The Bullmastiff breed is a compact, powerful, muscular dog with a large, square head. The coat is short, hard and weather proof and comes in fawn, red or brindle, with a black muzzle. Adult dogs measure 64-69cm and weigh 50-59kg; adult females measure 61-66cm and weigh 41-50kg.
- Category size: Large
- Grooming requirements: Less than once a week
- Shedding: Little
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Usually quiet
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Working
- Alone: More than 3 hours
- Other pets: High
- Stability as a guard: High
The Bullmastiff dog breed was originally called the 'Gamekeeper's Night Dog' as they were used to catch poachers. The base stock of the Bullmastiff was 60% English Mastiff and 40% Bulldog. They were created in the late 1800s. When the need for gamekeepers and the Bullmastiff declined they were used in sport. Someone would run off into the undergrowth and, after a short time, a muzzled Bullmastiff would be released to see if the person could be found. They were not trained to maul or kill, but to overpower their target.
These dogs are very protective of their family and other household pets, and so have to be socialised from an early age. The Bullmastiff will only accept strangers if they are introduced to them by someone they trust. Other visitors/strangers will be quickly halted in their tracks. It is not really a breed for the novice owner, due to its strength, stubbornness and over-protective nature.
As with many breeds, Bullmastiffs can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important. They are also prone to a particular bladder condition and ligament problems in the knee (cruciate disease).
This dog should be carefully controlled until at least 12 months old. Too much exercise too young can lead to bone and joint problems in later life. They do enjoy exercise and games with the family, and a couple of hours of exercise daily will keep an adult Bullmastiff content.
Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. The Bullmastiff is prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.
Grooming the Bullmastiff is relatively easy, as the coat is short and low-maintenance. A grooming mitt is all that is required to remove any dead and loose hair.
Is this the right dog breed for you?
All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.
What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information