Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge

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Key Breed Facts
Breed Characteristics
Intelligence / Trainability
Children and Other Pets
Caring for a Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge
Average Cost to keep/care for a Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge

Key Breed Facts

Popularity #90 out of 238 Dog Breeds.

The Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge breed is also commonly known by the names Dorsets.
10 - 14 years
Pedigree Breed ?
No - Not Currently KC Recognised
Males 48 - 61 cm
Females 48 - 61 cm at the withers
Males 27 - 41 kg
Females 27 - 41 kg
Health Tests Available
No Health Tests Currently Recommended
Average Price (More Info)
£1,040 for Non KC Registered

Breed Characteristics


The Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge is a medium sized dog that was developed by a breed enthusiast with an end goal being to recreate the type of Bulldog that existed in the Tudor era. They are relatively new to the dog world, but they are making their mark on the world thanks to the fact they have proved themselves to be good "all-rounders", much like the Bulldogs of times long past. The Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge is yet to be recognised as a breed in its own right by The Kennel Club (July 2016), but they have found their way into the hearts and homes of many people throughout the world thanks to their great looks and kind, placid natures.


The Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge was created and developed by a bulldog enthusiast called Steve Barnett, a man who set himself a goal which was to produce the ideal old type bulldog from the Tudor era. He based the creation of the Dorset on the research he did into bulldogs of times long past. He found the "perfect" dog in paintings, drawings and writings that dated back to the Tudor era. It was in the 1980's that he began his breeding programme using dogs that boasted having British kennel club bloodlines.

His end goal was to produce a national bulldogge and a dog that would show well in the ring that anyone would be proud to have standing by their side, knowing that their canine companion was a true athlete that boasted a tremendous amount of stamina. In short, a bulldog true their name, character and breed, being loyal and good around other dogs and animals.

Although a newcomer to the dog world, the Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge is gaining a large fan base thanks to the fact the endeavours of their founder have been so successful. The Dorsets we see today are proving themselves to be wonderful all-rounders and great family pets. They are finding their way into the hearts and homes of many people both here in the UK and elsewhere in the world although their numbers still remain quite low and they have not as yet been recognised as a breed by The Kennel Club (July 2016). As such anyone hoping to share their home with a Dorset would need to register their interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list because so few puppies are bred every year, but the wait is well worth it.


Height at the withers: Males 48 - 61 cm, Females 48 - 61 cm

Average weight: Males 27 - 41 kg, Females 27 - 41 kg

The Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge is a compact, well-muscled dog and one that boasts being well proportioned with traditional "bulldog" looks. They are proud, confident and alert showing a tremendous amount of strength and power whether at rest or on the move. They have large heads with the top of it being slightly convex with a dog's forehead dominating their face. They boast having lots of furrows and loose skin around their throats and on the side of their heads as well as on their necks which adds to their overall impression and unique expressions.

Their cheeks are quite prominent thanks to their well-developed muscles. Muzzles are strong, deep and short with noticeable folds on them. They have broad noses with nicely opened nostrils and their ears are set high on the head being set well apart too. Ears should be rose shaped although some dogs have button ears which are acceptable too.

Their shoulders are well developed and muscular being slightly sloping and their front legs are straight, nicely boned and set wide apart which gives the Dorset a powerful, squat appearance when seen from the front. Front feet are strong and broad with thick, firm pads and strong nails.

The Dorset has a very powerful, compact body with deep and wide chests. Their ribs are well sprung being set well down between a dog's front legs. They have short backs which adds to their overall well balanced appearance. Necks are slightly arched and moderately long being extremely muscular. Their topline is broad and robust with dogs having muscular backs. Withers are quite noticeable with Dorsets having broad, short and solid loins.

Hindquarters are powerful, broad and well-muscled with dogs having extremely well developed second thighs. Their tails are set high with dog's holding them straight or some dogs have a "pump action" tail which is highly desirable in the breed.

When it comes to their coat, the Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge boasts a tight, close lying coat that resembles that of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The preferred coat colours for the breed are as follows:

  • White
  • Brindle
  • Black
  • Slate grey/blue

Dorsets can be any variation of the above colours which is also acceptable.


The Dorset is known to be a wonderful all-rounder which includes being a good choice as a family pet. They are also very good around children of all ages although it's in their nature to protect. They become devoted members of a family and enjoy being involved in everything that goes on around them. They thrive when they know who they can look to for direction and guidance and are never happier than when they are in the company of their owners whether out and about in the great outdoors or chilling out indoors. They are best suited to families where at least one person stays at home when everyone else is out so they are never left on their own for great lengths of time.

It's really important for these dogs to be well socialised from a young age so they grow up to be confident, outgoing mature dogs. Their socialisation has to include introducing them to lots of new situations, noises, people, other animals and dogs once they have been fully vaccinated. It's also crucial for their training to start early too and it has to be consistent throughout a dog's life. If they don't know who is the alpha dog in a household, they may quickly take on the role of a dominant dog which can make them harder to live with and handle.

They are highly intelligent and as such, they need to be given the right amount of mental stimulation combined with enough daily exercise for them to be truly happy, well-rounded characters. They are known to have a bit of a "stubborn Bulldog" streak in them which is why their education has to start early and it has to always be fair and consistent so that dogs understand what their owners expect of them. They have lots of character and personality which is what makes it such a pleasure to share a home with a Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge.

