While many breeds can claim ancestry dating back to antiquity, Bulldogs are still an old breed even if they weren’t hanging out with pharaohs or depicted on cave walls. The first written mention of the word, “Bulldog,” dates all the way back to 1500 (though its spelling at the time was Bondogge or Bolddogge). To anyone’s knowledge, the first modern spelling of the name was seen in a letter written by Preswick Eaton dated 1631. He wrote, “Procuer mee two good Bulldogs, and let them be sent by ye first shipp.”
In the fall of 1664, Richard Nicolls became the first English Colonial Governor of New York province, and among his first acts was to have a citywide round up of stray bulls using Bulldogs. Logical.
Two hundred and forty years later, the Bulldog Club of America incorporated under the laws of the State of New York, though it had been formed years before in 1890. The breed’s association with New York continued when ten Bulldogs were exhibited at the first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1877, and New York City showed the love when the Bulldog was named its most popular breed in 2013. Its standing slipped a bit to third place in 2017, but it was still a Top Ten breed.
Meet Harry Grumbles, a New York City Bulldog who back in 2013 “narrated” (complete with gravelly voice), his view of the Big Apple as one of its 600,000 dogs:
If you can’t get enough Bulldogs in New York, you’ll want to know about Maya the Bulldog. Named after the late Maya Angelou, the intrepid Bulldog is photographed by her owner, Tania Ahsan, in her NYC home. Her photographs are a hoot, and you can see them (such as the one seen above) on her Instagram page here under the handle, @maya_on_the_move.