It used to be the terror of poachers, today people fascinated with race find a faithful friend and protector in the powerful bullmastiff. Though bullmastiffs were bred to help combat poaching, they also had a great sense of smell and were known as hooks and tropics. They guarded land estates, and in Africa, they guarded gold and diamond mines. Currently, they are kept mainly by breed lovers as family and companion dogs. Bullmastiff was bred in 19th century England. He was to help forest guards fight to poach.
Bullmastiff combines courage and fearlessness with prudence and gentleness. He has a strong character, moderate temperament, calmness and self-control. It is a sensitive dog, therefore it is not suitable for living in isolation. Although he likes to be close to his guardian, he does not follow him step by step. He gives all household members the same feeling and is ready to defend them at all costs. If properly raised, he does not show dominant behavior towards the owner.
The advantage of this breed of dog is undoubtedly its friendly attitude towards children. He treats them with great gentleness and patience, but due to the strength and size of this quadruped, contacts with children are better supervised.
Bullmastiff is a good watchman, although he attaches more importance to the protection of the owner than the land. Vigilant and not noisy repels rather threatening appearance than aggression. He doesn’t run by the fence and may give the impression of being a little interested in the surroundings. One should not, however, suggest his apparent indifference – it can be provoked quickly and violently. He is usually tolerant and friendly towards people who are welcome by his family.
The representative of this breed will accept other animals and can easily share the house with them – but certainly chasing the neighbors’ cat. He doesn’t usually notice the tormenting of small dogs, but he can treat smaller quadrupeds less indulgently. An attacked person can be dangerous and difficult to control, which is why the owner must fully control his behavior.
Bullmastiff as a medium active dog does not require strenuous training. To keep fit, he needs three or four walks a day (including one longer). Remember that having a garden does not release you from the obligation to go outside with your pet.
Though bullmastiffs were bred to help combat poaching, they also had a great sense of smell and were known as hooks and tropics. They guarded land estates, and in Africa, they guarded gold and diamond mines. Currently, they are kept mainly by breed lovers as family and companion dogs.
Bullmastiff. Training and education
Bullmastiff is smart. He learns fairly quickly if he is treated gently but consistently. Because of its size and strength, it is advisable for him to learn the basic principles of obedience. Start learning as soon as possible – do not wait until the student grows up. A dog of this breed is reluctant to retrieve, so this element of training can be difficult. The lessons should be varied, not too long, but often repeated – otherwise, the animal is bored.
Bullmastiff puppies are easy to raise. You should deal with them firmly and consistently, and at the same time with affection. You need to provide them with adequate socialization – they should meet new people, other quadrupeds, new places and situations, and classes in a dog kindergarten will be useful. Up to 8.-12 one month old, the puppy cannot be subjected to intensive training. It is advisable to moderate movement and quiet walks, during which the quadruped himself decides how much and how he moves.
A well-bred bullmastiff is obedient and not prone to escape – even young loose dogs usually stick to their owners.
Who is this race for?
Bullmastiff is a dog for a connoisseur and a person really fascinated with the breed. It is not difficult to raise, but requires basic knowledge of the dog’s psyche, consistency and proper treatment.
Bullmastiff. Advantages and disadvantages
- expensive to maintain during adolescence
- he loses his hair all the time
- males may be aggressive towards members of the same sex
- devoted to the family
- friendly and patient with children
- not noisy
- good watchman
- accepts other pets in the house
- easy to care for
Bullmastiff may have a predisposition to diseases typical of giant breeds. Sometimes dysplasia of the hip joints (less often elbows) occurs – there is no obligation to carry out tests before obtaining breeding rights, however, aware breeders x-ray dogs.
There may be defects in eyelid alignment – mainly entropy (collapse), which usually requires surgical correction – as well as enlargement and torsion of the stomach. Cardiological problems are rare: subaortic stenosis of the aortic opening (a congenital disease causing circulatory failure) and dilated cardiomyopathy typical of large breeds. The latter leads to degeneration of the fibers of the heart muscle, due to which its contractility decreases. As a result, the heart is not able to pump enough blood to maintain proper circulation and supply tissues with oxygen and nutrients.
Bullmastiff, as a heavy dog, has a tendency to form calluses, i.e. lumps on the skin in the area of the elbow joints (less often ankles), which arise due to the pressure of these places when lying on hard surfaces. They usually do not require treatment and the soft bed can effectively prevent their formation.
Bullmastiff shows medium weather resistance. Due to the slightly shortened muzzle, it should be protected from overheating and not allowed to stay in the sun for a long time, which representatives of this breed like. A short coat without undercoat makes it hardly resistant to low temperatures. Of course, long winter walks won’t hurt him, but he is not suitable for living in a playpen.
