 lb Spanish bulldogs were reasonably short in face with proper Bulldog tails having a downward crook at the root and at the end.  They were all cropped. Ball, owned by Mr. Lovell referred to as a British Bulldog Standard London around 1865  It seems to me quite clear that the Dogue de Bordeaux, which averaged 120 lbs. in weight and was 25 1/2 inches in height, 26 1/2 inches in skull circumference, and three inches in length of face.  Within many cases light eyes and red noses, and in all cases only slight projection of underjaw had tails which reached in the hocks, represented the English Alant as bread in England and Bordeaux in the years 1151/1411.

Whilst the Spanish Bulldog, which averaged only 90 lbs in weight. 2 1/2 inches in length of face, and which had dark eyes and a black nose and mask.  Was well underhung with a moderately short crooked down tail.  The Bulldogs rolling gate represented the English Bulldog as bred in the years 1556/1649, when the Bulldog was just beginning to be a different dog from the Mastiff.  To the modern eyes the Dogue de Bordeaux and the Spanish Bulldog would appear to be of Mastiff type, but the Bulldog less so clearly due the fact that the English dogs which began to go out to Spain in 1556 were already much more of the Bulldog type than the English dogs that went to Bordeaux in the years 1151/1411, before the Bulldog and the mastiff had begun to emerge from the Alaunt and to take definite shapes of their own.


THE SMALLER DOG APPEARS. The new system of Bull-baiting, as practiced from 1686 onwards favored an active bulldog of moderately low stature and size.  With his nose will laid back and a protruding under jaw.  The great Bulldog of 90 lbs in weight which had been in Vogue when bull-baiting was the sport of kings was no longer wanted.  Whilst the common folk who now had the sport in hand could not afford to keep such huge animals.  Much can happen to change a breed of a bulldog in fifty years and by inbreeding and breeding with a fixed purpose in view, between the years of 1686 and 1735, a dog of definite type and of an average weight of 50 to 60 lbs, was produced.  The bulldog of 1735, was smaller in skull than the Bulldog of today 1933, longer in face, higher in shoulder, not so wide in front, lighter in bone and body, and less exaggerated in every way.  The Bulldog that gradually evolved in the years 1686/1735 was 40% lighter than his ancestors and was not only the bravest Bulldog but actually the bravest creature on earth, not even excepting the old English Game Cock.  This was an indisputable fact, which was proven time and time again.  A number of Bulldogs were matched against George Wombwell’s lions in Warwickshire in 1825.  The dog which was produced in the years 1686/1735 was the Bulldog for the bull, and it was during those years and not before then, that the Bulldog was taught and trained to pen the bull by the nose and never to attack him in any other place.  As early as 1710 this method of attack became an inherited tendency and even today, though bull-baiting was abolished 98 years ago, or around 1835.


BULLDOG FIGHTING: AND THE BULL TERRIER From 1735 to 1835 the Bulldog was bred on the same lines with no alterations in type.  In 1835 the cruel practice of Bull-baiting was prohibited by law and the Bulldog’s true occupation disappeared.  He would probably have most died out but for the barbarous so called sport of Bulldog fighting.  Bulldog fighting commenced about 1690, in the reign of James II. Burnette in his “History of My Own Times” written about 1700, refers to Bulldog fighting and the gardens at which these scenes were enacted.  For fully 100 years the Bulldog
was the only dog used in this cruel pastime, but in or about the year 1800 the devotees of the game sought to produce a quicker dog in the pit.  At this time there were many smooth coated Old English Terriers in varied colorings, all smart, active and alert, excellent for killing rats or unearthing the fox. The larger types of these Terriers were crossed with the Bulldog and the product which was a dog that combined all the dash and speed of the terrier with the indomitable courage and fighting instinct of the Bulldog.


