- Group – Working
- Height – 24-27 inches at the shoulder
- Weight – 50-59 KG
- Life Span – 8-15 years
The Bullmastiff is a big, brave bundle of love. He gets along with other pets and is great with children. Because he grows so large and strong, careful training is required when he’s a puppy.
The Bullmastiff was originally developed in England around the 1860’s from a cross between the Mastiff and the Bulldog. Bullmastiffs were specifically created to quietly monitor large estates and game preserves to keep poachers at bay. They had the ability to track independently, cover short distances quickly and silently and pin and hold poachers without mauling them. To this day, Bullmastiffs typically do not bark unless they feel the need to sound an alarm or defend their territory. While the penalties for poaching were severe towards the end of the nineteenth century, it still was difficult for landowners to control the poaching population without the help of powerful, courageous and protective dogs.
Gamekeepers first looked to the Mastiff to fill this role, but it proved too large and slow to accomplish the necessary tasks and was not inherently aggressive enough. The English Bulldog was tried next, but it was too ferocious at that time in its development and not large enough for the needs of the gamekeepers. The owners of these estates wanted dogs that were silent when poachers approached, fearless and would attack on command. They wanted the poachers held, but not killed. Ultimately, they crossed their Mastiffs and their Bulldogs, creating the Bullmastiff which combined the best of both breeds for the tasks required of him. Bullmastiffs performed admirably at managing poachers, especially the dark brindle dogs who disappeared into the night. As the twentieth century approached, the need for game-keeping dogs diminished, although staged contests continued and Bullmastiffs continued to excel in these competitions. As more Mastiff blood was bred into the breed, it became lighter in color and eventually fawns became preferred over brindles, although both are acceptable.
The Kennel Club of England recognized the Bullmastiff as a purebred dog in 1924. The American Kennel Club granted recognition to the Bullmastiff in 1933, and since then the breed has thrived in this country. Today, the Bullmastiff is a devoted, alert, protective but normally not aggressive family companion
Personality and Temperament
Bullmastiffs are highly intelligent. Always loyal to their owners, these dogs are obedient and courageous.
This breed may try to dominate other Bullmastiffs. However, they are usually very tolerant toward children and get along with other household pets – if proper socialization has occurred early on. Unwanted visitors will be unwelcome!
Hair, Care and Grooming
Short and dense. The Bullmastiff should be groomed with a rubber brush to remove dead or loose hairs.
This breed is prone to hip dysplasia, tumors, and some eyelid problems. Boils on lips and progressive retinal atrophy may also be seen. They tend to be prone to bloat.
Training and Activity
This breed requires an authoritative handler. Because he is sensitive to the tone of a human voice, training is quite straightforward.
The Bullmastiff needs a moderate amount of exercise. He enjoys the opportunity to run and play on a leash.
The Bullmastiff does well on a raw diet or on premium, high-quality commercial dog food. Bullmastiffs love apples, bananas, strawberries and tomatoes, but be careful when giving your dog acidic type fruits as it may cause diarrhea. Feed your Bullmastiff several small meals instead of one large one in order to prevent bloat.