Sunday, July 29, 2012


A bully dog is any dog that has a predominance of English Bulldog in its ancestry.
Not this English Bulldog. 
But the one below - the unexagerrated version of the modern Bulldog pictured above. The old-fashioned dog is the precursor to most of today's bully dogs.
English bulldog, about 1800, litho
by Howitt
Bully dogs include the American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Pit Bull, Miniature Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, and others, or combination thereof.  Like all breeds, the popularity of bully breeds fluctuates.  

During the first two decades of the 20th century, from city to suburb, bully dogs were one of the most popular dogs in America.

About 1905

Many of these dogs were breeds in the loose sense of the word- just a hodge-podge of dogs that looked similar and performed similar tasks, most as loving companions.

Like numerous breeds, bully dog ancestry is debated.  But many people agree that 19th century British Isles immigrants brought the ancestral root-stock to the US.

As is always the unfortunate case, some dogs were used for fighting.

But overall, the dogs' protective temperament made them devoted companions.  On the back of this circa 1900 postcard someone has written, "This is the baby Inez Brinson and my bull dog Noodles.  Will send front of baby later."
Bully breeds worked for a living on farms (dog is
next to boy with reins).

And lived a life of luxury, too.

The breed was so popular it was used as a mascot by RCA 

Buster Brown Shoes 

And the comedy series, Our Gang.
Our Gang's Petie did his own stunts.
...and had his own fans.
By the 1920s, the popularity of bully dogs faded making room on the couch for the more fashionable Cocker Spaniel and terrier breeds, along with a brand new upstart - the German Shepherd.

If you want to know more about bully breeds, here's a link to a good article by  Sarah Christie.


  1. I always thought Bulldogs has the short fat faces, didn't know they had the longer faces too, very fun to learn new things about dogs.


  2. The Boston Terrier IS a bulldog breed!

  3. Thanks for your clarification Wendy. I changed it.

  4. Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts. gv american bully