These dogs were known as Bull Terriers.  In the years 1800 and 1835, when the notorious Westminster Pit flourished, the young Corinthians of those days indulged freely in dog fighting.  And it is probable that a certain number of pure Bulldogs were fought in the pit till at least 1840.  Web masters note: This in the beginning of the PIT BULL as we know him today or American Pit Bull Terrier.  I am sorry to say that many of the so called American Bulldogs today have some Terrier blood as well as Mastiff, Bull mastiff, Dogue de Bordeaux, Louisiana Catahoula Cur, Boxer or, the modern English Bulldog.  Be very cautious in buying a so-called American Bulldog.  Four major guidelines, COMPARE : Breeders, Pictures, Registries and Health.


Bulldog fighting, as well as bull and bear baiting, was made illegal in 1835, but it continued to be carried on secretly in quite an extensive manner until about 1880, more especially in London, Birmingham, Liverpool and several towns in the black country, notably Walsall.  From 1840 till about 1855 no other dog was used in the pit but the comparatively short faced, course and bandy legged Bull Terrier.  In about 1855 James Hinks, of Birmingham, produced the first of the modern white Bull Terriers, which he had obtained by crossing the Bulldog and the Terrier with the refined and graceful white English Terrier.  After 1880 police supervision became stricter, though fights were secretly staged in different towns on a number of occasions between 1880 and 1899, that being the last year I ever heard of a Bulldog fight being held.


BULLDOGS A CENTURY AGO Let us now revert to the year 1835, when bull bating, bear baiting and Bulldog fighting were abolished by law.  The Bulldog was then looked upon as the associate of rogues and vagabonds and was condemned by the better class of people for keeping bad company.  For five years, the Bulldog was probably only kept in existence by the fact that he still had a few admirers who stuck to him as a fighting dog.  But by 1840 there were probably less Bulldogs in England than at any period during the breed existence.  The bulk of Bulldog at that time were 45 to 50 pound dogs upon the lines which they had been bred for that type and purpose had emerged about 1735, that is to say they were extremely active, powerful, game and tenacious dogs, much more leggy and much less coddley and not nearly so heavy built as our present day dogs, but nevertheless very muscular and compact, as shown in Scott’s engraving of Crib and Rosa, dated 1817. At the same time there were still in existence a certain number of much bigger dogs running up to 65 pounds in weight and these were the remnants of the days when Bulldog were 90 pound dogs.  These remnants of the old type were mostly in the hands of one or two people, notably Bill George, who in 1838 had succeeded Ben White as a keeper of baiting and fighting dogs and they were naturally more of a Mastiff type than the smaller and more popular dog.

This was the position of 1840 and it was fortunate for the Bulldog that just about then, the interest in the Bulldogs began to increase and working man fanciers began to arise who bred dogs with great care and who held small Public-House evening shows, where their Bulldogs paraded on the sanded floors of rap rooms, the landlord usually providing the prizes, though sometimes the working men who kept these Bulldogs, clubbed together to contribute a handsome silver collar, or something of that sort.


THE PUG CROSS AND IT’S EFFECTS  The dogs which epically appealed to those good old working men fanciers were King Charles Spaniels and Bulldog and as they always preferred a little dog, there is no doubt that they crossed some of their smaller sized Bulldog bitches with Pug dogs, in order to reduce the size of the progeny and also to produce the fawn smut color which was then much admired.  The average weight of the Pug dog of those days was 20 lbs. and their ears when not shorn off and rounded close to the head, were then as often Rose as Button.  By crossing the two breeds over a decade of years, lightweight Bulldog were produced weighting between 12 and 20 lbs.  It being the desire of these dog fanciers to bantamize the Bulldog and produce as attractive a pet that would cost no more to rear than their Toy Spaniels and for which they would have a ready sale.


