Is the Olde English Bulldogge the right breed of dog for me?

A cross between the Bulldog, American Pit Bull Terrier, Bullmastiff, and the American Bulldog, the Olde English Bulldogge is now a recognized breed in its own right.

Boasting a pleasant temperament, a nimble physique, and fewer health issues than other Bulldog breeds, the Olde Bulldog or Old English Bulldog is becoming more sought after.

an Olde English Bulldogge standing on the grass field
Meet Adolf, a healthy Olde English Bulldog on a walk – Image source

Let’s take a closer look at this breed and why it might be the perfect choice for your home.

Where did the Olde English Bulldogge originate? 

David Leavitt of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, is responsible for creating the Olde English Bulldogge (OEB) we know and love today.

He wanted to make a Bulldog that looked like the 18th Century Bulldog used for the sport of bull-baiting, known as the “Regency Period Bull Baiter.” 

However, Leavitt wanted his dogs to have a more even temperament and fewer health issues.

He began a project to develop such a dog in 1971, using a livestock line breeding scheme developed by Nathan Fechimer.

The latter was a professor at Ohio State University’s Department of Dairy Science. 

The Olde English Bulldogge became the creation of one-half Bulldog, one-sixth Bullmastiff, one-sixth American Pit Bull Terrier, and one-sixth American Bulldog. 

an Olde English Bulldogge laying on the grass happily
Meet Winston, a senior Olde English Bulldogge living the life – Image source

This cross is an athletic breed with similar looks to the Bulldogs of the 1820s but with a longer lifespan and a friendlier temperament.

In the 1980s, Leavitt worked closely with Sandisfield, Massachusetts, based Ben and Karen Campetti to develop this line further. 

To maintain the breed’s studbook Leavitt from the Old English Bulldogge Association (OEBA).

By 1993, Leavitt had stopped breeding, and his breeding stock was turned over to Working Dog Inc. as well as the registry established by the OEBA.

In 2001 the Olde English Bulldogge Kennel Club (OEBKC) was formed, and in 2005 the OEBKC’s registry merged with the OEBA’s.

In 2004 David Leavitt named his line of dogs Leavitt Bulldogs, founding the Leavitt Bulldog Association in 2005. 

In 2008, to evaluate the breed for recognition as a purebred, the Olde English Bulldogge was enrolled with the Canine Developmental Health and Performance Registry (CDHPR), a private business in Kalamazoo Michigan.

Finally, in 2014, the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized this new breed and the OEBKC became the recognized parent club.

The UKC recognizes Olde English Bulldogges registered with the Leavitt Bulldog Association and those noted with the OEBKC and the Olde Bulldogge Club Europe under the UKC Guardian Dog Group.

The world’s number one registry for the breed is held by the International Olde English Bulldogge Association (IOEBA). 

Currently, this is not a recognized breed by the AKC. The American Kennel Club still recognized the Olde English Bulldogge as a crossbreed whose characteristics are too unpredictable from litter to litter.

However, as more and more generations of these dogs are bred, the AKC may still recognize the breed in time.

What does an Olde English Bulldogge look like?

an Olde English Bulldogge standing on a rocky beach
Meet Mr. Bear, a chocolate Olde English Bulldogge loving the beach – Image source

The Olde English Bulldogge is a well-proportioned medium to a large-sized dog with an agile, muscular build and excellent strength.

The rectangular, big-boned body has a broad, deep chest and straight muscled hind legs slightly longer than the forelegs. 

The head of the dog is large, sitting on prominent shoulders and a thick, powerful neck. The muzzle is square and wide, with an undershot or reverse scissor bite and a moderately curved jawbone.

The Olde English Bulldogge’s nostrils are wide with a large, broad nose that is black.

The almond-shaped eyes are set wide and low and brown with black eye rims and a defined furrow that runs between them.

The ears are small, set high and wide, and can be tulip, button, or rose-shaped, although rose ears are preferred. 

Faults in physique include a narrow skull, domed forehead, excessive wrinkles, and a lack of pigmentation around the eyes, nose, and mouth. 

Size: Is an Olde English Bulldogge a large breed?

The Olde English Bulldogge is a medium to large-sized breed with males reaching between 17 and 20 inches (43 and 51 cm) in height at the withers, and females standing just slightly shorter at 16 to 19 inches (41 and 48 cm) tall.

