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Bulldogs were originally bred for the cruel sport of bull-baiting, where the dogs would be used to overpower a tethered bull. Because of this the original Bulldogs were bred for strength, stamina and aggression. After bull-baiting was banned in the 19th Century, Bulldogs were bred to be passive, with a gentle temperament, making them ideal pets.

Our dog heads were made by Edward Gerrard and Sons, a London taxidermy company set up in 1850 and in business until 1967. Gerrard’s supplied taxidermy mounts, skeletal specimens and models to museums, educational institutions and private customers.

Our series of dog heads were bought from Gerrard’s between 1928 and 1930 for use in our Natural History display explaining evolution. They illustrate that breeds of domesticated animals are products of artificial selection by humans, from a single wild ancestor - in this case the wolf.

Continue exploring natural history

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. More information on the objects listed on our website.
This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be some errors.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: