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What is a Victorian Bulldog?

Victorian Bulldogs are larger and more athletic than the modern English Bulldog, and are typically solid white, red, brindle, or fawn.
The English Bulldog is a contributor to the Victorian Bulldog's recreational breeding.
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  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2014
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The Victorian Bulldog is a result of dedicated “recreation breeding,” in which a breeder “resurrects” a lost breed by selecting modern breeds that most embody the original. In London in 1985, breeder Ken Mollett undertook the challenge of recreating a breed that was similar to, but different from, the more modern English Bulldog. He carefully selected fine specimens of English Bulldogs, Bull Terriers, Bullmastiffs, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers to try to create a dog that evoked an earlier breed that had the more athletic build, longer muzzle and legs, and smaller heads of the dogs he had seen in photos and portraits of the early 19th century.

Using old photos, etching and artwork, Mollett slowly recreated the Victorian Bulldog to embody the characteristics he wanted. He only used dogs that were registered with the Kennel Club of Great Britain to keep the lines as pure as possible. What he eventually produced has become a much loved, though rare, line of dogs that many bulldog owners prefer for their athleticism.

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The Victorian Bulldog is larger than the modern English Bulldog, and is more athletic. Males measure 17 to 19 inches (43 to 48 cm), and weigh in at 65 to 75 pounds (30 to 34 kg). Females typically measure 16 to 19 inches (41 to 48 cm) and weigh 55 to 65 pounds (25 to 30 kg). This breed doesn’t typically have the congenital problems associated with many other purebred lines. It still has the muscular build, short legs and face, broad muzzle, large head, wide chest and short, smooth coat typically associated with bulldogs.

These bulldogs typically have coats that are solid white, red, brindle, fawn, or fallow. Their coats shed an average amount and are easy to groom. Temperamentally, the dogs are easy going and great for families. Loyal to their breed, they are excellent guard dogs as well. Because they are more athletic than their cousins, they’ll need regular exercise, although a small yard will do. They tend to do best in moderate climates as they are easily chilled and have a difficult time cooling down in hot weather.

A Victorian bulldog should never be confused with the “Olde English Bulldogge,” breed that was created in the U.S. and is not associated with Mollett’s dogs’ lineage. As a breed, Victorians are quite rare, and if an individual is interested in owning one, he or she should research the dog’s papers to see if it is certified.

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anon350426
Post 23

How many crosses or hybrids to be called Victorian bulldog, Olde English Bulldogs, etc.? Many, many lines of this and that, many types, much business in the USA, Netherlands, Germany, etc., etc. Why are the English bulldog or the German boxer not wanted anymore, or there's not as much interest in them as there was before.

What are we looking for in a bulldog? It should be to make people happy. Mankind -- our species is obsessed by the new, and is always manipulating nature, and that "wolf" became endlessly manipulated for vanity, It's a psychological problem. Tell me the type of bulldog you would like to get and I will tell you who you are.

anon348865
Post 22

They differ in the same way a bulldog differs from a duck. I have a girl from one of Mollet's outcrosses to a DDB using a boatswain as the stud and next to a Victorian, they look the same in all but size. My little girl is a 100-pound beast that adores children, food, walks and lazy days in any order they come. Do your research into the breeders before you part with your cash. Kita seems genuine and knows her stuff and I doubt many in the U.S. carry Mollet's lines. A quick email to Mollet can confirm, I'm sure.

kita794
Post 21

@anon326990: The other breeders who claim they have Victorian Bulldogs are mixing 50 percent English Bulldog with about any other bully breed such as Olde English, American, and the latest I've heard, a red nosed Pitbull, and are playing off the good name of the Victorian Bulldog. It's all about the money for them.

They are registering these dogs through registries that will register any breed or mix of dogs so that technically, these breeders can claim their dogs are registered, although if you look up the registry online under "bogus dog registries," they will be there. In most cases, they are ripping people off for more than I charge for an authentic Victorian Bulldog.

I get calls all he time from people who have already been ripped off and are not happy when they find out the truth. I've confronted one of these breeders who said, "Well what's wrong with there being an American Victorian Bulldog?" I tried to explain that if you're creating a "designer breed" (mixed breed dog) of your own, you can't use the name of an existing breed, but it was like talking to a wall. I also explained there is a breed here in the U.S. that is similar in name -- the "Olde Victorian Bulldogge" created by Carlos Woods. I raise those dogs as well.

All of my Victorian Bulldogs are bought straight from Tony Mollett in England. Tony is the nephew of Ken Mollett, who created the breed. Ken passed away in 2002 so Tony took over the lines. All my dogs' registrations are sent straight to you from Tony's Victorian Bulldog registry in England, "Mollet Victorian Bulldog Society". If you doubt what I'm telling you about my dogs, you can contact Tony Mollett directly to verify what I'm saying. You can find contact information for him online. My name is Brenda.

Hope this clears up some of the confusion for you.

anon326990
Post 20

@kita794: You say you are the only breeder for this breed in the US. What about these others who are professing to have that breed available to be purchased?

I just want to make sure when I buy one that it is the "real" deal.

kita794
Post 19

Sorry I haven’t checked this site in a while, so I’m not sure how long ago some of these questions were asked, but I will answer what I can.

@anon266767: I am the exclusive breeder of true Victorian Bulldogs in the U.S. This can be verified with Tony Mollett (Ken Mollett’s nephew) of Mollett Victorian Bulldogs in the U.K. A “true” Victorian Bulldog that I sell in the U.S. is only registered through Tony Mollett’s “Mollett Victorian Bulldog Society” registry. There are other registries in the UK where the ones born and bred in the UK can be registered. I don’t know of any mixed breeds that the AKC registers, but what I can say is your dog is not a true Victorian Bulldog. My guess is he is one of the dogs that some so-called breeders are coming up with by mixing English Bulldogs with Olde English Bulldogs, American Bulldogs or about any other bully breed and playing off the name of Victorian Bulldog. Check your registration papers again.

@anon271399: The Olde English Bulldogge was one of the breeds used in the creation of the “Olde Victorian Bulldogge” (OVB), but it does not make these breeds the same. There are other base breeds used to create the OVBs as well. An Olde Victorian Bulldogge is not the same as a Victorian Bulldog. Victorian Bulldogs were created 30 years ago in England by Ken Mollett, Olde Victorian Bulldogges were created 30 years ago here in the U.S. by Carlos Woods.

@anon299457: I’m sorry your dog has bad hips. Here in the U.S. we have an organization called the OFA (orthopedic Foundation for Animals) where you can have X-rays evaluated for bad hips. They have over a 90 percent accuracy rate for the dogs hips as an adult. The problem is hip dysplasia, which is inherent in bulldogs, and it takes a lot of care and money to improve the hips in a breeding program. I X-ray the hips on my dogs before I breed them; not all breeders do.

@anon308857: Unfortunately, your puppy is not a true Victorian Bulldog. As I stated earlier in this post, I am the only breeder outside the UK. Also, as I mentioned earlier, I’m guessing your puppy is also from one of the breeders mixing either English Bulldogs with the American Bulldogs or Olde English Bulldogs and calling them Victorian Bulldogs. Even though some of the dogs in its lines may be AKC registered, this mix of dogs does not make a Victorian Bulldog. True Victorian Bulldogs are only from England and have been around for over 30 years. These breeders swear their dogs are Victorians, and that they have first generation Victorian Bulldogs, but this is just a name they are playing off. There is no such thing as a first generation Victorian Bulldog anymore. When Ken Mollett (from England) started the creation of the original and true Victorian Bulldogs, he mixed the healthiest Bulldogs he could find with Staffords, Bullmastiffs, and Bull Terriers but this was 30 years ago. Now they are breed of their own, and there is no mixing to come up with a Victorian Bulldog. You only breed a registered Victorian Bulldog to a registered Victorian Bulldog.

Earlier in my comments, you will also see that the true Victorian Bulldogs in the U.S. are only registered through the Tony Mollett registry in England, the Mollett Victorian Bulldog Society, and the registration is signed by Tony himself or it will not be recognized as a true Victorian Bulldog. So, as you asked, your dog is not a true and authentic Victorian Bulldog, and there is no such thing as a first generation Victorian Bulldog as some breeders are trying to claim. Look at your dog’s registration, find out the registry the so-called breeder used, then go online and type in” bogus dog breed registries.” I can almost guarantee it will be listed there. These registries cater to backyard breeders and puppy mills.

anon308857
Post 18

I have a 12 week old Victorian bulldog that I bought. He came with a full AKC Peddigree family tree.

