Founded in 1877 in Footscray, an inner-western suburb of Melbourne, the club won nine premierships in the VFA before gaining entry to the VFL in 1925.
In late 1996, the club changed its playing name from Footscray to the Western Bulldogs to market the club more broadly, specifically the western suburbs of Melbourne.
yield to none
Sons of the West,
Red, white and blue,
We come out snarling,
Bulldogs through and through.
Bulldogs bite and Bulldogs roar,
We give our very best.
But you can't beat the boys
of the Bulldog breed,
We're the team of the mighty West!
To the tune of
Sons of the Sea
Before the club changed its name to
Western Bulldogs the club song was called
Sons of the 'Scray, sung to the same tune but with different lyrics.
Since 2000, the club has been based at Docklands Stadium.
Two home games are played each season at Eureka (Mars) Stadium in Ballarat.
The club has played one game every year at the Sydney Cricket Ground and one "home" game each year at Marrara Oval in Darwin.
On 16 August 2006 the league announced that the Bulldogs' Sydney "home" game would be played at Manuka Oval, Canberra in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
In a series of against‑the‑odds finals victories, the club qualified for the 2016 Grand Final for the first time in 55 years, ending a 62-year premiership drought with a 22-point victory over minor premiers the Sydney Swans.