Victorian Bulldog – Breed Guide (Personality, Health, Grooming etc.)

victorian bulldog

Despite their somewhat brutish appearance, Victorian Bulldogs make gentle and loving additions to every family.  Victorian Bulldogs are a special, selectively created variety of English Bulldogs, characterised by their larger sizes in comparison to other popular bulldog variants.

The breed is reputed to have originally been created by Ken Follett in the late 1980s, to try to purify the English bulldog breed and create a larger, sturdier variant of the same. Successive generations have been tailor bred to larger sizes and wider conformations.

Also, Victorian Bulldogs should not be mixed up with mollett Victorian Bulldogs. They’re also not the Olde Victorian Bulldogge, which have been bred by Carlos Woods. These two latter mentioned dogs are sub variants that are independent of Victorian Bulldogs. There are plenty of bulldog similar breeds, but Victorian Bulldogs set themselves apart.

Highlights about Victorian Bulldogs:

  • Victorian Bulldogs are a relatively new breed and have only been in existence for the last 40-50 years.
  • As such they are not recognised by most international dog registries or kennel clubs. However the American canine association and the dog registry of America both acknowledge them as a separate breed.
  • The breed was created in an attempt to bypass the multiple health problems that plague purebred English Bulldogs because of long-standing inbreeding.
  • Present-day English Bulldogs share very few of their ancestors’ original features physically because they were bred repeatedly for certain physical traits.  This has left them highly vulnerable to deformities and health issues.
  • Victorian Bulldog created by mating English Bulldogs with Bullterriers, bullmastiffs, and Staffordshire Bullterriers.
  • The resulting breed is larger, has a wider and longer skull, and most importantly, has a larger gene pool than its purebred parent sections.
  • Victorian Bulldogs are extremely loyal and loving companion dogs and are ideal for single owners as well as families.
  • On an average they weigh 55 to 75 pounds or 23 to 45 kg. The males are noticeably larger than females.
  • The average height of a breed is about 16 to 19 inches, or 41- 48 cm.
  • They are family indoor dogs but enjoy spending some time outside every day.
  • Victorian Bulldogs do not do well in climate extremes as they can overheat or catch a cold very quickly.
  • They are not known for their exceptional intelligence but can be trained easily enough even by first time dog owners.
  • Sometimes they are called Ken Miller Victorian Bulldogs in order to specify which breed is being talked about.

Victorian Bulldog Size

victorian bulldog sitting

Victorian bulldogs are firmly medium sized dogs, with a tendency to be stockily built. Some pedigrees can even have large dogs, which amplifies their ferocious (and cuddly!) appearance.

Height: Male victorian bulldogs grow to an average adult height of 17-19 inches or 43 – 48 cm. Females tend to be smaller, at an adult height of 16-19 inches or 41-48 cm. Victorian Bulldogs grow to their adult height between 18 months to 2 years of age.

Weight: Victorian bulldogs are densely built, stocky dogs. The males are larger and weigh an average of 70-75 lb / 32-35 kg. Female victorian bulldogs are smaller and weigh 55-65 lb / 25-30 kg. They usually reach their adult size at 2 years of age.  Although weight fluctuations can occur throughout life.

Conformation: Victorian Bulldogs have the traditional appearance that is typical of many types of bulldogs but with certain significant differences that set the breed apart.

For starters, they are medium sized dogs with a muscular, stocky, heavy body. Their heads are large and have thick boned skulls, but not in the boxy way of pugs or French Bulldogs. They are also brachycephalic dogs but have longer snouts than their English cousins. This leaves them short-faced with a wide muzzle, but a normal enough facial anatomy that their breathing remains normal and not strained like with other brachycephalic breeds.

They have a very typical conformation with high set hips and a back that slopes forward with the fore legs being shorter than the hind legs. They have floppy jowl folds that extend under the eyes and flap on the sides. Their cheekbones are wide and low set.

The skin on the jowls can have multiple folds and hang below the lower jaw and around the neck. However, it does never quite reach the excessively wrinkled appearance that English Bulldogs have. Their noses are square to round shaped with large oval to round wide nostrils.

The wide nature of the front of the skull makes breathing easier for this bulldog breed. The eyes are low set and wide apart, giving them a somewhat frog-like appearance. They have a thick, broad, muscular neck, with dewlaps from loose skin hanging on it. They have wide shoulders and usually powerful, deep set, muscular chests that taper to narrow hips and high set legs. Their feet are hard padded and compact. They are not built for speed but retain the strength that the parent breeds were bred for, as fighting dogs.

Victorian Bulldog Temperament and Personality

Despite the grumpy and frankly odd appearance, Victorian Bulldogs are adorable and loving creatures who spend every moment possible around their family.  If left alone to their own means for a large period of time they may tend to lapse into destructive behaviours like chewing up the furniture or peeing all over inside the house.

Relationship with Owners: Victorian Bulldogs are loyal to a fault when it comes to their owners. They like to spend as much time as possible with their family. They are deceptively active dogs who like their time outside every day. If they are not exercised enough, they may show disobedience to destructive to even violent or aggressive behaviour because of their pent-up energy.

These are not dogs that have a lot of stamina and are not well suited for long walks or long treks. However, they love the outdoors and like going on walks around their neighbourhood – as long as the climate is a moderate temperature that the dog can tolerate there you find the outdoors.

Relationship with other pets: Victorian Bulldogs lack the sharp hunting instinct that would make them give chase to smaller animals in their vicinity. However, they benefit from being socialized at an early age during their puppy hood or adolescence in order to get along with other dogs as friends.

Victorian Bulldogs that have been socialized and allowed to play early on also enjoyed the benefits of being accepting of rabbits or cats, etc. in their immediate vicinity, more than dogs that have never seen these animals before. If introduced properly, they become very close friends with other dogs and cats in their family.

