The Balladur is a crossbreed between the English Bulldog, a dog originally bred to control and bait bulls, and the Labrador Retriever a friendly and energetic gun dog that is adept at retrieving, particularly waterfowl and tennis balls. The English Bulldog is quite an old breed and the origins of this canine are somewhat mysterious. Some experts believe they are a descendent of a Mastiff breed dog and a Pug, while others think that the Mastiff line was descended from the English Bulldog. Either way, it is known that these dogs were used to control, guard, and bait bulls. To that end, Bulldogs of the time were bred to be much more aggressive and tenacious, with an extremely high pain tolerance. This made them excellent candidates for fighting other dogs as well and because of this trait they were instrumental in the development of both the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. When these violent “sports” became illegal in 1885, the breed was maintained by Bulldog fanciers who chose to breed for a more agreeable nature, and today’s English Bulldog is typically a docile animal who is capable to adapting to many situations. The Labrador Retriever also has a long and complicated history. While most experts agree that the St. John’s dog, a water dog that became extinct in the 1980’s, was the foundation of the Labrador Retriever breed, they are divided on whether the Newfoundland dog gave rise to the St. John’s dog or was bred from the St. John’s dog alongside the Labrador. The St. John’s dog with its short, oily coat, was as at home swimming in the water as running on land and worked alongside the fishermen on the coasts of Newfoundland. They, like the Labrador, were retrievers, retrieving nets, ropes, and even fish, for the fishermen of the area. It was in the 1800’s that James Harris and Walter Scott, both of which had been breeding the St. John’s dogs to be gun dogs, met while out shooting. Mr. Harris made a gift of two of his male retrievers to Mr. Scott, who then bred them to his own dogs. The resulting canines were the ancestors of today’s modern Labradors. The combination of the two results in a highly intelligent and energetic animal with an agreeable temperament and an intense work drive.