Males of this dog breed weigh around 60 to 80 pounds (27 and 36 kg), while females weigh between 50 and 70 pounds (23 and 32 kg)

What type of coat hair does Olde English Bulldogges have?

The Olde English Bulldogge has a short, coarse coat of medium density. This coat can come in a variety of solid colors and brindle, with or without white patches.

The striped brindle patterns can include red brindle, brown brindle, fawn brindle, or grey brindle. Patches of red and gray are also possible, while solid colors include black, white, red, or fawn. 

Coats that are wavy or have a fringe or curl are considered faults. Blue and black with any rust, mahogany, or tan trim are considered disqualifications, as is albinism. 

Temperament: Are Olde English Bulldogge good family dogs?

a happy Olde English Bulldogge stomping in a garden
Meet Samson, an Olde English Bulldog enjoying the dog park – Image source

While Olde English Bulldogges may have an intimidating appearance, they have very friendly, eager-to-please attitudes.

Exhibiting a generally gentle and docile nature, these dogs are exceedingly loyal and will bend over backward to obey commands. 

They do, as a result, need frequent attention from their owners and family. If given this attention, they can be a happy family companion, which is good with children.

However, they can tend to be a bit mouthy, carrying and chewing things around the house. 

Are Olde English Bulldogges aggressive?

Confident and fearless, the Olde English Bulldogge makes a good watchdog.

Unlike some other Bulldog breeds, they are friendly even to strangers but will make a fuss and a noise if they recognize a real threat, being a courageous and alert guardian.

They can, however, be territorial with other large dogs, especially those of the same sex.

These dogs are also quite headstrong, so they need a confident owner to dedicate time and effort to socialization and training.

Owners will need to establish themselves as the pack leader, being positive but firm in their approach towards this independent breed.

How to take care of your Olde English Bulldogge

a beautiful Olde English Bulldogge looking up
Meet Lopez, an Olde English Bulldogge on an adventure – Image source

As with any dog, the key to taking care of your Olde English Bulldogge is to provide him with plenty of exercises, ensure you groom him regularly, watch what he eats, and keep up to date with your regular vet checkups. 

Unlike other Bulldogs, this breed can perform well in hot or cold climates without breathing problems.

However, caution should be used in extreme heat. They also tend to be gassy and drool a lot, so new owners need to be aware! 

Exercising your Olde English Bulldogge

The Olde English Bulldogge is a breed that always wants to be on the go. This intelligent dog has lots of energy and a keen sense of adventure.

They need plenty of mental and physical stimulation to avoid boredom and destructive tendencies from setting in.

Their high energy levels and athleticism are best channeled into some sort of work exercise, while their impressive strength and stamina mean they are always up for playtime and chewing games.

These dogs excel in many disciplines, such as obedience training and weight pulling. 

They may, however, prefer long, more leisurely even-paced daily walks than high-impact cross-country runs.

They are naturally slow dogs and should not be encouraged to participate in activities that are hard-wearing on the joints, such as jumping, especially as puppies.

At least two 15-minute walks per day should be sufficient for this breed.

Grooming: Do Olde English Bulldogge dogs shed?

This breed has low grooming needs and generally good health. They shed a moderate amount.

To keep them looking and feeling their best, these dogs need to be brushed once a week, while their ears should also be checked and cleaned weekly, even as a puppy.

Brushing your dog’s teeth twice a week will also keep them clean and tartar-free. 

The one thing that this dog does require grooming is regular cleaning of the face, especially between the skin folds. This is necessary because they tend to slobber and drool an excessive amount.

Feeding: Olde English Bulldogge food consumption

Make sure to feed your Olde English Bulldogge a high-quality diet that is age-appropriate. This diet should be kept consistent, and human food should be avoided.

These dogs need dense kibble to supply them with the fuel they need to support their muscular, energetic bodies.

It is recommended to feed this breed 3.5 cups of high-quality dry dog food every day. Dog food should be given as small meals throughout the day to prevent bloat and other digestive problems.

What health problems do Olde English Bulldogges have?

Two Olde English Bulldogge laying on a dog bed
Meet Kracken and Nugget, two cuddly Olde English Bulldogge sharing a bed – Image source

The Olde English Bulldogge is known to be a healthier breed than many modern Bulldogs. They have a life expectancy of around 12 years.

Swiss breeders have even started crossing other Bulldog breeds with the Olde English Bulldogge to create the Continental Bulldog to relieve these breeds of some of their genetic health problems.

