Everything You Want to Know about University Bulldog Mascots


Ever wondered why so many universities have bulldogs as their mascots? What is it about them that makes them such good mascots?

If you guessed it’s for their good looks, you’re partly right! In addition to that beautiful, wrinkly bod, it’s their tenacious and stubborn personalities that really make them attractive mascots and why they’ve been the faces of so many universities for decades.

So which university made the pioneering decision to nominate an English Bulldog as their mascot?

It was Yale University that decided to adopt the good old bully as its mascot. Records dating back to 1889 show that they had an English Bulldog mascot named Handsome Dan.

But as we know, Yale is not the only university to have bulldogs as their mascots. In fact, over 40 universities have selected the bulldog to be the face of their sports teams. And if you look internationally, you’ll find several schools in the United Kingdom and elsewhere that have adopted the English bulldog as their mascot, making the list virtually endless. Some of the most popular Universities include:

• Yale University

• Georgetown University

• Louisiana Tech University

• Brooklyn College

• California State University, Fresno

• Truman State University

• University of Georgia

• Western Illinois University

• Mississippi State University

• Butler University

Who are the most famous English bulldog mascots?

Over the years, many English bulldog mascots have become legends in their own right. The association of these bulldogs with universities has made them synonymous with the institutions themselves. Here are just a few that have caught our attention:

1. Handsome Dan:

Well, no surprises here!

The oldest English bulldog mascot is also one of the most popular ones. Student Andrew Graves bought the bulldog in 1889, and Dan held the title of mascot until 1897. The name is slightly misleading, as it’s not his good looks that got Dan the job of being the mascot. In fact, Handsome Dan was selected from a group of shortlisted dogs who had adverse reactions to the color crimson (Yale’s archrival Harvard’s school color).

English bulldog stretching x
English bulldog stretching

The second Handsome Dan’s tenure ran from 1933 to 1937. Ever since then, the tradition has been almost consistent, with a new Handsome Dan being brought in when the old one retires. The long tradition of conferring the title upon the bulldog by Yale University students has made the mascot famous all over the world.

2. Uga:

Uga is the mascot of the University of Georgia. The tradition of keeping a bulldog as the mascot came to life when Sonny Seiler brought his bulldog with him to a home game and head coach Wally Butts asked if the dog could become the university mascot. A student, Billy Young, recommended they call the dog Uga after the acronym for the University of Georgia. Ever since, there have been ten Ugas, and every single one has descended from the original Uga. Uga attends every Georgia Bulldogs home game, and he is definitely one of the most popular Bulldog mascots out there!

3. Butler Blue:

Have you heard about Butler Blue?

Chances are while you might not be familiar with the name, Butler Blue is the mascot of Butler University. The university first adopted this mascot in 2000 and the name originated from a student contest. The first Butler Blue was a female English bulldog, making her quite unique in this world of male Bulldog mascots. Since her reign, there have been three bulldogs to get this title, but unlike the first, they have all been males. Butler Blue is present at most of the home games.

4. Jack the Bulldog:

Jack the Bulldog is the official mascot of Georgetown University. Since 1962, the university has had eight bulldog mascots, but surprisingly, the bulldog was not always the dog of choice as the school’s mascot. In fact, before 1962, the school used bull terriers to represent their sports teams. But now, Jack the Bulldog is as synonymous to Georgetown as the university’s chants of Hoya Saxa at sports events!

5. Bully:

Bully is the official mascot of the Mississippi State University. Although many sources claim that Bully has been around since 1905, documentation of his existence as their mascot only seems to appear in 1935, which still makes Mississippi one of the oldest to have a bulldog as a mascot.

In addition to Butler, Georgetown, Georgia, Mississippi State, and Yale universities, here is a brief list of universities that have also adopted Bulldogs to be the wrinkly face of their sports teams:

• Louisiana Tech University:

Louisiana Tech University adopted the bulldog as its mascot in 1930, when a family whose sons were freshmen at the school gifted it to them. Since then, the tradition of a live bulldog mascot has continued at the school.

• Brooklyn College:

Brooklyn College is one of the most recent colleges to adopt a bulldog as its mascot, making the switch in 2010. Unfortunately, the Brooklyn Bulldogs don’t have a real bulldog to act as their spokesdog.

• California State University, Fresno

Students first proposed the idea of having a bulldog as the mascot as early as 1921, but the tradition of having a live bulldog mascot didn’t officially begin until 1935. The university has had several different named bulldogs, but the current reign is with Victor E. Bulldog III.

• Truman State University:

In 1915, Truman State University adopted the bulldog as the team mascot due to the breed’s tenacity and aggression. The university has since then had two live mascots, named Simone and Spike, and they celebrated 100 years of having a bully mascot in 2015.

• Western Illinois University:

Western Illinois University adopted an English bulldog as a mascot in the year 1959. Ever since then it has been the official mascot of the university. Although there was a 37-year hiatus when the university used a costume bulldog as their mascot, in May 2010 Colonel Rock III was instated as the university mascot, making the return to live mascots.

Well there you have it – a brief look at some of the bulldog mascots out there. As a live mascot, you really can’t go wrong with an English bulldog – what other animal screams intimidation to your foes?

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