English Bulldog Born In The USA: How A Dream Came True






Olde English Bulldogge Breed History

When is an English Bulldog not an English Bulldog? The surprising answer is when it’s an Olde English Bulldogge! Why? The Olde English Bulldogge was first bred in America by an American!

Confused? Allow me to explain.

Dog breeder David Leavitt who hailed from Coatesville in Pennsylvania must have been feeling nostalgic on the day he dreamed of re-creating the 18th Century English Bulldog. This Bulldog was used for bull baiting from 1100 to 1835. The 18th Century English Bulldog was quite different from the current English Bulldog Breed. It was more athletic in build and healthier overall.

How David Leavitt Fulfilled His Dream

To achieve his dream of re-creating the 18th Century English Bulldog which Leavitt later decided to name the Olde English Bulldogge, he used a livestock line breeding program created by Nathan Fechimer, a professor in the Department of Dairy Science at Ohio State University. David Leavitt’s creative breed mix consisted of half English Bulldog, one-sixth Bull Mastiff, one-sixth American Pit Bull Terrier and one-sixth American Bulldog.

The Result

The end product was a Bulldog that looked similar to the original English Bulldog, but with a friendly disposition, fewer health issues and a longer life. This new breed was capable of living into its teens. Leavitt formed The Olde English Bulldogge Association so he could issue registration papers. He worked closely with Ben and Karen Campetti in developing the breed until 1993 when he stopped breeding. He then handed the OEBA registry and breeding stock to Working Dog Inc. owned by Michael Walz from Pennsylvania.

The  Olde English Bulldogge Kennel Club (OEBKC) was formed in 2001 and was merged with the Olde English Bulldogge Association in 2005. David Leavitt helped to do this.

In 2008 the Olde English Bulldogge registered with the Canine Development Health Performance Registry (CDHPR). The purpose was to obtain accreditation as a purebred breed in the United Kennel Club (UKC). The UKC issued a statement to say that the breed was to become a fully recognised breed from 1st January, 2014.


  • Weight: Female: 20–27 kg, Male: 22–30 kg
  • Height: Female: 38–44 cm, Male: 44–48 cm
  • Colors: Black, Brindle & White, Fawn Brindle, Grey, Black Brindle, Red Brindle


  • Alert
  • Friendly
  • Confident
  • Loving
  • Courageous
  • Strong

You could be forgiven for thinking that this dog would be difficult to handle and certainly not the ideal family dog judging by its formidable appearance.

This couldn’t be further from the truth since the breed is soft and gentle at heart and loves children. They also love to have fun and to play. Like other bulldog breeds they love to exercise their mouths so need to be provided with robust chewing toys or else you may find your tables and chairs legless!

And for guarding the family this dog is awesome, totally fearless they will protect you and your family, putting their own lives at risk – such is the loyalty of this distinctive breed!


english bulldog
Image by Sven Lachmann from Pixabay
  • Life Expectancy: 9 -14 years
  • Susceptible to bloat
  • Eyelids can turn inwards
  • May be prone to hip dysplasia
  • May contract skin fold dermatitis

The Olde English Bulldogge does not have the short nose of the English Bulldog. This means he breathes much better than the English Bulldog and has not inherited brachycephalic airway obstruction from the English Bulldog breed.

There are potentially other health problems you need to look out for as follows:

Bloat In the Olde English Bulldogge

This can be a deadly condition for any dog although it’s most common in deep chested dogs such as the Olde English Bulldogge.

The condition is called bloat because the dog’s stomach twists, fills up with gas and cuts off the blood supply to vital organs. If this happens you literally have minutes to get your dog to the vet for an operation. The normal procedure is the vet untwists the stomach then attaches it to the rib cage so that the risk of it happening again is minimised.

It is very painful for your dog so the signs to look out for are howling, trying to be sick and an abdomen that’s tight like the skin on a drum because it has filled up with stomach gases.  

You can reduce the risk of bloat by feeding at least an hour before and after any exercise. Also, it’s best to feed little and often.

Inward Turning Eyelids

Unfortunately, inward turning eyelids is a breed trait that was not eliminated with the development of the Olde English Bulldogge from the English Bulldog. The eyelashes press against the cornea creating a lot of discomfort for the dog.

The symptoms are partially closed eyes and face rubbing.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is a painful condition resulting from hip malformation that causes rubbing together of the hip joints leading to inflammation. The Olde English Bulldogge isn’t the only dog breed to suffer from Hip Dysplasia.

You can spot dogs with this condition because they tend to limp and overall, especially when the condition worsens, struggle to walk. Painkillers are often used to alleviate the pain as is total hip replacement.

The best way to reduce the risk is for breeders to choose dogs with good hips to reproduce since there is no cure for this hereditary condition.

Skin Fold Dermatitis

The Olde English Bulldogge has wrinkles, especially about the nose. This makes him particularly susceptible to dermatitis as the skin in their nose folds rubs together causing inflammation and ultimately infection.

You need to check the skin folds regularly for infection. The best way to detect infection is by a discharge that smells foul. If detected you can try using salt water to clean out the folds in the first instance. You do need to take your dog to the vet for treatment if the infection doesn’t clear up quickly.       

Olde English Bulldogge Training

The Olde English Bulldogge loves to please their owner and responds well to positive re-enforcement training backed up with treats!

Training sessions need to be undertaken several times each day in short bursts. They should be more like games than training sessions so he sees them as fun times and he will respond well.

Exercise Requirements

The Olde English Bulldogge is an endurance athlete. They need plenty of exercise taken at a leisurely pace. This means he’s the ideal breed for the walker, rambler or hiker.

How Much For An Olde English Bulldogge Puppy?

Owning an Olde English Bulldogge doesn’t come cheap. You can expect to pay from £2,586 ($3,300) to £6,660 ($8,500) and more for one with a top pedigree.

Derek Collinsonhttps://wagglydogs.com
Derek Collinson is a passionate Scot who loves all dogs. He's an animal communicator and healer who created the first dating site for dog lovers in the world in 2006.
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