Today's Bulldog doesn't look exactly like the old Bulldogs so valued as warriors, hunters and fighters in centuries past.
Back when the Romans were conquering Britain these dogs were used to attack the soldiers legs as they marched in to battle. This caused the Romans to fashion special leg armor to protect themselves from those iron like jaws. The Romans so admired these Bulldogs, that they brought specimens back to Rome, where fighting dogs were already highly prized.
For centuries Bulldogs were used as fighting dogs.
This was a favorite sport of Queen Elizabeth I, thus Bulldogs were bred for this particular purpose from a very early time. By the 15th century, bull-baiting had become incredibly popular. Sometimes even bears or ferocious lions were used. For several centuries, bull-baiting was considered the national sport of England.
In 1835, Engalnd declared bull-baiting, bear-baiting and any other dog fighting activity illegal. By this time, the Bulldog had developed a terrible reputation. But not everybody scorned the Bulldog. Some appreciated its qualities and saw them in a different light. It is thanks to those people that Bulldogs are the dogs they are today. Through selective breeding all the viciousness has been bred out.
Today's Bulldog exists happily and peacefully as family pets. Their lovable mugs appear on television, in movies and in magazines. They are popular mascots for many universities and high schools in the United States. Even the U.S. Marine Corps have a Bulldog mascot named "Chesty"