English Bulldogs are known as gentle, fun to be around and friendly companion dogs. Sadly, they are also known to suffer a lot from different serious health issues, mostly breathing issues, but also skin, dental and joint problems. But it was not always like that! When you look at photos of English Bulldogs that were taken 100 or more years ago, the breed looked very differently, and most importantly, the Bulldogs back than vere much healthier.
And it is no coincidence, because in the past, Bulldogs were used for working purposes. They were used to catch cattle or horses and to help butchers control their livestock. Later they were also used for a bloody so called dog sport bull baiting. But over the time, the bull baiting was banned and there was no other utilization for them, which is why, they started to be bred to be smaller sized dogs which would be good for companionship. But this breeding also destroyed their health.
That is a reason why over the time, several breeders tried to recreate the original English Bulldog. Basically they wanted to keep their amazing temperament, but to increase their health. The most famous recreations are probably Leavitt and Olde English Bulldogges, but those are not the only one, because there is also, for example, the Victorian Bulldog, which this video will be all about!
The Victorian Bulldog started to be developed in 1985 by a breeder Ken Mollett. He wanted to recreate the healthier Bulldog type, similar to those of Victorian era.
He found the best English Bulldogs he could find and crossed them with other bull-breeds that could have been found in Great Britain, which includes Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Bullmastiffs.
He wanted to change the appearance of modern Bulldog to the Victorian Bulldog mainly by prolonging the muzzle, give them more athletic build, longer legs and smaller head.
And today we can say that he was succesfull, at least partially. The Victorian Bulldog is not the exact copy of Bulldogs from Victorian era, but it is definitely healthier breed than the English Bulldog, and is more athletic and fit.
It also remained similar temperament of the English Bulldog, which is why it is beloved and favourite companion dog of many many owners. One of the main difference between the English Bulldog and Victorian Bulldog is the size, because the Victorian Bulldog is visibly larger.
The average height of the Victorian Bulldog is between 16-19 inch, which is 40-50 cm and weight between 55-75 lbs, which is 25-35 kg. Females tend to be slightly smaller than males.
Victorian Bulldogs typicaly also do not have that deep wrinkles, which are causing skin irritations and thanks to the slightly longer nose, they should not have that much breathing issues neither.
But still, even though different than the English Bulldog, you can still see that these two dogs are closely related. They share many appearance and temperament traits.
Speaking of temperament, what is the Victorian Bulldog like? They do posses gentle, friendly, trustful and tolerant personality. Thanks to that, they also make perfect dog partners for kids, but of course, you should never leave any dog breed with a very young child unsupervised. Victorian Bulldog can also share its home with other dogs or other pets, especially if socialized together from the puppyhood.
Even though more athletic than the English Bulldog, they do not have some extreme exercise needs. Few daily walks accompanied with some playtime are enough to keep this dog happy and healthy. But they are capable of going for longer hikes and walks without any problems. Of course, daily walks are essential for their health and to prevent obesity, which these dogs are prone to.
The Victorian Bulldog might be very friendly towards its family, but they are definitely not pushovers to train. It is not because they are not smart, but they are kind of stubborn. They will learn all the basic obedience commands quickly, but sometimes, they just dont feel like to obey them. It is important to train your Victorian Bulldog patiently, kindly, consistently, but also firmly.
When it comes to the health of Victorian Bulldog, they can still be prone to similar health issues as the English Bulldog, but they are much less common and the breed truly is much healthier. But they can still suffer from some breathing difficulties, even though they are pretty rare. The main health issues are associated with skin conditions and obesity, which can be easily prevented by regular exercise and healthy diet. The breed has a good lifespan around 13 years.
The maintenance and grooming of Victorian Bulldog is also quite easy. If you want to keep the coat in best possible condition, you can brush it from time to time, but even without any grooming, the coat will stay in good condition.
Special attention should be paid to the dental hygiene of dogs with undershot jaws such as the Victorian Bulldog. It is also important to clean and dry the skin around the wrinkles, so you prevent any possible infections. Just like with any other breed, you should also regularly check their eyes, ears, nails and teeth and clip them or clean them if needed.