What a mug! No wonder the bulldog is so popular.

The New York Times published this article on bulldogs last week. Better late than never, as they say.

They really can be charming dogs, I admit. I know a whole bunch and do adore a number of them. It is also an inarguable fact that they make some of the most freakishly cute puppies on the face of the planet. But I nonetheless routinely caution against their acquisition, along with hoards of fellow dog trainers, for a multitude of reasons including heart, joint, and breathing problems, debilitating allergies, and short lifespans.

Examining the progress of the breed over the past century explains a lot. Below is an illustration from the NYT article depicting the evolution of the University of Georgia mascot “Uga”, followed by some photographs I found online.

A) Uga I, 1956-66. B) Uga III, 1972-81. C) Uga V, 1990-99. D) Uga VIII, 2010-11.

Original Yale mascot "Handsome Dan", 1889

bulldog c. 1913

Westminster Best in Show, 1913

Original Georgia mascot "Uga", 1956-1956

Westminster Best in Show, 1955

Handsome Dan XIV, descended from a top show champion, 1995

Uga VIII, dead at 2-yrs-old from lymphoma, 2011

Handsome Dan XVII, present

For a more in depth take on the NYT article, see this recent post at Pedigree Dogs Exposed.