Leavitt Bulldog breed

Historical background

Bulldogs were bred in England as a fighting sport against bulls which was very prevalent in the 1100 – 1835 until it was prohibited. Since there was no longer need for the bulldog the breed vanished quickly. In 1860 the breed was revived as a show dog. The Bulldog has through the ages been bred through an extreme selection breeding program until its health and life expectancy has been seriously compromised.

Today the English bulldog is a far cry from the original and less healthy ancestor.  In 1971, David Leavitt started a project that was to breed the bulldog back to what it was originally. He called this breeding Olde English Bulldogge (OEB) to make a clear distinction between that of the modern English bulldog breeding methods.

Leavitt used a breeding program developed by Dr. Fechimer of Ohio State University to quickly secure a pure bred dog.

Since the 1970’s, we have been in the habit of calling bulldogs Olde English Bulldogge without them having any relationship to the original bloodlines. Many records document these dogs with considerable ranges in terms of appearance and health. The original Leavitt bloodlines represent only a very small percentage of the current OEB’s. OEB is no longer a specific dog and is therefore no longer considered a breed. Therefore, David Leavitt and those who support the original vision of OEB established a registering in 2006 of a breed called the Leavitt Bulldog together, documented and associated by the Leavitt Bulldog Association.

Today the current Leavitt bulldog matches the appearance of the original bull baiting dog (dogs used in bullfighting).

They are first and foremost great family dogs whilst also possessing the drive, temperament, agility and endurance it takes to be a good working dog, therapy dog, tracker and watch dog.


A Leavitt Bulldog is a muscular dog of medium size. It has enormous strength and yet still very athletic. It is well balanced and proportioned without looking exaggerated in any way.  The Leavitt bulldog does have the original ‘bull baiting’ qualities however it is important to remember that an excessive height would have been disastrous for the original bulldog because it had to work as low as possible and to be able to bit the bull’s nose.

A heavy and excessive muscular dog would also have been a disadvantage because of the fact that the bull’s nose would otherwise have been ripped off and would have sent the dog through the air.

Krop om Leavitt Bulldog (Body diagram)


A Leavitt Bulldog is a confident, bold and alert dog. Leavitts are kind and loving. They are extremely strong and can sometimes be aggressive or dominant towards the same sex, so socialisation and obedience training is important. The best you can do for dogs with high energy is to train with them.
Drawback: They can be shy as adults.


The head of a Leavitt Bulldog is prominent with strong features. The circumference of the head is less proportionate for the dog’s size (height and weight). The jaws are large and well-developed and they have well-developed and powerful jaw muscles. A less pronounced wrinkled forehead is acceptable.


The skull is very large but well proportioned and appropriate to the dog’s muscular body and powerful shoulders. There is a crease from the stop to the occiput.

Serious Faults: A narrow skull; domed forehead.

Muzzle or Snout

The muzzle is square, wide and deep with a strong layback. The distance from the tip of the nose to the stop is not longer than 1/3 of the distance between the tip of the nose and the occiput. The height of the muzzle, from the bottom of the chin to the tip of the muzzle is the same or longer than the length of the muzzle; this produces the deep square muzzle. There is a small or moderate frown or wrinkle on the muzzle. The lips or flew drop slightly (otherwise known as ‘semi pendulous’). The dog has a slight under bite and horizontally straight. The underbite is ¾ or less. The lower jaw is moderately curved from front to back.

Fault: A slightly longer or shorter muzzle, an excessive wrinkle.
Disqualification: Mis-aligned jaw (or wry jaw) and/or overbite.


The eyes are round to almond shaped and of medium size. They sit far apart with the outside of the eyes flush with the outer rim of the skull and are set low on a level where the tip of the jaw and nose meet. Eye colour is brown with black pigmentation on the eyelids.

Disqualification: Any colour other than brown, two different eye colours, entropion (eyes rolling inwards) and cherry eyes (an eyelid protusion condition).


A dog must have 42 teeth. P1 tooth (4) may be missing. Canine teeth are large. Broken, worn or protruding teeth are accepted. There are 6 normal or corn row teeth among the canine teeth.

Fault: Visible canine teeth.
Serious fault: More than P1 teeth missing.
Disqualifications: Mis-aligned or wry jaw, overbite.


Nostrils are wide with a vertical line extending between the nostrils from the tip of the nose to the bottom of the upper lip. Nose is large and wide in relationship to the width of the muzzle. Nose colour is black.’

Fault: Any pink coloured stain on the nose or nostrils.
Serious fault: Slit nostrils.
Disqualification: Any colour other than a black nose.

Hvalpe Ozzy og Samsom


Ears are rose coloured, button or tulip, with rose preferred. They are set high and to the rear of the skull. The ears are positioned as wide as possible on the outside of the skull. Ears are small to medium in size.


Neck is medium length, wide, and slightly arched. It is a little smaller than the head where the two meet. and gets wider from that point to the shoulders. It is slightly loose from jaw to chest, forming a double dewlap (a dewlap is a longitudinal flap of skin that hangs beneath the lower jaw or neck of many vertebrates).

Serious fault: A single dewlap.

