The Olde English Bulldogge is a recreation of the bulldog that originated in England between 1600 and 1700. The original English bulldog was bred primarily for use in the sport of bull-baiting. For this reason, English Bulldogs of the 16th and 17th century exhibited a functional build that contributed to the necessary physical stamina and endurance which allowed them to participate in such sports. The Old Bulldog was a courageous and loyal dog that could breathe freely and move with agility. The sport of bull-baiting was popular throughout the mid 1800s in England and the bulldog lived and thrived during a time where its purpose was clearly defined by the people who participated in the sport.
In the middle of the 18th century laws were passed in England banning the gruesome sport of bull-baiting and, as a result, the Bulldog lost its purpose and the bulldog breed began to diminish drastically. Dog show fanciers took an interest in resurrecting the breed, but they were in pursuit of a more aesthetically pleasing and less aggressive bulldog for the show ring. As a result, the original bulldog was bred down to the Pug and after years of breeding, the modem day English bulldog evolved. Unfortunately, the modem day English bulldog is wrought with genetic health problems. The shortened muzzle & spine combined with the overall more compact structure of the English Bulldog contributes to the many health disorders that are prevalent within the modem English Bulldog breed.
While the English Bulldog was created to obtain a particular look desired by show fanciers, the Olde English Bulldogge was created for the purpose of obtaining health ability and temperament. The Olde English Bulldogge is a comparable representation of the Old Bulldog that existed in England between the 16th and 17th century. The Olde English Bulldogge should mirror the athleticism and the physical functionality of the Old Bulldog and should exhibit a stable temperament. The Olde English Bulldogge is free breeding, free whelping and free breathing. Various genetic crosses were used by breeders to obtain desired traits that exist in the Olde English Bulldogge. Some of the breeds used as a foundation in the creation of the Olde English Bulldogge are the English bulldog, American Bulldog, Mastiff and APBT.
The picture demonstrates the transition of the skull of the bulldog as breeders began to breed down Old Bulldogs with pugs. Notice the comparatively shorter skull in 1935 in relation to the skull of an 18th century bulldog. This shorter skull is a direct reflection of some of the health disorders that plague the modem AKC English Bulldog breed. English Bulldogs are prone to genetic health disorders such as Brach cephalic Syndrome and Cleft Up/Palate.