Bullmastiff was developed to be a guard dog. In the late 1800s, strong, protective dogs were used to protect England’s large estates from poachers. When the old English Bulldogs were crossed with the Old English Mastiff, the result was a dog who could remain quiet as poachers approached and then take the poachers down and hold them until help arrived. Because most poaching happened at night, the breed was also known as the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog.
The Bullmastiff is an imposing dog, giving the impression of great strength. Standing 24 to 27 inches tall and weighing between 100 and 130 pounds. The head is broad, the eyes dark and expressive. The ears are V-shaped and dropped. The body is longer than the dog is tall at the shoulders, with a deep, wide chest and heavy-boned legs. The tail is long, reaching the hocks.
The Bullmastiff coat is short and smooth and may be red, fawn, or brindle, with a black mask. The Bullmastiff ’s short coat can easily be groomed with a soft bristle brush or curry comb a couple of times per week. Having a small towel at hand is usually wise, as Bullmastiffs do drool. The Bullmastiff does not need a lot of exercise. Although these dogs can move quickly when they wish, this is not a breed made for running. Bullmastiff puppies may want to play some games with you, but adults usually outgrow such silliness. Keep in mind that the Bullmastiff dog breed was designed to protect property against poachers and remains wary of strangers.
Early exposure to a variety of people will help establish a good relationship with the human race. Training is needed, too, as these very large, strong dogs could easily overpower a person. Bullmastiffs have a stubborn streak, though, so training can be a challenge. Bullmastiffs are calm companion dogs. They can be good with children when raised with them. If not raised with kids, they tend to think children are something other than people.
Bullmastiffs are not always good with other dogs; males especially can be dogaggressive. When raised with other pets, Bullmastiffs will be good with them, but interactions should be supervised. Health concerns include bloat, torsion, hip dysplasia, and hypothyroidism.