The Olde English Bulldogge is a recently created American dog breed. In the 1970s David Leavitt created a true-breeding lineage as a re-creation of the healthier working bulldog from the early 1800s in England. Using a breeding scheme developed for cattle, Leavitt crossed English bulldogs with Pit Bulls, Bullmastiffs, and American Bulldogs. The result was an athletic breed that looks similar to the bulldogs of 1820 but also has a friendly temperament. Leavitt has since dissociated himself with this name for the breed and set up the Leavitt Bulldog as its name, but the original name has been adopted by the United Kennel Club whose breed standard is adopted as of 1 January 2014.
The Olde English Bulldogge was an attempt to recreate the "Regency Period Bull Baiter" and was developed in the early 1970s by David Leavitt, of Coatesville, PA. Leavitt began his project in 1971 utilizing the cattle line breeding scheme of Dr. Fechimer from Ohio State University. The goal was to create a dog with the look, health, and athleticism of the original bull-baiting dogs, but with a much less aggressive temperament. The foundation crosses consisted of ½ English Bulldog, and the other half Bullmastiff, American Pit Bull Terrier, and American Bulldog. After many planned crosses, the Olde English Bulldogge emerged and began to breed true. Leavitt formed the Olde English Bulldogge Association (OEBA) to maintain the breed's stud book and issue registration papers to future offspring. During the 1980s Ben and Karen Campetti from Sandisfield, Massachusetts worked closely with Leavitt in breeding the Olde English Bulldogge. In 1993 Leavitt stopped breeding and turned the OEBA registry as well as his personal breeding stock over to Working Dog Inc. which was owned and operated by Michael Walz of Pennsylvania. In 2001 the Olde English Bulldogge Kennel Club (OEBKC) was formed, and in 2005 David Leavitt was involved with merging the Olde English Bulldogge Association's registry with that of the OEBKC's. The Olde English Bulldogge was enrolled with the Canine Developmental Health and Performance Registry (CDHPR) in August 2008 in order to evaluate the breed for recognition within the UKC as a purebred breed of dog and in 2013 the UKC announced that the Olde English Bulldogge would become a fully recognized breed as of January 1, 2014. The OEBKC is currently the recognized Parent Club for the breed with the United Kennel Club (UKC).
The Olde English Bulldogge is a muscular, medium sized dog of great strength, and possesser of fluid, agile movement. He is well balanced and proportioned, while appearing capable of performing without any breathing restrictions in either heat or in cold. Serious Faults: Excessive wrinkle, lack of pigment around eyes, nose or mouth. The skull is large and well-proportioned to the dog’s muscular body and prominent shoulders. There is a defined furrow between the eyes (from the stop to the occiput). Narrow skull and domed forehead are faults. The muzzle is square, wide and deep. Bite is undershot or reverse scissors. Lower jawbone is moderately curved from front to back. Nostrils are wide, with a line running vertically between nostrils from the tip of nose down to the bottom of the upper lip. Nose is large and broad in relationship to the width of the muzzle. Nose color is black. Eyes are medium in size and almond shaped, dark to light brown, with black pigmented eye rims. They are set wide and low, level with the top of the muzzle. Ears are small, rose, button or tulip. Rose is preferred. They are set high, wide and to the back outer edge of the skull. The neck is medium length, wide, and slightly arched. The body is sturdy, powerful and slightly rectangular when viewed from the side. Chest is wide and deep. Hind legs are well muscled and have the appearance of being slightly longer than the forelegs. The hind legs should be straight, parallel and set apart. Accepted color patterns include brindle, and solid colors, with or without white. Dogs should be 60 to 80 pounds, and 17 to 20 inches at the withers, while bitches should be 50 to 70 pounds, and 16 to 19 inches at the withers.
Temperament Olde English Bulldogges are suitable as companions, while also possessing the drive, temperament and agility to perform numerous varieties of work. The disposition of the Olde English Bulldogge is confident, friendly and alert. An OEB should be an animated and expressive dog, both in and out of the show ring.
Health The Olde English Bulldogge may be a healthier breed of dog than many modern Bulldog breeds, though they can be affected by many of the same disorders that occur in any breed. Proponents of the breed maintain that it does not suffer from the same disorders as purebred English bulldogs. Many breeders are now x-raying hips to reduce the incidence of hip dysplasia as well as having dogs evaluated by organizations such as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP). The Olde English Bulldogge is also quickly becoming well respected in many working venues such as weight pull, therapy training, and obedience. They have become excellent breathers and do not have to be kept in an air conditioned environment on hot days. Artificial insemination is not a standard protocol when breeding Olde English Bulldogges; natural ties are the standard. Breeders from the Olde English Bulldogge Kennel Club are working vigorously on educating new breeders on genetic disorders and the benefits modern genetic testing for these disorders can have on preventing genetic disorders in domestic animals. Many breeders are also becoming more aware of how important selective breeding can be to the breed as a whole.