It’s been said that every dog has his day. For Bulldogs that day is April 21st, when animal lovers celebrate Bulldogs are Beautiful Day! To mark the occasion, here are a few fun facts about one of America’s most popular breeds of barking buddies.
What’s in a Name?
According to VetStreet.com, the most popular name for a male bulldog is Tank, while more female bulldogs answer to Bella than any other name. Monikers in runner up positions include Max, Winston, Rocky and Dozer for boys, and Daisy, Lola, Lucy and Maggie for girls.
A bevy of bulldogs have lapped up the limelight over the years, including:
Tillman: An English Bulldog whose skateboarding skills made him a celebrity, Guinness World Record holder Tillman held a special place in the collective heart of dog lovers for using his star wattage to shine a spotlight on paws causes. The clever canine would often wow crowds at pet adoption events and Bark in the park baseball games in order to raise funds for rescue organizations.
Bianca: A Bulldog who brightened the lives of her famous pet parents Howard and Beth Stern for many years, the memory of Bianca will live on through Bianca’s Furry Friends, a state-of-the-art feline adoption center. A 14,000 square foot addition to North Shore Animal League America’s Long Island campus, construction on the cage-free facility began in November 2017.
Photo of Uga VII courtesy University of Georgia: Photo Credit: Danny White
Uga: Since 1956 a total of 10 Ugas have held the title of official live mascot of the University of Georgia Bulldogs.
Butler Blue: Wearing a Nike sweater emblazoned with the letter “B,” Butler Blue III (aka Trip) is there latest in a line of English Bulldogs to show his dogged devotion to the athletes who play for Butler University.
Oh Boy: For a short time Oh Boy resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue alongside his prominent pet parent, President Warren G. Harding. To date he has been the only bulldog to live at the White House.
Handsome Dan: During Yale University’s sporting events students yell their support for both the athletes and their school’s mascot, Handsome Dan. A bulldog who earned the distinction of being the first winner of the Westminster Dog Show, the first Dan showed his support for Yale teams from 1889 to 1897. Following a long hiatus, the tradition of having Handsome Dan as Yale’s mascot continued in 1933, and today Handsome Dan XVIII continues the tradition.
Jack the Bulldog: Although at one time a Borzoi, a Boston Bull Terrier and a series of bull terriers took on the mantle of mascot of the Georgetown University’s athletic teams, since 1962 bulldogs dubbed Jack have proudly held the title.
Chesty: In March 2018 Chesty XV–named in honor of five-time Navy Cross recipient Lt. Gen. Chesty Puller– began training to take on the role of the next official mascot of the US Marine Corps.
Several singers and bands have waxed lyrical about bulldogs, including:
- The Beatles (“Hey Bulldog”)
- Jim Stafford (“Your Bulldog Drinks Champagne”)
- Sawyer Brown (“Billy Does Your Bulldog Bite”)
- There are also many toe-tapping and tail-wagging football anthems with a bit of bulldog flair, such as Chip Carter’s “The Bulldog Song,” and Georgia Redcoat Marching Band’s “Go Georgia Bulldogs”
Bulldogs in Art
The cuteness of the lovable canines have been captured on canvas by artists like Philip Reinagle, Arther Heyer, and Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, who painted a series of cigar advertisements which are famously referred to as “Dogs Playing Poker.”
The sweetness of bulldogs has also been showcased in sculpture:
A beefeater-clad rendition of a dog dubbed Zelda greets guests outside the Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon. Created by sculptor Jim Gion, the bronze bulldog’s face will be familiar to anyone who ever sent or received one of Hallmark’s popular Zelda’s Wisdom greeting cards.
Photo of the painting “A Friend in Need” from Wikipedia
Bringing out the inner child in readers of the classic UK comic magazine The Dandy, a depiction of Dawg and his pal Desperate Dan can be seen in Dundee, Scotland in the City Square which was once the home of the comic’s publishing company, D.C. Thompson & Co.
The original Handsome Dan may have crossed Rainbow Bridge back in 1898, but the memory of Yale University’s first mascot lives on in a bronze statue made in his honor. Sitting proudly outside Yale Bowl, the dog’s depiction received loving pats for luck from fans.
Athens, Georgia celebrates its affection for the bulldog breed with a series of four-foot tall fiberglass statues which pay homage to the city’s signature Spot, Uga.
Adopting a Bulldog
If you are already a pet parent to a Bulldog, bully for you! If you are pondering the possibility of welcoming a Bulldog into your heart and home, remember that your new furry family member could be waiting for you at a rescue organization (there are even rescues across the country devoted only to Bulldogs) or animal shelter!