Irish Bulldog

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Ireland
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
This breed is also known as
Old Irish Red Bulldogge
Believed by some to be just an Irish strain of old English Bulldog, the Irish Bulldog is one of the oldest bullenbeisser breeds and the ancestor of many modern dogs of this type. Originally a hunter, guardian and all-round farm dog, it was also used to control noisy cattle and later as a baited fighter, as well as a successful fighting dog. Unlike most "sporting" dogs of its kind, the Irish Bulldog contained no Terrier blood and is often regarded by admirers as the original British Bulldog from which all others developed, although it was celebrated for its purity. This rare Bulldog has received some outside influences throughout its history, mainly from local Irish hunting Terriers and fighting Bulldogs from England and Scotland, aimed at both improving its working ability and increasing the gene pool.

In the heyday of dog fighting, the few Irish Bulldog lines that were kept pure lost favor in "sporting" circles as they simply couldn't compete with the increasingly popular game Terriers and eventually died out, as the entire breed slowly assimilated into the Irish Bull-terrier population, from which the Irish Staffordshire Bullterrier breed was later established. Although long considered extinct, the Irish Bulldog name is still occasionally used for certain Irish strains of Staffies and Pit Bulls, and there are even breeders who claim to have the original Irish Bulldog lines, but this is often a marketing ploy. On the other hand, many are convinced that the mighty Irish Bulldog can still be found in its homeland, and that it didn't disappear during the world wars.

The legendary Irish Bulldog is considered the original "Red-Nosed Bulldog", bearing a physical characteristic that influenced the creation of the famous Dudley Terrier and is currently appreciated in certain varieties of the modern American Pit Bull Terrier, namely the so-called "Old Family Red Nose" lines. A few attempts to recreate the breed have been reported over the years, one of them being the American Olde Irish Bulldogge program. However, while the red-nosed variety is undeniably more popular, black-nosed dogs were just as common and it's not known where the name "Old Irish Red" came from, with some speculating that it was originally a reference to a specific lineage rather than the breed as a whole.

Prized for its strength and resilience, the Irish Bulldog is known as a muscular, athletic breed, with a larger, slightly rounder head than the many local Bull Terriers it has sired, sporting a short, powerful muzzle with very slight prognathism and possessing a friendly, calm personality around humans, while being more than a little hostile towards other dogs. Although examples of piebald, brindle and dark with white markings were also common, the breed's short, glossy coat was always most popular in fawn, red or brown tones. The average height was around 43 centimeters, but smaller dogs also existed.

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