The Bullmastiff was originally called the 'Gamekeeper’s Night Dog' as they were used to catch poachers. The base stock of the Bullmastiff was 60% English Mastiff and 40% Bulldog. They were created in the late 1800’s. When the need for gamekeepers and the Bullmastiff declined they were used in sport. Someone would run off into the undergrowth and after a short time a muzzled Bullmastiff would be released to see if the person could be found. They were not trained to maul or kill, but to overpower their target. All the records state the dog never lost. The Kennel Club in Britain first recognised the breed in 1925, and the American Kennel Club gave them recognition in 1933.
The Bullmastiff is a powerfully built dog. They have large, square heads with large, muscular necks. A compact dog that is muscular all over and naturally large. Their coats are short, hard and weather proof.
The Bullmastiff can be fawn, red or brindle, some may have limited white on the chest.
Dogs measure 63.5-68.5cms at the withers and weigh between 50-59kgs. Bitches measure 61-66cms and weigh between 41-50kgs. It is a good idea to remember that when you decide on this dog that it does grow up to be a large, heavy dog.
The breed is affected by cancer and bloat. Hip dysplasia and temperaments are a concern for breeders but screening can be carried out on the breeders lines. The Bullmastiff is also prone to skin and eye problems. There does appear to be a hereditary back problem that occurs to various degrees.
The Bullmastiff is a member of the working group in America and Britain, however in Australia it is classified as a utility dog. They were originally used as guard dogs and today they are used as guards and as companions.
The Bullmastiff can be quite demanding in its feeding requirements. As a breed they are reputed to have individual feeding needs. As adults they should be fed twice daily, the breeder will recommend a suitable feeding programme for your dog.
These dogs are very protective of their family and other household pets. 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. Intruders will be quickly halted in their tracks. It is not really a breed for the novice owner, due to its strength, stubborn and over protective nature.
The Bullmastiff can be stubborn and firm handling is required from puppyhood. They can also be quite headstrong and boisterous, especially during adolescence.
Suitability for Children
Overall Exercise Requirement
This dog should not have long walks or be allowed a lot of free exercise until it is at least 12 months old. It has to be remembered that even when this dog is 6 months old, and is relatively large, it is still a puppy. Too much exercise too young can lead to bone and joint related health problems in later life. They have an average demand for exercise, only requiring a few walks per day. They do enjoy exercise and games with the family
Suitability as a Guard Dog
Ease of Transportation
Other Animal Compatibility
Grooming the Bullmastiff is relatively easy, a grooming mitt is all that is required to remove any dead and loose hair.