Roundhead's Willie
Noble Boston Bulldogges
The Olde Boston Bulldogge is the original "round-headed" Bull and Terrier of the Boston area, Massachusetts.  This is the breed from which the Boston Terrier was developed, therefore the Olde Boston Bulldogge and the Boston Terrier share the same early history.

History and Origin
Like most dogs used for pit fighting in the 1800's the original Boston Bulldog resulted from a cross between bulldogs and terriers (more specifically from the English Bulldog, the Bull terrier and the White English Terrier), and varied in form.  As a result some had the long, clean head of a terrier; others, the round, almost puggish head of the bulldog at that time. Most people believe that the French Bulldog was crossed in along the way, explaining the Boston Terrier's bat like ears. 
Boston Bulldog 1910's
Other smaller imported dogs are reported to have been used to further breed down the original old type Boston Terrier to make it look like the present-day Boston Terrier. In the early history of the breed, however, there was no established type, some favoring the bulldog-type, while others preferred the terrier-like specimens. They were called "Round-headed bull and terriers" or short "Round Heads" and "American Bull Terrier". The dogs that were used in the fighting pits were also used as family dogs.
So, they had to demonstrate a loyal and friendly character, on top of their ability to fight.  Their devotion to their masters was legendary.

So, while the Boston Terrier were being refined, and eventually developed into a toy breed, the original Boston Bulldog, which was considered not refined enough because it had too much bulldog influence, continued to be bred separately. 

Over time, opposition arose from bull terrier and bulldog fanciers about the similarity of the breed's name.  A noted writer and authority, James Watson, thus suggested that since this new breed did not resemble the Bullterrier, the dog should have its own breed identity. He felt that this dog having been bred in and around Boston, it should be named the Boston Terrier. So, in 1891, the American Bull Terrier Club changed its name to the Boston Terrier Club of America and changed the name of the breed to the Boston terrier. The breed was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1893. 

Over the years the tendency has been to reduce them in size.  In the early 1900's, one can still find Boston Terriers being shown in the Conformation Ring weighing around 30 pounds.

However, in the 1920's breeders started to pay more attention to the body proportions and markings on the body. Pit fighting lost popularity while the development of the industrialization and urban living conditions increased the demand for smaller-sized companian dogs. By the 1950's the Boston Terrier was very much like the dog we know today.
Boston Terrier and French Bulldog
Today, while the Boston Terrier bares no ressemblance with the Olde type Bull and Terrier of Boston used in pit fighting, the Olde Boston Bulldogge has been kept close to its historical model of the 1800's.  Much if not all of the credit for preserving and re-establishing the Olde Boston Bulldogge should be given to the late Mr. Neil Rutan and his family. Mr. Rutan's wife and son Nathaniel continue today to be dedicated breeders and supporters to this wonderful breed.

The Olde Boston Bulldogge is larger than the Boston Terrier, much more like what this dog originally looked like before it was bred down.

The Boston Terrier should not weigh more than 25 lbs.  The boston bulldog can weigh any where from 25 to 45 lbs.  Furthermore, with the Boston Terrier full colors or white heads are not acceptable.  They should have white front legs and white legs up to the hock in the back (desired markings).
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While the boston terrier only comes in brindle/white, black/white, seal/white, the Olde Boston Bulldogge comes in all colors like the ancient bulldog: red, brown, fawn, white and all shades of brindle, with white markings. Apart from these colors you also have black blue, seal and tuxedo, a classic Boston pattern.

Olde Boston Bulldogge
(Old Boston Bulldog)

Coat colors

Old Boston bulldogges have kept close to the original Boston bull and terrier. They are known for their tenacity and sound temperament. Like the bulldog they have comical and interesting personalities and are very intelligent. They are active and playful but not the kind of neurotic and yappy dog that barks all day with no apparent reason. They love kids and can play with you as long and as hard as you want, but they can just as will sit in an easy chair and relax for hours.
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Civilizing your Puppy
by Barbara J. Wrede
More information:

Photos courtesy of Good Time Bostonetts; Scott Cramer, Noble Boston Bulldogges
and Jamie McCormick.
Old Boston Bulldogge painting

The Olde Boston Bulldogge is registred with The National Dog Registry For Rare Breeds and Working Dogs and recognized by the IOEBA.

Murphy & Taylor
Photo: Jamie McCormick
Rutan's Murphy
owner: Jamie McCormick
Rutan's Murphy
owner: Jamie McCormick
Photo: Good Time Bostonetts
As far as we know there no books have been written about the Olde Boston Bulldogg specifically .  However, as the Olde Boston Bulldogges share their early history with the Boston Terrier the following books are interesting for their description of the breeds' history and for the historical pictures and illustrations of the early Boston Terriers.
The Official Book of the Boston Terrier
by Lee Muriel, Muriel P. Lee
Boston Terriers: The Early Years
by Cathy J. Flamholtz (Editor)
Living With Small and
Toy Dogs
: Training, Behavior,
and Personality Differences
by Terry Jester
more information: