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This page last edited on 10/05/2011
History Of Bully Breeds

Each Bully Breed dog has it's own unique individual history as well as a common historical background which takes us back before the time of written history.  The bullies that most of our modern bully breeds have been developed from are the Bull Dogs of Great Britain that were bred for the historical blood sport of Bull Baiting. 
These Bull Dogs were developed by butchers through selective breeding over thousands of years.  The raising of butcher cattle then was not like on our modern day farms.  The cattle were raised free range and became very wild, catching them for butcher was a tough and dangerous job.  The butchers developed dogs that would help in rounding up, separating and catching the cattle.  A bull that had usually never been touched by human hands would not simply stand still for the butcher to cut it's throat and bleed it.  The butchers dogs were trained to catch, tire and hold the bull so the butcher could kill it by cutting it's throat.  The bull did not stand still for the dogs either and this was a battle to the death for the bull or the dog.  This was quite a site to see for spectators and throughout time attracted more spectators and with spectators came wagers on who would win and how long it would take them.  Starting in about the 13th century in England this practice began to become recognized as more of a sporting event than as simply a means of butchering the bulls.  This blood sport gained in popularity and was enjoyed and endorsed by many from the peasants to the royal family well into the 18th century. 
It was during this time in Bull Dog history that they were altered by selective breeding for better performance in the ring rather than the range.  The large heavy Mastiff type breeds gave way to the smaller shorter more stout dogs.  They bred for the strong muscular heavy front half of the dog as well as the lighter hind end.  This enabled the dog to better hold it's grip on the bull and reduced the force of the dogs own weight being used against it to break it's grip or it's back.
 In the early 1800's the sport began to loose supporters and more people began to call for the banning of bull baiting.  The banning of bull baiting was thrown out of the house of commons in 1802 but brought before back and approved by parliament in 1835.  The occasional bull baiting event was held in England until about 1850.       
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