The Canton Bulldogs were a professional American football team, based in Canton, Ohio. They played in the Ohio League from 1903 to 1906 and 1911 to 1919, and the American Professional Football Association (later renamed the National Football League (NFL) in 1922), from 1920 to 1923, and again from 1925 to 1926. The Bulldogs won the 1916, 1917 and 1919 Ohio League championships. They were the NFL champions in 1922 and 1923. In 1921–1923, the Bulldogs played 25 straight games without a defeat (including 3 ties). As of November 2020, this remains an NFL record.
As a result of the Bulldogs' early success, along with the league being founded in the city, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton. Jim Thorpe (Sac and Fox), the Olympian and renowned all-around athlete, was Canton's most-recognized player in the pre-NFL era.
In 1924, Sam Deutsch, the owner of the NFL's Cleveland Indians, bought the Canton Bulldogs. He took the Bulldogs name and its players to Cleveland and named his franchise the Cleveland Bulldogs. He offered to sell the Canton franchise back to the city of Canton to play in the 1924 season; however, there were no buyers interested in the team. He "mothballed" the Canton club. The Canton Bulldogs were re-established in 1925, and the NFL considers the 1925 to 1926 Canton Bulldogs to be the same team as the 1920 to 1923 incarnation.
An unrelated "Canton Bulldogs" team played in the United Football League in 1964. This team's name was coincidental, as it had moved from Cleveland and kept its original nickname. That team moved to Philadelphia, where it became the "Philadelphia Bulldogs." All in all, this version of the Cleveland-Canton-Philadelphia Bulldogs played from 1961 to 1966, its last two years in Philadelphia as a member of the Continental Football League. Another "Canton Bulldogs" team was slated to begin play in the Stars Football League in 2012, although that team was never organized. The Bulldogs name is also in use at Canton McKinley High School.