Country of Origin: England
Life Span: 8-10 years
Bred For: Estate Guardian
Coat: Short and smooth
Color: Red, fawn and brindle
Height: Male: 25-27″ Female: 24-26″
Weight: Male: 110-130lbs Female: 100-120lbs
The bullmastiff was created from a blending of two breeds popular in the 1800s, the Old English bulldog, and the English mastiff. Ideally, the breeders wanted to create a dog that had the size and docility of the mastiff and the speed and alert nature of the bulldog. The people who created this breed were likely English gamekeepers, who wanted to arrest poachers who came onto their preserves. The bullmastiff was bred to catch poachers and to hold them until the gameskeeper arrived at the scene. For this position, they were often named as the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog. They were bred to bark only infrequently and then usually as an alarm for their masters.
Despite their large size and rather fierce appearance, the well-socialized bullmastiff should be very friendly and docile with his masters. The breed is considered to be fairly fearless and confident and because of its past as a sentry and watchdog, it tends to have a very protective instinct towards the people it considers its pack and the area that it considers its territory. They are intensely attached to their families, to the point of pining if they are left behind. Because of its protective nature, the bullmastiff needs to be well socialized from a very young age. They are not aggressive with other dogs unless they have been mistreated, but do keep in mind that the males of this breed usually tend not to get along with other males. A bullmastiff can tend to be rather independent, but a well trained one will look to his master for permission before acting on his own recognizance.
Upkeep and Grooming
With their short fur, a bullmastiff is fairly easy to take care of. A quick daily brushing will keep them looking great, and short of bathing your dog, that is all you need to do. Their ears and teeth should be cleaned regularly. In terms of exercise, they actually do not need all that much. A quick walk once or twice a day or some playtime in the yard can be just right for them. Do be aware that they are sensitive to heat and that they should be kept indoors if you experience very hot summers.
The lifespan of a bullmastiff tends to be around eight to eleven years and like many big dogs, there are a host of issues that you might need to look out for. Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and hyperthyroidism are all things to watch out for, as is arthritis, bloat, and entropion, which is the inversion of an eyelid. If kept close to home treated well, this breed will do well for its entire life and can be a great companion to you from the time it is a puppy until it is an old dog.