Olde English Bulldogge Information and Facts: Is This Dog Breed Right for You?


The Olde English Bulldogge vs. the Old English Bulldog

When we think of a bulldog, what we usually have in mind is the modern-day English Bulldog.

We have to say that the modern-day English Bulldog is the classic bulldog that is short, has a boxy body, and heavy wrinkles.

This breed is confused with the Olde English Bulldogge (OEB), which is actually extinct, and first appeared in the 1970s in the United States.

Nowadays, if we wish to compare the two we will notice that Olde English Bulldogge looks dissimilar to its living relative, the English Bulldog.

Olde English Bulldogges are a blend of the following breeds:

  • 1/2 English Bulldog
  • 1/6th Bullmastiff
  • 1/6th American Pit Bull Terrier
  • 1/6th American Bulldog

Why Does Old English Bulldogge Make Great Pets?

There are many reasons which make Olde English Bulldogges excellent pets, and the first one is that, unlike other bulldog breeds, they do not have that many health issues associated with standard brachycephalic breeds.

Plus, they are famous for their excellent temperament.

We have collected some of their positive attributes:

  • Good Temperament: Old English Bulldogges are trustworthy, loyal, protective, and loving.
  • Friendly: They are very friendly towards other animals and small kids, but only if they are socialized and trained early.
  • Athletic: Old English Bulldogge is athletic and less sensitive to hot and cold climates.
  • Hypoallergenic: They are great pets as their coat type does not trigger allergies.
  • Trainable: They are eager to please and are excellent when training activities are in question.
  • Good Health: Old English Bulldogges possess less inherited negative bulldog traits such as airway issues, hip issues, climate sensitivity, difficult births, and breeding.

An Extinct Breed: The History of the Old English Bulldog

The Old English Bulldog, as we have already mentioned is an extinct breed, which appeared in England around the 1600s or 1700s.

This breed is considered the ancestor of the majority of bully breeds that we can see today including the English Bulldog and American Bulldog.

Some of the physical characteristics of this breed are muscular build, large lower jaw, combined with great strength and courage.

At that time, these dogs were used for English blood sport and bull-baiting in London.

Fortunately,  these activities were banned upon the passing of the Cruelty to Animals Act in 1835.

The breed was believed to derive from the Old Mastiff or Alaunt of the 17th century.

This breed was used in times of war.

Breeding to Extinction

In the beginning, the proper Mastiff was not considered quick enough for bull baiting, and they needed to find a solution for this.

What they did was blending the Old English Bulldog with the Old English Terrier.

The breed was created as an athletic, fast-acting hybrid and it turned out to be the ancestor of the Bull Terrier and American pit bull breeds.

Being that this development was highly accepted, it further led to the decline of the Old English Bulldog.

There were certain breeders who appreciated the Old English Bulldog and who wanted to breed out some of its aggression, so they started to cross this dog with other breeds.

Their aim was to create a breed that will be accepted for the temperament and features, so they developed the English Bulldog.

Unfortunately, the result was numerous inherited health issues that this breed has.

The Appearance of a Standard Olde English Bulldogge

A New Breed: The Olde English Bulldogge

When we take into consideration the modern Olde English Bulldogge, we have to say that it is a healthier and more active version of its 17th-century relative.

The modern Olde English Bulldogge is actually a mix of the English Bulldog, American Bulldog, American Pit Bull Terrier, and the Mastiff.

The breeders have to use all of these breeds so as to achieve the traits and temperament that they desired.

This kind of breeding resulted in a good-looking and athletic dog with a happy disposition.

David Leavitt and the OEB Association

This new breed was given the name the Olde English Bulldogge with the aim to differentiate it from the modern English Bulldog.

Unfortunately, it is not yet recognized as a breed by the AKC, but it is recognized by the IOEBA (the International Olde English Bulldogge Association).

The reason why it is not recognized is that they consider this dog to be a mix.

