What does 'Bully Breed' Mean 07/09/2011
Everyone, dog lover or not, has heard the term 'bully breed.' But what does it mean? The misinterpretation of this term unfortunately adds to the negativity that follows the breeds that are captured under this term.
The term 'bully breeds' was initially used to refer to all dogs that were bred for the purpose of 'bull baiting.' Bull baiting was a sport practiced in Great Britain in the 1700 and early 1800's. It was finally outlawed in 1835 when the Cruelty to Animals Act was passed by Parliament. This was a 'sport' in which dogs bred for this purpose were set upon a bull that was tied up or restrained. The objective was for the dog to sink it's teeth into the bull's snout and hold on. The English Bulldog was specifically bred for this purpose and excelled at the sport.
Some people seem to believe that any breed that has the word 'bull' in its name belongs in this category. Though not true I prefer this misunderstanding to the one that assumes all bully breeds are bad and aggressive dogs!
Unfortunately, in recent times, people seem to have come to believe that the term 'bully breed' refers to dogs that they believe behave like the schoolyard bully. The truth is that there is not a single breed of dog that is inherently mean and aggressive. Though some can be trained to behave that way.
I recently read an online article that listed the following as the breeds that are included in the definition of bully breeds:
So I wish the term 'bully breed' would be dropped from the vocabulary of the general public since it is so easily misinterpreted. But if it must by used then I maintain that the term 'bully breed' should refer only to those breeds originally intended for bull baiting and should not be used to define the behavior or personality of any breeds.
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