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We are Steve and Jessica Gilmour we have two young daughters; Cherry and Cicely. We have owned and bred Leavitt Bulldogs for 10 years now:
I am on Leavitt Bulldog Association board of directors selected by David Leavitt to help preserve the breed, and i am also the breed represetive for the U.K.
We got our 1st Bulldog Bertie about 12 years ago - He was not a Leavitt Bulldog and no relation to the blood line, but was a similar type, and classed as a 'Alternative Bulldog' it was owning him that led us to the Leavitt Bulldog;
Bertie was a beautiful dog and everything a bulldog should be... Athletic, agile, strong and brave, as well as being loving and kind. Unfortunately aged 3 he had to be put to sleep, he suffered with chronic allergies and his life became so uncomfortable we were left with little option.
This suffering and heart break that we all went through whilst owning Bertie made us realise that although on the surface a dog may look healthier and more 'capable', in reality the breeding that goes on behind creating these modern bulldogs isn’t always done particularly well or to a high stanadrd of health.
It is easy to assume that they will have no health problems because they can breathe better and move better - but as we found out this is not often the case.
After losing Bertie due his bad health and poor breeding we decided that if were to own another bulldog we wanted a dog that had genuinely been breed with health in mind. So our search began for a better bred Bulldog – We had read about the Leavitt bulldogs and seen photos; we knew they were what we were looking for. Wth the health issues that Bertie suffered with fresh in our minds we wanted to do as much research that we could to avoid these problems for our next dog. We looked further into the breeding of the Leavitt bulldogs - We knew we liked the look of them but when we realised the stringent health screening that goes on within the breed it’s seemed too good to be true - We then decided that we were going to bring the breed to the UK, the rest as they say is history - We imported our 1st Leavitt Bulldogs: Billy and Rosa in 2008 from Holland and nearly 10 years on we are even more didicated to the breed and its future here.
Depending on how the dogs mature and develop and if they are approved by The Leavitt bulldog Association as being good enough to breed from, we may have the occasional litter. We would like to produce a few good bulldogs that we will place in select homes, under contract and follow their progress closely.
The temperaments as well as the health of our dogs is of the upmost importance to us. Thier temperaments have to be perfect around people particularly children, they have to social, trainable and great family members. Both our daughters are very hands on with the dogs, they all live along side them and adore the children.
They are all important members of our family, and although they are in and our of kennels at some point they also all have plently of time in the house around our family, young pups in particular are all rasied in the house into adulthood. We believe that this strong relationship and bond with people is passed down to the pups from their mother and is very important to us.
Over and above our breeding progam we feel strongly that our dogs are family members.
They all have different roles and places within our family: Striking a balance between wanting have a sussessful breeding progam to protect and preseve this rare breed, and still have the closeness and compainonship of family pets is at the centre of what we try and achieve.
Ruby, pictured with our daughter below is our foundation female and for us the perfect Leavitt Bulldog
She is everything we could wish for in a dog and adored and cherised by our family - Both human and Canine
She is 8 now and retired from our breeding program after having had two beautiful litters. But still plays a cruical role helping us raising young pups and new litters and is the offical meeter and greeter of vistiors and those wanting to see a perfect example of the breed.
She has helped me raise my children and been a dear friend to myself and husband - My youngest learn to walk beside her .
She is a such special dog and we are proud to build our kennel with her behind us.