Is the Olde English Bulldogge the Right Breed For You?


The Olde English Bulldogge vs. The Old English Bull Dog

When most people think of Bulldogs, the Old English Bulldog is probably what comes to mind. This breed is often confused with the Olde English Bulldogge, which is not the same breed or the same dog.

The Olde English Bulldogge is not recognized as a breed by the AKC. However, it is recognized as a breed by the IOEBA (the International Olde English Bulldogge Association). Many, including the AKC, don't consider this dog to be a breed, but rather a mix. However, in reality, all dogs essentially come from wolves and change, adapt, and are bred for certain features over many years and are then recognized as a breed. It would not surprise me if in years to come, the AKC does begin to recognize them as a breed.

Before getting into the specifics about this breed, I'd like to first tell you how this dog differs from the Old English Bulldog you are probably familiar with.

  • The most obvious difference is that the English Bulldog is much smaller, lighter, less fit, and less drool-y.
  • The English Bulldog is also much more sensitive to hot and cold, meaning you can't have them outdoor for long periods of time in extreme temperatures.
  • The English Bulldog is less active and less athletic as well.
  • Lastly, the Olde English Bulldogge tends to have less hereditary health problems than the English Bulldog.
  • The average cost of ownership of an English Bulldog in vet fees is over $5,000 per year. That seems a bit high to me. However, they are very expensive dogs to own. They often tend to have allergies and skin problems. Hereditary problems that are known to that breed are cherry eye, hip problems, and breathing problems, as well as problems with their pallet. Old English Bulldogges tend to be a bit healthier, as they are a mix of several breeds and specifically designed to be a more active and healthy with, less of the traditional health problems English Bulldogs face.


  • They were "created" in England, around 1600 or 1700, and are an ancestor to many bully breeds that are still around today including the English Bulldog, American Bulldog, as well as the Pug, French Bulldog, and many others. They were bred to fight and participate in blood sports, like bull baiting. Large, strong dogs, with courage, agility, and perseverance were needed for the sport.
  • In 1835, this cruel sport was outlawed and the numbers of these dogs fell to almost extinction. Breeders who appreciated this great and beautiful dog made an effort to breed out some of the aggressiveness. So, they began to cross remnants of this dog with other breeds, creating the temperament and features they wanted, until they finally developed the English Bulldog. Unfortunately however, this dog has numerous health problems and common genetic problems.

The modern Olde English Bulldogge is essentially a healthier, more active, remake of the 17th century Bulldog. A number of crosses and careful breeding occurred, and now we arrive at this beautiful breed of dog.

They are a mix of the English Bulldog, American Bulldog, American Pitbull Terrier, and the Mastiff. These breeds were used very selectively to achieve the traits and temperament desired. The result: a good looking, very athletic (compared to the English Bulldog), healthier, and more fit dog.

The breeders' goals moving forward should be to create even healthier dogs that are free breathers, free breeders, and free whelpers. Meaning that they can breathe with ease, can breed without artificial insemination, and do not need to be delivered via C-sections, like the English Bulldog.

About the Olde English Bulldogge

In general, this breed is medium-sized, courageous, comes with a large head, and a strong powerful body. They have okay breathing, are athletic, and are of good health.

  • Males are free breeders, and females are free whelpers. However, they do breathe better than English Bulldogs and are less sensitive to heat and cold.
  • They have good and stable temperement and enjoy praise. They are also very trustworthy and loyal companions, and can even be a protector.
  • While they are extremely stubborn, they are still trainable under strong owner.
  • The lifespan is between 10 and 14 years, which is much longer than the 8 to 10 years an English Bulldog is expected to live.
  • Theis size is something people should be aware of. As opposed to the 30 to 50, maybe 60 pounds an English Bulldog is normally, the Olde English Bulldogge is generally 18-20 inches high for males and 17-18 inches high for females. Females typically weigh between 50-70 pounds whereas males typically weigh between 65-85 pounds. (That said, they can get larger. Mine weighs in at about 96 pounds!)
  • These dogs are very happy. They are outgoing, but watchful. In the home, they can be protective.

My Experience Owning One

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When I'm looking at a new dog, I often read online and look at breed descriptions. While those are helpful, I don't just want a list of stats and some general generic description, I want to know what it's actually like owning on and to hear from actual owners. For that reason, here's my experience:

  • I got mine at eight weeks old. He came from a reputable breeder who followed the breed standard and strived to make a better breed, including doing genetic testing for health defects.
  • This breed is different from any other kind out there. I have owned muts, Border Terriers, Rottweilers, and Pitbulls, and this breed is a breed of it's own. They have a personality of their own and are very strong-headed, bordering on stubborn.
  • This was my first time owning a strong-minded dog, and I probably could have been better at being a stronger owner and a better pack leader, with a stronger presence. Next time, I'll make sure I do that. Despite having taken my dog to two puppy schools, hiring a private trainer, and working with him myself, he's not as well-trained as dogs I've had in the past. I'm largely to blame, though this breed isn't going to be as obedient or timid as say a Golden Retriever or Lab.
  • This breed is very slobbery. I'm always surprised when I speak with English Bulldog owners who tell me their dogs are not slobbery. My dog is extremely slobbery—I think it's the mastiff mix that makes it so.
  • Because these dogs are large and strong, that's something to keep in mind for why you want a well trained dog you are in control of. Think about going over to someone's house, and their dog is jumping all over you. With a Maltese, it's not a big deal. However, with a 100 pound Olde English Bulldogge, that jumping isn't just bouncing off your grandmas ankle—he's taking her to the ground. With that said, you need to be a strong owner, have a well trained dog, and be in control of your dog.