There is no doubt that this Pug cross had a lot to do with the prevalence later on of the Fawn smut or fallow smut Bulldog and with the prevalence of the SCREW TAIL, although less headstrong and daredevil in character.  But as the Bulldog was much more the stronger character of the two it is doubtful the alliance with the Pug actually affected the courage of the progeny and as a matter of fact, the lightweight Bulldog of the fifties, sixties and the seventies were particularly game little dogs often quite useful in the RAT PIT.  In 1859 open dog shows began to be held and the commencement of the dog show era immediately created an incentive for breeding Bulldogs for show purposes.  The original show dogs were of the type as follows:

1. The Bulldog which had been specifically bred to bait the bull from 1735 “when this Bulldog first attained a very definite type” until bull baiting was abolished in 1835 and which since 1835 had maintained its existence by reason, first of a Bulldog fighter and later of pot house shows.  These Bulldogs varied from 45 to 50 pounds, as a rule.

2. The big Bulldog of more or less Mastiff type which were the remnants of the original 90 lb Bulldog.  By 1859 the bulldog had been reduced in size to 60 lbs.  These Bulldogs received a stimulus by the importation of the Spanish Bulldog, Big-Headed Billy in 1840.  Bill Georges famous White dog Dan, which weighted 65 lbs. and was sold for 100 pounds, was a grandson of Big Headed Billy.

3. The little dogs of 12 to 25 pounds in weight which had been produced by inbreeding smaller sized Bulldog and by crossing these small sized bitches with Pug dogs in the years 1835 to 1845.  At the early shows, from 1859 to 1870, classes were always provided for dogs under 20 pounds. And those classes were well filled.  The little Bulldog as might be expected from their breeding, were usually very short in face with noses well laid back.  They were chiefly bred in London, Nottingham and Birmingham. THE



In the years 1868 to 1873 the fresh importations of Spanish bulldogs by Mr. Marquart and Mr. Frank Adcock further increased to the numbers and probably also to the size of the large-sized Bulldogs, though only four or five kennels used these imported Bulldogs at stud.  These importations greatly incensed the breeders who swore by the 50-pound dog as specifically bred for bull-baiting as being the original British Bulldog, which in actual fact he was not; and it was the outburst of horror at the dangers of the Spanish Invasion which caused the formation of the Bulldog club in 1875.  It cannot be proved that any fresh crosses have been made since the 1870’s, but it is said that in the middle of the 90’s a small Mastiff bitch was on more than one occasions mated to a Bulldog in order to produce dogs of greater size and substance.  Whether this type is true or not, it is a significant fact that since that period we have had quite a number of dogs weighing over 70 lbs, some of them decided Mastiff type, although better rearing has doubtless played its part in increasing size and substance.  The exhibition of the dog of today (1933*) is, therefore, the result of inter-crossing of the three distinct types which existed in 1859.  The large size dog having been increased in numbers by crossing with the imported Spanish Bulldogs of the 70’s and possibly further increased by the alleged Mastiff cross on a limited scale is the middle 90’s. Students of the Bulldog who take the trouble to read history of his evolution will readily understand why even today, (1933*) there is no uniformity of type or size in Bulldogs, and why it is possible for two dogs to be of different type and size while at the same time, they are both good ones.  The differences in type and size spring from the different ingredients in their origin and these differences will never entirely disappear.  I hope that my reader will also agree with me that the British Bulldog, the Old English Mastiff, the Dogue de Bordeaux, and the Spanish Bulldog all sprang originally from the same British origin which is from the English Alaunt.  It is a theory I have held for years, but have never seen propounded…


We are happy to be able to share with you this beautiful and educational literature in regards to the Olde English Bulldogge we love.  The following is an old work of art depicting the sour mug type bulldog standing in front of its predecessor.  I love this picture because it shows the bulldog of days of Olde giving way to the new type of bulldog.

We, Rich River Bullies, will continue to breed true to type in regards to looks, physical capability, demeanor and bring back that Loyal, Willing and Strong True Bulldog of days of Olde…

Thank you for your time and if you have any questions feel free to give us a call.