This rare breed from England was developed in the early 1980's by David Brown, who wanted to re-create the working British bulldogge of the 18th century. Although the breeds used in the creation of the Sussex Bulldog have remained undisclosed for nearly 25 years, the commonly encountered rumours suggest the employment of the English Bulldog, English Bullterrier, Bullmastiff, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, German Boxer and American Pit Bull Terrier. Once the satisfactory foundation stock was established, the breed was further refined through years of planned linebreeding and inbreeding in order to achieve purity and a recognizable type. Since the Sussex Bulldog was intented to be a versatile worker and reliable companion, the breed founder has evaluated his stock by placing the dogs with trainers, farmers, hunters, gamekeepers and urban families, with very positive results. By keeping in touch with the discriminating owners of early Sussex Bulldogs, Brown was able to learn about the preferences regarding temperament, agility and size of his dogs, enabling him to set clear breeding goals in accordance to such demands. After the Sussex Bulldog started breeding true to its Standard, the official Sussex Bulldog Club of Great Britain was founded in 1997 by David Brown, Clive Treliving and Darren Henwood. By keeping track of all registered dogs, owners, matings, litters and health records, the Club is ensuring that the breed is kept pure, but is also focused on promoting the Sussex Bulldog and working towards official recognition.
A capable livestock guardian, hunting and retrieving dog, as well as an excellent property protector, the Sussex Bulldog is also a gentle and devoted family companion, loving of children and tolerant of other pets. Although quite intelligent and reportedly very trainable, the breed can be fairly stubborn at times, as well as somewhat aloof with unfamiliar people and unfriendly towards strange dogs, needing early socialization and responsible handling. This is a powerful and agile breed, with a strongly boned, muscular body and a large, round head. The muzzle is reasonably short, the stop is pronounced and the cheek muscles are well developed. While fairly uniformed, some variety can still be observed in the breed's population, mainly in the length of snout and lower jaw, with some Sussex Bulldogs appearing more "English" and others being similar to the American Bulldog breed. The nose can be black, brown or red, depending on the coat colour. The chest is wide, the shoulders are broad and the legs are strong.
The coat is short and flat, seen in a variety of common bully colourings, such as predominantly white with darker patches or uniform fawn, red and brindle, but it is also allowed in black and brown shades, with or without white markings. Average height is around 21 inches.