Bullmastiff Dog Breed
- General Appearance:
- Bullmastiffs are big powerful dogs that are a cross between and English Mastiff and a Bulldog.
Having a great coat for weather protection, the hair on the Bullmastiff is very short with a distinct black mask around muzzle. They have large, square heads with large, muscular necks, The chest should be wide and deep, the shoulders muscular and powerful. They are symmetrical in appearance. They are reliable, faithful and active...the latter could be because they were first bred to stop poachers.
- Other Names:
- Country Of Origin:Great Britain
- Dog Group Kennel Club:Working
- Any shade of fawn, brindle or red but colours are generally pure. A small amount of white on the chest is allowed and a black muzzle is essential.
- In general, Bullmastiffs are loyal, calm and loving but they are protective over their family. That said, instead of an attack, this protective instinct can manifest itself as the ability to knock intruders over and pin them to the ground or simply not to let them pass. It is not really a breed for the novice owner, due to its strength, stubborn and over protective nature. Sometimes Bullmastiffs will not get on with other dogs. They have to be socialised from an early age. The Bullmastiff will only accept strangers if they are introduced to them by someone they trust.
- Powerful, straight moving and balanced.
- Care and training:
- The bullmastiff does not take a lot of work when it comes down to grooming. An occasional brush with a hard bristle brush or a rubber mitt to remove the dead hair. Cleaning of the face will be required as this breed has a tendency to slobber.
Bullmastiffs will benifit with a firm handler to make sure that there is not a dominance issue, and they also if they are to have successfull training. They can also be quite headstrong and boisterous, especially during adolescence. They can do well in obedience training, and does exceptionally well as a guard or watch dog.
- Overall Exercise:
- 40 - 60 minutes per day. This dog should not have long walks or be allowed a lot of free exercise until it is at least 12 months old. Too much exercise too young can lead to bone and joint related health problems in later life. They do enjoy exercise and games with the family.
- Feeding Requirements:
- The Bullmastiff can be quite demanding in its feeding requirements. As a breed they are reputed to have individual feeding needs. The breeder should give you a feeding program and advise on all dietry needs.
- Personal Protection:High
- Suitability As Guard Dog:High
- Level of Aggression:High
- Compatibility With Other Animals:High
- Suitability for Children:High
- Often Docked?No
- Average Litter Size:8
- Life Expectancy (yrs):10
- Health issues:
- Hip dysplasia, cancer, tumors, and gastric torsion or bloat (twisted stomach). Bloat is a health issue to most dogs, being the second largest killer of dogs other than cancer, but Bullmastiffs can be particularly susceptible to it because of their deep chests. Other health concerns include elbow dysplasia, eye problems, cardiac disease, hypothyroidism, kidney problems, and panosteitis (bone disease).
- Developed in the late nineteenth century, the Bullmastiff was created by crossing the Mastiff with a Bulldog. The need for a good poacher-hunting dog was in store, and gamekeepers combined these two for speed and power. The Mastiff was powerful but not very fast, and the Bulldog was quicker, being smaller, but not large enough to overpower. Around this time, estate owners who owned game had such a terrible problem with poaching that the death penalty was on the head of anyone who tried. This gave way to poachers being a danger to the gamekeepers, for which the Bullmastiff was needed. Bullmastiffs were trained to wait silently in the dark until the command was given to attack. The Bullmastiff was known to easily take down poachers, holding them until the owner came. The dogs were trained not to maul the poacher but to take them down and hold them. This led to the dog's title of "Gamekeeper's Night Dogs". Around the turn of the 20th century, poaching was not as much of a problem, but staged hunts were planned to keep the dog in practice. Volunteers ran out into the forest for a few minutes, then the Bullmastiff was released to track him down. The Bullmastiff would be found holding down the victim, but not attacking, and then his master would arrive. According to records, the dogs were always the winners. In 1924 Bullmastiffs were standardized and officially recognized in England, followed by the American Kennel Club in 1933. In England, the breed is considered best if about 50 percent Bulldog and 50 percent Mastiff, while Americans prefer the breed to be about 60 Mastiff and 40 percent Bulldog.