Olde English Bulldogge

Looks intimidating but responds well to proper training

Olde English Bulldogge

A Powerful Dog Who Looks Intimidating But Responds Well To Proper Training

Muscular and medium-sized, the Olde English Bulldogge harkens back to the "old days of England," and is a direct attempt to re-create the bull-baiting dogs that were so popular from 1811 to 1820, the English Regency Period. Those dogs were forced to engage in cruel bloodsport for entertainment purposes. Although banned in 1835, today's recreation of the original bull-baiting dogs is an attempt to mimic the same look, athleticism, and health of those dogs but with a much more balanced and affectionate temperament. Today's Olde English Bulldogge may look like the original, but this confident and courageous companion has been bred to love and be loved – not to fight – and your pet's wise, intelligent and affectionate disposition is a direct testament to that.


The specific Olde English Bulldogge of today is not to be confused with the bull-baiting dogs that engaged in bloodsport in Ye Olde England. Although they have indeed been bred to look like those dogs, their original breeder, David Leavitt, strived to reproduce the health and look of those original bull-baiting dogs without the aggressive personalities. Although traditional English Bulldogs had (and have) lovely personalities, they had breeding and breathing problems that made them less than desirable – and they were also less healthy overall. Leavitt wanted a dog with the physical vigor and appearance of the "Regency Period Bull Baiter," but the personality of the modern English bulldog.

In 1971, David Leavitt of Pennsylvania developed a breed similar to those old fighting dogs but with a much more docile and sweet temperament. Leavitt used the cattle-line breeding program from Ohio State University to create a dog that was healthy and athletic and looked like the old English fighting dogs, but with the sweet temperament of the modern English Bulldog. He began his foundation with half English Bulldog, and the other half a mixture of American Pit Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, and Bull Mastiff. After working on many crosses, Leavitt finally achieved the appearance, personality, and health characteristics – including athleticism and a smaller head – of the old bull-baiting dogs, but with the desired personality – sweet, docile, patient, wise, and intelligent. Leavitt continues to breed Olde English Bulldogges to "serve people," as he says, focusing on a working dog. The Olde English Bulldogge Association (OEBA) was subsequently established by Leavitt, to keep track of foundation stock. In the early 1980s, Ben and Karen Campetti of Massachusetts began to show the dogs in Mollosser shows. In 2001, The Olde English Bulldogge Kennel Club (OEBKC) was established. This is currently the recognized parent club for the Olde English Bulldogge which is now being evaluated for full recognition by the United Kennel Club as a pure breed in its own right.


A powerful but moderate-sized, proportionately-built dog, the Olde English Bulldogge is extremely strong and athletic. While other bulldog breeds have large heads, this dog has a prominent but not overly large head, with well-developed, large cheeks and substantial muscles in its jaws. This is reminiscent of its first incarnations' original job as a bull baiter in the England of the early 1800s. The coat is short, of medium density, and shiny, with colors of grey, red, black, and fawn; the colors can be solid or coexist with white (pied coloring).


Although this dog looks somewhat intimidating because of its very powerful appearance, properly socialized, it is extremely affectionate. Although this dog will most certainly protect you in the event that you are threatened in any way, what the Olde English Bulldogge most wants to do is to love you. That said, obedience training is essential for this breed, since such a dog will be too strong for you to handle in adulthood if you don't establish firm boundaries. Because of that, formal obedience training is advised if you don't know how to establish yourself as the “alpha dog,” or the “leader of the pack.” While you can somewhat slide with other breeds in some cases and still have a happy, friendly dog, that's not true of the Olde English Bulldogge. You MUST establish yourself as the leader without any exception, or risk being left with an unhappy pet who will growl and even bite to show its displeasure. This can present you with some danger, since your pet's jaws are as inherently powerful as those of its predecessors.

If you do establish the right boundaries and make sure you are the leader of the pack, so to speak, you will have a pet that is so obedient and so loving that it will do anything necessary to please you. So eager to please is this dog that overexertion is no problem. Given your pet's athleticism and high energy, however, you don't have to worry about true overexertion to any great degree. Healthy, sturdy and full of energy, your dog needs a lot of exercise and stimulation, both mentally and physically.


Fortunately, the Olde English Bulldogge is very adaptable to just about any lifestyle, although extreme heat and cold should be avoided. This breed is much healthier and hardier than traditional Bulldogs, without the delicate constitution of that breed, and will easily live 11 years or longer, quite notable for a relatively large breed. What you do have to look out for in your pet is bloat. This painful and often fatal condition is usually caused by an over-accumulation of substances in the stomach like air, food, fluid, or foam. Stress is a major contributing factor, and it can occur with or without the stomach twisting, also called "volvulus." If you notice that your pet is acting generally distressed, trying to throw up but can't, in pain, with a hard, rigid stomach, get to the vet IMMEDIATELY. Bloat can kill within an hour of onset, so time is of the essence. Surgery is the usual correction. Feeding smaller meals two or three times a day instead of just one large meal can help prevent bloat, and avoiding exercise or preventing your dog from rolling over for at least an hour before and after eating may also prevent bloat from occurring. In some cases, giving your pet simethicone or another gas-reducing substance as recommended by your vet can buy you some time by relieving some of the bloat, but you should still take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.


Bathe your dog as needed, trim nails, and clean ears as necessary. Brush when needed. Olde English Bulldogges are shedders, and a good brushing every other day will not only keep loose hair at bay, but is something your four-legged canine will truly enjoy, along with lots of love and attention.


Bloat in Dogs.

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Bulldog (English Bulldog) (British Bulldog)

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International Olde English Bulldogge Association (IOEBA).

Retrieved April 6, 2013.

Old English Bulldog.

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Olde English Bulldogge.

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Olde English Bulldogge.

Retrieved April 6, 2013.

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