It's also important to know what kind of breed you want and what you want to do with your pet. If you're looking for pup to go on multiple mile runs with you, these are not for you. While they are healthy, active, and agile, their body make-up is just not conducive to long runs. They are a dog you can take to the park and have fun with outdoors, providing it's not in extreme temperatures. They are also great for lounging around the house with.

I hope this article has given you a better idea of this breed and whether or not it's right for you!

Comments 21 comments

Glenn 3 years ago

Most, sorry. And ioeba olde will never be recognised as a pure breed dog, if you mix a napolitian and a french bulldog, you can register it as an olde in the ioeba.if you mix and victorian bulldog with a alfa blue bulldog you can register as olde.when they stop this .and wait 20 generation, maybe....if you buy and leavitt olde, they have been breeding pure for 20-30 generation, and is very close to beeing and recognised breed.. I own and ioeba olde,,,,

debordel 3 years ago

All I can say is I love my OEB's. I was initially going to buy an English bulldog but after researching, I'm so glad I chose the OEB's. They are by far the best pets I have ever owned and extremely healthy, no issues. I've noticed lately that more people realize what they are when out with them. Glad to know the breed (yes, the BREED) is getting recognized. My prediction is that we will see more OEB's and less EB's in coming years.

Love my dog 2 years ago

I too originally wanted an EB but instead choose the OEB as I wanted a healthier and more active dog. I am completely thrilled with my decision, My dog is energetic friendly and incredibly loving, however he can be stubborn so you must be firm and consistent with this breed... also make sure you research the breeder well. .. there are a lOt of poor breeders out there who unfortunately give the oebs a bad rap.

daphne 2 years ago

Of course the AKC will not recognize this dog: its bulldog is a Frankenstein that does not even follow the AKC mission statement of "breeding for the betterment of the breed." There is no way it is the best interest of a breed to make it so physically disproportionate that it can neither copulate nor give birth without human medical intervention. If the AKC admitted the Olde English, then their bulldog would pale in comparison and drop in numbers. But I am glad the AKC will not admit it. When the Neo was accepted, its numbers in rescues doubled in a short time. We should be thankful the AKC ignores these dogs.

Kenya 2 years ago

We have an OEB that is almost 2. The breeder let her sit on the couch and although she was 3 months old when we brought her own, she never forgot. She is stubborn and determined. When we took her to school she refused to participate. As a former Lab owner, we didn't do a great job being disciplinarians. She is gorgeous and has the greatest form. We had a scare because she knocked over a little kid, she won't stop jumping. And advice?

kathi 21 months ago

We have a 10 month old female. She's been the best dog I've ever had! I've owned Shepherd...St. Bernard. ..Bernese and Black Labs. She's smart, sensitive but not whimpy, loving, mellow when you want or can play at top speed for hours straight. Everyone that meets her wants a puppy from her. Beautiful blue ribbon line blue white w reverse brindle.

Becca 18 months ago

I have an OEB who just turned 3. She is the best, most loyal, most affectionate but also most stubborn dog in the world. But I wouldn't trade her for anything. Where I'm from, we haven't run into any other OEB's nor do people know what her breed is. I'm sure they will become more popular in time. And if I'm not mistaken, didn't the AKC accept them as a breed beginning in April of 2014?

Joey 18 months ago

Becca, thanks for sharing your experience. Yes OEB's are a breed of their own. I've owned a number of dogs over the years and my OEB is totally different and unique from any other in terms of behavior and everything.

I hear people say its not a recognized that I say who cares... how many people actually participate in shows or stud their dog out...almost none so what does it matter if you have that piece of paper and do nothing with it.

Also OEB's are much healthier than English Bulldogs which was an important part in my decision.

Neil Gerrard 18 months ago

I have a OEB he is a great dog snores for Britain I have had other bull breeds mainly Stafford shire Bulls. The OBE has a great temperment with people and shows no aggression to other dogs.he is very stubborn but extremely intelligent.

I live in England in the nw I have never seen another OEB.every where I go with my dog I get stopped and asked about him and his breed.

I would not recommend a OEB to some one who has no dog experience but if you are used to bull breeds You won't go wrong with a OEB

tracy 15 months ago

hi whats your facebook page called. weve just recently got a 11 week old olde english male pup

Erica 14 months ago

I love my OEB I've had him for 6 years and he's great with my kids and 3 other dogs! Yes, slobber everywhere but he is the protector of the house and although he looks fierce.. He is a gentle giant... He's 75 lbs, he is very well trained but very protective. Everyone inquires about him all the time. His only health issue has been head tremors which have only happened twice!

