"Bulldogs have big heads, but most of it is very thick bone. They can run into walls and hardly notice, but inside the thick bone there isn't much room for a brain." from Fearless, by Colin Thompson

But in real life, bulldogs are fierce, right?

Wrong! A long time ago they were very tough, with muscly bodies and incredibly strong jaws. People used them for fighting bears and bulls, which is where they got the name "bulldog". It wasn't that much fun for the bull, the bear, or the dog, but people back then thought it was a great laugh. Luckily, we're much more sensible now... or most of us are!

An old-fashioned bullfight in the 1700s - the bull's winning.Ever since then, bulldogs have had a reputation for being tough, and they do look a bit fierce, so whenever anyone needs a tough doggie villain for a cartoon, it's almost always the poor old bulldog that gets chosen.

For more than 100 years, though, people have been breeding bulldogs to be big softies. So even though they have faces like concrete mixers, they have personalities like marshmallow. They make great pets, because, like Fearless, they love everyone. They're gentle with babies and small animals, and they usually try to do the right thing, although they can be a bit stubborn.

Because Fearless is a bulldog through and through, and because I want to do him justice, I thought I better get to know some of his relatives.  It turns out that there are some very helpful bulldog breeders living just round the corner from me - luck! - who were kind enough to let me come round and do a photoshoot with their dogs.  They had SEVEN.  And lucky for me, they were gloriously bulldoggy and so photogenic. I took almost 300 bulldog glamour shots in just over half an hour.  They're amazing creatures - they're like walking bricks with a smile on one end.