Victorian Bulldog Breed History, Health, Breeding & Differences

Victorian Bulldogs are shining stars in the bull breed world. They are kind, docile, and soulful. They strive to be your best friend and your favorite “hello” when you get home from work.

With such a great personality, you would think this breed would be very popular. They aren’t, though.

Today’s Victorian Bulldogs are from England and have only been around for 40 years. They have only just started to show up in the United States.

This is a rare dog breed.

Do you have what it takes to own this Bulldog? Keep reading to learn more about them…

What Is A Victorian Bulldog?

Victorian Bulldog

The Victorian Bulldog is a taller, leaner, and healthier version of an English Bulldog.

They are similar to Bulldogs of the 1800s. These dogs were used as bull bait and had nerves of steel. After bull baiting was banned, the breed vanished out of thin air as it was not suitable for companionship due to its fighting temperament.

The first modern Victorian Bulldogs were bred only thirty-six years ago.

Ken Mollett is credited as the original breeder. In 1985 and 1986, he wanted to re-establish the breed he believed became extinct during the 1800s. He knew that Victorian Bulldogs had previously existed, but they had become extinct due to the bull baiting ban. So, he took it upon himself to re-create the lost breed.

His goal was to create a Bulldog that was taller friendlier, and had fewer health problems.

The purpose was to create healthy Bulldogs that could be family companions.

Bulldogs have become a mainstay in UK households due to their loving, goofy and happy temperament. However, they are predisposed to many dangerous health conditions and ailments that keeping track of them can be a headache! Many will have health problems and most of these problems are genetic.

They Are Not Old Victorian Bulldogs

They are the “original” Bulldog that was used for bull baiting in the 1800s. These dogs lived during the 1800s and were used for dog fighting and bull baiting. However, the breed slowly died out.

The “old” Bulldog was fit, healthy and athletic.

They were tough, but had a soft and sweet side to them reserved for their family. Most of the time they were perfectly happy getting endless belly scratches!

Outside of the house they were aggressive and bold. This means that they would hold their ground and protect their owners if provoked.

Breeding Victorian Bulldogs

Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terriers were used in the original breeding practices.

Victorian Bulldogs that we know today are all descendants of those first bred by Ken Mollett.

Mollet used bull breeds such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the English Bulldog to recreate this lost breed. Some sources also cite that Bull Terriers and Bull Mastiffs were used too.

Breeding dogs were selected only from the UK Kennel Club. This ensured that puppies would fit within an expected breed standard and also have a good bill of health.

He created a breed that is taller, leaner, and more importantly healthier than the Bulldog.

This new hybrid dog retains the cheeky, goofy and loving personality, but is healthier and more owner friendly.

Breed Characteristics
Family Friendly★★★★(4)
Energy Levels★★★★★(2)
Ease of Training★★★★★(3)
Shedding Frequency★★★★★(2)
Price★★★★(4)

Appearance

Bulldog
At first glance they can look chunky. When you do a double take, they look muscly.

One look at a Victorian Bulldog will warm your heart and make you smile!

They look like Bulldogs that have been stretched out and made taller. They are a more toned, athletic version. Their head is smaller, but they have a longer snout and stand three inches taller. They will also have fewer wrinkles.

The thick-nature of bull breeds makes them chunky, yet, they are still leaner than Bulldogs. Their muscular appearance should be toned, not chubby.

Their appearance can be deceiving until you actually pet and touch them. Only then will you be able to truly appreciate their stockiness.

As adults, Victorian Bulldogs will not exceed 19 inches in height or 75 pounds in weight.

They are taller and have larger bodies than Bulldogs, but they are shorter than Staffordshire Bull Terriers. In truth, they are a happy medium when it comes to bull breeds!

Their coat is a single layer that can be quite dense. This breed is an average shedder but will likely shed more during the spring and fall. The most common coat colors are:

  • Brindle
  • Red
  • White
  • Fawn

It is quite common for them to have white markings with any of the colors above because of their Staffordshire bull terrier heritage.

Fun Facts

  • This dog is also known as the Mollett Victorian Bulldog.
  • Ken Mollett used ancient artwork and photographs to get a better idea of what old Bulldogs once looked like.
  • They will never be black or have any color combination of black.
  • This breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. It is only recognized by the American Canine Association and the Dog Registry of America.
  • Most puppies will be ten pounds at just six weeks of age. They will reach full size somewhere between 1 to 2 years of age at no more than 75 pounds.
  • Just like the Bulldog, they are known for being a heavy drooler.

Are Victorian Bulldogs Aggressive?

Bulldog Mix
They are fiercely love and protect their families.

The Victorian Bulldog was bred to be a companion dog and that is what they excel best at! They make fantastic family pets due to their loving nature and goofy personality. You do not have to worry about small children rough housing a Bulldog because they are hardy and well-built.

As a good rule of thumb, most are very docile and sweet.

Bulldogs are very friendly and social dogs that love to go on adventures. They walk with an air of confidence and swagger.

These dogs excel at being a couch potatoes and couch surfing! They love to waste the day away by napping peacefully on your furniture. Be warned, though, this breed is notorious for inheriting the bulldog’s tendency to snore!

They will need endless cuddles and air conditioning. Drooly and slobbery kisses are not optional; they are mandatory to owning this dog.

It is important to let your puppy explore outside of the house and meet new friends. Bulldogs can be wary of strangers, so it is important to take it slow. Allow your pup and its friends to greet each other and play.

This breed loves to run and play. So, taking agility or rally classes is a great way to help socialize your pup with other humans and dogs.

Some Victorian Bulldogs can have aggression issues if not properly trained and socialized as puppies. This can be traced back to the bull breeds in their blood: Staffordshire Bull Terrier, English Bulldog, Bull Terrier and Bull Mastiff. They have an ancient history of fighting and some may still have those guard dog instincts.

