The Mastiff is one of London’s oldest breeds; however, it’s direct descendant, the Bullmastiff, is most likely a more current development. It is true that rare references to the Bullmastiff, or crosses of the Mastiff and Bulldog, can be found as early as 1791; nevertheless, no signs are present that these strains were continued.
The Bullmastiff’s recognized history started near the end of the 19th century when stealing game from wealthy landowners had become such a problem that the gamekeepers’ lives were threatened.
They needed a strong and brave dog that could wait silently as a thief, and his dog came near, attack on command, and subdue but not mangle the thief. The mastiff lacked speed, and the Bulldog required size, so they bred the breeds to produce the perfect dog, the appropriately named “Gamekeeper’s Night Dog.”
As the reputation of the breed grew, however, many landowners chose them as watchdogs and guard dogs and favored the lighter fawns, particularly those with black masks, a shade evocative of their mastiff lineage.
Bullmastiff breeders started to aim for an untainted-breeding strain rather than depending on repeating crosses amongst the Mastiff and the Bulldog.
They worked for a perfect animal that looked to be sixty percent Mastiff and forty percent Bulldog. However, by 1924, the breed was untainted and was finally recognized by the English Kennel Club. Later, the AKC recognized the breed in 1933.
Bullmastiff Breed Facts
|Friendliness toward dogs
|Friendliness toward other pets
|Friendliness toward strangers
|Ease of training
Family: Mastiff, Bull
Date of Origin: 1800s
Original role bred for: Manor guardian
Today’s role: Companion
Other name: None
Weight: Male: 111 – 131 pounds; Female: 100 – 121 pounds
Height: Male: 26 – 28 inches; Female: 24 – 26 inches
The Bullmastiff is a nearly square breed, and it is sturdy and active. It possesses a mixture of strength, alertness, and endurance. When it comes to appearance, sixty percent Mastiff and forty percent Bulldog are ideal. Its gait is smooth yet powerful. However, its shape is moderate.
Its coat is short and thick, and its appearance is keen and watchful. These qualities permitted this breed to both surpass and over-power trespassers.
Temperament and Upkeep
The Bullmastiff is gentle as well as quiet; it is a highly devoted companion and guardian. It is not easily roused; however, once threatened, it is fearless. It is stubborn and cannot easily be goaded into action against its will.
Some Bullmastiffs can be aggressive towards other dogs. For instance, males typically are not friendly towards other males. These dogs are excellent with children that they’re raised with. As formidable as this dog can be, it still needs a loving home. Before you jump at the next sign that reads “bullmastiff puppies for sale,” know that these dogs are not for timid or fragile owners.
The Bullmastiff is a huge dog, and it needs daily activities to keep in shape. However, its needs are reasonable and can be satisfied with walks on a leash and short frolics. It does not do well in hot and humid weather and usually should be kept as an indoor dog.
It will need a soft and comfortable bed where it can stretch out. Also, keep in mind that these dogs drool and snore.
Major health concerns of the breed include gastric torsion, CHD, and elbow dysplasia. Although minor, keep an eye out for entropion as well.
Some occasional health issues may arise with this breed: hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, lymphosarcoma, mast cell tumors, cardiomyopathy, SAS, and hypothyroidism. Life span: 8 – 10 years