Gail 14 months ago

Hi I'm getting ready to buy an OEB / american bulldog what's you'll option in this

Douglas 7 months ago

I wanted to know if the females are good watch dogs? They look impressive as the males, and are they are tolerant with kids.

Doug schott 7 months ago

just put my betty away she was 14 years old loved the grands she loved people as long as we was around but put the fear of God in people she didnt trust but wasnt mean just watched them close loved kids she was one of a kind have 2 more females one plays wont liston the other alot like betty

jorge villa 6 months ago

who cares about been recognize is a great dog people

Jeff 6 months ago

I have a 7.5 year old Olde. My first dog, but he stole my heart the moment i picked him up at 6 weeks old. He can be stubborn, but he is never out of sight from me. He loves to play, and gets along well with other dogs so long as the other dog is mellow. I had an American Bulldog who sadly just passed at only 5.5 years, they never fought, never an issue between the two. I love the breed, he just comes off as too friendly to people, but make a move too quickly in my family's direction, and he becomes a beast. I love my boy, and hopefully he lives to be a old old dog, can't imagine the day when he leaves me physically.

Bill Smith 6 months ago

I had an English Bulldog that I got cheap because the dealer said he was too tall and he had some pink on his nose. He could run like any other dog, swim and was the most lovable dog I've ever had. He lived for twelve years and died peacefully shortly after the love of his life, an old dachshund (Gidget) passed away at the age of eighteen. The vet said it looked like a case of a broken heart to him. I know this is not possible but who knows? Any way I still miss old Bentley.

6 months ago

Mine and my husband's OEB is the most loving and trainable dog I've had. I had an EB for 14 years and I will always consider her my baby. I don't regret having her, she was very healthy for an EB, but it is liberating not to constantly worry that the AC will go out and she may die in the house or if we've walked too far for me to bring her back safely. I don't think I trained her as well as our OEB because I couldn't take her out as much. She physically did not have the same opportunities as our OEB has.

Our OEB is a year old, he's been through 5 classes at our dog school and is on track for becoming a therapy dog. He absolutely LOVES people and other dogs. In fact, he's generally the neutral dog that our trainers ask to use as a buddy for dogs who need socialization. He's extremely playful, social, and energetic--most of the time to a fault. We've had to do a ton of impulse control work with him, so that he understands that he has to wait to be social. He's great, but I don't know if I would suggest the breed for anyone who is used to having a low energy dog or is not home a lot. These dogs need a lot of attention, training, and honestly a job to do--at least ours does. They are fabulous dogs though, but like any dog, you really have to see what works for your lifestyle and personality. EBs are great for seniors and very low energy (and probably rich, because they do require very proactive vetting) families. You'll do great with an OEB if you don't mind an 80 lb lap dog who drools and who wants to be the best host ever, even if he's not in your home.

5 months ago

I have a mix of EB and OEB and its the best dog I have ever had. She is mellow most of the time but likes to play and go for walks. Great with our three young kids. She is a 70 pound lap dog. Wants to sit next to you or sleep next to you. At first I tried to keep her off the furniture but like others have said very stubborn. Once I came to the conclusion that I have a lap dog I gave in. Good watch dog barks when someone comes to door but great with kids and people.

MAC 5 months ago

I have 2 OEB, both females and sisters. They just turned 3 in april. From the day we got them I fell in love and they are really great dogs. They will be up for play time all the time and can veg out on the sofa as well. love going for walks (helps get some of their energy out) but as most have said they are stubborn. One of ours is notorious for having selecting hearing like she doesn't hear us calling her name or will just look at you and be like "yeah I'm not ready to come in yet hooman". The couch thing is inevitable as these dogs love to be by your side, it's like they have to be and you cant say no to their faces. My girls are the best cuddlers compared to other dogs I have had in the past or been around. They just don't get tired of it. Disciplining them was fairly easy we had no issues with chewing or destroying things as we got them proper toys and used "no" so they got the hang of it pretty quickly. Used kennel training and they even put themselves in time out sometimes if let's say they got a hold of your dinner. As far as health is concerned we have had no major issues except minor skin issues with one of them and we can't quite pin point the cause. They snore pretty loudly but the vet said they are find and have no obstructions to be concerned about. For the most part they are well behaved but need work on their manners as they love people and other dogs and get excited and jump or introduce themselves too quickly. Wish we would have been more proactive in this area so I suggest focusing on this behavioral problem early because they can knock smaller children over or the elderly. They are excellent watch dogs and very loyal. They are definitely good looking dogs and People are constantly stopping to admire them and ask about their breed. The only thing I would say is if you don't have time for this breed do not consider because they really love attention and just being by your side. They are used to our regular work schedule but we can have busy weekends sometimes and you can sense they get very depressed when we are not home enough for them. Like I said before if they don't have a bone to chew on they are either looking for you or right by your side. All in all they are quite the characters but what i love most about this breed is how much they love.

David 8 days ago

I had one and he was the best dog ever. He was tied to a tree pretty much all his life before we got him orange and white. Only problem was because he was bound to a tree, he was a runner.

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