Take a look at a bulldog cuddling with a toddler and you’d be hard pressed to believe that this muscular little powerhouse was once bred with the sole purpose of bullbaiting, a combat sport that was bloody and brutal.
The bulldog of today is a gentle and loving dog. It remains one of the most popular and friendly dog breeds around the world. The original name of the breed is
“The Old English Bulldog“.
The Olde English Bulldogge however, is a different breed entirely. Unlike the English Bulldog, this is an American breed that was bred to recreate the healthy working bulldogs of yore which are now fast being replaced by sluggish and lazy dogs who hate getting up and about even if you reward them with treats.
The Olde English Bulldogge is a recent entrant to the world of dogs and is yet to be recognized as a breed by the AKC since it is a mix of different dog breeds. For this reason, very little is known about it. Most people just confuse it to be “The Old English Bulldog” which it is not.
If you are considering getting one of these home, then here’s the low down on it that you must be aware of.
While it is very similar to the original Bulldog, a lot of the supposed flaws in the breed have been removed with selective breeding. There are no unnecessary wrinkles or pigments, both around the eyes or around the nose. Instead, it has a largely clean appearance with minimal wrinkles.
They have a powerfully built body with a deep chest. The coat is medium dense and can be red, black or fawn, either pied or solid.
Males are between 17 to 20 inches tall while females are between 16 and 19 inches in height. A healthy male Olde English Bulldogge can weigh as much as 80 pounds while females are slightly lighter at 50 to 70 pounds.
Olde English Bulldogges retain some of the stability from the original bulldog and mix it with a range of diverse behavioral traits that they inherit from the many breeds that have contributed to their origin.
They are loyal, agile, outgoing, fearless and stable. They love to please and be pleased. You will mostly find them following you and your family around the house. They absolutely despise being left alone and crave every bit of attention that they can get.
They are extremely friendly with the people that they are acquainted with. But, they can be extremely hostile towards strangers which makes them excellent watch dogs.
The breathing problems which were so common in the original breed are almost non-existent in the Olde English Bulldogge. They can run, sprint and enjoy a bit of outdoor time without exerting themselves too much.
They also love chewing. So, you will need at least two to three toys that will keep him entertained and his teeth busy. This will also ensure that your $500 italian leather shoes don’t end up getting shredded. Oh yes, if you have an Olde English Bulldogge at home, ensure that you keep the expensive items locked up or the doggie in your sight at all times.
Chew toys made of raw hide are best avoided though.
Exercise: The Olde English Bulldogge likes its daily walks and mild exercise routines. This is vital to ensure that they can maintain their musculature and don’t end up being a podgy oversized dog. Their size and their breed traits make them naturally slow. But they are by no means lazy. They enjoy their outdoor routines and playtime with children. However, you must be careful to not exert them too much with vigorous exercise routines, especially in puppyhood.
Training: These are highly intelligent dogs. Club that with their desire to please you and you have a dog that is a trainer’s dream come true. However, the training will need a lot of patience and positive reinforcement when the time comes. You may have to train often but for short bursts of time. An Olde English Bulldogge is a pack dog and the last thing you want is for it to think that it is above your children in the pack order. You may often find the dog trying to push your child out of the way or trying to grab your attention by coming in between you and the child. This reinstates the importance of training the dog.
Grooming: Due to their short coats and minimal shedding, Olde English Bulldogges are easy to groom. All it takes is periodic brushing and you should have no problems at all. This makes them perfect pets for anyone who hates excessive dog hair. The only caveat is that they drool excessively. This makes them prone to skin infections if you don’t clean their skin regularly, especially the folds of skin on their face.
Health and common conditions: The average life expectancy of an Olde English Bulldogge is about 10 – 14 years. This is considerably better than the average lifespan of an English Bulldog which is not more than 8 to 10 years. Also, they do not have many of the health problems that an English Bulldog has. This includes breathing problems and hip dysplasia. The only known health problem with the breed is that they have a tendency to eat too much food in a single sitting. This can cause bloating which may end up being fatal. Always ensure that your Olde English Bulldogge is fed in measured quantities. You can also use an anti-gulp bowl.
The Olde English Bulldogge is quite a unique breed to own. It comes with its own personality and it will be an experience unlike any other. If this is the first time you are venturing into bulldog or mastiff turf, then take time and do your research. These dogs can be great pets but they are not the best of choices for everyone. So ensure that you know the pros and cons.
Images sources: Sara Landvogt at de.wikipedia, Peter Heeling