A Leavitt bulldog is for the discerning and serious family who do NOT “SETTLE” but know that ONLY the best is good enough.
FANTASTIC FAMILY MEMBER
A Leavitt Bulldog has a very stable, friendly and loving temperament well suited as a family member, some even qualifying as therapy dogs. They are easy to train and useful in different sports. This race is very strong, which means that socialization and obedience training is important. Their demeanour must be confident, courageous and attentive without being overly protective. They enjoy not only physical activities, but also activities that require intellect, such as tracking.
The Leavitt bulldog is for the discerning and serious family who do NOT want to “settle” but know that ONLY the best is good enough. However we must make one thing absolutely clear.
The perfect dog does not exist, however the Leavitt bulldog is in a class all on its own and tolerates no comparison with other types of Old English Bulldog.
The persistent, dedication, patience and approach that David Leavitt has committed to since 1971 is now paying off.
David Leavitt has achieved his goal by re-establishing a healthy, fast and athletic bulldog, who is not only able to live a “dog’s life” but a long, healthy and active life.
Why a Leavitt Bulldog?
As a professional dog trainer, every year I see between 300 to 350 different dogs of all breeds which amounts to several thousand dogs. Whist meeting and working with all differing breeds of bulldogs, large and small, I was surprised by the amount of dogs displaying physiological problems, breathing problems, were overweight, had crooked legs, a short nose etc. These conditions actually hamper the training of these breeds.
In 2011 I decided to investigate further and came across the name Leavitt Bulldog, after reading about David Leavitt and his serious approach to restoring a healthy bulldog as they were back in the 1820’s. I was in no doubt about putting the so called ‘Leavitt bulldog’ to the test; I included them in my training alongside our other dogs (a Jack Russell Terrier, Rottweiler and Miniature Dachshund). The Leavitt has demonstrated its success at showing other dogs with behavioural problems how they are to adapt successfully in our modern society by enabling other dogs to copy their behaviour.
It is the best decision I have made in a long time. Today, I integrate four of our Leavitt bulldogs into the training of other dogs. The Leavitts demonstrate their unique qualities of a calm and confident attitude whilst also being extremely aware of their ‘leader’ and able to ignore the other dogs in the training; this in turn helps calm the other dogs.
Furthermore, I consider them as my work colleagues or ‘tools’ if you will. They are also our family members and an intricate and important part of our daily lives.
Picture: This is an aggressive German shepherd prone to attacking other dogs. See how our dogs teach how being around humans can pay off!
We start training and socialising our puppies from the age of four weeks old
Is it possible to train puppies when they are so small?
Training your puppy as soon as possible is everything! We are not necessarily referring to puppy’s ability to sit and stand but about training in basic social skills such as meeting and being in the company of other dogs. A puppy must view a human as something amazing to be with. In training we introduce them to all the new and good things in life which enables the puppy to see that being with us is ‘profitable’. We walk with the puppies in our forest, they get to experience the water in the stream and all the differing scents within the forest. The puppies go along with their mother, who they experience being called by a verbal ‘click’. This clicking sound enables them to recognise it as a ‘call to come to the owner’ and a practice we also continue and reinforce when the puppies eat.
We avoid aggressive behaviour
Dogs work only for two things (to achieve or avoid). Food is a natural resource for the puppy, it is a necessity for survival. We give the puppies more food than they can eat in a meal. They eat from the same bowl at the same time, that way we avoid aggressive behaviour at meal times. Food is thus not a great resource to be fought over, since they never experience that there is not enough food.
Why choose a Leavitt bulldog from us?
I am the Danish Dog Whisperer.
Besides being a professional dog trainer, we are also part of the worldwide breeding contribution, not only in breeding but also in the constant strive to improve the to breed, but also constantly trying to improve the Leavitt Bulldog in the spirit of David Leavitt. For us, the breeding of the Leavitts is a huge responsibility, in addition to finding the right combinations and blood lines, there are many more aspects to being a serious breeder of the Leavitt.
A good beginning, which we know is the puppy’s first 16 weeks (4 months), is half the battle won. This period is THE MOST IMPORTANT TIME IN THE DOG’S LIFE, a period from which the dogs draws all its life experiences (good and bad).
This is a gift for us to be part of the puppies first eight weeks. It is important for us that they experience as many different situations which will set them up well in life. Not just to meet and experience different things but also that they should enjoy many natural experiences will these things. It is also important to continue this practice when you get your puppy home. Training starts at day one. Keep in mind that your puppy is ‘cute’ right now but it will get bigger!
The practices that you start from day one will serve your dog well as it grows up… slow but steady. We will go through what is required before you take your puppy home so you are well prepared for your new lifestyle in a successful way. Besides everything going well with the integration of your new family member, we always recommend that you attend dog training with your new dog; more effective ways of communicating with your dog are always being developed. You can book a time for training here.
If we had given them a bowl each, there will always be one or more puppy in the litter who eat faster than the others. That puppy will in turn go “nudge” the others away from their bowl. Experiencing the feeling of being pushed away does not help. The nudging by the puppy who finished first, was probably from a puppy larger and stronger. When the nudging doesn’t work, the puppy will usually revert to “snarling and growling” which can cause the other puppy to withdraw and may set it on a path of avoiding conflict. This problem is compounded in the other puppy because as the puppy who was nudged withdraws, the other puppy sees the ‘extra food’ now available as a reward!
It is this practice of feeding that can cause many breeders to unconsciously induce aggressive behaviour in puppies even before the owner gets to bring the puppy home.
How long have we been breeding Leavitt bulldogs?
It all started in 2011 when I became curious and wanted to examine whether there was a healthy bulldog. There are broadly six different types of bulldog:-
Continental, Renaissance, Hermes, Victorian, Alternative and Leavitt bulldog.
We went to several exhibitions to see them “in real life”. To my great surprise the types varied a great deal even within each type of bulldog. I discovered that there was no breed standard for each type with the exception of the Leavitt Bulldog.
Actually it was not in our minds to be breeders of the bulldog since I already have a profession in training dogs in obedience. My partner Bettina is involved in the sport of horse riding with Quarter horses (participating and competing at championship level, having gained 12 prestigious titles in Denmark). However, having been impressed with the level of seriousness and determination set by David Leavitt, we were in no doubt that this was something that we could be a part of and would feel proud to help share to ensure the development of a strong, healthy and happy bulldog.
When we started there were only a few Leavitt bulldogs in Denmark (perhaps 8-10) but no one breeding the Leavitt bulldog. Therefore we took the decision to be the first to start breeding the Leavitt in Denmark.
Our Leavitt Family
Actually we are a family with four Leavitt Old English Bulldogs (Ichi, Bijou Deedee and Ibi), one wire haired miniature Dachshund (Zeppelin), two Jack Russell terriers (Honey and Smilla) and three American Quarter horses (Pepita, Boonie and Epiz Blaze).
Check out the gallery of a few snapshots of our colourful life with our dogs and horses…