In the paperwork, it shows that the father came from a fully American bulldog breed, and as far as its great-grand parents and the mother, they were from a line of pure Old English bulldog. Also, as far as its great-grandparents. Is this telling me that my puppy is not a authentic Victorian, or maybe a first generation Victorian? I would like to know if this makes a big difference in its authenticity as a true Victorian bulldog?

anon299457
Post 17

I have a victorian bulldog, age two years. Her hips were checked at four months and all was OK, according to my vet. She started to limp on her hind leg. I took her to a vet, who could not find the problem. She was put on pain relief and this helped, but she started to limp again.

I saw a different vet who could not find the problem either, and suggested an X-ray if her limp continued. The limp continued and as I had intended to have one litter from her and keep a pup, I had the x-ray done. It showed she had problems with both hips and damage to her knee, and the knee was causing her to limp. If she had not damaged her knee, the hips would not have been picked up as these dogs are very well muscled and strong. Only when sedated and relaxed could it be felt. Do not forget she was checked by three different vets. I got no explanation from breeder. Was this a one of how many? This has been very expensive. I've spent well over £1000 and now cannot have a litter from her. She will now be spayed. She loved short walks on the lead and they're not much fun for her now, which is a shame.

Do not trust to touch X-ray. Always X-ray all breeding bitches, dogs and new puppies.

anon271399
Post 14

I have an Olde English Bulldogge. From what I read about the breeds, they used to create "The Victorian" and that is pretty much the same as my breed. Can you tell me what the actual difference is in these two breeds?

anon266767
Post 13

Are "true" Victorian bulldogs only registered through the CBS? We bought a Victorian and he his registered through the AKC mixed breed. Does that mean he isn't a true Victorian?

anon174484
Post 12

i have a 12 month old male victorian bulldog. he likes barking at people and chewing their feet. advice, please.

kita794
Post 11

I can probably help you with your dilemma about your pup. I am a premier breeder/kennel with the Victorian Bulldogge Association. Firstly, where did you buy your pup? A breeder, or pet store? If it was a breeder, who were they and what are the lines of your pup? How old is your pup now?

Since Victorian Bulldogges are a rare breed, it is not uncommon for a buyer not to see the parents in person, however you should have been offered pictures of the parents. After you answer these few questions I will be able to answer more and fill you in on the lines of your pup.

I tried to list this once and got kicked offline so hopefully this doesn't list twice.

anon166888
Post 9

I have just bought a victorian bulldog, but my wife says it's a cross. When i looked at my dog, sometimes she looks the spitting image, and other days she looks different. she was only 10 weeks old. When we got her, her tail was done. have i done the wrong thing and bought as i didn't see the parents?

anon158082
Post 8

I have a 7 month old victorian bulldog. He is the best puppy, very friendly great with all people and other animals. He is fawn and white and has the cutest markings. My son and I love him so much! There isn't anyone who sees him who doesn't stop me and ask about him and tell how cute he is.

kita794
Post 7

We use pools for our Victorians as well, many of them love the water. We have a female that loves to run as fast as she can and slide across the pool. She slide in it so much last summer she broke the side down. I went to the local farm store and bought a short sided water trough that's used for sheep. It's made of sturdy thick plastic. Anna (our dog) can no longer break down the sides.

Also, in the summer when it's warm you can take an ice cube tray or shallow small bowl and freeze low sodium chicken broth for a cool treat. They love them.

Most Victorians are pretty smart and figure things out very quickly, and they love kids!

anon157118
Post 6

I own a Victorian bulldog and love her dearly! She is one 1/2 years old and is my 11 years son's best friend!

Our main problem with her is no one told her she is a dog and she uses her communicates with her eye and face instead of barking! So she was hard to read for house training! Now we know the "look" and have that under control.

