The Bullmastiff is a large and powerful dog breed developed during mid-19th century, probably around 1860, by British gamekeepers who needed fearless and fast dog to track down poachers and protect their country estates. Bullmastiffs are a result of crossing a Mastiff with a Bulldog. The ideal Bullmastiff appeared to be 60 percent Mastiff and 40 percent Bulldog. In the early 20th century, Bullmastiff began to be bred as a distinct type of breed, rather than as a crossbreed. Today, Bullmastiffs are more likely to be loyal family pets, but very alert and always ready to protect their humans and their property.
FUN FACT: The Bullmastiff’s nickname is “The Gamekeeper’s Night Dog”.
The Bullmastiff - facts
Male Bullmastiffs are 25-27 inches tall and they weight 110-130 pounds. Female Bullmastiffs are 24-26 inches tall and weight 100-120 pounds.
The Bullmastiff has a large, broad, wrinkled head with dark eyes, v-shaped, naturally floppy ears and broad, short, square muzzle. Because of its wrinkled face, Bullmastiff is prone to develop skin issues, so it is very important that the creases are regularly cleaned. The coat comes in three colors: red, fawn and brindle. Some Bullmastiffs will have a small, white markings on its chest which are acceptable according to the breed standard. The coat is short and dense which protects the dog from rain, snow, and cold. It is easy to maintain because Bulllmastiffs don't shed a lot. Weekly brushing will be enough to keep Bullmastiff's coat clean and shiny. While Bulmastiffs don't shed a lot and are clean animals in that department, they certainly drool a lot. They drool after eating, drinking, exercising, when they are stressed… basically always; so, it is recommended that you always have a towel around your Bullmastiff.
The Bullmastiff - problems
Bullmastiffs are prone to heat exhaustion and heatstroke, so they don’t do well in hot and humid weather. They are made to live indoors where they have big, soft bed and a lot of space for stretching. Bullmastiffs don't need a lot of exercise. Moderate daily walks will be enough to keep them happy and in shape.
FUN FACT: The Bullmastiffs are loud. They are not known to be barkers, but they snore, grunt and snort loudly.
FUN FACT : Bullmastiffs farts a lot. As they are short-faced dogs they gulp air when they eat; that air needs to exit somewhere and the result is gassiness. If you want to reduce this problem, try feeding your Bullmastiff a homemade diet of real meat and vegetables
The Bullmastiff - a good family dog
Bullmastiffs are large, muscular and tremendously strong, but extremely gentle and affectionate with family members. However, their friendly attitude will most likely change when there is a stranger near their people. Bullmastiffs tend to be suspicious of people outside the family.
The Bullmastiff is devoted, loving and loyal companion. This dog is courageous and forms a very strong bond with their owners. The Bullmastiff can be territorial or even aggressive if there is a possibility that its family or property are in danger. With other people this dog can get along if he feels they are welcomed. With other dogs however, especially dogs of the same sex, he might not do so well. The Bullmastiff needs to be socialized and correctly trained or they can start to show a more dominant side of their nature. As such, this large dog needs to have an experienced owner how can properly manage him. The Bullmastiff is an independent thinker so train him firmly and consistently. This dog can be stubborn, but obedient to his peoples' wishes.
The Bullmastiff - health
Bullmastiffs have an average life span of 8-10 years. They are generally healthy but are prone to certain conditions. Given their large size, Bullmastiffs suffer from several joint and structural problems, such as hip dysplasia (read more about hip dysplasia here) and elbow dysplasia. Bullmastiffs are also prone to pulmonic stenosis, which is a narrowing of the valve between the right ventricle of the heart and the vessel that carries blood to the lungs. Therefore, you should take your Bullmastiff to an annual heart exam. Other diseases that everybody thinking about getting a Bullmastiff should be aware of are: cancer (including lymphosarcoma, osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, and mast cell tumor), hypothyroidism (caused by deficiency of thyroid hormone that can be treated with medication), entropion (that causes the eyelid to roll inward and thus can injure the eyeball), bloat (the life-threatening condition where the stomach is distended with gas or air and then twists itself causing pain), progressive retinal atrophy, cystinuria (genetic disorder that results in formation of kidney or bladder stones), skin problems, etc.
FUN FACT: Bullmastiffs have a high pain threshold, so it can be difficult to determine if the dog is hurt.
The Bullmastiff - breeders
When buying a Bullmastiff, make sure to go to a reputable breeder in order to get a healthy dog with all the characteristics one Bullmastiff should have. Never acquire a Bullmastiff from pet store or a puppy broker. They cannot guarantee you that your puppy had healthy ancestors. Reputable breeders, however, perform various health tests to ensure that their breeding dogs don’t pass on a predisposition to genetic diseases. Ask the breeder to show you all the health clearances dog should have. Ask for references so you can contact other buyers and see whether they are happy with their puppy. It is important to know that some health problems do not appear until a dog reaches full maturity so health clearances for those diseases can’t be issued. Therefore, you should make sure that the breeder does not breed dogs until they are two or three years old.
FUN FACT: Bullmastiffs used to have their tail docked to prevent them from being damaged but when the Animal Health and Welfare Act came into effect in 2006, tail-docking was banned unless for medical reasons.
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World Dog Finder team