Nevertheless, dogs change and adapt and are bred so as to reach certain features over many years, and eventually recognized as a breed.

So, it can be expected that the AKC begins to recognize OEBs as a breed in the years to come.

Breed Evolution and Breeding Standards

In 1971, David Leavitt started using a cattle-breeding model developed by Dr. Fechimer of Ohio State with the goal to create an athletic bulldog breed that will have a similar build but gentler disposition than the extinct Old English Bulldog.

David Leavitt believed that the OEB does not have the undesired traits of the breed’s relatives, including difficult births, hip issues, and brachycephalic syndrome.

Olde English Bulldogge Breed Traits and Temperament

  • Body Weight: 50-70 pounds (females); 65-85 pounds (males); (Mine weighs in at about 96 pounds!)
  • Body Height: 17-19 inches (females); 18-20 inches (males)
  • Body Type: Medium-sized to large; wide shoulders, muscular, strong, and athletic
  • Muzzle Type: Large and broad; brachycephalic traits but with unrestricted nares; undershot jaw, blocky head
  • Temperament: Courageous and stable temperament, enjoys praise; trustworthy, loyal, and protective
  • Lifespan: Between 10 to 14 years
  • Coat Type: Short
  • Trainability: High; eager to please

Experience When Owning a Bulldog

For many people who are wishing to possess a new dog researching the Internet is an option.

They look at breed descriptions and want to find the one that is the most suitable for them.

Those descriptions are helpful, and you can sometimes a list of statistics and some generic descriptions which may help you make the right decision.

But, you will rarely come across a text explaining to future owners what it is like to actually own one.

So we included owners’ experience.

  • Find a Reputable Breeder: The first thing when getting a new puppy is to find a breeder who does not breed only for money, but actually takes care of those puppies. You should get a puppy when it is about eight weeks old, buy it from a reputable breeder who followed the breed standard. This means that the person strived to make a better breed, which involves doing genetic testing for health defects.
  • They Are Stubborn: Future owners have to know that the Old English Bulldogge is different from any other kind of dog, meaning that they are very strong-headed, bordering on stubbornness.
  • Train Them Early: Being that you will be owning a strong-minded dog, you need to be a strong owner as well. You must be a leader with a stronger presence, or decide to hire a private trainer. Working with it from an early age is necessary as this breed is not going to be as obedient or timid as a Golden Retriever.
  • Be Prepared for Drool: Having in mind the fact that they derive from mastiffs, you need to know that this breed is very slobbery, and it is very rare to find a bulldog owner whose dogs are not slobbery.
  • Teach Them Manners: As we have already mentioned, these dogs cannot be well trained, plus they are large and strong. You need to teach them manners on time, as it will be difficult to control a 100-pound Olde English Bulldogge when it becomes an adult dog. If you are not ready to be a strong owner, maybe this is not an ideal breed for you.

How to Tell Bulldog Breeds Apart

A Comparison of the Differences in Bulldog Breeds

*Breed information adapted from Wikipedia
Trait Olde English Bulldogge English Bulldog American Bulldog
Size 50–70 lbs (F); 65–85 lbs (M) 30–50 lbs (maybe 60 lbs) 60–90 lbs (F); 71–119 lbs (M)
Lifespan 10–14 years 8–10 years 10–15 years
Body Height 17–18 inches (F); 18–20 inches (M) 12–16 inches (F); 12–16 inches (M) 20–24 inches (F); 20–26 inches (M)
Health Concerns Several Numerous Several
Breathing Difficulty Mildly Problematic Highly Problematic Moderately Problematic
Breeding Free breeders and free whelpers C-section required C-section with large litters
Heat and Cold Tolerance Mild Sensitivity High Sensitivity Mild Sensitivity

The “Classic” English Bulldog Breed Traits and Temperament

Let’s start with some comparisons.

The English Bulldog or the classic bulldog breed is much different from the OEB.

