Bullmastiff Dog Breed Information Guide
The Bullmastiff is a majestic breed with a noble history. Originally bred as a mid-sized watchdog, the Bullmastiff retains many protective and amiable qualities – aside from the pesky drooling. The modern day Bullmastiff is a solidly built and muscular breed with a forlorn yet alert expression.
The Bullmastiff will be extremely loyal and can become very attached to his family. If another animal happens to be a member of his family, he can grow to love them too, but other male dogs stand the least chance of friendship. The Bullmastiff has quirky qualities that seem to contradict his formidable appearance – he is temperature sensitive, a tad lazy and is seldom keen to train. Very few tricks or cute antics will ever be a part of the Bullmastiff’s repertoire. The Bullmastiff is a no-nonsense yet entirely delightful dog.
The Bullmastiff is a relatively recent breed although its combined ancestry dates back two thousand years. The name implies its lineage; a cross between a Bulldog and a Mastiff . The Mastiff progenitor dates back to the time of Caesar when this breed was used in war and by Gladiators. The Bulldog progenitor was more recently established in the 1200’s when he was cruelly used to bait and madden bulls. This savagery was medieval entertainment until it was outlawed in 1865.
During the early 1800’s, poaching game on large English estates had become rampant and dangerous. Estate owners needed a protector that would be fierce but manageable. The Mastiff, a notably ferocious breed, was too slow and the courageous Bulldog, too small. The notion then arose as to whether a crossbreed would have the necessary requirements for the job. The perfect solution was born – the Bullmastiff had the patience to wait silently for the attack command and the self control to restrain the poacher but not maul him to death. Soon, the nuisance poaching came to an end, but self-important estate owners fancied the image of needing defence and the Bullmastiff’s role evolved.
The coloration of the Bullmastiff during his days as the estate enforcer was evolving too. In the beginning, his owner needed the Bullmastiff be camouflaged by the cover of night. Dark brindle was the preferred colour. Later, Estate owners preferred his estate sentries to be clearly visible to all envious onlookers so a lighter fawn colour was adopted for the Bullmastiff. By the late 1800’s, breeders then began working toward a pure-breed strain rather then relying on repeated crosses. The ideal formula was deemed to be 60 percent Mastiff and 40 percent Bulldog and by 1924 the Bullmastiff breed was regarded pure. The American Kennel Club recognised the Bullmastiff in 1933.
The Bullmastiff is a nearly square dog with a muscular, solid stance. The coat of the Bullmastiff is red, fawn or brindle with some possible white flashings on the chest. The Bullmastiff’s head is large and broad with small wide-set eyes. The black muzzle constitutes about one third of the Bullmastiff’s head and his punishing jaw is slightly undershot.
The Bullmastiff appears to look forlorn yet wise. The skin on the head of the Bullmastiff wrinkles between his eyes making him look quite worried; it is comical, and heart-warming. Indeed, the Bullmastiff’s face is amply expressive.
The Bullmastiff is gentle and quiet. He is not easily aggravated, but if he feels threatened, he is fearless. Strange dogs have the best chance of the Bullmastiff’s wrath, but other family pets will garner his protection.
The Bullmastiff is stubborn, perhaps a remnant from his Bulldog heritage. He can overpower children assigned with the daunting task of walking him. Similarly, the Bullmastiff needs a firm but loving owner with some measure of physical strength. The Bullmastiff will not often run amuck, but it will be a great comfort to on-lookers to know that the owner can and will control his dog.
The Bullmastiff is surprisingly gentle and expectedly protective with children, but the children should be raised with the dog. And as with any breed, always supervise your children when they are playing with your Bullmastiff. Even a playful nip from your Bullmastiff can injure (or terrify) a child.
Bullmastiff Exercise Info
The Bullmastiff is reasonable with his exercise demands. He can be prone to a lapse in fitness (but who isn’t?), so he will need short daily walks. For a dog with such a tough appearance, the Bullmastiff has a rather delicate tolerance for heat. The Bullmastiff may flat-out refuse to walk on a day when he deems the weather to be inadvisably warm. Nor is the Bullmastiff a great fan of cold weather, although he prefers it over hot. The Bullmastiff is decidedly an indoor dog who will seek a soft, comfortable bed with plenty of room to stretch out. So, with a gentle nod to the drool, the savvy Bullmastiff owner would be well advised to provide this comfort for the dog, lest he deems the guest suite his own.
Bullmastiff Grooming Info
Grooming your Bullmastiff is a minimal task. He will need weekly brushing for the natural oils to work their magic with special attention to the facial wrinkles. There is one caveat – he drools.
The Bullmastiff can be quite slobbery, especially during and after drinking. The Bullmastiff feels no urge to selectively drool only on hardwood floors, so carpets, sofas and beds are amply suitable to receive a drooly deposit. Some owners find it helpful to keep a supply of doggie towels at the ready. Sensible idea indeed.
Bullmastiff Training Info
The Bullmastiff can be trained, but it will always be on his schedule. And, if you foolishly wait too long to begin, you can forget it. The Bullmastiff is wilful and even stubborn so muster your patience before you begin. There is one nugget of helpfulness that can be offered here, the Bullmastiff will more willing obey if tasty snacks are on offer. Reserve a special treat, say liver bits, and use them only as a reward for obedience. Crate training should work so long as you are consistent.
Bullmastiff Health Info
Some common health concerns with the Bullmastiff are; gastric torsion, CHD, elbow dysphasia, entropion, hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, lymphosarcoma, mast cell tumours, cardiomyopathy, SAS, hypothyroidism.
Bullmastiff Right Breed Info
The Bullmastiff is a splendid dog with the proper owner. The ideal candidate is a family with grown children living in a home with a large fenced yard. The elderly and the disabled may find the Bullmastiff too much dog to handle.
The Bullmastiff is more inclined to relax than romp about. He can happily wile away the day examining the minutia of life as it passes him by, so an exercise partner he is not. And, people looking for a cuddly pet will find the Bullmastiff friendly, and at times overtly affectionate. The Bullmastiff is very gentle so don’t feel intimidated by his fierce appearance – unless you are an intruder, in which case run for your life. The Bullmastiff will overtake and overpower an intruder so if a getting a protective watchdog is your goal, the Bullmastiff is the perfect pet.
More Information about the Bullmastiff Dog Breed
Bullmastiff on Wikipedia