An interesting article on the Victorian Bulldog General Chat

Discussion in 'Bull Breeds Forum' started by Vic-John, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. Vic-John

    Vic-John New Member

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    An interesting article on the Victorian Bulldog


    Unless you’ve been living under a rock last year you will have heard about the recent furore hitting many pedigree dog breeders with the UK kennel club’s new humane breed stipulations designed to create a healthier natural animal. Breeds to be revised are the King Charles spaniel the Dalmatian and many others. But none has created such a wild and frenzied reaction than with the nation’s favourite dog the British Bulldog.

    The Bulldog has in fact been through many upgrades and evolutions over the past three hundred years in this county. However in the past seventy it has evolved into its most radical form which many of us simply take for granted. Today the Kennel club accuses it of being inbreed, undershot and cruelly deformed features crippling it from natural breeding or whelping let alone being able to “catch” as it was designed.

    But little did we know that something positive was being done about the loveable bulldog long before any of the concerns and issues the Kennel club forced out this week. Indeed in the mid 1980`s the late Ken Mollett started a breeding program in the UK with the aim of creating a healthier Bulldog similar to the dog of the late Victorian period. Far and away from the type seen in the show ring (the modern kennel club Bulldog) today. He set about rebuilding and unpicking all of the many problems inbreeding had created. He had many critics insisting the bulldog was fine and to leave it alone mirroring the incensed reaction today from breeders, until the Kennel Club stepped in by cancelling its most famous annual show. But unsatisfied with its humane fitness Ken persisted with his vision of a healthier Bulldog eventually creating a dubbed the “Victorian Bulldog”.

    The “VB” as it is known amongst its fanciers is more able than the show type, ie able bodied; climbing stairs, enjoying long walks with his owner, jumping and playing. Breeding naturally with less breathing problems whilst retaining the same happy friendly temperament it is loved for.

    The Victorian Bulldog 2009 The KC Bulldog 2009.

    The Victorian Bulldog was created by the selective crossing of the following breeds: Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bullmastiff, Dogue De Bordeaux & top modern show type Bulldogs being the highest percentage. The Victorian Bulldog Foundation which was founded in 2003 with a view to promoting & continuing Mr Molletts blood line states “We do not profess to have “pure” bred dogs, as this “pure bred” snobbishness is the reason for a lot of problems in pedigree breeds in the first place” explains Mr Martin Moran Chairman of the VBF. “The VB was not created to be a working type breed like the earlier Bull-baiting dog”. “It is modelled on the bulldog of the late Victorian period before it began shrinking and developing the many problems we see today”. “It is in my opinion when the breed was simply at its truest and at most sound.”

    Bull-baiting Bulldog circa 1801 The Bulldog circa 1890.
    The medium size of the Victorian Bulldog makes it highly suitable to be kept as a family house dog; slightly bigger than the Staff and calmer natured. Although the Victorian Bulldog was not bred to be a guard dog the sheer look of them is probably enough to deter undesirables. Moran continues “What tends to make the Victorian Bulldog larger than the KC show bulldog is it`s leg length plus the body is not as “cobby” (crushed) resulting in a more physically able dog able to run & play with a less exaggerated physique, it’s a good natured breed and a great family dog.

    The modern Kennel Club Bulldog The Victorian Bulldog

    Martin Moran has been promoting VB’s for the past 12 years going to his site one can clearly see the impact of the Victorian Bulldog against its modern counterpart “We’re simply breeding the bulldog to the official standards chart of 1887 no more no less”. “The Victorian took the breed to the height of its potential before the Edwardians got hold of it and began creating a more comedy based breed”. “The Victorians we’re very specific about documenting all measurements of the animal setting a bench for future breeders to refer to”. He continues “But alas what people fail to realise is how incredibly far the modern KC bulldog has drifted from those standards”. “If you consider that the breed is over three hundred years old and in just seventy years breeders have destroyed it to the point of failure, we almost lost it, but, not anymore” he chuckles.

