The original Bulldog was a very different Bulldog than the dog who has captured the hearts of so many people. The Bulldog of the 1600-1800s was more like an American Bulldog or even an American Staffordshire Terrier. They were a taller, leggier, much more active and agile dog than today's chunky Bulldog.
Of course, these early dogs were bred to hunt wild game and bait bulls. Baiting bulls was, at one time, thought to tenderize the meat of the bull prior to butchering. Dogs were used to rile the bull up and "heat" the blood. Actually, the adrenaline made the meat less tender and thankfully, in 1835 bull-baiting was banned.
The dogs who had been bred specifically to fight needed a new job. Other breeds with a more mellow temperament were used to cut the ferocious nature of these early Bulldogs. Over time came the Bulldog we know today.
In the early 1970s (ah, the early 70s - bad perms, bell-bottomed jeans, ever-so much polyester), David Leavitt set out to redevelop this early Bulldog's physical type, without the fighting dog temperament. He crossed dogs that were half English Bulldogs, and the other half was a mixture of Bullmastiff, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Bulldog bloodlines.
His goal was to breed a healthier Bulldog with the looks of the original Bulldogs during the 1700s with the family friendly temperament of today's English Bulldogs. He wanted an athletic, healthier dog that would breathe freely and reproduce without too much interference by man. While he did not approve of the bull baiting which Bulldogs sprang from, he was fascinated by the muscular, fearless Bulldogs that evolved. His group split off in 2001 to form Levitt Bulldogs.
Want to know more? Check out the Levitt Bulldog Association info.
THE DIVORCE…In 2005 a group of Olde English Bulldogge breeder's broke off and named their dogs Leavitt Bulldogs after the aforementioned founder David Leavitt.
The dogs that were originally bred by David Leavitt and known as the Olde English Bulldogge are now known as Leavitt Bulldogs. Here is a statement from Mr. Leavitt on this split.
"We now call our dogs Leavitt Bulldogs in an effort to differentiate them from the larger body of unrelated dogs called Olde English Bulldogge today. David Leavitt"
As a business owner, I get a LOT of requests for guest blog posts. As I rule I don't do them for lots of reasons, but this one caught me eye. Maria, from Roto-Rooter, emailed and shared some info on their Pet Rescue program and I was all in!