Bulldogs were bred during the Middle Ages, when a sport known as “bullbaiting” was in its heyday in merrie olde England.
Bullbaiting consisted of setting vicious dogs loose on a tied or chained up bull and watching them tear it to pieces.
Some sport, eh?
Over time, the Bulldog was bred to be particularly vicious and fearless.
In a similar sport called “bearbaiting,” a bear replaced the bull.
Sometimes the dogs were left at home, and men and women alike taunted the bull or bear with loud, shrill noises, then chased it down and beat it to death.
In 1835, all of these blood sports were finally banned in England.
At that point, breeders began eliminating the viciousness from the Bulldog breed so that the dogs would make better house pets.