Home / Culture and Society / Science and Technology / Q: Why Are They Called “Bulldogs”?

Q: Why Are They Called “Bulldogs”?

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

A: Bulldogs are so named not because they look like bulls (which, you’ll note, they don’t), but rather because they were bred for the exclusive purpose of attacking bulls.

In the spectator sport of “bull-baiting,” which dates to the Middle Ages, a bulldog would bite into a bull’s nose and then hang on while the bull bucked and attempted to gore the dog. (This is still done today, but now with humans, and it’s called rodeo.) For this reason, owners bred dogs with short teeth (so they wouldn’t hurt the bull too badly), squat bodies (harder for bulls to gore), and a turned-up nose (so they could still breathe even while latched onto a bull).

Altogether brilliant breeding, except for one problem: The bodies of bulldogs don’t actually lend themselves to breeding. They’ve been so selectively bred that generally bulldogs can no longer do it themselves – so most bulldogs pups are the product of artificial insemination.

Powered by

About Mental_Floss

  • Bull wiki

    Q: Why are Bulldogs called Bulldogs