Bull Baiting

Q. What is the etymology of the name bull dog?

A. The name is derived from the fact that these dogs were originally used in the ancient sport of bull baiting, which was popular among certain classes in England for at least 700 years, until it became illegal in 1835. The object of the dog was to seize the bull’s nose in his teeth, pin it to the ground and not let go. He was bred with an undershot jaw and a retreating nose, that he might hang on and breathe easily at the same time.

Middletown Times Herald (Middletown, New York)  Jun 17, 1937

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