Bullmastiff is not picky and usually has a good appetite. It is best to give him ready-made food of good quality for giant breeds with the addition of glucosamine and chondroitin. If we want to feed a pet with our own prepared food, we should remember to supplement the meal with appropriate calcium and vitamin preparations and protecting joints.
Feeding puppies is particularly important. Bullmastiff is growing fast, but should gain weight slowly, which is why its diet must be rich in animal protein. Keeping at this stage is a big expense, but it’s worth investing in good karma, because the way you raise a puppy will affect the appearance and health of an adult dog. It is recommended that you check the level of calcium and phosphorus in your blood from time to time and, if any irregularities occur, make up for deficiencies after consulting your veterinarian. It should be remembered that feeding offal or boneless beef increases the level of phosphorus in the body, which leads to mineral disorders and may in a short time cause rickets.
It is also important to control your weight – your puppy should be well-fed, but not obese. The daily portion for an adult dog should be divided into at least two meals and ensure rest after eating.
The bullmastiff’s short coat is easy to care for. Although the representative of this breed moults most intensively in spring and autumn, it loses small amounts of fur constantly. Hair, however, does not stick to the ground and is easy to clean.
It is enough to comb the dog once a week with a metal comb and wipe with a damp towel, which will remove dust and small impurities. When replacing the garment, it should be combed more often (even daily), so that molting will be less bothersome.
We bathe Bullmastiffs in good quality shampoos for short-haired dogs. You can use hypoallergenic or medicinal cosmetics, e.g. iodophor. Regularly check your ears, shorten claws if your dog does not rub them by itself, and remove tartar if necessary.
The representative of this breed does not require special preparation for the exhibition – he should be clean and be able to behave properly in the ring. We present it on a thin, strong chain (the so-called snake) and a leather leash or on a ring adapted to the color.
For walks, an ordinary or half-clamp solid collar and a wide, not too long leash are sufficient.
For fun, the best will be mascots of strong rubber or cotton cords. Bullmastiffs will be occupied by natural teethers for a long time, e.g. pressed skin bone or raw calf shank.
For sleeping, inflatable boats with an easily removable cover are recommended.
Bullmastiff represents a group of dogs whose ancestors were Assyrian and Tibetan dogs. They were used as fighting dogs by the Celts, Persians and Alexander of Macedon. They probably reached Europe with the Phoenicians. They quickly aroused the interest of the Romans, who, taking the conquest of Britain, took them with them, and on the islands became the ancestors of many modern races.
The first mention of bullmastiff comes from 1791. In the work of the French naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon entitled “Natural history” there is a description of a large, heavy dog, which according to the author combines the shapes of a mastiff and a bulldog.
Bullmastiff was bred in 19th century England. He was to help forest guards fight to poach. They needed a large, strong dog, with good smell, obedient, tough, agile and tenacious. Initially, mastiffs were associated with various breeds, including Great Danes, wolfhounds and bloodhounds. However, the effects were not satisfactory and eventually, the breeders decided to use the former English Bulldog.
Dogs created from this cross are the direct ancestors of today’s bullmastiffs. Initially called “gamekeeper’s dogs”, they proved to be excellent as comrades and defenders of forest guards. They did not show a tendency to hunt. They were supposed to track down the poacher and watch him until the guards arrived. The first bullmastiffs were mostly dark in color, which made them hardly visible at night.
In 1885, a description of the breed was included in the book “Dog Breaking” by General William Hutchinson. In 1900, one of the newspapers reported that a high official of the Ministry of War visited the dog exhibition to find out about the usefulness of these quadrupeds for sentries.
Initially, no official breeding books were kept, although some breeders made records of individual matings. There was also no description of the breed, which is why the dogs looked very different. In 1924, Bullmastiff was recognized by the English Kennel Club, and in 1933 by the American. The first breed standard was approved in 1925.
Bullmastiff – group II FCI, section 2.1, reference number 157
- Country of origin: United Kingdom
- Size: height at the withers of dogs 63.5-68.5 cm, bitches 61-66 cm; dogs weight 50-59 kg, bitches 41-50 kg
- Coat: short, hard, close-fitting, resistant to adverse weather conditions
- Color: brindle in all shades, fawn, red; the color should be clean; slight white mark on the chest is acceptable; a black mask on the muzzle is required, gradually brightening towards the eyes
- Maturity: 1.5 years – 3 years
- Lifespan: 7-13 years
- Weather resistance: medium
The most famous bullmastiff was Sylvester Stallone, a dog named Butkus, who starred with him in the movie “Rocky”.
But other famous people also had bullmastiffs, including Marlon Brando, Christina Aguilera, Michael Bay, Jon Bon Jovi, and Bob Dylan.