Health Issues

English Bulldog
Owning this breed is a piece of cake compared to owning a Bulldog (pictured)

The Victorian Bulldog lives longer on average than their English siblings. In fact, they can live 10 to 14 years while English varieties can live 8 to 10 years.

If you are looking for a running partner, this is not the breed for you. They do not have much stamina and are prone to heat-stroke and overheating. Instead, you may want to look into adopting a working breed that loves running such as a Border Collie or Australian Shepherd.

Owning this dog is very comparable to owning other medium-sized dog breeds, however they are typically healthier.

One of biggest benefits of Victorian Bulldogs is that they have far less health conditions. Their good health can be attributed to their origin and breeding practices. By using multiple bull breeds, less of the poor genetics associated with the Bulldog were inherited.

Bulldogs are prone to lots of health conditions, many of which are genetic:

  • Obesity
  • Skin infections
  • Laryngeal paralysis
  • Periodontal disease
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Respiratory distress syndrome
  • Dry eye
  • Cherry eye
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Osteochondritis dessicans

This list of health issues for a Victorian Bulldog is far less. Most health conditions seen in Victorians are associated with obesity. In fact, obesity can lead to bone and joint problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia and osteoarthritis.

Increased body fat can also make it hard for this breed to breath properly.

Keeping a strict feeding schedule and using a high quality kibble is key to preventing obesity. If you are unsure of what diet is best for your puppy, be sure to consult your breeder or local vet for recommendations.

Also, you can track your dog’s growth and weight against a growth chart. Based on your pup’s growth, both you and your vet will be able to best tailor its nutrition.

Age (months)Weight (pounds)
3 months10-15 lbs
6 months25-40 lbs
9 months35-50
12 months50+ lbs

Victorian Bulldog Puppies and Breeders

Victorian Bulldog puppy
Buying a puppy will guarantee a best friend for many years.

Today there are only a few well-establish breeders, so this dog is considered to be very rare. Most breeders are located in the United Kingdom where the breed originated.

The Victorian Bulldog Registry maintains an open registry of breeders and a breed standard. It was established in the late 1900s with a goal of promoting ethical breeding practices and to keep the breed alive and thriving.

Currently, the registry has a wait list for prospective owners.

Since this breed is rare, and has a wait list, it can have a heavy price tag! This is true for French Bulldogs too, who can also have a high price.

Most Victorian Bulldog puppies cost between $1,500 to $3,000.

Before bringing a puppy home, be sure to do your research. Some breeders may claim they are selling Victorian puppies, but they end up just being Bulldog mixes. In fact, there have been instances where breeders have falsely advertised third generation Bulldog mixes as Victorian Bulldogs – they are not!

These dogs must have an ancestor that traces back to the original Mollett Victorian Bulldogs.

What Is It Like To Own One?

Life with this dog is fun, relaxed and laid back! This is mostly because of their poor stamina and low prey drive. They are satisfied with a brisk 20-minute walk around your neighborhood or a short game of fetch in the backyard.

The Victorian Bulldog is easy to please.

Also, this breed is very family friendly. They play well and bounce around with older children, yet they know how to be gentle around younger children.

Besides having low exercise requirements, they also have low grooming requirements. Their short coat does well with weekly brushing and will shed mostly during the spring and fall. This breed does not need regular grooming appointments.

It is a fun addition to any family who want a lazy, low maintenance dog!

English vs Victorian Bulldog Differences

Victorian Bulldog vs English
They look like taller Bulldogs that went on a diet.

The Victorian Bulldog is a taller, healthier and friendlier version of a Bulldog. This is exactly what they were bred for.

An adult male will stand between 17 to 19 inches tall, while a male Bulldog is much shorter standing at 14 to 17 inches tall. Because they are taller, they also weigh more! A male can weigh 65 to 75 pounds vs 50 pounds for a male Bulldog.

Despite weighing more, the Victorian Bulldog looks leaner and more toned. This is because they have been bred with other bull breeds such as the Bull Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. These two breeds helped them to build up more lean muscle mass.

Bulldog Size Chart
VictorianEnglish
Height16 to 19 inches12 to 17 inches
Weight55 to 70 pounds40 to 55 pounds

These two Bulldog breeds also have different levels of health.

We have come to love Bulldogs for their wrinkles, under bite, droopy eyelids, stubby legs, and big bodies. Unfortunately, these features can also cause health issues. A list of features that negatively affect their health can be seen below:

  • Short and flat face – Brachycephalic airway syndrome.
  • Saggy eyelids – Keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
  • Short legs with a heavy body – Hip dysplasia.
  • Wrinkles – Fold dermatitis.

The Victorian Bulldog was bred to be a healthier version of the Bulldog. They have a cleaner bill of health, but they are not completely free of all health conditions. Some struggle with obesity and dysplastic conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia.

They solve the problem of the poor health found within the Bulldog.

Summary

Victorian Bulldogs were bred to be healthy, friendly family pets and that is what they do best!

They are couch potatoes and love to waste the day away snoozing. Do not be surprised, though, if they have some very good protective instincts. They can be loyal, loving, goofy and protective.

Ken Mollett first bred Victorian Bulldogs in the late 1900s after the breed vanished out of thin air during the 1800s. He wanted to create a breed that was larger, leaner, friendlier and less prone to disease than the current Bulldog.

By adopting a Victorian Bulldogs, you are adding a pet to your family that will be loved by all. However, do your research prior to buying one to make sure it is truly a Victorian. Due to their rarity, this breed can have a very high price tag.

Do you know someone who owns this Bulldog? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.

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