Intelligence / Trainability

The Dorset is an intelligent dog and one that's always willing and eager to please, although they can be a little stubborn at times. With this said, in the right hands and with the correct amount of training, these charming dogs are fast learners with the downside being they are just as fast to pick up bad behaviours too.

Their training has to begin early with puppies being taught the basics and boundaries right from the word go when they arrive in their new homes. Their training has to be very consistent and always fair, so that dogs understand what their owners expect of them. Dorsets are never happier than when they are given something to do which is why they are so ameniable to learning new things and they thrive on being in the company of their owners and families.

The key to successfully training a Dorset is to make their training as interesting as possible and to avoid too much repetition. It's also a good idea to keep training sessions that much shorter which helps keep a dog more focussed on what they are being asked to do bearing in mind that the more intelligent a dog is, the faster they get bored. They are sensitive dogs by nature and as such they do not answer well to any sort of harsh correction or heavier handed training methods. They do respond extremely well to positive reinforcement especially when a dog knows there is a high value treat waiting for them when they get things right.

Children and Other Pets

Dorsets are known to be very good around children thanks to their gentle, placid natures. However, because of their size and strength, Pets4homes advises that Dorsets are not the best choice for families with babies or very young children. Anyone who already shares a home with a Dorset and who have younger children should always make sure they are never left together unattended. It is also crucial for parents to teach young children how to behave around dogs and when to stay away from them, particularly when there is food around or during playtime. 

When dogs have been well socialised from a young enough age, they generally get on well with other dogs they meet and if they have grown up with a family cat in a household, they usually get on well together. However, a Dorset might just decide to chase off any other cats they encounter because they would see them as fair game. They are usually good around other small pets as long as they have grown up together.

For further advice please read our article on Keeping Children Safe around Dogs.

Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge Health

The average life expectancy of a Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge is between 10 and 14 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.

The Dorset is known to be a healthy, robust dog and one that does seem to be affected by many of the hereditary and congenital health issues that affect other breeds whether pedigree or crosses. However, as the breed is still very young, more data would need to be collected over time to see if these charming dogs are at risk of inheriting any of the conditions that affect their parent breeds.

Caring for a Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge

As with any other breed, Dorsets need to be groomed on a regular basis to make sure their coats and skin are kept in top condition. They also need to be given regular daily exercise to ensure they remain fit and healthy. On top of this, dogs need to be fed good quality food that meets all their nutritional needs throughout their lives.


The Dorset has a tight, close lying coat which is low maintenance on the grooming front. A weekly brush and wipe over with a chamois leather will keep their coats in good condition with a nice sheen on it. However, it's important to pay special attention to a the wrikinles on a dog's face and to make sure any dirt and debris is removed when necessary to prevent any painful sores from developing.

Dorsets shed steadily throughout the year only more so during the Spring and then again in the Autumn when more frequent grooming is usually necessary to stay on top of things and to remove dead and shed hair from a dog's coat. It's also important to check a dog's ears on a regular basis and to clean them when necessary. If too much wax is allowed to build up in a dog's ears, it can lead to a painful infection which can be hard to clear up. In short, prevention is often easier than cure when it comes to ear infections.


The Dorset is not a high energy dog, but they still need the right amount of exercise every day combined with as much mental stimulation as possible to prevent them from getting bored. They need anything from 40 to 60-minutes exercise a day with as much off the lead time as possible. If they are not given the right amount of mental stimulation and exercise every day, a Dorset would quickly get bored and could even begin to show some destructive behaviours around the home which is their way of relieving any stress they are feeling and not necessarily because they are being naughty.

A shorter walk in the morning would be fine, but a longer more interesting one in the afternoon is a must with as much off the lead time as possible. These dogs also like to be able to roam around a back garden as often as possible so they can really let off steam. However, the fencing has to be extremely secure to keep these powerful dogs in because if they find a weakness in the fence, they will soon escape and could get into all sorts of trouble. However, it's important not to exercise a Dorset too much in very hot weather because they could easily overheat which is something to be avoided at all costs.

With this said, Dorset puppies should not be over exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. This includes not letting a dog jump up and down from furniture or going up or down the stairs. Too much pressure placed on their joints and spines at an early age could result in a dog developing serious problems later in their lives.


If you get a Dorset puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.

Older dogs are not known to be fussy eaters, but this does not mean they can be given a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.

Average Cost to keep/care for a Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge

If you are looking to buy a Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge, you would need to register your interest with breeders and agree to being put on a waiting list because very few puppies are bred and registered with The Kennel Club every year. You would need to pay anything upwards of £500 for a well-bred pedigree puppy.

The cost of insuring a male 3-year-old Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge in northern England would be £53.10 a month for basic cover but for a lifetime policy, this would set you back £118.99 a month (quote as of July 2016). When insurance companies calculate a pet's premium, they factor in several things which includes where you live in the UK, a dog's age and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed among other things.

When it comes to food costs, you need to buy the best quality food whether wet or dry making sure it suits the different stages of a dog’s life. This would set you back between £30 - £40 a month. On top of all of this, you need to factor in veterinary costs if you want to share your home with a Dorset and this includes their initial vaccinations, their annual boosters, the cost of neutering or spaying a dog when the time is right and their yearly health checks, all of which quickly adds up to over £1200 a year.

As a rough guide, the average cost to keep and care for a Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge would be between £90 to £160 a month depending on the level of insurance cover you opt to buy for your dog, but this does not include the initial cost of buying a pedigree or other puppy.

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