One of Britain’s oldest indigenous breeds, the Bulldog is known as the National dog of Great Britain and is associated throughout the world with British determination and the legendary John Bull. The Bulldog was first classified as such in the 1630s, though there is earlier mention of similar types referred to as bandogs, a term reserved today for a type of fighting dog. Used originally for bull-baiting, the Bulldog also fought its way through the dog pits, but after 1835 it began to evolve into the shorter-faced, more squat version we know today. It entered the show ring in 1860 and the ensuing years saw a big personality change.
The pugilistic expression of this delightfully ugly dog belies his loving, affectionate nature to family and friends. He has a reputation for tenacity and is very courageous, strong and powerful. Although he is a little bit stubborn by nature, he is good-tempered with children, of whom he is also very protective. The impression he gives of being slow and sluggish is completely contradicted by the great bursts of speed that he can and does produce when the occasion demands. His mood can be dignified, humorous or comical, and he has many endearing ways.
The Utility Breed Group
This group consists of miscellaneous breeds of dog mainly of a non-sporting origin, including the Bulldog, Dalmatian, Akita and Poodle.
The name ‘Utility’ essentially means fitness for a purpose and this group consists of an extremely mixed and varied bunch, most breeds having been selectively bred to perform a specific function not included in the sporting and working categories. Some of the breeds listed in the group are the oldest documented breeds of dog in the world.