The Victorian Bulldog has nothing to do with the American bulldog. It is a British breed that was developed by Ken Mollett and his brothers who studied bulldogs existing during the Victorian times and the result was a relatively rare breed, much larger than other ‘bully’ breeds. Find out whether the Victorian is the right dog for you.
Cool facts about the Victorian Bulldog
- The developer of the breed, Ken Mollett, studied many Victorian paintings and realized that the bulldogs of the Victorian Era were much more athletic, had longer muzzles, longer legs, and smaller heads. Mollett used different breeds like the Bull Terrier, the Bull Mastiff, the English Bulldog, and the Staffordshire terrier to develop the earlier versions of the Victorian.
- The main difference between the Victorian and the English bulldogs lies in the size. The Victorian is much larger and its standard is a lot closer to the original Philo Kuan standard of the English bulldog.
- Mollett went on to form the Victorian Bulldog Society in 1998. After his death shortly after, his wife took over its operations. The Society is dedicated to the preservation of the breed. Only registered and accepted members or breeders are allowed to go ahead with the breeding of their dogs. This helps preserve characteristics and temperament.
Bigger than the English bulldog, the male Victorian weighs between 65 and 75lb and measures about 17-19 inches at the shoulder. Females weigh 10 lb less and are in the range of 16-18 inches in height.
The Victorian Bulldog has a large head, short face, broad chest, short body, and heavier forequarters. The hindquarters are higher than the forequarters. They have a smooth medium coat with an active countenance. The Victorian Bulldog has the symmetry of a muscular athlete.
Coat colors include white, red, fawn, or brindle.
Victorians are known for their steady, loyal temperament. They are bold dogs without being aggressive. Any aggression is a result of poor breeding. Since Victorians are relatively a rare breed, breeders are working hard to maintain their characteristic temperament.
Today’s Victorian has a character of indomitable courage, high intelligence, and tenacity. They are quiet, stable, and trustworthy dogs that are also confident, courageous, and alert. Victorians are friendly and loving towards their owners.
With strangers, they tend to come across as aloof but once they know they are alright, they will welcome them. Although they look aggressive and ferocious, these gentle dogs are anything but that. They get along well with children provided you socialize them from an early age. Always supervise interactions between young kids and dogs, no matter what the breed. You must also teach your children not to hit or hurt the dogs.
With other household pets, the Victorian is quite good and gets along well provided they are socialized with them from an early age. Always supervise all interactions between the animals, at least in the beginning.
Victorian combines the courage of Bulldog and bullmastiff with the athleticism of the Staffordshire. They can be playful yet protective when required. When you have a Victorian, there is no need for an alarm system, for he makes an excellent watchdog even while reposing in his favorite position.
Training your Victorian
Why should you take the time to train a Victorian Bulldog? They are smart, aren’t they? Yes, they are. But that is why you must set a few house-rules and social skills otherwise they will figure out and make their own rules. You can see how that will turn out to be a problem not only for you but also for your bulldog.
As your Victorian’s trainer, you need to be firm and consistent. If you need help in this area, you can speak to your breeder or even a vet to guide you. There is a plethora of information available on dog training and you can even enroll your puppy in an obedience school. The bottom line is that if you aren’t ready to fulfill the role of a trainer, it is best to avoid buying or adopting a Victorian.
Be confident while training. Use the right tone and intonation of voice. A quiet disappointment in tone is a lot better than shouting or screaming. Early and effective house-training is the first thing to do. A housetrained puppy is a joy to live with. For this purpose, your pet needs access to the yard at all times. You can take him out once before bedtime, upon waking up, and several times after meals. Wait in the yard with your pet until he has done what he is supposed to do.
You can also restrict your puppy to a crate because most puppies won’t soil their sleeping quarters. Alternatively, you can house train on newspapers.
This is an active breed that needs daily exercise. You can evaluate an exercise program based on your pet’s needs. Outdoor running, walking, or weight pulling are some good activities for a Victorian bulldog.
This is a low maintenance breed as far as grooming is concerned. Their short coats do not shed too much. Victorian bulldogs tend to blow their undercoat twice a year. So, you may need to do extra brushing at that time. You can also use a stripping tool to remove the shed hairs.
The rest of the year, use a soft bristle brush to groom your Victorian Bulldog. In addition to brushing, you need to bathe your dog occasionally when he gets dirty. It is a good idea to invest in vet-approved dog shampoo, brush, dog toothpaste, clippers, and ear cleaner.
Health concerns and lifespan
Like all bulldog breeds, the Victorian bulldog is prone to breathing issues due to their short muzzles. They also are prone to bloat and weight gain. In hot weather, they are at risk of heatstroke. So, always walk your bulldog during the cooler parts of the day in summers.
Eye diseases and elongated palates are other issues seen in most bulldog breeds. The lifespan of the Victorian bulldog is about 12-14 years.
Where to find a Victorian Bulldog
Start your search for a Victorian bulldog rescue at a local animal shelter. Chances of finding a rescue may be difficult since this is a rare breed. However, it is always better to adopt a dog rather than shopping for one. You can also see if you can find your Victorian bulldog from the Breeders Club of America. The cost of a purebred Victorian bulldog is around $2000.