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.
The Bulldogs fought through numerous injuries in 2016 to finish 7th in the home and away season. In a series of against‑the‑odds finals victories, the club scraped through to qualify for the Grand Final for the first time in 55 years.
In doing so, it became the first club to reach the premiership decider from such a low position on the ladder.
They ended a 62-year premiership drought with a 22-point victory over minor premiers the Sydney Swans.
yield to none
After the 1924 season, the club challenged the premiers of the VFL, Essendon, to a charity match, otherwise known as the Championship of Victoria, for the benefit of opera singer Dame Nellie Melba's Limbless Soldiers' Appeal. Footscray recorded an upset victory, winning by 28 points. The win was a significant factor in Footscray gaining admission to the VFL.
The club adopted its current nickname during the 1928 VFL season after a bulldog ran onto the field and accidentally led the players out against Collingwood at the Whitten Oval.
Home to the club's training facilities and administrative headquarters, the Western Oval, nicknamed "The Kennel", was officially renamed Whitten Oval in 1995 in honour of club legend Ted Whitten. It underwent a A$20 million redevelopment in 2005.
In 1996 the club changed its name from the “Footscray Football Club” to its nickname, the “Western Bulldogs”.
To coincide with the change, the club moved their home games to Princes Park from 1997 to 1999.
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.