Forequarters Shoulders

These are broad, heavily muscled and have a separation between shoulder blades. The scapula or shoulder blade should be at an approximate 35 degree angle to vertical and forms an angle approximately 110 degrees to the humerus (forearm). The scapula and humerus should be roughly equal in length.


A vertical line drawn from the point of the scapula (top) to the ground will pass directly through the elbow. The elbows are not turned in or out.


The legs are set wide apart, coming straight down from the shoulders. They are straight vertically on the inside of the legs and well muscled which gives a bowed appearance of the front quarters. The forelegs have medium bones and are in proportion to the body.


This is the dog’s main shock absorber. The pasterns are medium in length. They are straight, strong, flexible and nearly perpendicular to the ground.

Faults: Foreleg bones too heavy or too light.
Serious faults: Loose shoulders; upright shoulders; loose elbows; weak pasterns (either too vertical or too horizontal).


The dog’s body is sturdy and powerful. The length from the tip of the breastbone to the rear thigh is slightly longer than the height from the ground to its withers.


The back is wide and muscular, showing power.  The top-line has a slight roach (or wheel back). There is a fall in the back to its lowest point behind the shoulders. From this point the spine rises to the loin. The high point of the loin is a little bit higher than the shoulders and then there is a gentle curve, forming an arch reaching down to the tail. Loin (back of rib cage to hips) is muscular, medium in length and slightly arched.


The chest is wide and deep with a muscular brisket; the brisket is the front part of the body between the forelegs and below the chest. Ribs are well sprung and rounded, being at their fullest directly behind the shoulders. Shoulders to forelegs are well muscled

Faults: Narrow rib cage; very long or short loin.


Hips and thighs are strong and muscular. Hind legs are well muscled and slightly longer than the forelegs. In a natural stance they are straight, parallel and set apart when viewed from the rear. Distance between the hind legs is less than the distance between the front legs. Angulation is moderate.

Stifles (equivalent of the human knee) have a gentle convex curve when viewed from the side. Stifle angle roughly matches the angle of the pelvis.

Hocks (equivalent to our ankle joints) are perpendicular to the ground when viewed from the side and back. They are parallel to each other when viewed from the back. A line drawn from the furthermost part of the buttocks, perpendicular to the ground, should fall to the front of the toes. A line drawn from the upper (front) point of the pelvis, perpendicular to the ground, should pass through the knee (the two preceding tests of good angulation must be performed with the dog’s hocks set perpendicular to the ground).

Fault: Hips which are equal to shoulders in width.
Serious faults: Straight stifle; severely cow hocked or bow hocked.
Disqualification: Rear dewclaws (toenail located on the inside part of their front leg).


Feet are medium sized and are well arched and rounded like a cat’s foot. Feet are straight when viewed from the front. Rear feet are smaller than front feet.

Faults: Feet turning in or out; long toes.
Serious faults: Flat feet; hare feet;  splayed toes.


The tail should be set low and tapering from base to end. It can be pump handle (a tail which is long and carried high) or straight with pump handle being preferred. Tail should reach the hocks or be slightly shorter. The tail is carried down, horizontal or high.

Faults: Tail curling 360 degrees; same circumference from base to tip.
Disqualifications: Kinked, docked, bobbed or screw tail (a kinked tail is a tail with one or more sharp bends).

Ichi - Leavitt Bulldog hanhund


The dog’s coat is short, close and of medium density. It should be shiny and looking good in health.

Faults: Fringe, feather or a curl in the coat.


Colour can be a brownish, tawny almost ‘tiger striped’ combination, mahogany, fawn or black; either solid or pied (two or more blotches of colour) (with white). Solid white. Fawn, red or black; solid colour or pied.

Disqualifications: Blue (Neapolitan Mastiff colour)

Height & Weight

Dogs are about 60 to 80 lbs.(27 to 36 kgs) and 17 to 20 inches (43cm to 50 cm) at the withers. Bitches are 50 to 70 lbs.(22.5 to 31.5 kgs.) and 16 to 19 inches (40cm to 48 cm) at the withers. Deviation from this range in height and weight will be faulted depending on the degree of the deviation. Weight of the dog should be proportionate to height and the dogs must not be squat nor gangly.


Which is the symmetry with which the dog walks, trots or paces is smooth, powerful, energetic and confident. Travel is straight. Feet should move forward and back in the same plane. Foot falls approach the center line as trot speed increases. There is a slight under step as the rear feet lands just short of where the front feet land. Front and rear reach are balanced. Feet must not cross or interfere with each other. The dog should have proper movement when being viewed from the side and back.


  • Eyes – Any eye color other than brown. Wall eyes or crossed eyes. Entropion. Ectropion. Cherry eye.
  • Nose – Any color nose other than black.
  • Bite – Wry jaw. Overbite
  • Tail – Kinked, docked, bobbed or screw tail
  • Color – Blue/grey (Neapolitan Mastiff color)
  • Males lacking two fully descended normal testicles
  • Rear dewclaws.

Registering: The head office for founding association of the Leavitt Bulldog is the Leavitt Bulldog Association. The Leavitt Bulldog Association

Logo til Leavitt Bulldog Association, UK

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