First and foremost, Olde English Bulldogges are a bit healthier, due to the fact that they are a mix of several breeds.

Plus, the reason why they were mixed is that they are designed to be more active and healthy thus do not have the traditional health problems that English Bulldogs possess.

English Bulldog Traits

  • Appearance: Large head, short muzzle, undershot jaw
  • Size: Medium, approximately 50 pounds
  • Body: Blocky head; short legs
  • Wrinkles: Heavy
  • Temperament: Gentle, loyal, protective, stubborn
  • Notable Traits: Heavy breathers, brachycephalic
  • Health Issues: Respiratory, heat and exercise intolerance, dental and pallet malformations, skin and dietary allergies, knee joint and hip complications, reproductive issues, and dystocia-prone.

When appearance is in question, you can notice the most obvious difference.

The English Bulldog is much smaller and lighter in build.

However, this makes it much more sensitive to hot and cold.

It is good to know that taking them outdoors for long periods of time in extreme temperatures is not a good idea.

Owning an English Bulldog can cost you over several thousands of dollars a year.

This is due to the fact that they have numerous health issues much like French Bulldogs.

What Is the Difference Between an Olde English Bulldog and an American Bulldog?

Now, if we compare these two breeds, we need to say that Olde English Bulldogges and American Bulldogs have a very similar appearance.

What makes them different is that American Bulldog is much larger and taller.

If their temperament is taken into consideration, the OEB is a great breed for beginner owners, while the American Bulldog is usually recommended for experienced owners.

It is worth noting that both breeds are great with children, trainable, and loyal.

Plus, the American Bulldog will bark more frequently, as it is more energetic.

Also, the American Bulldog requires a lot of grooming and is not hypoallergenic, unlike the Olde English Bulldogge that is hypoallergenic.

Common Health Problems in Bulldog Breeds

Besides elbow dysplasia, skin allergies, and dietary allergies that these breeds suffer from, there are other common health issues.

Canine Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is considered as the abnormal formation of the hip socket in dogs, which can be both severe and not.

In case it is severe, this issue can lead to lameness and arthritis.

In the majority of cases, it is a genetically inherited trait, but it can be made worse by breed type, weight, activity or inactivity, trauma, and muscular atrophy.

Canine hip dysplasia happens when the spherical ball of the femur does not fit into the socket of the pelvis.

It is the natural reaction of the body to try to repair the section and it is done by forming cartilage over the site.

However, this leads to inflammation and future abnormalities including degenerative osteoarthritis.

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) oversees hip screenings and classification as well as the Penn Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP).

The aim of these programs is to monitor and analyze data collected on the condition via diagnostic radiographic techniques and a hip grading system.

What will be suggested as a solution for hip dysplasia depends on case severity, but in the majority of cases controlled exercise and rehabilitation, drugs, and, if these do not help, surgery is recommended.

Bloat or Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV)

Bloat or gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) is a medical emergency that occurs acutely in big dogs.

What happens is that the stomach twists and fills with gas.

The pressure on the diaphragm is put, thus cutting off blood flow to the heart.

If this happens, surrounding tissue may die or rupture.

This issue typically occurs in deep-chested and large breed dogs, and it is a consequence of heavy exercise or eating.

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

Brachycephalic airway syndrome is typically mild in the Olde English Bulldogges but can be severe in French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs.

The term refers to the shortened head or muzzle of these breeds.

It means that, due to a smaller upper jaw and redundant soft tissue in the skull in these dogs, overcrowding of teeth, stenotic nares, an elongated soft palate, saccule issues, heat stroke vulnerability, and exercise intolerance may occur.

These breeds may be candidates for surgery and anesthesia.

Cherry Eye

Cherry eye is a case of the nictitating membrane or third eyelid.

It is characterized by protrusion of or prolapsed soft tissue of the eye.

Being that prevention is not possible, surgical intervention or topical anti-inflammatory drugs are often suggested in this case.

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