The English Bulldog is descended from the legendary Tibetan Great Dane, which is considered the ancestor of all modern breeds of guard dogs.
It was of enormous size and, as Marco Polo noted, the ability to cope with any enemy, be it beast or man.
Divorced and carefully guarded by residents of inaccessible plateaus, it was later taken to other parts of the east, where it gave rise to various types of guard dogs. One of the oldest images of a dog with typical features of mastiff came to us in the form of a bas-relief found in the Assyrian city of Nineveh.
It depicts a warrior holding a giant battle dog. As in all other countries of the world, in England there was a tradition of arranging animal fights among themselves or with people. And although this way of hanging out was popular since ancient times, the first reliable reports about battles between dogs and bulls date only to 1199. Reports of battles of this kind are found already in 1133 during the reign of Henry the 2nd.
However, the 1st truly reliable message can be considered exactly what refers to the 1199 year. According to the chronicler, the ruler of the city of Stamford, walking through the environs of his castle, witnessed the attack of two dogs, owned by a butcher, on a bull, which in turn was desperately defending itself, trying not to hit the face in front of a nearby cow.
The dogs rushed at the bull and chased him through the whole village, biting and pushing until the case finally ended in a fierce fight. The feudal lord enjoyed this sight so much that he granted the butchers guild that piece of land on which the battle of animals took place with the condition that the butchers would annually arrange a similar battle on it. This kind of fights, called bulbiting, quickly spread throughout the United Kingdom and the number of fans gathered around the fenced-in areas where the fights took place was constantly growing.
Very soon, every city, every village had its own platform where dogs and bulls converged in fierce and bloody fights. Thanks to his wickedness and exceptional fighting qualities - the result of the brutal breeding to which people subjected him, the English Bulldog became a fighting dog and began to be used for fighting with other animals, and even talking to people. The usual opponents of the bulldogs from the 14th to the 19th century, in addition to the bulls, were bears, monkeys, badgers, lynxes, donkeys, lions and other animals.
When such entertainment was prohibited, the English bulldog was threatened with extinction. He was tried to be used as a watchdog, but individuals of that time were distinguished by excessive viciousness and physical strength, and therefore the use of bulldogs as such was also prohibited by law.
Several individuals remaining in the hands of the organizers of secret fights and various scams were considered, therefore, the dogs of criminals. Only a small group of lovers of this breed of dogs continued to selflessly breed English bulldogs and kept for us a dog, which has many unique qualities.