Four-legged bulldogs, their owners, and three Western Bulldogs players converged on Alfred Deakin Place on Sunday, for the City of Ballarat’s free BullDoggie-Do.
As part of the City of Ballarat’s Celebration of Footy in the lead up to AFL Game Day on 19 August, bulldog owners were invited to bring their pets to Alfred Deakin Place for a free event that showcases and celebrates bulldogs.
Ballarat is home to a high proportion of Bulldogs with more than 170 bulldogs/ bulldog crosses registered with the City of Ballarat, including 62 American Bulldogs, 20 American Bulldog Cross, 52 Aussie Bulldogs, 16 British Bulldogs, 22 Bulldogs, and five Bulldog Cross. The Bull-Doggie-Do featured competition categories, including ‘Best Bulldog’, ‘Bulldog with the best trick’, ‘Best footy themed bulldog’ and ‘Bulldog most like their owner’, as well as a special appearance by the official Bulldog of the Western Bulldogs – ‘Caesar the Bulldog’.. WIN News presenter Bruce Roberts was MC for this unique event, which also featured a local vet speaking about Bulldog health, and pet portraits. Just like game day, there was a football-inspired banner featuring a slogan, written by renowned Bulldogs Bannerman Danny McGinlay, for bulldogs and their owners to run through. The Bull-Doggie-Do was created based on an idea from brother and sister Daniel and Emily McLean, when they participated in the City of Ballarat’s Hackathon in 2016. In the Hackathon, Daniel and Emily discovered, from a combination of City of Ballarat and Western Bulldogs’ open data, that a large proportion of bulldogs were registered within the City of Ballarat. The duo then came up with the idea to hold a bulldog event in the lead up to the first AFL game in Ballarat.