There are still some common ailments that you need to be aware of with this breed.

One of the big ones is hip dysplasia, although hip x-rays of breeding dogs can help see if pups will be predisposed to this condition. 

These evaluations can be done by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP).

It is also advisable to get your Old English Bulldogge spayed or neutered when old enough to do so as this eliminates the chance of unwanted puppies and decreases the risk of certain cancers.

Other health problems that can affect this breed include obesity, which can lead to joint problems, back pain, digestive issues, and heart disease.

These dogs are also prone to developing skin allergies and entropion, an eye disease in which eyelashes rub against the cornea. 

Bulldogge’s can also be susceptible to patellar luxation, which causes the dog’s kneecap to move out of place, and Laryngeal Paralysis, which affects the vocal cords.

Hypothyroidism is also a common condition amongst Bulldogges that can lead to dry skin, hair loss, skin disease, weight loss, and behavioral changes such as increased aggression or fearfulness. 

How much do Olde English Bulldogge puppies cost?

an adorable Olde English Bulldogge puppy standing
Meet Gemma, a cute Olde English Bulldogge puppy – Image source

Olde English Bulldogges typically have a litter size of between three and twelve puppies.

To keep the breed healthy, artificial insemination and overbreeding are not encouraged or standard protocol. Olde English Bulldogge puppies cost between $2000 and $3000 on average.

Olde English Bulldogge breeders

If you are looking for an Olde English Bulldogge puppy, always look for a reputable breeder. Good breeders will follow the breed standards, striving to create healthy dogs that do not have any genetic disorders. 

As the AKC does not recognize this breed, you won’t get these papers with your pup, so it’s up to you to do the necessary research to ensure your Olde English Bulldogge’s lineage is legitimate. 

Here are some breeders to get you started as you look for a puppy to call your own:

  1. Olde South Bulldogges, Southeast USA
  2. Bodybuilder Bulldogs, Macomb, Oklahoma
  3. Evolution Bulldogges, Kansas

Olde English Bulldogge rescue / for adoption

Are you looking for an Olde English Bulldogge in need of a new home?

You can try searching for your pup at a specific Olde English Bulldogge rescue or one that specializes in providing homes for a range of different Bulldog varieties. Here are a few to look at:

  1. Olde English Bulldogge Rescue & Foster, Countrywide
  2. No Borders Bulldog Rescue, Dallas, Texas
  3. Hoosier Bulldog Rescue, Indianapolis, Indiana

Olde English Bulldogge vs. other types of Bulldogs

It can be easy to confuse the Olde English Bulldogge with some of the other types of Bulldogs available, such as the English or American Bulldog.

Want to understand the difference between OEMs and other Bully breeds, then keep reading below:

English Bulldog vs. Olde English Bulldogge

an English Bulldog smiling
Meet Plum, a sweet English Bulldog standing and smiling adorably – Image source

The classic or modern English Bulldog is the Bulldog variant with which you are likely more familiar.

These dogs are of medium size, averaging around 50 pounds (23 kg), making them considerably lighter and smaller than the Olde English Bulldogge. 

English Bulldogs are characterized by their stocky bodies on short legs, blocky heads, and abundance of wrinkles.

The English Bulldog has a short nose and is known as a brachycephalic breed with breathing issues.

They are costly dogs because of their numerous health problems.

However, English Bulldogs are loved not only for their looks but also for their loveable, loyal and protective personalities. They are, however, also known to be stubborn. 

American Bulldog vs. Olde English Bulldogge

A smiling American Bulldog wearing a chain
Meet Sunfyre, a buff female American Bulldog – Image source

Olde English Bulldogges and American Bulldogs have a very similar appearance, although the American Bulldog is larger and taller with a history that dates back to the 1700s.

American Bulldogs also need much more training and socialization than the Olde English Bulldogge and are thus only recommended for experienced owners. 

Who should get an Olde English Bulldogge?

a senior Olde English Bulldogge playing with a toy
Meet Bubba, a senior Olde English Bulldogge – Image source

The Olde English Bulldogge has many great attributes. They have fewer health issues than other Bulldog breeds, a good, friendly temperament, and an athletic, hardy physique.

They make excellent watchdogs and family pets for owners that can give them the exercise, training, and socialization they need.

Do you have an Olde English Bulldogge at home? Let us know in the comments below.

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