    And he’s right one only needs to line a VB up against a modern Kennel Club bulldog to see the radical differences he and his fellow breeders are so passionately concerned about and the ethical work his community have done. “The bulldog we know today is a totally different dog entirely” says Moran, “When the Edwardians got hold of the dog in the 1920’s they began inbreeding it to accentuate its “funny” features; creating massive undershot jowls and deeply compressing the nasal passage (see pic one). This of course instantly disabled the dog from being able to “catch” any prey to do its job. By crushing the nasal passage to such radical lengths they disabled to dog from breathing freely and excessive mobility.

    Undershot jowls KC Bulldog Victorian Bulldog
    Notice how the nose role in the VB has been unravelled to a healthier length. However not satisfied with distorting the head Edwardian breeders set about extensively shortening the original dogs’ legs, grossly widening its chest and giving it a barrel-like gate.

    KC Bulldog note chest & legs Bulldogs circa 1900

    Moran enthuses “But you know what, with all we have done over the past 25 years; setting this breed back to its true form it’s amazing nobody questions that my dogs are NOT bulldogs when I take them out”. ”Even though no one has ever seen a Victorian Bulldog like this for a hundred years, they all instantly say “Bulldog”!

    So what is the future for the modern kennel club bulldog? “Well, I guess they need to do what we’ve done and rebuild the dog possibly breeding with our dogs using the bloodline to unravel all the damage created”. Whatever they do they must work to get the standard back in line with the new Kennel Clubs’ directives, it’s their problem”. “It takes about twenty five years to create a solid blood line and today we have it, pup after pup, fit and healthy ready to hit the park”. Martin continues “the timing with all this is just about perfect for us, now we can show our dogs as we are at the front of ethical breeding”. “I doubt any modern KC Bulldog breeder wants to get into the ring with anyone of our dogs”. And who knows now thanks to this new ethical wake up call, they’re gonna have to, that’s if they’re let in at all by the sounds of it.

    Moran continues “You know I was originally a kennel club bulldog enthusiast for many years”. “But I just lost heart with all of the artificial elements to maintain the breed”. “I thought to myself one day looking at my bulldogs if this is the nation’s dog, we’ve got serious problems here”. “And when I heard of what Ken was doing and seeing the results of his program I joined him immediately, working side by side producing fit bulldogs and giving me greater pleasure”. “Sadly Ken passed away in 2002 and we have been flying the flag since.”

    He continues “Once the VB gets into your blood you can’t get it out”. Bit like owning a real piece of Chippendale compared to some mdf flat pack which will break”. Martin chimes “I mean when I see a bulldog shuffling down the street, its belly and chin practically on the pavement, out of breath and as artificial as plastic it saddens me as it’s just cruelty plain and simple”. “I look at my dogs and realise I am doing more to keep this breed alive; I care about the welfare of this breed, I care about animal husbandry, I care about animal rights, and I care about our world famous national dog no longer being a laughing stock”. “Trust me nobody laughs at my dogs when I walk or show them, they command absolute respect with an air of “nothing to prove”, exactly as they were intended to, can one say that about the modern kennel club bulldog?” Moran shrugs “Enough is enough which is exactly why the kennel club finally had to step in and say something”. “They’ve been aware of what we’ve been doing for so long, they had to put an end to it”. “After all the VB is the dog that Churchill was based on and the one Tommy had in his veins fighting in the trenches and a family pet the one anyone can now own guilt free”.

    You can visit the Victorian Bulldog Site here
    and if interested in more personal information join the VBF here to talk to Martin or the other breeders and owners in person.

    I got it as an email and it did contain pictures but wont show on here.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2010
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  3. Snoringbear

    Snoringbear New Member

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  4. werewolf

    werewolf Member

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    Thanks interesting links xxxxxx
  5. Lonsdalebulldog

    Lonsdalebulldog New Member

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    Does anyone know if the VBF do any health screening?

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