Old English Bulldogge Breed Standard

HISTORY

Bulldogs were created for the English sport of bull baiting, which was widely practised from 1100 till 1835 when it was made illegal. Once his work was outlawed the Bulldog rapidly started disappearing. In the 1860s the breed was revived as a conformation show dog. The Bulldog has been made progressively more extreme through selective breeding until his health and life span have been severely compromised. He is a far different dog than his healthy, agile ancestor. In 1971 David Leavitt started his project of breeding back to a dog with the appearance of the Regency period Bulldog. He named the breed Olde English Bulldogge (OEB) to clearly differentiate it from the modern English Bulldog. Leavitt used a line breeding scheme developed by Dr Fechimer of Ohio State, to rapidly achieve a purebred dog. Today’s Olde English Bulldogge matches the looks of the bull baiting dog. They are first and foremost excellent family companions while also possessing the drive, temperament and agility to perform in numerous working venues.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Olde English Bulldogge is a muscular, medium sized dog of great strength, stability and athleticism. He is well balanced and proportioned, with no feature exaggerated or standing out. He has the appearance of a dog capable of doing his original job, bull baiting.

*Excessive height would have been detrimental for the old working Bulldog because he had to “play low” to avoid the bull’s horns and fasten onto his nose.

*A heavyweight dog would have also been at a disadvantage because the bull’s nose would have been more likely to rip, sending the dog flying.

CHARACTERISTICS

The disposition of the Olde English Bulldogge is confident, courageous and alert. OEB’s are very friendly and loving. They are extremely strong and occasionally display same sex dog aggression, so socialization and obedience training is important. It is best to channel high energy individuals to some type of work and exercise. While a watchful nature may be expected at home, human aggression without provocation is a disqualifying fault.

Fault: Shyness in a mature dog

HEAD

The Olde English Bulldogge head is prominent and dramatic. The circumference of the head is at least equal to the dog’s height at the withers. The cheeks are large, well developed and display powerful jaw muscles. A slightly wrinkled forehead is acceptable.

SKULL

The skull is large but well proportioned to the dog’s muscular body and prominent shoulders. There is a crease from the stop to the occiput.

Serious Faults: Narrow skull; domed forehead.

MUZZLE

The muzzle is square, wide and deep, with definite layback. Distance from the tip of the nose to the stop does not exceed one-third of the distance from the tip of the nose to the occiput. Height of the muzzle, from the bottom of the chin to the top of the muzzle, is equal to or greater than the length of the muzzle, thus producing the deep square muzzle. There is slight to moderate wrinkle on the muzzle. Flews are semi-pendulous. The bite is undershot and horizontally straight. An underbite is ¾” or less. Lower jawbone is moderately curved from front to back.

Faults: A slightly longer or shorter muzzle; excessive wrinkles.
Disqualifying Fault: Wry jaw; overbite

EYES

Eyes are round to almond shape and medium-sized. They are set wide apart, and of moderate size with the outside corner of the eye intersecting with the outside line of the skull and are set low, at the level of the muzzle, where the stop and muzzle intersect.  Any Eye colour is acceptable. However, odd eyes (one dark, one blue or light) should be considered unpreferred. Lacking pigment around the eyes is undesirable.

Fault: Any pink on the eye rims.
Serious Fault: Misshapen or bugged eyes are a serious fault.
Disqualifications: Any eye colour other than brown; walleyes; Crossed eyes or non-symmetrically shaped eyes are a disqualifying fault.

TEETH

Canine teeth are large. Broken, chipped or extracted teeth are acceptable. There are 6 cornrow teeth between canines.

Fault: Exposed canine teeth

NOSE

Broad with open nostrils with no sign of air restriction. The nose should not be pushed up between the eyes. From the stop to the end of the nose must be at least 3.8cm. The nose should be a solid colour. Lacking pigment is a serious fault. A nose lacking all pigment is a disqualifying fault.

Serious Fault: Slit nostrils

EARS

Ears are rose, button or tulip, with rose preferred. They are set high and to the rear of the skull. The ears are positioned as wide as possible on the outside of the skull. They are small to medium in size.

NECK

The neck is medium length, wide, and slightly arched. It is a little smaller than the head where the two meet. and gets wider from that point to the shoulders. It is slightly loose from jaw to chest, forming a double dewlap.

Serious Fault: A single dewlap.