She has her own pool for in the summer and when it was empty; she put it where I could not miss it! She is too smart at times for her own good! We love her. --mo1

kita794
Post 5

I will answer some of the questions and comments I've been reading about Victorian Bulldogs. I can speak from professional experience as I am a Victorian breeder.

First of all, if you breed Victorians correctly and screen your dogs for health issues, you don't make money, you do it for the love of the breed. We X-ray all hips on our breeding dogs to make sure we are not breeding problems into our lines.

Victorians differ from French Bulldogs in the fact that they do not have the breathing, blood, back, and other health issues of French Bulldogs. They are larger, and are more active dogs.

Victorians are a breed back to the original bulldogs of the 1800's without the aggressive tendencies they had. There are actually two different breeds of Victorian Bulldogs: an American line bred by Carlos Woods, and an English line bred by Ken Mollett and now handled through his nephew Tony Mollett. These two lines are really two completely different breeds. The base breeds used in both lines are different.

The american breed of Victorian Bulldogges was originated in the early 1980's by Carlos using American Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, German Boxers, and Staffy bulls. They are larger than an English Bulldog but are much more healthy. They do not suffer from breathing problems or many of the other health problems that affect other bulldog breeds. Victorians are active dogs that are wonderful family dogs. They get along well with other animals and people of all ages.

The English breed of Victorian Bulldogs "Molletts" was started in the late 1970's by Ken Mollett. He started his breed by using the healthiest English Bulldogs he could find and mixed in Staffords, Bullmastiffs, and Bull Terriers.

This breed is healthy with the absence of the breathing and health issues of other bully breeds.

Both breeds of Victorians are stand alone breeds, meaning they are only to be bred to other registered dogs of their particular breed. Buyer beware! There are many people breeding english bulldogs with American Bulldogs or other bully breeds and calling them Victorians, they are not. They are charging excessive amounts for these dogs, and in many cases, are selling them in pet stores, which true Victorian Breeders are not allowed to do according to our registry's rules.

Victorians from Woods' lines are registered through the VBA (Victorian Bulldogge Association), and the English lines are registered through an organization, the VBS in the UK. The Mollett lines are not currently available in the United States.

I recently traveled to England and met with Tony Mollett. I was given the privilege of purchasing two of his female pups and will be receiving a male later this year. I will be the exclusive breeder of Mollett Victorians in the United States.

As for price, a good quality american line Victorian Bulldogge will run around $1000-$1500+. Tony and I have not set a price on the Mollett Victorians as I won't have pups for about a year to year and a half but they will probably be between $2200-$2400. The Mollett lines will be microchipped, spayed/neutered, and have all shots before they leave to new homes.

Buyers will receive authentication paperwork signed by Tony Mollett to verify they are purchasing a "Mollett" Victorian Bulldog.

If you have more specific questions about Victorian Bulldogs I will do my best to answer any posts relating to them. Hope I've helped some of you out.

claire24
Post 4

This sounds like a very special breed of dog. I bet that Victorian bulldog breeders can make quite a bit of money!

I'd be interested in finding out how much it costs to buy Victorian bulldog pups. I imagine it's a lot. I'd really like to get one someday. I've always like bulldogs. I should probably start saving up now!

geronimo8
Post 3

My husband loves bulldogs, and we'll probably be looking into bulldog adoption very soon. English bulldogs have always been his favorite, but I'm not sure if he has even heard of Mollett's Victorian bulldogs. I'd like to find some pictures to show him, and maybe the opinions of people who have actually owned one.

I like the fact that they are good family dogs, because we have children. I want to make sure we don't get a dog that is too aggressive. I also like the fact that they are more athletic. It sounds like it will be a dog that will enjoy playing outside with the kids.

elizabeth2
Post 2

I find it fascinating that Mollett was able to recreate a lost breed of dogs! I wonder how long it took him to get it just right. I also wonder what happened to the puppies that weren't quite right. I hope they were able to find good homes, even if they weren't close enough to what Victorian bulldog puppies should look like.

I bet some of them were used as the parents for the next set. It must have taken quite awhile to succeed at breeding the right dogs.

anon120588
Post 1

Is the Victorian bulldog a breed? How does it differ from the French bulldog?

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