History of the Olde English Bulldogge
The original bulldog of old originated between the 17th and 18th centuries. It was thought that this bulldog was first employed by butchers to chase and bait cattle prior to being butchered, for it was believed at the time that this process would make the meat tender.
Eventually this method of “bull baiting” turned into a popular blood sport. The sport consisted of staking a bull out and then allowing one to several bulldogs to attack and bait the bull. A determined dog of great strength, courage and agility was required to participate in this bloody and grueling sport.
Despite the increasing popularity of this blood sport, laws were passed around 1835 in England prohibiting bull baiting. With the passing of these laws came the end of the bulldog’s main purpose of existence. With in the decade bulldog numbers declined so rapidly, the breed faced extinction. However dog show enthusiasts decided to reconstruct the breed to better meet their needs in the show ring. In order to tone down the aggressive nature of the bulldog, the remnants of the existing stock were crossed to the pug. Over the years that followed, these bulldog and pug crosses resulted into the modern English Bulldog.
Because this modern English Bulldog has severe undesirable genetic health problems, a few breeders in the 1960s, namely David Leavitt, decided to reconstruct the bulldog of old, one without such severe health issues. Through extensively planned genetic crosses and breeding programs, this goal was obtained. The foundation for this reconstruction was ½ English Bulldog, 1/6 APBT, 1/6 Bull Mastiff and 1/6 American Bulldog.
The result was the Olde English Bulldogge, a healthy, active, free breathing, free breeding and free whelping bulldog. The Olde English Bulldogge has the classic appearance of the bulldog of old; a compact muscular body of medium height, short nose with moderate wrinkling and a noticeably upturned bottom jaw. The Olde English Bulldogges are very loyal, courageous dogs who thrive on pleasing their owners