Relationship with Children: despite their fearsome expressions, Victorian Bulldogs are one of the gentlest and most patient dogs that you could have around children. They are incredibly sweet tempered and love playing with children. They tolerate the antics of younger children to an astonishing extent.  However, it is recommended not to leave young children alone with Victorian Bulldogs, in order to keep the dogs safe from inadvertently being hurt by children who don’t know any better.

Also, if a child were to push a dog beyond his limits, the dog could retaliate and hurt the child. Older children who know better than to provoke the dog can spend as much time as they want around them, and the dog will love every single minute of it. They are also very protective and keep a careful eye on their owners and their families, as well as their houses.

Victorian Bulldog Health

confused bulldog

Health Issues: one of the most massive advantages of the selective breeding of Victorian Bulldogs is that they have almost no health issues that are characteristic for the breed. They are a little susceptible to extremes of heat and cold, but otherwise they have minimal health complications.

Hip dysplasia is a joint disease that sometimes shows up in the larger dogs of the breed, but not disproportionately high compared to other dogs. the occurrence of hip or elbow dysplasia or other joined issues in Victorian Bulldogs is highly influenced by obesity in these dogs. Reduced activity levels and weight gain predisposes these dogs to joint issues and early-onset mobility restriction.

Lifespan: Victorian bulldogs have an average life expectancy of 12-13 years. Old victorian bulldogs can even live up to surprising ages of 17-18 years if they do not have any grave health issues.

Victorian Bulldog Care

Victorian Bulldogs require early training with simplified commands and repetitive sessions that make sure that every single command is hammered into the dog’s skull, metaphorically speaking.

They are not stubborn or difficult to train, but simply need patience and a structured training regimen. they respond excellent to clicker training and positive reinforcement with treats, cuddles, and praise.

They benefit massively from early training and early socialising, both with other dogs as well as strangers. They also bark when they perceive a threat to their home or to their owners but are not prone to barking excessively.

Despite not being fans of extreme physical exertion, Victorian Bulldogs require a certain amount of space to run around in every day. They can’t walk very long stretches or go on hikes or terrain that demands serious stamina. But despite this they love being able to run and roughhouse in grassy fields for short periods of time.

So, although this is a dog that does well in an apartment or a small house, it ideally also needs a yard or a park nearby where he can get his daily dose of exercise. They can do very well with simple commands and games and they enjoy playing interactive and stimulating games with their owners and families.

Victorian Bulldogs that do not receive any exercise very quickly turn the destructive behavior inside the house. This can manifest as being moody and irritable with their family members, being anxious and restless at the prospect of being left alone, pacing, drooling excessively, barking or whimpering or whining, refusing food or chewing up shoes and furniture.

But a dog who is well exercised will mostly spend his time at home relaxing and cuddling his owners. Victorian Bulldogs’ ideal place in the world is next to his family being cuddled by them and interacting with them. It’s also recommended to reinforce the owner-as-the-alpha dynamic every now and then.

Also, these dogs are heavy droolers, and leave strings of spit wherever they lay their heads.

Victorian Bulldog Grooming

Victorian Bulldogs have the typical English bulldog-like coat, with short, smooth hair, and a lustrous, gleaming shine to it. They come in a huge variety of colours, ranging from white, fallow, fawn, light brown to dark brown, solid red, brindle, pied, and often with black patches in the mix.

The length of the coat makes it easy to groom them, since the hair texture is also straight without tangles or curls. Victorian Bulldogs love being brushed with a stiff bristled brush, just to get any dirt or debris out of their fur. This also helps to get loose hair off their bodies. they do not need to be bathed regularly.

However they need their faces wiped on a regular basis, to prevent dirt build-up between the skin folds on their face. They are medium shedders, if the excess hair is not brushed out of their coat regularly.

Victorian Bulldog Feeding

Adult Victorian Bulldogs need approximately 1000 kilocalories per day, which can translate to 1 to 2 cups of food in divided meals. depending upon what your dog is being fed, dry food and wet food can be mixed in variable quantities. It’s a good idea to supplement their food with vitamin supplements recommended by your vet, especially with increasing age.

Victorian Bulldogs: Everything Else

victorian bulldog standing

Victorian Bulldogs are ideal family companions as well as great dogs for people who do not spend a lot of time outdoors. They love being around their owners and occasionally taking short walks around the block.

However these are not dogs that are independent enough to be left alone at home for any extended periods of time. They are very prone to developing separation anxiety if they are left alone.

They do better when they have a companion dog or at least one family member in their immediate vicinity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are Victorian Bulldogs aggressive?

No, Victorian bulldogs are not aggressive unless provoked. They are otherwise very gentle and mild tempered but may react if they feel threatened.

How much is a Victorian Bulldog?

The price of a victorian bulldog can depend a lot on its ancestry, for example, on if it’s a bulldog staff cross or not. Hybrids are very common. Proper Victorian bulldog puppies can cost between £1000-2000 by well reputed breeders.

What is the difference between an Olde English bulldog and Victorian Bulldog?

Olde English Bulldogs are larger than English bulldogs, but smaller than Victorian bulldogs. They also have shorter skulls and narrower nasal passages, that gives them more features of typical brachycephalic dogs.

Are Victorian Bulldogs hypoallergenic?

No, victorian bulldogs are medium shedders and are not hypoallergenic.

Do Bulldogs stink?

No, bulldogs do not stink more or less than other dogs. They do have a slightly higher risk of developing fungal infections between skin folds, which may smell if they get bad.

Which bulldog breed is the healthiest?

No bulldog breed is a typically healthy bulldog breed, because all of them have generations of breeding behind them. Victorian bulldogs are somewhat healthier than other bulldog variants because of their mixed ancestry.

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