FOREQUARTERS

SHOULDERS

They are broad, heavily muscled and have a separation between shoulder blades. The scapula (shoulder blade) should be at an approximately 35-degree angle to vertical and forms an angle approximately 110 degrees to the humerus (forearm). Scapula and humerus should be roughly equal in length.

ELBOWS

A vertical line drawn from the point of the scapula (top) to the ground will pass directly through the elbow. The elbows are not turned in or out.

FORELEGS

The legs are set wide apart, coming straight down from the shoulders. They are straight vertically on inside of legs and well muscled giving a bowed appearance of front quarters. The forelegs have medium bone and are in proportion to the body.

PASTERNS

The pasterns are medium in length. They are straight, strong, flexible and nearly perpendicular to the ground.

Faults: Foreleg bones too heavy or too light.

Serious Faults: Loose shoulders; upright shoulders; loose elbows; weak pasterns (either too vertical or too horizontal).

BODY

The body is sturdy and powerful. The length from the tip of breastbone to rear thigh is slightly longer than the height from ground to withers.

CHEST

The back is wide and muscular, showing power. Top-line has a slight roach (or wheel back). There is a fall in the back, to its low spot behind the shoulders. From this point, the spine rises to the loin. The high point of the loin is a little bit higher than the shoulders then there is a gentle curve, forming an arch, down to the tail. Loin (back of rib cage to hips) is muscular, medium in length and slightly arched.

CHEST

The chest is wide and deep with a muscular brisket. Ribs are well sprung and rounded, being at their fullest directly behind the shoulders. Shoulders to forelegs are well muscled.

Faults: Narrow rib cage. Very long or short loin.

HINDQUARTERS

Hips and thighs are strong and muscular. Hind legs are well muscled and slightly longer than the forelegs. In a natural stance, they are straight, parallel and set apart when viewed from the rear. Distance between hind legs is less than the distance between the front legs. Angulation is moderate. Stifles have a gentle convex curve when viewed from the side. Stifle angle roughly matches the angle of the pelvis. Hocks are perpendicular to the ground when viewed from the side and back. They are parallel to each other when viewed from the back. A line drawn from the rearmost part of the buttocks, perpendicular to the ground, should fall to the front of the toes. A line is drawn from the upper (front) point of the pelvis, perpendicular to the ground, should pass through the knee (the two preceding tests of good angulation must be performed with the dog’s hocks set perpendicular to the ground).

Fault: Hips which are equal to shoulders in width.

Serious Faults: Straight stifle. Severely cow hocked or bow hocked. 

FEET

Feet are of medium size and are well arched and rounded (cats’ foot). They are straight when viewed from the front. Rear feet are smaller than front feet.

Faults: Feet turning in nor out; long toes.

Serious Faults: Flat feet; hare feet; and splayed toes.

TAIL

The ideal tail should be set low and tapering from base to end. It can be pump handle or straight with pump handle being preferred. The tail should reach the hocks or be slightly shorter. The tail is carried down, horizontal or high.

Accepted but not preferred: Natural Bobbed Tail, Docked Tail, Screw Tail.
Faults:
Tail curling 360 degrees. Same circumference from base to tip.
Kinked Tail (a kinked tail is a tail with one or more sharp bends).

Disqualifying Fault: No Tail

COLOUR

Any colour is acceptable with no preference for one over another.

COAT

The coat must be short. 

Faults: Fringe, feather or curl in the coat.
Disqualifying Faults: A wavy coat or a long coat. There should be no signs of feathering on the legs or neck area, also a disqualifying fault.

HEIGHT AND WEIGHT

Dogs – 25kg to 35kg. and 43cm to 50cm at the withers
Bitches – 22kg to 32kg. and 41 to 48cm at the withers.

  • Deviation from this range of height and weight will be faulted according to the extent of the deviation.
  • Weight should be proportioned to height and the dogs must not be squat or rangy.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

Gait is smooth, powerful, energetic and confident. Travel is straight. Feet should move forward and back in the same plane. Footfalls approach the centerline as trot speed increases. There is a slight under step as rear feet land just short of where front feet land. Front and rear reach are balanced. Feet must not cross or interfere with each other. The dog should have proper movement when viewed from the side and back.

DISQUALIFICATIONS

Eyes – Crossed eyes or non-symmetrically shaped eyes
are a disqualifying fault.
Bite – Wry jaw or Overbite.
Tail – Kinked, docked, bobbed or screw tail.
Males lacking two fully descended normal testicles. 

This breed standard was last revised on the 1st of June 2019.

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