The Bullmastiff is a large breed of dog. It is a working dog, with a conveniently very solid build. This breed shares many characteristics with other Molosser dogs similar to it. Molosser refers to several large dog breeds, all of which are solidly built and from the working group of breeds. The Bullmastiff breed originated in the 1800s as gamekeepers bred these dogs to generally guard their estates and immobilize any potential poachers. The origins can be traced back to English Mastiffs and Old English Bulldogs. As with many other breeds, the Bullmastiff was not officially recognized by the English Kennel Club until the early 1900s, specifically 1924 for this breed. In 1933, the American Kennel Club also paid recognition to the breed, approving the first standard for the breed in 1935. While Bullmastiffs are muscular and strong, they also tend to be docile and obedient. These characteristics make Bullmastiffs popular family pets.
Because of the history behind the breed, the Bullmastiff is fondly nicknamed the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog. These gamekeepers and wardens bred these dogs to be a mix of about 40% Old English Bulldog and about 60% English Mastiff. This resulted in a dog breed that is both large and strong, but also extremely loyal. Interesting enough, they also tend to bark much less than many other breeds of dogs. This doesn’t hold true when they are alarmed, though. They can be counted on to alert their owner and family if anything is amiss in the home.
Bullmastiffs stand a little over two feet at their withers. They can weigh and impressive 110 to 130 pounds. As with the vast majority of dogs, and most species for that matter, females will be slightly shorter and slightly less heavy than the males. Although these dogs are prized for their size, breeders discourage exceeding the standard dimensions. An excess of size and weight can result in a cumbersome, less agile dog who is not able to perform the working duties required of the breed at its inception.
This breed can appear with a variety of coat colors. By American Kennel Club standards, they should only have coats described as red, fawn or brindle. While this seems pretty limited, the fawn color has a somewhat wide range. This includes colors from ranging from pretty light brown to a darker reddish brown. The color described as simply red can range from light reddish fawn color to a much darker, richly colored red. Brindle refers to a striped coat; in this case, the striped overlay would fall over the fawn or red coloring. White markings are not acceptable by the breed standard, aside from a small amount on the chest.
The Bullmastiff is confident and courageous, while at the same time being a docile. These dogs will remain extremely loyal to their families, and make loving and calm family pets. They actually form very deep attachments to their families, so it’s quite important that this love is given back in return. Bullmastiffs also get along well with other dogs; but as it is with most animals, it’s common for males to have problematic interactions with other males. They also might have trouble accepting a housecat or any other pets they would find strange and unfamiliar. They can be great with children given the proper training, but it’s important to supervise them around small kids due to their size and strength. Since these dogs weren’t bred for hunting purposes, they don’t often show signs of aggression. Generally, they are considered to be very sweet dogs, and the only potential dangers arise because of their natural large and strong traits.
The Bullmastiff makes a wonderful pet and family companion. They can be counted on in times of trouble, as their loyalty and faithfulness encourages them to protect their families. During happy times, they will interact happily with the family and provide plenty of love and companionship.
Bullmastiff dogs are prone to arthritis. Make sure you keep your dog’s joints healthy and strong by using glucosamine for dogs from k9 joint strength.